If you have never been great at drinking water, you need to address it like any other habit. You develop a good habit by initially paying a huge amount of attention to it, recording it and perhaps setting alarms to remind yourself. After a little time, you will start recognising signals that tell you that you are thirsty and will start to naturally reach for the water. After a little more time, you will instinctively make it a priority, you will carry water, plan for it on outings, have it next to your bed and drink without even thinking about it. Your body becomes used to processing say 1 litre, then you can build it up and the body adapts to that, and so on.
It’s important for you to know that as mentioned in Part 1, when your body doesn’t get enough water, it stores it (water retention) because it doesn’t trust you! Then you start being good and giving it plenty of water every day, it takes a couple of weeks before it will trust you, so it keeps storing the water and whilst you may go to the loo more often, it does not balance with what’s going in. You may even find your weight tough to budge. After about 2 or 3 weeks, the body decides it trusts you and it lets go of all the excess water it’s been holding. Whoooooosh!!! What’s coming out totally exceeds what’s going in for a few days and then…… it balances out. Your body has found a happy place and it’s your job to keep it there.
If you have previously found your liquids through cordials, fruit juice or fizzy drinks including the diet variety, you are going to find it tough converting to water because you have an addiction. Go cold turkey. Cut out your usual drink, understand you are going to have withdrawals for a few days but persevere. By Day 4, you will start feeling so much better, you will start looking forward to the water.
Other liquids like coffee and tea can be counted as part of your daily intake but… coffee and tea both have caffeine which is dehydrating. If you are drinking 8 cups of full caff coffee a day, your body is not going to be happy or lose weight as efficiently.
Try changing to decaff coffee and tea. They don’t stimulate insulin as much, they don’t dehydrate you, they won’t mimic the body’s stress response and they will allow you a better quality of sleep.
Try Red Bush (Rooibos) tea. Redbush tea (only grown in and indigenous to South Africa), is fabulous! It has no caffeine, has loads of benefits besides being hydrating and aiding weight loss. It’s a bit of an acquired taste but give it 3 days, you’ll be longing for your next cup. It tastes better without milk which is helpful if, like me, you’re a tea-aholic and can’t bear the thought of it without milk.
There a loads of great Apps which will remind you to drink and where you can record how much you’ve had.
Experiment with how you like water. Some people like it ice cold, I like it from the tap, topped up with a dash of boiling water, some like it with a slice or two of lemon, some prefer sparkling. Find what feels best for you and you will be more tempted to drink it.
On top of that, experiment with ways of making water a priority. I used to have a 1.5 litre bottle on my desk and another at home. I would drink every time I noticed the bottles and would ensure I finished both by the time I went to bed. Some of my clients would have loads of little bottles which they stored in the boot of the car. There are fabulous re-fillable bottles on the market where you can mark off how many top-ups you’ve had. Measure it until it’s an unconscious habit.
Many gurus recommend drinking Apple Cider Vinegar for weight loss. It may sound dreadful but I started with a tablespoon in a pint of fizzy water and now I cannot drink my water without it. I enjoy it so much, if I went to a pub with friends, I’d actually choose that over a glass of wine! (if they served it!).
How much water do you need? Please be reminded I am not a medical person. I see this purely through personal experience and the experience of the many people who I have watched go through the weight loss process. Usually we are told 6-8 glasses per day which is about 2 litres. In my opinion, that’s for people at a “normal weight”. If you are overweight, and the kidneys need water to flush out fat, I believe we need more. I usually drink between 3 and 4 litres per day.
If you get annoyed that you are constantly on the loo, think to yourself “I’m peeing out fat, I’m peeing out fat”, and you will feel less annoyed! There is a saying that if you are not waking to go to the loo at night, you are not drinking enough water. (for weightloss).
Yes, you absolutely can drink too much water and it can be dangerous and even deadly. The key is to drink smaller amounts consistently during the day rather than huge amounts all at once. If you find you are feeling dizzy and light headed, you may be depleting yourself of minerals and should take a little bit of salt, preferably sea salt or Himalayan Pink salt. A tip of a teaspoon in your water bottle may be helpful or adding extra salt to your food for a while.
I hope you’ve found this helpful but more importantly, I hope you start drinking more water and notice the benefits!