Kick your slim-down efforts into high gear by starting each meal with about 16 ounces of water.
In a study of dieters, those who started each meal with a tall glass of water dropped more weight over 12 weeks -- and shed it more quickly -- compared with the dieters who skipped the water and just dug in.
A Wet Way to Lose More
In fact, the water drinkers lost about 4 1/2 more pounds than the control group. And they dropped the weight about 44 percent faster. So if you're feeling a little panicked about the teeny tiny bit of time you have left to drop your winter weight before swimsuit season, think about what you drink. In this particular study, the drink-water-lose-more benefit varied by age -- it wasn't a factor for younger adults. But plenty of other research has suggested that drinking more water in general could boost weight loss efforts. (Find out how even slight dehydration can affect your mood, energy, and exercise habits.)
A Matter of Age
Why the boost for water drinkers? It's possible that being properly hydrated curbed their hunger, helping them eat less at each meal. And their water habits may have caused them to cut back on high-calorie, fructose-laden drinks. A third possible mechanism? The water drinkers were asked to track their daily water intake, which may have led to more careful monitoring of calorie intake, too. (Ready to melt more pounds? Here's a weight loss tracking tool that can help.)