People often make lofty fitness, health and weight loss goals for themselves (New Years Resolutions, anyone?) that only last a month and make them feel guilty for a few months following that. One way to combat this is by making smaller, 7–day goals that you can stick to. Short-term goals help you stay focused and on the path to long-term success. After 7 days, you can evaluate your goal again and adjust your habits if needed to set yourself up for better success. One such goal you can make is to drink more water.
Drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your overall health – physical and mental. With summer days (here in MN!) quickly heating up, staying hydrated is so important. The mainstream recommendation is to drink 8 eight oz. glasses of water each day, however, how much water you actually need is based on your health, how active you are and where you live. Generally speaking, if you are drinking enough fluids to not feel thirsty and your urine is mostly colorless, you are likely adequately hydrated.
If you are not yet convinced that drinking more water is beneficial to you, consider these benefits:
- Water makes up about 60% of your entire body weight and every system in your body depends on it to function. When your body doesn’t have enough water to carry out its everyday functions, dehydration occurs which leaves you feeling drained and exhausted.
- Water aids with weight loss. Drinking a glass of water before each meal will help you fill up quickly so you eat less. Not only that, but water reduces hunger, raises metabolism and has zero calories!
- Water can act as a natural headache remedy, prevent joint pain by lubricating your joints, and it helps reduce muscle strain by making your muscles more elastic.
If you are ready to add Drink More Water to your to-do list, try incorporating the following action–items into your daily routine for 7 days and then adjust as necessary.
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Drink More Water: Action Items
2. Infuse your water with natural flavor by adding lemon, cucumber, fruit or fresh herbs to your drink. Some of my favorite combos that help me drink more water are:
- Citrus, cucumber and mint
- Grape, strawberry and lime
- Orange and blueberry
- Strawberry, lemon, and basil
3. Each morning, before eating anything, drink a glass of warm lemon water. Lemon water has several benefits:
- Helps with digestion
- Provides an immune boost
- Aids with collagen production for healthier skin
4. Before each meal, drink one glass of water.
5. Add a few water-rich foods into one of your meals each day. About 20% of our daily water intake comes from the foods we eat. Foods high in water content include:
- Bell Pepper
6. Add something spicy to one meal a day. Not only does spicy food boost your metabolism, but it naturally makes you reach for your water.
7. Purchase a Sleepytime Tea and make a cup before bed time. Tea is a great way to sneak in water throughout the day.
8. Set deadlines for yourself to make sure you are drinking enough water. Try the following format:
- 9 am – 1 Glass
- Noon – 2 Glasses
- 3 pm – 2 Glasses
- 6 pm – 2 Glasses
- 9 pm – 1 Glass
9. Track how you feel using a planner or notebook. Keep track of your energy and hunger levels as well as any pain or sickness you may feel during the challenge. You can analyze this after the challenge and determine how drinking more water helped you.
10. Plan a reward for meeting your 7–day water intake goal. Having something to look forward to will help you stay on track.