Thursday, June 28, 2012

Weight Loss Tip ~ Water Tips

It's Monday evening (as I write this) and the house is quiet.  It's been a long day and not much has gone right about today.  Joe and I planned a nice day for the three of us, but instead, most of the day was spent dealing with an uncooperative toddler with plans of her own.  I won't bore you all with the details, but let's just say that thoughts of dieting went out the window for several hours.

Now that everyone is asleep (even the dog is snoring beside me on the sofa), I'm taking a moment to focus on MYSELF and my journey to find a healthier me.

Just a short moment because, you know, I'm a mom and stuff like loading the dishwasher and folding the laundry still needs to get done before I get to go to sleep.

Speaking of sleep, I really need to do more of that.  But that's not what I want to talk about today.  Today I want to talk about WATER.

You'd think that would be the easiest thing about the switching to a healthier lifestyle, right?!  Well, for me, it's not.  You've all heard me whine about how much I hate water, how I'm addicted to Diet Pepsi and how I'd rather not drink at all rather than drink water.

I've read about how other people drink a full glass of water (sometimes two) before meals, that it helps them to feel fuller.  Or how some people feel like they are hungry, when they are actually just thirsty.  Let me just say, I'm not either one of those people.

Water doesn't make me feel fuller.  It makes me feel sick.

When I'm hungry, I know it.  In fact, when I'm hungry, pretty much everyone around me knows it too!  Seriously.

When I started this journey and joined in with other bloggers for the Summer Sizzle Slimdown Challenge just over 3 weeks ago, I was determined to drink more water.  That first week, I did great!  While I only reached my goal of 8 glasses of water per day a couple of times, I was doing so great in cutting back on Diet Pepsi.

Thinking about all of the different ways I've been trying to get myself to drink more water, I am seeing what worked and what didn't.  I thought I would share my thoughts with you in this post.  After the past couple of weeks I've had, I feel funny calling these "tips" since I don't feel qualified to offer "tips" at the moment, but if anything, the information will be here for me to look back on if and when I might need the reminder.



What works:  

  • Each night before I go to bed, I go to the garage and get 4 bottles of water for the following day.  Each bottle is 16 oz and equal to two glasses of water.  I put the bottles on the counter and with a Sharpie Marker, I number the bottles: 1, 2, 3, 4 (on the caps).  This makes it easier for me to keep track of how many glasses of water I am drinking.    It also helps me feel like I am accomplishing something, like checking a task off of a to-do list.  

What doesn't work:  
  • After seeing my water bottles from that first week in the recycling bin, I figured I would reduce waste (and cost) by switching to gallon jugs of water instead.  Nope, didn't work.  I didn't have the visual needed (the numbered caps) to keep me motivated.  I did see on Pinterest that someone made notations on the gallon, to help them keep track of their water, but I haven't tried that yet.  

What works:  
  • Drinking from a favorite glass or cup.  This is something I did back on my Weight Watchers days.  Mainly, because I was at work and needed a glass for the water cooler.  I'm a sucker for those cute seasonal cups with the dishes to match and would often purchase a cup with a plate to match and keep them in my desk drawer to use at lunch time instead of using disposable cups and plates.  These days, I love using the plastic travel cups with a lid and reusable straw.  Each day, I refill the cup from my numbered bottles.  It helps if the cup holds 16 oz. which is the equivalent of one bottle of water or two 8 oz. glasses.  Also, if using more than one cup throughout the challenge, take notice to changes in drinking patterns.  (I'll explain further down.) 

What doesn't work: 
  • Drinking from the bottle.  Drinking from a glass or cup allows me to drink more water, more quickly.  I can't drink from a water bottle quickly, I only sip.  So, I find myself drinking the same bottle of water for hours, or until I put it down somewhere and forget about it.  

What works:  
  • Drinking from a straw.  A straw also helps me to drink more.  Just a few sips from the straw and I'm halfway finished the cup of water!  
What doesn't work:  
  • I switched cups during week two.  The cup held less water.  At first, I thought that was the reason I was drinking less.  Then I realized that the insulated travel cup was taller and thinner and required a longer straw.  The taller straw made it take longer for me to drink the same amount as the shorter straw I was using during the first week.  It seems crazy, I know.  But it does make a difference.  At least to me!  


What works:  
  • Enhancing the flavor.  For the first couple of weeks, I was flavoring my water with strawberries.  Each morning, I would get my cup out of the freezer, drop in a couple slices of frozen strawberries (about half of a strawberry) and pour water into the cup.  No need to change the strawberries with each refill, just keep using the same berries.  Note that the flavor is stronger the longer it sits between refills.  Alternately, add a fresh pineapple slice to your glass, cup or bottle of water.  In the photo above, I added the chopped core along with a few scraps of fresh pineapple to a pitcher of water.  Looks pretty and refreshing!  
What works: 
  • Find the right temperature.  In most cases, I prefer my beverages with ice.  The colder the better.  But, I prefer my water to be room temperature.  I guess because I'm not looking to sip it leisurely, I'm looking to meet my goal at the end of the day.  Sipping isn't going to get me to 8 glasses by the end of the day! 

Keep in mind, this is what I've noticed works for me.  I am by no means an expert in this department (or any other for that matter).  Results may vary from person to person.  

Do you have any tips for drinking more water?  Please share how you manage to reach your water goal each day!  

3 comments:

8 minute workout said...

It helps a lot, thanks for sharing this to us and looking forward always for more updates. Gives us more ideas and great posts.

Rochelle said...

Great tips Alison - and I LOVE the fact that you are really trying to get the water in. It's really hard at first and especially of you are used to sweeter drinks like diet pepsi!
Keep up the great work!

tomadou (とまどう) said...

I totally get this! I have to drink from a short straw too. It makes it so much faster.

For me, though, if it's warm or flavoured I tend to drink more slowly.

The one thing I do to get more water is actually give myself a timeline to follow. How much water I have to consume by certain times of the day... Seems to work for me.

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