Published in Health and Wellness
Effects of replacing diet beverages with water on weight loss

Beneficial effects of replacing diet beverages (DBs) with water on weight loss, during a 24-week hypoenergetic diet were previously observed. However, it is not known whether this difference is sustained during a subsequent 12-month weight maintenance period. 

Researchers from the University of Nottingham, UK, evaluated the effects of replacing DBs with water on body weight maintenance over a 12-month period in participants who undertook a 6-month weight loss plan. The study was published on International Journal of Obesity.42, (4): 835-840, 2018.

Seventy-one obese and overweight adult women (body mass index (BMI): 27-40 kg m-2; age: 18-50 years) who usually consumed DBs in their diet were randomly assigned to either substitute water for DBs (water group: 35) or continue drinking DBs five times per week (DBs group: 36) after their lunch for the 6-month weight loss intervention and subsequent 12-month weight maintenance program. 

As a result, a total of 71 participants who were randomly assigned were included in the study by using an intention-to-treat analysis. Greater additional weight loss (mean s.d.) in the water group was observed compared with the DBs group after the 12-month follow-up period (-1.7±2.8 vs -0.1±2.7 kg, P=0.001). BMI decreased more in the water group than in the DBs group (-0.7±1 vs -0.05±1.1 kg m-2, P=0.003). There was also a greater reduction in fasting insulin levels (-0.5±1.4 vs -0.02±1.5 mmol l-1, P=0.023), better improvement in homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (-0.2±0.4 vs -0.1±0.3, P=0.013) and a greater decrease in 2-h postprandial plasma glucose (-0.2±0.3 vs -0.1±0.3 mmol l-1, P<0.001) in the water group compared with the DBs over the 12-month weight maintenance period. 

In conclusions, replacement of DBs with water after the main meal in women who were regular users of DBs may cause further weight reduction during a 12-month weight maintenance program. It may also offer benefits in carbohydrate metabolism including improvement of insulin resistance over the long-term weight maintenance period.

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