Finding a near-effortless way to consume fewer cals is like scrolling through Facebook without seeing one political rant—an unattainable dream. But University of Illinois researchers have found that drinking plain old water may be the Holy Grail you’ve been looking for.
For their study, published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, the researchers looked at the drinking and eating habits of more than 18,000 Americans (or 18,311, if details turn you on) who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2005 to 2012. Those survey participants had been asked to track what and how much they ate and drank in 24 hours. After analyzing the data, the researchers found that when people added one to three cups of H20 to their diets, they trimmed up to 205 extra calories a day—mostly from junk foods and sugar-sweetened drinks.
Let us do the math for you: That’s over 1400 calories a week, a.k.a. two hour-long Flywheel classes, a.k.a. four large frozen coffee drinks.
Water sippers also took in less saturated fat, sugar, salt, and cholesterol, which means their diets that day were healthier overall.
Does chugging more H20 sound like a total bore? Trying adding a couple of pieces of fresh fruit (strawberries, citrus) or veggies (cucumber, ginger) to sparkling water. It’s like drinking a (booze-free) cocktail, you fancy thing.