In a recent study, experts in diet and metabolism find that replacing low calorie ‘diet’ drinks with water can help increase the rate of weight loss in obese women with type 2 diabetes.
The University of Nottingham and Tehran University of Medical Sciences conducted the research. The results are published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.
81 overweight and obese women with type 2 diabetes who were trying to lose weight to control their diabetes were recruited.
They followed a hypo-energetic diet and their post-lunch drink option (diet drinks or water) for 24 weeks with the aim of losing 7%-10% of their body weight at a rate of 0.5 to 1 kilogram a week.
They also undertook a physical activity programme, which gradually increased to achieve 60 minutes of moderate activity 5 days a week.
For the post-lunch drink, these women were asked either to substitute water for diet drinks, or to continue drinking diet drinks
The two groups were also asked not to drink anything while eating their lunch and not to add low calorie sweeteners to drinks such as tea or coffee.
Researchers measured their body weight at the start, at 12 weeks and at 24 weeks. Waist circumference was also measured and BMI calculated at the same intervals.
In addition, fasting blood samples were collected also at the start, 12 and 24 weeks to check diabetes indicators.
The result showed that women drinking water after their main meal at lunch time over 24 weeks lost on average 1.16kg more than the women who drank diet drinks after their meal.
Moreover, women who drank water achieved a better improvement in insulin sensitivity.
Researchers suggest that women drinking water instead of sweet-tasting diet drinks may be adhering better to the weight loss diet.
This is because artificial sweeteners can increase desire for sweetened and more energy dense foods.
For obese people who try to lose weight, this study shows that they can lose more weight if they drink water instead of diet drinks.
The finding also questions whether consuming diet drinks is the most effective way for people with diabetes to manage their condition.
News Source: The University of Nottingham.
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