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Water and Other Zero Calorie Drinks Help People Lose Weight

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People who want to lose weight might benefit from drinking water and other noncaloric beverages, new research suggests. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists have found evidence that noncaloric beverages promote weight loss. 

Deborah Tate and her colleagues from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's departments of nutrition, health behavior and education developed a plan which replaced caloric beverages with water and other nonalcoholic beverages for consumption by overweight and obese adults. The experiment, known as Choose Healthy Options Consciously Everyday (CHOICE),  lasted for six months and was used as a method of weight loss.

Tate and her colleagues selected 318 obese and overweight adults and divided them into one of three groups:

  • water group - volunteers' high calorie beverages were replaced with water
  •  noncaloric beverage group - volunteers' high caloric beverages were replaced with beverages that didn't contain calories
  • control group - these people were given tips on how to choose their own healthy foods

From the initiation of the experiment until its conclusion six months later, the research team noted significant declines in blood pressure, weight and waist circumference across all of the groups, but the water and noncaloric beverage groups lost more weight than the control group. 

According to results of the study, water was by far the best noncaloric beverage with volunteers' being better hydrated and experiencing lower fasting glucose than volunteers who were left to make their own food choices.

Tate's team concluded that since water and noncaloric beverages promote weight loss, it offers a "strategy" that "could have public health significance."

Actually this is a no-brainer. Of course water can promote weight loss. Not only does it add volume (and thus takes up space in the stomach which causes a sense of fullness), it hydrates the cells and promotes energy efficiency. 

Unfortunately, people don't drink enough water, they often dislike the bland taste. Noncaloric beverages (the flavored kind) taste better but they're admittedly more expensive than plain old water. But if you want to lose weight safely, water can help.

Afterall, since water is a cheap and natural (and thus healthy) way to lose weight, doesn't it make sense to include it as part of a healthy diet?


"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all." (Psalm 34:19)

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Article Sources

Tate, D., Turner-McGrievy, G., Lyons, E., Stevens, J., Erickson, K., Polzien, K., Diamond, M., Wang, X., & Popkin, B. (2012). Replacing caloric beverages with water or diet beverages for weight loss in adults: main results of the Choose Healthy Options Consciously Everyday (CHOICE) randomized clinical trial American Journal of Clinical Nutrition DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.111.026278

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