When I joined Weight Watchers for the first time (way back in 2000), one of the first changes I made was to start drinking more water. I didn’t really know why it was good for me. I just knew that WW recommended it as one of their “Good Health Guidelines.” At that time, I was trying to lose weight for my wedding. I was willing to do just about anything to fit in a smaller wedding dress, so I did what I was told with no questions asked!
Let’s face it. We know that water is good for us, but we don’t really know why and we probably don’t really care why. We need to find reasons that matter in our own lives in order to be more motivated to do it.
1. LOSE WEIGHT
Let’s keep it real. Losing weight is the primary reason I started drinking water. I used to drink a lot of pop. I pretty much only drank water when I was hot or had over-exerted myself. It wasn’t a conscious choice or habit. My main motivation for switching to water was to save calories. To be brutally honest, I really didn’t care about the health benefits of water back then. I just didn’t want to spend 150 calories on a can of pop. I’d rather eat those calories!!
Today, drinking water has become such a habit that I never leave home without it! Other 0 calorie options are plain tea, coffee, and diet pop/juice etc., but water is still the best choice for your body. From personal experience, I’ve heard lots of people say their weight loss is better on weeks that they drink all their water.
You also need water to burn fat. If you aren’t drinking enough and become even mildly dehydrated, your body is forced to slow its metabolism to compensate.
Sometimes when we feel hungry, we are actually thirsty. If you feel hungry at an unusual time, try drinking a glass of water first. Wait about 15 minutes. If the hunger goes away, you were probably actually thirsty. You could save yourself from eating hundreds of calories that your body doesn’t actually need.
If you are serious about losing weight, this is probably one of the easiest habits to implement. Drinking water doesn’t require willpower or sacrifice. It just requires you to make a conscious effort to drink more.
2. HAVE MORE ENERGY
Most of us know that a large percentage of our bodies is water, but do we know what the water does? The water in our bodies helps with digestion, circulation, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. We can’t survive more than a few days without water. It is critical to our bodies!
We lose fluid all day long through skin evaporation and even breathing! If we are constantly losing fluids, we need to replenish the fluids for our bodies to keep functioning at their best. Our bodies just don’t work as well without proper hydration. Dehydration can exacerbate health problems and even lead to new health problems. When we get dehydrated, our bodily functions and metabolism slow down to conserve energy. Dehydration can even inhibit fat burning! (see reason #1!)
Water helps our muscles feel energized. When muscles don’t have adequate fluids, they don’t work as well. Water also aids in keeping our joints lubricated, which is important to prevent injury. Just like our muscles, our kidneys & bowels work better with proper hydration. We may be at risk for kidney stones if we habitually drink too little. We can also help avoid constipation with proper hydration.
Drinking water can also help our skin look better. It won’t erase wrinkles, but being dehydrated makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled. I don’t want any help looking wrinkled, do you?! Looking better will help us feel more confident too!
3. SAVE MONEY
Have you noticed how expensive pop is at restaurants these days? At most restaurants in my area, it’s about $2.50 for a glass of pop. If you have a family of four, that’s an extra $10 on the bill! Even if you are dining alone, that cost really adds up. My husband and I find that many times we don’t even get through 1 glass, so that’s even more of a waste of money! Also, if you drink a full glass of water before your meal arrives, you may eat less overall. (see reason #1!)
If your water at home is safe to drink, drink tap water. You’ll save so much money this way! If it helps, buy a water pitcher with a filter. Get yourself a refillable water bottle or a pretty glass to make it more appealing. I started using a Contigo stainless steel travel mug for my water last year. I was already using them for coffee and was impressed at how long my coffee stayed hot. They keep water cold even longer (up to 12 hours) and it doesn’t sweat!! I used to hate it when my water bottle would sweat all over my desk.
Even if you prefer bottled water to tap water, it is still less expensive than buying pop! Usually I can find a 32 or 36 pack of bottled water for $3-$3.50. I’d pay the same amount for only 12 cans of pop! I get 3 times the water for the same price!!
When you’re away from home, most public places have drinking fountains. Find the drinking fountain instead of paying $1 for a pop out of the machine. I have my mug with me at all times, so I just fill it up from the drinking fountain at work. That way the water is already really cold going into the mug! It is especially important to stay hydrated when shopping to keep your energy level up so you don’t feel like you need a sugary snack for an energy boost!
Which reasons matter for you? Find a benefit of drinking water than hits home with you. You’ll be much more likely to do it if it has personal meaning!