I thought I’d start off the Healthy Habits plan with an easy one: drinking water. No exercise required, no food management required, just concentrate on getting adequate water.
Just as your body goes into starvation mode if you don’t eat enough and holds onto weight even though you’re not consuming many calories, so your body also holds onto water if you aren’t getting enough. The best way to lose water weight is to drink lots of water.
Often times “losing water weight” is tossed about in a tone that implies it doesn’t even count as real weight loss, but I don’t feel that way. Perhaps it is because during a couple pregnancies I carried around at least 20 pounds of water weight. Swelling is excess weight as much as fat is, and it feels just as good to get it off.
Also, to drink enough water during the day, water has to become your beverage of choice. If it replaces high-calorie drinks, then so much the better for weight loss efforts. Even if it’s replacing diet drinks you will be healthier. Water is good for your body. Aspartame is not. Aspartame will increase your urge for snacking; water will dull it. Aspartame gives some people headaches. Water helps cure headaches. Aspartame is a questionable man-made additive used to cheat, to get the sweet hit without the calories. Water is designed to be a life-sustaining beverage and will help regulate your taste and cravings for sweet.
Dehydration causes a myriad of problems, even mild chronic dehydration, from which many people suffer without realizing. Our body requires water; we need to give it the water it needs.
However, simply knowing that we should drink water isn’t enough. 100oz doesn’t happen without a plan. It’s still a habit that takes work to instill, even if it’s cheap and not difficult. Here’s my plan for getting in my 100 ounces:
- Drink at least one glass (16oz) first thing upon rising. Before doing anything else, before eating, before coffee: drink a glass of water.
- No coffee until I’ve had at least 2 glasses of water.
- At any point when sitting down at the computer or for school, have a glass of water and drink it while doing whatever I’m doing.
- Always take a full water bottle when leaving the house. Drink it while driving. Finish it before reaching the destination.
- Drink a glass of water during dinner preparations.
- Drink a glass of water last thing before going to bed.
Drinking water is a good first habit to start with not only because it’s foundational to proper body functioning and other activities, but also because it will quickly become its own positive reinforcement. I feel noticeably better physically and mentally when I start the day off with lots of water. It’s easy to make a choice that gives such quick positive feedback as a tall glass of cool water, preferably with a lemon slice. Yum!