The very word water makes many of us run for cover! We feel it is tasteless and boring. Drinking it is a chore much like cleaning the oven. We just don’t want to do it! The health benefits are clear and easy to find, here are a few:
It helps to boost mental performance
It helps to boost physical performance
It can stabilise your mood
Hydration is needed for digestion
Hydration is needed for our heart and circulation
Hydration is needed for temperature control
Hydration is needed for our brain to work well
Drinking water may help with weight loss
Like anything, the mere knowing of the benefits is just not enough. We have to actually put this knowledge to use and this is the hard part!! I used to absolutely hate drinking water; I was hooked on diet fizzy drinks. I have even been known to have a full-blown binge and wash it down with diet cola!! As I made my Anti-Diet journey, I was more open to trying new things and decided that I would once again try to drink more water. I was determined to not only lose weight but also to be healthy.
The first thing I did was forget about all the times I had tried in the past and failed. I knew that this would only hold me back and served no positive purpose whatsoever. The second was that I gave myself the permission to try various ways to find one that would work for me. I decided that an open, experimental approach would put me in a more powerful frame of mind because if I tried a way that I didn’t like, I would not see it as a failure. I would simply see it as a way of eliminating what didn’t work which freed me to move on to the next method. Here are some of the things I tried which I hope might help you:
All in one go
If you’re a ‘rip of that band aid’ type of person, this is for you. All you need to do is decide, plan ahead and go for it! Unfortunately, if life was that easy, we would all be walking around successful, slim, healthy, wealthy and wise!! Bring in real life and you’ll find that only a small percentage of people will fit into this bracket but if you are one of the lucky few, then this is all you need to do!
Now for some realistic and totally possible ways that you can try:
Enlist a buddy
Some people prefer to go it alone and some don’t! If you fit into the ‘don’t’ section then this is for you. Ideally, you need a likeminded friend or friends so that you can help each other and benefit at the same time. If you don’t have anyone like that, not to worry, find someone who is happy to help you and in return you could support them in some other way. Once you find someone, agree a plan that will lead you to regularly drink the amount of water you would like to drink each day. You can then help and encourage each other as you go. It could be in the form of texts, messages, status updates or calls. If you work together or live together it will be even easier as you can check in on each other’s progress in person. If one or both of you is having a bad day, you can be there to offer extra encouragement which can really make the difference between perseverance and giving up. The great thing about this option is that it doesn’t have to cost a penny! You can obviously buy apps and special bottles etc if that makes it more fun or just easier for you.
Buy a bottle with a timeline
This is a great way to help you stay focussed and drink the amount of water that you would like to in a day. There are many similar types of bottles that can buy and the starting price is really low. They make it very easy for you to be able to measure how much you have had to drink and they split the bottle into times of the day so all you need to do is drink the amount of water by what is says on the bottle by the specified time. If you need a little extra help, you could put an alarm on your phone to remind you as well.
Put on an alarm
Many times, the reason for not drinking enough water is because our lives are so busy, we can literally forget to drink! With the best intentions then, you are likely to find that at the end of the day, that glass of water you put beside you is still full or that you forgot to even get a glass out in the first place. A brilliant and very simple remedy for this is to set an alarm. If you are planning to have four glasses of water a day, split your day realistically into four and as soon as the alarm sounds, you discipline yourself to the drink water. Prepare for times when you are may not have access to water and counteract it by carrying a lightweight water bottle with you for this purpose. That way, even if you have to change your schedule at the last minute, you will not have an excuse for not drinking the amount of water you had planned to.
Use an app
This is a great way to not only remind yourself to drink water but also to log and measure just how much you have had each day. There are numerous apps available on android and iPhone that you can download to track, remind and log the amount of water that you have during the course of a day/days. This is an easy way to keep in control and measure your progress. The slight downside to this could be the fact that you will need to have your phone with you at all times and if you are in a situation where you should not be using your mobile, it can be difficult, annoying or embarrassing or all three! Bear this in mind when you set alarms and reminders in general. Perhaps plan ahead each day and put your phone on silent. Obviously, don’t forget to put the volume up again afterwards as you may miss out on vital alarms and messing up your schedule totally!!
Hidden – tea, coffee
If you really, truly hate water, all is not lost! There are other ways of adding water to your day. For example, tea and coffee both count!! Keep in mind that these also contain caffeine so what how much you actually drink. Other surprising things that count towards water is fruit! Watermelon is a great one as it consists of about 90% water!!
In reality most liquids and many foods contain water but the problem with them could be that they are likely to contain other things such as artificial ingredients, caffeine, sugars which makes them an unhealthier choice. Balance is key though so do allow yourself to enjoy these in moderation.
Before you start, have a plan as you are much more likely to stick to a new routine with one. Things to consider are:
How much do you need to drink each day – A quick google search will help with this. A general guideline is 1.2 litres per day.
If you absolutely hate water try adding a slice of lemon or lime to it or alternatively, flavour it with fruit. You can purchase water bottles with a built in fruit infuser which makes doing this really easy!!
What method is best for me? – Here’s where you can experiment. Try any of the above individually or a combination of some or all of them!
Lastly, tell yourself that It is OK to slip up but it’s not OK to give up. Just keep going and eventually a new habit will be created!!
Written by Sherry Taylor
Author of The Anti-Diet Lifestyle