Now you have purged your house of all the not-so-nutritious and irresistible foods you had laying around, as we suggested last week. Congratulations, you are on your way to a healthier you! The next small step you can take to keep your healthy resolution going is to drink more water.
Why is drinking plenty of water important?
- Water is a great way to replace those high-calorie beverages like soda or fruit juice. Calories from these beverages really add up and add a lot of sugar to your diet.
- Drinking plenty of water can help flush out excess sodium from your body (think of all those salty snacks you ate) and is important for keeping your skin looking its best, especially in the winter when the air is so dry.
- Even if you already drink diet soda, try to replace most of this with water. Even diet soda can lead to bloating. What your body really needs is plain water!
- Sometimes when we feel hungry, it is actually thirst. Drinking water can also make you feel full temporarily which can help cut down on nibbling throughout the day.
- Even mild dehydration can lead to feeling sluggish and not as sharp as usual. Staying well hydrated can give you more energy and help you think quicker.
So how much water should you drink?
The old rule of thumb is 8-8 oz. glasses, or 64 oz. per day. This is pretty general, however, and does not take into account the size of a person or how much physical activity they are doing. Particularly on days that you are exercising and working up a sweat you will need more water.
Try keeping a large refillable water bottle or cup with you at all times. Tap water is just fine, there is no need for the extra expense and waste of individual water bottles.
Start with a goal of 64 ounces per day and see how you feel. If you feel like you need more, then go with it. If you feel like this amount is making you feel like you are drowning then go with less. Try drinking more water for several days and see if you notice a difference in how you feel and look.