Water: A Tool for Weight Loss
Weight loss itself is hard enough. But one thing we can all do is drink more water! In all my previous failed attempts at losing weight in the past, I’ve always focused solely on exercise and diet, never on water. While the first two are very important, water intake definitely has a lot of positive benefits that are sometimes either ignored or taken for granted. Water is amazing at boosting your metabolism, flushing out toxins from your body, improving your mood, treating headaches and those hangovers, and helping with weight loss. It is natural, healthy and has zero calories! I figured that this time around, I wanted to be more conscious and aware of my water consumption. Hopefully, it will give me the positive and long-lasting results that I’m looking for.
How much water should I drink every day?
One of the main questions I had about drinking water is exactly how much water should you drink in one day. Everyone has heard of drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. While that is a great starting point, there are a number of factors that can affect how much you should be drinking in one day. Some of these include your gender, weight, age, activity levels, and the environment. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (published in an article by the Mayo Clinic), sufficient water intake on an average adult is – for women: 11.5 cups/92oz/2.7L and for men: 15.5 cups/125 ounces/3.7L. While the USDA takes consideration of weight, recommends healthy adults to drink 0.94L/32oz for every 22.6kg/50lbs of their weight. So being a 32-year-old female, weighing 152 lbs, currently active, my recommended daily water intake is about 92-96oz.
I definitely was not drinking close to these recommended amounts – at best, I was maybe doing a quarter to a half. Since I was really interested to see if increasing my water intake will make an overall difference in my weight loss journey and overall health, I started looking at various apps and different strategies that can help me with my water goal.
There are lots of different water trackers out there that you can download. I decided to download a free app called Drink Water Reminder n Tracker to help me out. I love how you can customize your personal information (weight, age, weather) and it will give a suggested water quantity intake. You can then adjust a default water container size to reflect your current water bottle making tracking your water intake way simpler. There is also an option of adding reminders throughout the day if you’d like. The app is quite helpful when you’re getting started but I ended up only using it for a couple of days. Once you develop a water drinking schedule, like the one I have below, drinking water will become second nature.
My Water Drinking Schedule
I’m big on scheduling and my calendar means everything to me. So naturally, a drinking schedule was a must to keep my water goals on track. It also made it way easier to balance out my water intake throughout the day instead of chugging a ton of water to make up for what I had missed. I started off with a 34oz/1L bottle. However, seeing all the water in that huge container made drinking it quite overwhelming. Now, I’ve replaced it with a 17oz/500ml which is way less intimidating. It actually gives me a little confidence boost and a sense of victory whenever I polish one off. It also made tracking my drinking intervals way easier.
I currently weigh 69kg/152lb, so my recommended daily water intake is about 92-96oz. Here’s a quick outline of my drinking schedule:
- Wake up – 17oz (I have a bottle right by my bed so it’s the first thing I see when I wake up)
- Before breakfast – 8oz (30 minutes before I eat)
- After breakfast through the morning – 8oz
- Before lunch – 17 oz (30 minutes before I eat)
- Through the afternoon – 8-17oz
- Before dinner – 17oz (30 minutes before I eat)
- Before bed 17oz (1-2hrs. before I get my beauty sleep)
- * Workout – keep in mind you’re going to be drinking water throughout your workout as well. I don’t like to count this amount since I’m going to be sweating it out anyways
Tips and overall effects so far…
Not going to lie but the first couple of days was quite a struggle. I was not used to drinking so much water and it took me a couple of days to finally drink the recommended amount. To help get that H20 down, I would recommend:
- Cold Water – goes down smoother for me personally. You can also use a container that will keep your water cold as you drink it throughout the day.
- Add Some Flavor – fruit infusers are great but I would also recommend using tea bags to add some flavor.
- Stick to your Schedule – especially in the beginning, that schedule is your friend.
- Don’t Stress – this shouldn’t be a stressful thing that you have to do. After all, you are doing this to improve your health. Ease it into it and give yourself some time to fully incorporate it into your schedule.
And yes, drinking more water will definitely increase your bathroom trips. I really noticed it the first couple of days but my body soon got used to the changes and my pee schedule was back to normal. I also noticed that drinking before I ate made me less hungry during meals which caused me to eat less.
Overall, I’m sleeping better, feeling more energized, snacking less, and my face has been super clear. Drinking more water is definitely one of the easiest things that I’ve had to change to help with my weight loss. So what are you waiting for? Grab that water bottle right now and start drinking that H2O!