One thing that I am convinced helped me to lose and now maintain my weight at a healthy level is drinking lots of water every day. Hydration is so important, especially if you exercise regularly. Whenever you read about strategies for weight loss, they always recommend drinking a lot of water.
The problem is, how much water is enough? Different sources will tell you different amounts, but generally 8 glasses a day is recommended. I think more is better if you’re actually trying to lose. Somehow it seems to flush you out, and keeps your appetite down.
When I was losing weight, I was probably drinking at least 90 ounces of water each day, and I tried to drink over 100. That is a LOT, and can be difficult to sustain. However, it really isn’t so bad once you just make a habit of it. Now I just do it and don’t even think about it. You can find ways to make it fit into your lifestyle if you get creative.
Here are some ideas to help you:
- Use a big straw – OK, I stole this tactic from McDonalds (remember years ago when their straws suddenly got bigger? it was to make you drink more soda!). I use a nice fat straw which really does make it easier to drink more.
- Use a container that you like, preferably a pretty big one. I use a 24 oz. Tervis tumbler, and I bought one that I am particularly fond of (it has a little sailboat on it, with a blue lid, awww). You can get one with your favorite sports team’s logo, whatever works for you. The idea is to make it pleasant.
- Keep water accessible at all times. This can be tough if you’re on the road or traveling. I just keep my tumbler filled up on my desk all the time.
- Set a goal – I try to drink at least 3 of my tumblers full of water during the work day at my desk (that’s 72 oz. if you’re counting), plus I drink a glass when I first get up and with meals. It all adds up. On most days I’d say I probably end up drinking 80-ish oz. because I may not quite reach my tumbler goal. I’m not obsessed about counting and tracking my consumption, now that I’m in the habit I just drink a lot.
- Substitute water for other drinks – if you are still drinking sugary sodas or juices regularly, the calories really add up. Don’t do it. I basically drink water, coffee, and I will confess, alcoholic beverages. That’s it.
- Drink sparkling water - sparkling is a great alternative, is very refreshing, and feels kind of festive
- Flavor your water – something like lemon or lime is best, but you can try orange slices, cucumber, mint sprigs, whatever you like. Try to avoid chemical flavorings but if that’s all you can stomach, start with them and gradually add less and less.
Unfortunately there is an unpleasant consequence to drinking a lot of water, which is going to the restroom more frequently. But you can make that a habit too (lol!) and actually your body does sort of adjust. Overall, the benefits far outweigh the negatives! Drinking a lot of water really helps me feel great, and I notice it quickly if I’m traveling and don’t drink enough because I start to feel dehydrated.