Most weight loss tips require lots of sacrifice for very little gain. But new research suggests eating fewer calories could be as mindlessly simple as drinking a few extra cups of water every day. (See? Told you it was E-A-S-Y!)
In a new study recently published in Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers looked at the eating and drinking habits of 18,311 people, which were collected as part of a long-term survey. The average person drinks 4.2 cups of water a day. Interestingly, people who drank an extra three cups ate an average of 205 fewer calories than people who drank just the average amount of water.
They also consumed less sugar, less fat, less sodium, and less cholesterol—probably because when water fills your glass, it displaces soda (and the hidden crap therein), and fills you up so you eat a little less, suggests study author Ruopeng An, Ph.D., a kinesiology and community health professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
While An's research doesn't go so far as to prove that drinking more water will create a calorie deficit that leads to weight loss, he has every reason to believe that chugging more water can help you consume considerably fewer calories—and existing research, which does prove that people eat less at breakfast when they drink lots of water before eating, supports his theory. Sooooo, bottoms up?
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.