Have you ever heard the advice to drink a glass of water when you’re hungry as a way to curb your food consumption? I’ve heard this “trick” countless times and used to adhere religiously to it.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been hyper-hydrated. Not because I necessarily cared about being hydrated, but rather because I didn’t want to eat too much and of course, I wanted my body to be able to promptly digest any food I did eat. I didn’t trust my hunger and almost always had a glass of water before eating – sometimes with a shot of apple cider vinegar, much to my college-roommate’s chagrin as I stunk up our dorm room with empty shot glasses of the stuff.
The amount of hydration I sought was definitely too much and became a bit of obsessive. Now that I’m on the flip side though, drinking enough water takes much more of an effort because I’m no longer constantly trying to trick my body into thinking its full or stay hydrated for weight loss purposes.
About two-thirds of our bodies are made up of water, which means it can take a fair amount of fluids to meet our needs. Being adequately hydrated and keeping a good electrolyte balance are important for proper muscle and nerve function.
How much water do we need?
The standard rule is to drink about 30-35ml for each kilogram of body weight. But, everybody is different and your needs might change day-to-day based on a number of factors, so a good marker for hydration is the color of your urine. It should have just a slight yellowish hue if you’re adequately hydrated. If it’s a deep golden color, drink baby drink!
We can consume fluids directly via water, milk, tea, etc. or by way of food vehicles, like watermelon, cucumbers, pasta sauce, etc. – even bread has some water content! You can see why calculating your exact fluid intake can get complicated fast, which is why I always encourage clients to use their urine color as a guide.
Get yourself a water bottle– a classic for a reason. Having a water bottle is a great physical reminder to drink water throughout the day. You can even set small hydration goals, like drinking to a certain line if the bottle is marked by ounces. I’d also recommend choosing a water bottle that’s easy to drink from. I love the Nalgene bottle with a narrow opening, otherwise, I have a tendency to spill all over myself…
Water infusions. These sound like a lot of work, but they don’t have to be. I bought this pitcher – off of Amazon, and it works fabulously. My favorite go-to of the moment is a cold-brewed hibiscus tea (from Trader Joe’s) with lemon. Other ideas would be to throw in other types of tea, basil, mint, berries, cucumbers, or citrus fruits. The sky is the limit and it’s fun to experiment with different ingredients!
Set an alarm – some people do actually find this tip helpful, but it’s not for everyone and might just be a useful short term trick to kickstart the habit. Try setting an alarm a couple times a day to start, simply with a reminder to drink water.
Have any other methods that you’ve found helpful? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.