Let’s be frank with ourselves, we would rather, more comfortably drink Pepsi than gulp down a healthy dose of water. It’s obvious, Pepsi is sweet, water is tasteless.
Bland drinks are just miserable. It is what makes me wonder how people gulp down sugarless teas. I don’t care what you are advocating for, it is just strange.
There was a time I went on a Green tea diet. I must say, after a while, I got used to drinking green tea and I didn’t feel a thing. I guess that’s the catch.
Anyway, you know I started intermittent fasting last year. I also began to enjoy the other benefits of intermittent fasting that are not for weight loss and these are better bowel movements, cleaner skin, better spiritual alertness, a healthy relationship with food and more intentional eating.
No one wants to break their fast with sick meals. I mean, it’s like it does something to you psychologically, like, you wasted your time depriving yourself of the satisfaction of bread and wine.
Because intermittent fasting needs to have lots of water incorporated in the mix, I had to trick and invariably train myself to drink more water. This is not just even because I am on an eating protocol, it is because the benefits of drinking water cannot be overemphasized.
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I am sharing what I do to get myself to drink more water during the day with you so that you have ideas and can spin off my tricks to suit your own personal lifestyle.
1. I drink water as soon as I wake up
This is the most difficult time of the day to drink water because you are not thirsty, you don’t have a flair for anything just yet and the stomach rumbling afterward might be uncomfortable.
Thankfully, drinking water as soon as I wake up has become easier over the years because:
i. It is a family tradition
So, we grew up with a mother who is a health enthusiast. She is very particular about healthy meals, healthy practices and the rest. She is one of the most disciplined people I know when it comes to healthy lifestyle choices.
Since we were children, she would wake us up with a glass of water each. You really have no choice because the water is in the glass in front of you. She is standing right there to monitor your throat gulp in the contents of the glass. Aha.
Whenever I am home, this still happens, so you can imagine. Drinking water first thing in the morning is simply The Adeniyi ritual. Lol.
ii. It gets easier with time
When you drink water consistently for months, you will get used to it. In my own case, this has been for years now. What we do to make it easier to drink is to add a little lime to the water, which is always warm.
That way, it has a better taste and it’s not heartless cold. I live alone and I am accountable to myself, yet I still drink water every morning because it has gotten easier and I am now used to it.
If it so happens (which is very rare) that I end up not drinking as much water as I would like the rest of the day, the morning gulp is a good accomplishment after all.
Part of the downside of the morning gulp is the burden on my kidneys. I in the same vein, go empty a full bladder in 30 minutes. On the flipside, however, drinking water early in the morning helps me go to the toilet every day.
For other times I drink water the rest of the day, I sip and take in more slowly at a time because of the bladder pressure.
2. I always carry along a bottle of water
I used to have a very fancy water bottle but I lost it. Fancy water bottles help you drink more water. If you doubt me, try getting one for yourself in your favorite colour, shape, design, pattern, quality or material.
There are a lot of water bottles right now and you have so many choices you can pick from. You can check out even the way it dispenses. The feeding area of your water bottle can make or mar your water intake too. Water bottles do a lot of magic.
This is what helps me when I am on my system at work. Many of my colleagues also have fancy water bottles.
You don’t have an idea of how much it aids water intake until you get one. Because they are fancy, you can carry them around, to meetings, to meet-ups, to work, to classes without feeling weird.
If my water bottle is full all day, I am reminded that I am not taking enough water. I am supposed to take two bottles of that. Sometimes I try to trigger thirst or make it easier. I chew on something. It could be a light snack package or anything. It helps me feel more satisfied when I drink water.
Since I lost my favorite water bottle, what I now do is buy bottled water. You will mostly see me with bottled water. There’s also some sort of behavioral pattern I have around water.
When I am anxious, confused, shy around someone or nervous, I drink water a lot. It is mostly reflex. So, if I am meeting you for the first time and you notice that I keep drinking water, there are one of two things: I am bored or very nervous.
3. When given an option, I always, always, always go for water
Many of my friends admire this and I always feel like a don, lol. When I go to parties and it’s time to order food and drinks, I pick water. When there is an office party and drinks are shared, I pick water.
When I am out on a date and the guy is asking what drink I would like, I go for water. Because of this, I usually don’t vibe with soft drinks. Fellas, practice they say makes perfect. If you train your taste buds towards something, it will get accustomed to it.
There was a time that I bought Pure Bliss anytime I was in traffic. It didn’t matter if I was in Lagos traffic three or more times a day, I would buy, unwrap and eat. My tastebuds got so accustomed to sweet things that I had to go for a dates therapy to wean myself off Pure Bliss at the time.
It was strange because I naturally don’t have a sweet tooth craving. I am mostly on the salty kind of snacks than sweet. So I always had dates, already washed and wrapped, tucked safely in my bag. Whenever I was stuck in traffic, I ate dates.
What I am trying to say here is that you can force things to become reflex. If you always go for water in place of soft drinks, you would get very used to it. This way you are tricking your body to take more water.
4. I go for fruits with more water content
Did you know that the totality of your water intake is not limited to just plain water? Some food and fruits have a very high water content.
Naturally, I like ripe watermelon and pineapples. This has helped me to increase my water intake greatly. Nature just decided to get me to love fruits that are to my favour so that I meet my water intake goals.
In fact, after eating 100 Naira worth of diced melons, I might have to pee twice. Be careful of where you buy diced watermelon and other publicly peeled fruits.
The mallam I buy it from is very neat and cuts it in a very clean environment. Because I am a regular customer, he dices a new watermelon for me if I want and keeps the rest of his other regular customers. I eat this for lunch or break my intermittent fasting with it.
I don’t like cucumber but because it is one of the most popular fruits at home, I eat lots of it. You will always find cucumber in our house.
5. I drink water 30 mins – 1 hour before meals
This is another habit to help increase water intake. Sometimes I forget to do this. It is easier for me to do when I am at home and I am serving myself food at home.
When I am outside, I may not know for sure when I will be able to have lunch because of work demands. So when I begin to think of food, miss food or feel slight hunger pangs, I drink water for a start.
Sometimes I take it in a gulp or drink a lot of it in multiple sips. Apart from increasing my water intake, drinking water 30 minutes or an hour before meals help me to feel full faster when I eventually want to eat. I don’t overeat and I eat less.
I used to have a water drinking app on my phone. It was really good. The name is Water Drink Reminder. You can download on Play store, it is by Leap Fitness Group.
What the app does is to give you alarms to drink water. It also shows you how much water in ounces you should be taking. I use the sachet water for measurement. Whenever I pour it out into a bottle, I mark where it stops and I use it as a meter for 50cl. I am then able to do all of the rest of my conversions from there.
Sometimes, the water app doesn’t give alarms though, I think it’s a bug. You might explore other water app options too. I uninstalled when I realized that I might not be needing it that much as such.
I was already taking in a lot of water and I was having space issues with my phone, so I freed it up.
Now, I don’t have an accurate benchmark of how much water I am taking. What I do is let the frequency of my urinating and the colour of my urine guide me into how much of water I should be taking.
Do you try to increase your water intake? What do you do to meet your water goals?
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