Saturday, 8 December 2012
Healthy Eating and Weight Loss 3
Today I want to talk about water. I'm not going to go on about the health benefits as I'm sure we're all aware of them. One of the many ways that drinking lots of water helps with weight loss is simply by helping you to feel full. Anyway, we know we need to drink a lot of water - these tips are about how I make drinking water more enjoyable and how I track my intake.
I prefer not to drink any calories - to me it feels like a waste as I'd rather be eating them. I also avoid artificial sweetners like the plague. I won't go into a lecture; Google will bring up research revealing how bad they are for you, if you're interested.
So that leaves water to drink.
I have started experimentint with different flavourings in my water. I do like a bit of lemon, but I don't like to drink water that has had lemon slices floating in it for a while - I find the pith of the lemon makes the water taste bitter.
A dash of lemon juice, however, is delicious in a glass of water.
I've been trying other fruits in my water, as well as spices - above you can see a stick of cinnamon in a bottle of water, and a jug of water with frozen raspberries in it. Both waters are delicious - the raspberry one is tart but has a distinct raspberry flavour; the cinnamon one, well, my friend Paula was visiting and her little girl drank some cinnamon water and said, "It tastes like doughnuts!" What more could you want?!
The cinnamon water is also divine with apple slices floating in it - mmm, apple pie flavoured water!
I also like to slice up a bit of fresh ginger root into a bottle of water and leave that for a while for lovely ginger-flavoured water.
You can leave the ginger or the cinnamon stick in the water for days, just topping up the water, but fruit tends to go a bit gross after a few hours or a day or so.
If you freeze chunks of fruit then you can use those as ice-cubes that will cool and flavour your water too.
You do have to realise that you are not creating sweet drinks and adjust your expectations it is still just water, but it has a more interesting flavour to it.
I really really want to try leaving a vanilla pod in water for flavouring! I also think melon would be delicious. Cucumber would be refreshing in summer - ooh, maybe a cucumber / fresh basil mix.
Try combining different fruits / spices / flavours, for example the apple and cinnamon mentioned above.
Tracking your water intake
I have big glasses (350ml / 12 fl oz) so only aim to drink 5-6 a day, rather than the standard recommended 8 (which adds up to about 2 liters either way). Here are a few ways I keep track throughout the day of how many glasses I've had:
This is a row of marble magnets along the top of my fridge (it's where I store them). As I finish a glass of water I'll pull one magnet down a little. I can see at a glance how many glasses I've finished.
We have glasses with embossed circles on them. I stick a pink window-cling sticker onto the bottom row of dots. When I finish drinking a glass of water, I move the sticker up a row. I can tell how many glasses I've had by counting the rows.
Sometimes I use a footed glass and draw 6 dots on the base with dry-erase marker. As I finish drinking a glass of water I erase a dot. I can always tell how many more glasses I still need to fit in that day.
I hope you'll try flavoured water - I'd love to know which is your favourite!
How do you keep track of your water intake every day?