The equation for fat loss – burn more kilojoules than you take in – is way easier said than done.
But one tiny, barely noticeable change to your day could help you consume 860 fewer kilojoules, according to new research from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
While that’s not a huge amount, a daily kilojoule deficit that size could help the average guy lose over half a kilo in a month, according to the Pennington Biomedical Research Centre weight-loss predictor.
The change: drinking three extra glasses of water.
When researchers interviewed 18,000 people about what they ate over the course of two days, they found that when people drank more water, they consumed fewer kilojoules overall.
It’s not hard to figure out why: swapping H2O for sweetened drinks results in fewer kilojoules. Drinking water also helps you feel less hungry, so you eat less, the researchers say.
On average, the study participants drank 4.2 cups of water a day. There’s no hard rule for how much water you need to drink to stay hydrated, but in the study, each additional cup corresponded to a lower total kilojoule intake.
One extra cup could help you trim 288kJ, two could help you cut back by 572, and three could help you scale back by 860, the study suggests.
So if you haven’t already swapped soft and sweetened drinks for water, consider this your daily public service announcement. It’s one of the most painless ways to drop fat fast.