Water you waiting for? This is one habit you need to get on right away!
Drinking water is not just good for our health, it’s good for everything! Every cell in our bodies needs it to function optimally. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. When we don’t drink enough over a long enough time, we can trigger all sorts of unwanted symptoms and conditions like poor concentration and brain fog, sluggish bowel movements, fatigue, dry skin and hair, irritability, insomnia, and weight gain. Think you’re going to feel motivated with all that going on? Probably not.
Even with the best of intentions, though, you can’t argue that sticking to the water habit is a little difficult and these are the top four reasons why.
1) Plain water tastes bland.
2) It’s easy to forget…even when you’re trying.
3) Those extra bathroom trips are not at all convenient.
4) The recommended daily amount is hard to do (at first)!
But even difficult habits can be made easier to stick to. When you know why you want to drink more water, embrace the facts about the benefits, and with a little coaching, you can increase your chances for success… by a lot.
So, here’s what you can do about each problem.
Plain water tastes bland!
THE COACH SAYS
1. Eat more water-rich foods and meals
Getting more water through meals is an easy win. Having more soups is one option, another is eating more high water content foods. These foods BTW, contain at least 90 percent water per volume:
How to make eating more water-rich foods a habit
- It goes without saying, eat foods you love… or at least like. You won’t stick with the habit unless you love something about it.
- Get creative and have fun coming up with new meal ideas.
- Start small. Don’t buy too many fruits and vegs at once. I suggest buying no more than 3 days (or 3 meals) worth of produce at a time as it will be discouraging if you see your purchases rot because you didn’t eat them up. Plus, the fresher your fruits and vegs are, the better they are for you.
Pick a couple of doable ideas and start sneaking in water-rich foods to your usual meals and dishes:
- Start topping your cereals with berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries.
- Add spinach or broccoli to omelets.
- Eat the side salads that come with your restaurant meals.
- Make soup one of your go-to dishes.
- Have a smoothie or juice for breakfast 1x week.
- Keep a water-rich fruit on hand for snacking.
- Get Quick n Tasty snack ideas for a couple of your favorite vegs and fruits:
- Tomato with mozzarella and basil (provolone, feta and other cheeses work well too)
- Celery sticks with sunflower seed spread and raisins (gauc is another great filling)
- Apple with almond butter, slivers of nuts, and raw cacao nibs
2. Flavor your water
A slice of lemon or lime, raspberry or orange will flavor your water and make it go down easier…and look so pretty in glass containers. Another way to flavor your water is to dilute fresh juices like fresh squeezed OJ or kombucha with 8-parts water to one part juice.
3. Drink healthy alternatives Teas, coconut water, smoothies, fresh-squeezed juices, almond milk, lemonade, and sparkling water are all great alternatives to plain water. Btw, if you drink a lot of sodas thinking they count toward your water requirement, think again. In fact, sodas can lead to dehydration. According to Elson Haas, MD, an integrated-medicine physician in San Rafael, Calif., sodas and sweetened drinks trigger chemical reactions that demand significant amounts of fluid to properly process and filter, and can actually dehydrate the body.
It’s Easy to Forget!
THE COACH SAYS:
1. Link it to another task
If you associate something you do every day with getting your chug on, you’re more likely to remember. Here are some suggestions for ya:
- Have a glass of water first thing in the morning.
- Drink water before every meal. This is a great weight-loss hack too.
- Drink hot water after all meals. Great for digestion and relieves constipation.
- Have more than a sip. Most medications and supplements perform better when you take them with a full glass of water.
- Bring your refillable water bottle to the gym. Fitness experts and yogis recommend that we drink water after a workout to replenish the water we lose during exercise.
- Make time for “tea time.” Do like the Brits do and add a “tea-time” break to your day.
2. Use alerts and visual cues
- Set 1 or 2 daily reminders on your phone or computer; “Ding…it’s water time!”
- Set out your water bottle in front of you.
3. Create a Plan
Create a “Drink-up!” plan that marks out the times that are a good time for YOU to drink water.
When is a good time to have your first glass every day?
For most people, this is usually right after they wake up. It’s highly recommended that you add this habit to your morning routine. Something else that’s highly recommended is this weight loss and wellness biohack:
- Add lemon or Apple Cider Vinegar to your first glass of water every morning.
What are some other convenient times?
Think through your day hour by hour and plan other breaks around things you do daily such as have lunch, take a couple afternoon breaks and have dinner.
And just like that, you would have identified 4-6 markers in your day to drink water.
Plan your last drink of the day
Part of your plan should include a cut-off time in the evening when you stop drinking water; I recommend stopping about 3 hours before you go to bed. A gap this long can limit nighttime bathroom trips significantly — to zero or one.
4. Have an Ultimate Why
Whatever your goals…be they health, wellness or beauty-related, drinking more water will help. And because having an Ultimate Why is the single best way to motivate yourself to do anything, choose something you can really commit to. And hey, no judgment here! If vanity is gonna do the trick, go with that! Connect mentally: Over and over again (at least once a day), think of all the ways water can (and is) improving your beauty and skincare game. As you’re applying lip balm take note of how much less cracked your lips look since you started drinking more water and acknowledge how the whites of your eyes are getting clearer. Give water its credit! Think about the beauty and skincare benefits of water and pick the ones that will motivate and inspire you. Let this list start you thinking until you find YOUR benefits. Water…
- Helps to flatten the tummy and burn fat.
- Help you to have a better night’s (beauty) sleep.
- Relieves constipation (important for weight maintenance).
- Helps combat skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
- Replenishes skin tissue and increase its elasticity (anti-aging).
- Minimizes bags and dark circles under the eyes.
- Is great for hair and nails because it helps to improve circulation.
- Makes the whites of the eyes brighter and clearer (my fave).
- Minimizes the appearance of cellulite.
- Helps you lose weight and keep it off.
Want more mental edge? Use beautiful inspirations: While we’re on the subject of beauty… a beautiful water bottle may give you even more inspiration.
Check out bottles by Soma, Corkcicle and the MemoBottle. Find several lovely ones including S’well bottles and the BKR 1 Liter bottle on Urban Outfitter. Maybe a flip-top bottle like this one by Sol Water is more your style. And if you really want to care for the environment and save some money, get one with built-in filtration like these by Bobble.
Before we go any further, I’d like you to think about the tips and information you just consumed. Which ones can you incorporate into your life starting today?
I’m sure some of what you just read you already knew. I’m sure you already knew about flavoring your water or saw healthy girls on IG posting shots of themselves with their water bottles. To become the person you know you can be and move to levels you know you belong, you need to break the habit of letting good information–both new to you and things you already know–pass by without taking action. If you care to be more than you are now, pause here and take action before you read any further.
- Jot down actionable steps you can take: buy a pretty bottle, identify times when you can drink up, etc.
- If it will take you 30 minutes or so to do, such as buying a pretty bottle or marking your calendar, take those steps now.
- Brainstorm your Ultimate Why. Borrow one of the suggestions above if yours isn’t clear to you yet.
- Pick ONE new habit (blissipline) you will add to your day.
- Schedule weekly check-ins with yourself.
- In a week you should already have your water bottle. If you don’t what will you do about that next week?
- In a week you should already have an Ultimate Why. If you’re having troubling finding one, it’s because of one of three explanations:
- The first explanation is that you’re blocking yourself because you kinda don’t want to do this. You’re hoping this is all nonsense and although every expert tout this habit, hope they’re all wrong and you may be the only human who will not benefit from drinking water regularly.
- The second explanation is that you’re genuinely having trouble coming up with a Why or you’re letting one thing you don’t have, keep you from doing anything at all. Post a question on Quora, Reddit or similar Q&A sites asking people why they choose to regularly drink water.
- The third explanation is something only you know. It’s probably how you usually talk yourself out of doing things. Work on that habit of doubting, not caring, worrying or whatever else is behind it.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Do something now.
If you’ve taken action, it means you’ve committed and chances are, you’ll be more successful at other things in your life… just because of your willingness to commit. Bravo!!!!
Let’s move on now to the last two issues that are going to bring this home for you.
Too many bathroom breaks!
THE COACH SAYS:
1. Drink more to go less
The good news is that “going more” is just a phase. The frequent bathroom trips will taper off once your body gets used to being hydrated.
2. Pull out some strategies
These water drinking strategies will help you go less.
- Sip, don’t drink. When you sip the same amount of water (let’s say sip 6 ounces in 30 minutes vs chugging the same 6 ounces in one go), you lessen your bathroom breaks.
- Drink less coffee, alcohol, and soda during the early phase. These are diuretics and they will make you want to go even more.
- Add a pinch of Sea Salt. Your body will hold water infused with Sea Salt longer. Plus, Sea Salt has beneficial minerals and electrolytes. Remember, just a pinch and NEVER use table salt.
- And as mentioned, have a cut-off time in the evening.
72 oz is too much!
THE COACH SAYS:
1. Start Small and Build
Starting out, you don’t have to force yourself to drink the suggested approximately 64 ounces (I use the half your body weight rule to determine how much water you should consume). Start with a goal of 40 ounces and increase your intake over time. Drinking less, in the beginning, will also cut down on bathroom visits and make this goal less overwhelming for you.
2. Do Your Best!
Doing your best is an important mindset to develop. It means not setting lofty goals you can’t achieve and committing fully to the ones you set. Starting out, if you can only commit to a fraction of the recommended allowance (or about 40 ounces), do that and keep in mind that doing your “best” will look different every day. Some days your best will look like 40 ounces, other days it may be less but by practicing the “do your best” principle, on the days when can do better, do better than your targeted 40 ounces.
3. Plan to Fail!
The number one reason people give up on their health-related goals is that they’ve had a setback and think that means they’ve failed. New habits can take longer than the much touted 21 days to lock in. And even after years of doing well and being committed, slumps can happen due to stress, travel or unforeseen circumstances. This is all normal. By understanding (and accepting) that failure is a normal part of life and any practice/process, plan for it. Keep in mind that you’re not drinking water because it’s a trend, you’re doing it because you know you look and feel better when you do. On those days or during those periods when life is knocking you about, remind yourself that you’re doing better because you were taking care of yourself, to begin with.
Have a few strategies to “get-back-on-track” in your back pocket. One of my favorites is regular self-talk and check-ins. Check in with yourself regularly to assess what’s working and what you either need help with or need to refocus on.
4. Do it right when you remember
Don’t beat yourself up when you forget or fall short. That’s a waste of time and counter-productive. The better habit is to get up and do it right when you remember… You forgot to drink water all day but at 3:11 pm you think about it. Get up there and then and do it. Do this with everything else as well. Consistency is a habit and habits takes practice… Practice is the act of doing… so, do it when you remember and as soon as you remember.
And, don’t give that much weight to the rule you often hear that it takes 21 days to form a habit. That is more like an estimate and doesn’t apply to every single new habit you’ll try to get into. It might take you 30 days or 45 to make drinking water a regular habit, and even longer. The point is that
5. Live in the moment This is HUGE! Please hear me when I say this: The moment is now. Be here for it and you’ll hear the whispers of your future self more clearly. This the part of us who knows who we can be; it’s calling you to move up to the level where you belong. By living in the moment, you’ll be more aware and will hear these whispers and nudges.
Good luck getting into the water habit. Please leave a comment below to let me know how you’re getting on or to give us any type of feedback.