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THE FACTS Late November marks the start of the gluttonous holiday season. But a simple step might help keep food intake in check: a glass of water before meals.
Dieters have been encouraged to employ this trick for ages, with the reasoning quite simple: the water fills the stomach, thus reducing hunger. But only in recent years have studies borne this out.
In the most recent, a randomized trial published in the journal Obesity in February, scientists at Virginia Tech followed a group of overweight subjects age 55 and up on low-calorie diets for about three months. Half the people were told to drink two cups of water before every meal. At the end of the study, the water group had lost an average of 15.5 pounds, compared with 11 pounds in the other group.