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File this one under “hard to believe”. But still, researchers from California believe they have found a simple, free way to lose weight.

The researchers found 173 premenopausal overweight women (aged 25-50 years) who reported drinking less than one liter of water per day. These women were then instructed to increase water consumption, and were studied for 1 year.

Stookey, JD, et al. Drinking Water Is Associated With Weight Loss in Overweight Dieting Women Independent of Diet and Activity. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Sep 11.

Remarkably, the researchers found that increasing water intake over the year was associated with a significant increase in both weight loss and fat loss.The results suggest that the simple act of drinking more water – if you currently don’t drink one liter per day – may promote weight loss in overweight dieting women.

The researchers believe that drinking water may promote weight loss by lowering total energy intake and/or altering metabolism.

So while it is hard to believe that weight loss could be so simple, the results of this study explain why so many personal trainers and nutritionists insist that their weight loss clients immediately begin drinking more water.

If you are notorious for drinking next to no water each day, aim to add 3 cups of water per day. Drink one cup immediately upon waking, another cup as soon as you get to work, and then a third cup in the afternoon, just before you leave work. That’s an easy way to add a lot of water to your diet and it might even give your fat loss a boost.

Add Green Tea to increase your healthy fluid intake as well,