Drinking water in my house is a game of cat and mouse. Unfortunately, I’m the mouse in this scenario. My cat loves to knock over my water if I set it down and walk away for half a second. She relishes watching it spill all over the place and how funny I look when I flail around like a crazy person looking for a towel to clean it up. Cats are assholes sometimes.
Yesterday, when she got to my water cup before I could drink it all, it got me thinking about strategies to help us drink our water.
When we set out to lose weight, we’re almost always told to drink our eight glasses of water. I hear from people all the time about how they struggle to drink all of their water each day. Maybe you just need a cat to threaten to flood your home if you don’t drink it! That’ll get you to chug faster than a freshman at a frat party. Problem solved!
Joking aside, it is common knowledge (always stay skeptical of common knowledge) that drinking eight glasses of water a day is part of any good diet program. However, you might be surprised to learn that this conventional wisdom is founded on shaky ground. Medical and scientific studies are misinterpreted, and data is ignored all the time, which unfortunately perpetuates myths that we hear about and follow, believing it will solve our weight problems for good.
The origin of the “8 glasses” mantra comes from a 1945 study that indicated that humans need 2.5 Liters (roughly 64 ounces) of water per day. However, most who quote this study fail to include the caveat that some of this water can come from the food you eat. Because eight glasses of water are still more of a minimum requirement, aiming for eight glasses of water a day is still a good idea. If you’re more thirsty, drink more water. If you’re less thirsty, drink less water. Keep it simple. (Sources: New York Times, Snopes, University of Michigan Health System)
Water is not the magic bullet for weight loss.
Drinking A LOT more water alone will not help you lose all the weight you want to lose and keep it off forever. It just won’t happen. That’s not how any of this works. Weight loss requires a calorie deficit. Period.
That said, drinking an adequate amount of water in strategic ways CAN assist us in achieving our weight loss goals in three ways:
- Drinking water leaves less room for food in your stomach and will help you feel full more quickly at mealtimes. Have a full glass of water before eating to increase your satiety from the smaller amount of food you’re likely eating.
- Water retention can mask fat loss temporarily as you lose weight, making it look like you’re not losing weight, when in fact, you are. Drinking more water can help to encourage your body to release that extra water, allowing your hard work to show up on the scale.
- Mainly drinking water reduces the number of calories consumed in your beverages. Though there is water in Dr. Pepper, it is also loaded with sugar and 150 calories per can. Sweet tea has water in it, and if you’ve ever had southern-style sweet tea, you know just how much sugar and calories can be in that! Suppose you replace these calorie-laden beverages with water. In that case, you’re making huge strides towards reducing the number of calories you consume, which is crucial for weight loss.
At the molecular level, water is vital for fat loss as well. The chemical reaction which frees the stored fat from your cells and converts it to a form that your muscles and cells can use for energy (lipolysis) requires water. Coincidence? I think not!
When you’re drinking that water, imagine that water swooping into your fat cells like Robin Hood, breaking those triglycerides (stored fat) up, and pushing them out the muscles and cells that really need the energy! Sweet, sweet Justice!
What this means for our weight loss plan is that water has an important role to play. If you feel thirsty and drink mostly water, you will provide your body with the water it needs to break down the extra fat in your cells while in a calorie deficit.
What if you don’t like the taste of water? What if you want to try something new and make your water less boring? Try one of the strategies below!
15 Strategies to Drink More Water:
- Use Mio Water Enhancement, flavor-enhancing drops. Just a little squirt in your water bottle, and you have a flavored zero-calorie drink. The Orange Vanilla flavor tastes like a creamsicle!
- Add lemon slices.
- Add Crystal Light Drink Mix for lemonade flavored water!
- Change the container your water is in. You might find that specific shapes and styles of cups or bottles are easier for you to drink out of. Experiment and find a form that works for you! I love this Contigo insulated tumbler with a straw. It’s nearly impossible to spill from, and it is soooo easy to drink out of!
- Freeze fruit, or use frozen berries, and use them as ice cubes.
- Drink seltzer! You can buy seltzer in fun, fruity flavors, in bottles or cans, or you can get your own SodaStream Sparkling Water Kit and make seltzer at home. Combined with Mio Water Enhancement or Crystal Light Drink Mix, you can put together your zero-calorie seltzers right at home. Be creative!
- Drink tea. There are hundreds of different tea flavors, including black, green, and white varieties, along with herbal teas. Make a big pitcher of herbal tea and drink it throughout the day.
- Heat it up. You might find warmer water from a mug to go down more easily.
- Cool it down. You might prefer iced water.
- Try room temperature water. You might be able to drink more water when it’s not too hot or too cold. The Goldilocks zone. (I prefer room temperature water most of the time)
- Use a straw. It’s always easier and more fun to drink anything from a straw!
- Infuse your water with fruit. Fruit-infused water is divine! I love water infused with grapefruit, orange, and lemon. Still, there are so many combinations. You never need to be bored with your water. Try a Fruit Infusion Pitcher to keep your water in the fridge, ready to drink.
- Or, grab a Fruit Infuser Water Bottle and take it on the go! You can use the same fruit in your bottle during the day if you keep it cold. Just add more water, and the fruit slices will keep infusing all day long.
- Try Propel, which comes in bottles or in packets to add to a bottle of water.
- Get a water filter to improve the taste of tap water.
- Drink from bottles such as a Klean Kanteen with a Sport Cap.
Try one of the water strategies above, and lose weight in a fast and healthy way! ?