Drink Water Before Eating And Consume Fewer Calories

Drinking two cups of water before eating results in consuming 75 to 90 fewer calories per meal on average, a new study finds.

Researchers said it could be because water, which contains zero calories, is filling so you feel full faster. H2O might also be taking the place of sweeter drinks people might otherwise consume.

No doubt a late-night infomercial product will soon be developed to capitalize on the findings.

Water Before Meal Means Fewer Calories Consumed [Scientific America]


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  1. mexifelio says:

    Why does there always have to be a gimmick to eat healthy? is it really that insanely impossible to eat normal sized portions and limit the snacks?

    • Sword_Chucks says:


      I can’t do it myself, I need to place the blame everywhere but on myself and I must pay into people’s generalized opinions on being healthy…

      • frank64 says:

        It the thyroid!!!!

      • myCatCracksMeUp says:

        You and Frank have no fucking idea what you’re talking about. If you read anything at all on the topic you’d know there are many external causes to people being overweight. But rather than read on the subject, you prefer to just run your mouths.

    • Brink006 says:

      I went vegan and scarified maybe 5% of strength (which I’ll get back) for about 10% of my weight dropped in 6 weeks– and I ate pretty healthy to begin with. It’s certainly not for everyone, but it was for me.

      • RonYnz says:

        Vegans need more courage. I hate to see people scarified in the city. That’s when they get Cityfied : )

    • DoubleBaconVeggieBurger says:

      Apparently, it is. (See: obesity rates)

    • g.park says:

      I fail to see how drinking water qualifies as a “gimmick.”

    • aloria says:

      Because some people’s hunger outpaces their metabolism. You ever try not eating when you’re super duper hungry? It sucks.

      • chefboyardee says:

        By eating the proper foods, you can stave off hunger longer, or at least not get to the “super duper hungry” point. If you’re eating crap full of HFCS, yes, you’re going to be hungry an hour later, and STARVING 2 hours later.

        • JulesNoctambule says:

          So, activity level has nothing to do with it? HFCS and ‘crap’ are all to blame for hunger? Interesting!

          • Brink006 says:

            I like how you’re oversimplifying his point (or at least not reading into what he may be implying) and making fun of him oversimplifying at the same time.

        • Pax says:

          Some of us can’t AFFORD to eat higher-quality food.

          Simple fact: the lower-quality, HFCS-laden stuff is also CHEAPER than “the good stuff”. If it’s a choice between eating healthily, and eating REGULARLY … sorry, “healthy” loses.

    • JMILLER says:

      Drinking water is a gimmick? Maybe it is telling people your body should naturally drink more water, and when you do not drink enough it makes it easier for your body to gain weight. It is as valid as saying smaller portions. Water fills up your stomach and makes you feel less hunger.
      By the way, smaller portions and less snacks does NOT equate to healthier. You can eat very little and still eat an unhealthy diet.

    • Conformist138 says:

      I need help with my weight. I’m sorry you don’t have the ability to empathize with people who struggle in ways that are different from yourself.

      Yes, “eat less and move more” IS the way weight is lost and it is the ONLY way it is lost outside of a rare major medical condition. However, knowing/saying it is much different than implementing it. Then you have the psychological aspects to contend with as well as the physical tantrum your body will throw whenever you want it to give up it’s precious reserves.

      Drinking water is something we should all do and this “trick” has been around a long time. It’s effective and nearly free, so why not encourage it?

    • grapedog says:

      but food is soooo delicious! I don’t have a problem managing my weight, I’m right where I should be for my height, but I do struggle sometimes with what I want and what I should be eating. it sucks…

  2. ArcanaJ says:

    Researchers? This was diet advice in the 70s, guys.

    • OnePumpChump says:

      There was a lot of of diet advice in the 70s. How much of it was eventually proven correct?

      • hotdogsunrise says:

        But there can’t be anything wrong with the grapefruit diet? It’s so tasty!

      • mandarynn says:

        Wasn’t there also a diet aid called AIDS?

        • annodyne says:

          I think it was called AYDS and it was essentially a small piece of candy fortified with vitamins. You were supposed to eat two of them (50 calories) with one cup of some hot non-caloric beverage about 1/2 hour before your meal and basically it would do what you mom would call “spoil your appetite.”

      • ArcanaJ says:

        Considering that much of it originated in the 20s (or even earlier) and keeps getting recycled every decade or so as “new”, not much.

  3. Vanilla5 says:

    “A new study finds”? My mom was telling me this when I was a kid. “Drink some water before you eat so you don’t eat so fast!” Granted, she was more concerned with me not wolfing down my food and ending up with a tummy ache than my caloric intake.

    • Marshmelly says:

      Thats funny cause my mom always (and still does) tell me to do the opposite. If I can’t finish dinner she would yell at me because I drank too much water beforehand. haha. Of course she always give enormous restaurant-sized portions of food for everything which makes it difficult to finish anyhow…

  4. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    And yet, we’ve previously been told water does not make you full before meals.

    Sound a lot like the heathiness of eggs things. First they’re good for you, then bad, then good again, then only parts of it are good, and then don’t eat it or you’ll get salmonella!

    • dizzy says:

      Then again, I’ve heard salmonella is a great weight loss tool. I mean, stomach cramps and not keeping anything down for days? You drop some serious weight.

      • MamaBug says:

        almost, but not quite as good, as the amazing heroin diet.
        My personal favorite is the have-a-baby diet (I dropped about 15 lbs in ONE DAY!)

        • JMILLER says:

          But the problem was the 30# you gained the 9 months before. And that whole stretched out vag thing.

    • g.park says:

      Citation needed.

    • DariusC says:

      Another study shows that people usually eat everything on their plate because it was forced on them as a child. Now if you drink 2 glasses of water before the meal, you will be full-ER.

      Worthless study.

      • aloria says:

        My parents stopped that ridiculous “clean your plate” rule when I projectile vomited my dinner all over the staircase. I’ll never understand the logic behind that rule.

        • Jimmy60 says:

          The logic was “I paid good money for that food you better not waste any of it”. The reality was that it is a possible path to poor eating habits and weight issues.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Depression-era most likely. You had so little, and you couldn’t AFFORD to waste what food you had. You’d be damned to let your kid not finish his plate and potentially starve to death later.

          Now that we can in fact waste our food, the tradition has passed on, which is now detrimental.

      • grapedog says:

        I just didn’t get dessert if I didn’t clean my plate. I cleaned my plate…

  5. milty456 says:

    I’m holding out for a snuggie with a built in water pouch and straw in polka dots

  6. tbax929 says:

    This study was brought to us by Captain Obvious. It’s not that I think it’s a bad tip, but I do think most people already know this.

  7. annodyne says:

    Also, It would help get in that 2 quarts of water we’re supposed to be drinking each day. I guess there must be others like me out there who seem to have not quite gotten to the 64oz mark most days.

  8. Slave For Turtles says:

    Am I the only one who gets sick feeling when drinking water on an empty stomach? It’s especially bad in the morning. Just curious. Obviously, this dieting advice falls on deaf ears here.

    • JJ! says:

      If I drink cold water in the morning, I feel violently ill.

      It’s weird, and I feel your pain.

      • FeelinFroggy says:

        That feeling is your body adjusting to the cold water after being all warm and fuzzy during your sleep.

    • goldilockz says:

      If the water is chilled, it will make an empty stomach cramp. Drink water closer to room temperature, or even better your body’s temperature, and you should be good :)

  9. smo0 says:

    Hm, one of the books I own says to drink a glass or two of water approximately one hour before you eat – but it’s just supposed to help with the body’s digestion…. but then again, I don’t read weightloss books, I read health books… which normally are followed up by weightloss…..

    But as for the first comment… yeah… portions these days are out of control….

    Pacing what you eat when it’s a small portion to begin with… that makes you feel full faster….


    • goldilockz says:

      I agree with this. It amazes me the speed with which people wolf down their humongous portions at Olive Garden and other restaurants. I’ll admit I’m guilty of it quite often as well.

      • smo0 says:

        When you’re walking into a place, starved… everyone can be guilty of this…

        but I think that might be the point about this article….

        that “starved” feeling can be sated if you’re drinking before you sit down… overall – if you’re not inhaling your food and pacing yourself, your body naturally gets full and you consume less calories…

        I think it’s more of the “timing” factor and not what it is that you’re putting in your body…. (initally… but overall we find the latter to be more true)

  10. htowninsomniac says:

    But dihydrogen monoxide is SO DANGEROUS! http://bit.ly/I1jj

  11. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Replace “eating” with “anything” and “water” with “scotch” and we have a winner.

  12. Amy Alkon says:

    Cut out carbs and you’ll find what evidence-based science shows: that a calorie is not a calorie. (See Gary Taubes’ “Good Calories, Bad Calories” for extensive references.)

  13. drburk says:

    Make sure the water is cold your will expend calories heating it up to 98.6 degrees.

    • Slave For Turtles says:

      Oh heck – forgo that and go straight to some ice cream! It’s plenty cold! Right? Right? Oh. Phooey. I bet this argument will work on my husband though!

  14. ChuckECheese says:

    I dunno if anybody else ever feels this way, but sometimes I can’t tell if I’m hungry or thirsty. And so I would eat something, when what my body really wanted was to drink. Now I know to start with a drink, and if I feel hungry in a while, then I eat.

  15. Retired Again says:

    Drink 4 cups and you won’t have time to eat.

  16. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    In SciAm’s big obesity issue a few years back, Barry Popkin pointed out that the human brain doesn’t factor in liquids when it’s determining how many calories it needs. If a human drinks anything BESIDES water, the calorie consumption rises, because they eat the same, but add the calories from the drink on.

  17. myCatCracksMeUp says:

    There’s research going on about a link between viruses and appetite, and other research into other physical causes of people gaining weight. Everyone who has no problem with their weight likes to be all smug about how easy it is, but it’s very easy to be normal weight when your hunger is normal.

    I think it’s a shame that so many people have opinions about this topic, but do absolutely no reading of health research reports.

  18. Intheknow says:

    Uh, duh!

  19. watch me eat says:

    I didn’t listen to the podcast, but read an article about this on MSN. They said that it is only affective for older people, I think 55 plus, because they retain the water in their stomaches longer. In younger people, the water starts leaving the stomach immediately, so this doesn’t help.

    • FeelinFroggy says:

      Not entirely true…. Older people are less active which means they dehydrate slower which is the opposite in younger people. Now this can also be said of less active younger people as well.

      Reality is that everyone is different and the results will vary greatly depending on your daily routine. Personally, I have tried this and it did work for me…like 10 yrs ago!
      Truth is that when your hungry you crave food, taste, calories, etc… not tasteless water.
      This is why I am a fat bastard :)

  20. Pax says:

    “H2O might also be taking the place of sweeter drinks people might otherwise consume. “

    This is absolutely true.

    I used to drink an average of 2 Liters of non-diet soda, every day.

    I now drink the same volume … but other than one 12oz can a day, it’s all water. That has cut nearly 900 calories out of my daily rate of intake.

  21. goldilockz says:

    That’s not a new study. That knowledge has been around for as long as I can remember.

  22. selkie says:

    For me, it really is the opposite. Slight dehydration tends to kill my appetite, and if I go from slightly dehydrated to properly hydrated before eating, I’ll often suddenly find myself getting much hungrier than I had been when I was under hydrated.