TFS Wednesday: Water

No matter what diet plan (or cleanse) you do, you will be asked to drink water ... lots of water.  It's a good habit to pick up and one where most people fall way short of the ideal amount.  

One question I always got while working at Weight Watchers was, why water?  Can't you drink 64 oz. of diet soda? What about 64 oz. of Crystal Light?  The short answer is, it all comes down to chemicals and how your body reacts to them. Since we all have different chemical make-ups we will all react differently to the chemicals in diet soda or water add in's.  Some will tolerate LARGE amounts of the chemicals better than others.  Generally, however, drinking anything but water when you are dieting or trying to be healthier, sends you in the opposite direction.  

The reason every (good) diet plan has you drink at least 64 oz. of water a day is to flush your system and help you feel full.  Drinking water will actually support and strengthen your kidneys where processing a lot more chemicals will tax them more.  One promotes health, one reduces it.

Other issues cause people to start, then stop, drinking enough water before it becomes a habit.  The number of times you have to go to the bathroom is complaint number one.  This gets better with time.  During the first week of dieting and drinking more water than you ever have, your body will let go of a lot of retained water (hence that first week BIG loss).  Once your body adjusts to the idea that it will get 64 oz. of water a day, it will equalize and you will have to go less.  It is also a great idea to drink more earlier in the day.  It should go without saying (especially if you have little kids) that you should not down 8 oz. of water right before bed.  Start each morning with 16 oz. right off the bat, before breakfast.  

Keeping track of the water you drink is another challenge.  This isn't rocket science, so you don't have to be 'to the ounce' precise.  One of the most clever ways I learned from a client was using rubber bands to keep track of the number of glasses or bottles of water you have had each day.  Take your water bottle or glass and figure out how many times you need to finish it each day.  If it's four times, put four rubber bands around it.  Each time you finish one, remove a rubber band.  It's a simple solution and a way to make sure you don't short yourself.  

My final tip is getting a glass or bottle that really works for you.  When I first saw the Tervis glasses and cups at Bed, Bath and Beyond I thought they were ridiculously expensive when I have a whole pile of free big plastic cups at home.  I have since changed my mind.  The fact that they are double-walled allows me to use them for hot or cold drinks and they almost never sweat a pool of water into my cup holder.  Their lids can open like a coffee lid or use a straw.  And they have a lid, so they are much less likely to spill.  They fit in the cup holders in the car and each person can have their own design on the cup, which cuts down on the horror of one of my kids drinking from the other one's cup. 

Labels: ,