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the weight wasn’t coming off…
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to participate in Redbook magazine’s Wedding Dress Challenge. It’s a weight loss challenge and here’s how I got hooked up with them…
I was a busy mom taking care of twin babies plus my oldest child. I had 3 children under the age of four. I didn’t have the time to work out every day or think about what I was eating. I was just trying to sleep through the night. After about a year, my twins did start sleeping through the night but I was still exhausted from the sheer amount of work I had to do every day. By the time nighttime came, all I wanted to do was plop down on the couch in front of the television, get a snack and drink alcohol. And that’s exactly what I did each night.
But as a result, I was over 200 lbs and couldn’t fit into my jeans or any of my old clothes. I had lost all my baby weight from after having my first child. But I had no idea when or how I would be able to lose my baby weight from having my twins. I just had the mindset that I could never be skinny again and I’d be a thick girl for the rest of my life. I was slowly, in my mind, just accepting the weight.
I JOINED REDBOOK MAGAZINE’S WEDDING DRESS CHALLENGE
Then, one day by chance, I came across a study that was looking for people who wanted to lose weight so they can fit back into their wedding dress. The people sponsoring the study were not revealed but I was instantly interested. I definitely wanted to lose weight but didn’t think I could ever fit back into my wedding dress. When I got married I was 150 pounds. I was my thinnest and fittest self when I walked down the aisle. I was a workout queen and only “good” carbs rarely passed through my lips. But now, I was a far cry from the girl who wore that wedding dress years ago. I sent an email to the group conducting the study and they responded by asking me to sent them photos of my in my wedding dress (at my wedding) and what I looked like now. They also wanted me to tell them why I wanted to lose the weight and how I gained the weight. I sent them back my pictures and story and guess what? I made it into the program. And to my complete surprise, I found out that Redbook magazine was sponsoring this program. Redbook provided the participants with expert fitness trainers, nutritionists and personalized help to get us through the process. I was excited to be working with Redbook magazine but I was more excited to have support and coaching through a weight loss program. I had everything at my disposal that I needed to lose the weight. I just had to do it and that was the hard part.
It was cool because over the course of several months, Redbook provided me a trainer, nutritionist, and other tools to help me lose weight so I could fit back into my wedding dress. However, when I initially started the program, I had trouble losing weight and I didn’t know why.
When I first started working out with my trainer, the weight wasn’t coming off. I was working out and following my eating plan exactly but I hadn’t lost as ounce. After a few weeks of this, I began to get nervous. I just knew my trainer thought I was cheating on my diet and lying to her about it. I dreaded my weigh-in/check-in days because I wasn’t losing any weight. I didn’t know what to do.
After about a month of this, my trainer asked me how much water I was drinking every day. I was like, “I don’t know. Maybe one or two bottles a day”. And she was answered, “No, no, no. Let’s shoot for a gallon a day.” I was like, “What?!?! A Gallon?!?” My trainer laughed and answered yes. She told me to check in with her in a week to see if the water intake makes a difference.
So the next day, I drank a gallon of water and it felt like I stayed in the bathroom peeing all day. The next morning, even though I didn’t have to check in with my trainer, I stepped on the scale. Lo and behold, I had dropped one pound. Just like that. . I was like wow! It was the water. After that, I was guzzling water down with a purpose every day – and still do.
Don’t Drink Your Calories
So, there is nothing sexy about this. All I drink is water. To be honest, I’m one of those girls who likes to order fruit smoothies with dinner and drink a tall glass of apple juice with my breakfast. But while dieting, I realized that I was drinking lots of my calories. And trust me, I’d rather apply my calories to something more filling and fun like yogurt, granola or a chocolate rice cake. So I had to cut out the fun drinks. But, guess what? When I drink water, I lose weight. If I eat right, exercise but don’t drink lots of water, the weight comes off much slower. So that should be motivation enough as to why you should get your drink on.
But how much water should we drink each day to lose weight? I don’t know the answer to that. Different people say different things. Some studies say 6-8 cups of water a day and others say drink half you body weight in ounces. But as I stated previously, my goal is to drink a gallon of water daily. However, if I hit 6 six bottles in a day, I’m cool with that. I know it can be tough to get in all that water each day. That’s why I’m sharing 3 tips and tricks that I use to drink water for weight loss.
Drink Water Tip #1 – Work Out
I find that I drink way more water on the days that I work out. I can go through two 16-ounce bottles of water during my workout. I’ll have a bottle with my breakfast and then I’ll force another bottle down right before I hit the showers. That’s four bottles of water – a half gallon of water – all before 10:00am! I’ll down two bottles with lunch and two more with my dinner. And there you have it, a gallon of water in a day.
Drink Water Tip #2 – Put Your Water in a Visible Place
Another thing that helps is that when I get up in the morning, I’ll immediately put eight bottles of water out on the counter. I do this for two reasons. The first reason I do this is so I can see the water. Just seeing it is a constant reminder to drink my water. The second reason I do this is because I lose track of how many bottles I’ve consumed throughout the day. During the day, I am running after my kids, doing laundry and working on the computer. It’s easy for me to forget how many bottles of water I have already drank. Just a quick look at the counter and I know how many more bottles I need to drink to reach my goal of a gallon a day.
But I work from home and it’s easy to have 8 water bottles on my kitchen counter. However you might work outside the home or are always on the go. Having all those water bottles in one place might not be feasible for you. So I suggest a cute, handy-dandy reusable water bottle. You know, what I’m talking about – a sports water bottle. There are different types of reusable water bottles that you can get such as plastic, glass and stainless steel bottles. If you choose to go with a plastic reusable water bottle, you wanna make sure that it’s BPA-free. If you want to know why it’s important that your water bottle is BPA-free, check out my blog post where I break down what BPA is, why it’s used to make plastic water bottles, its dangers, side effects and how to find cute, BPA-free alternatives. Now check out these BPA-free water bottles that you can use to drink your water.
Reusable Water bottles that I LOVE!
MIRA Stainless Steel, Vacuum Insulated, Wide Mouth Water Bottle – I tend to only buy stainless steel water bottles that can hold at least 40 oz or more. I know there are lots of water bottles that come in smaller sizes. But if I use a 40 oz water bottle, I only have to fill it up 3 times to get my gallon of water in for the day. In general, stainless steel water bottles are more expensive than their plastic and glass counterparts, but they are worth every penny.
S’well Insulated Stainless Steel Roamer – Another cute stainless steel reusable water bottle option by S’well. There are so many colors and patterns available it’s hard to pick just one!
Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel Bottle – Klean Kanteen water bottles are the original stainless steel water bottles. They are one of the most popular on the market and have been around for over a decade. These bottles were designed to last a lifetime and are virtually indestructible. Klean Kanteen water bottles have the ability to keep water cold (or hot!) for long periods of time.
People use reusable glass water bottles because they are eco-friendly and there’s no risk of weird flavors or smells finding their way into your water. They also save money since you’re not buying bottled water over and over again. I know what you’re thinking. That it’s dangerous to carry around glass reusable water bottles because the glass might shatter and break. Well, that’s what I was thinking, too. But these water bottles are totally safe. They are made of thick glass and covered in sturdy silicone or rubber. Therefore, your water bottle is not likely to break. So if you want to go the glass reusable water bottle route, here is my top pick….
Xtremeglas 32 Oz Glass Water Bottle – These 32 oz glass water bottles are encased in a sturdy, protective silicone sleeve. The lid is leak-proof and the bottle contains time markings and measurements. There water bottles are safe for cold and hot liquids like tea and coffee. They’re great for the home, gym or office. And of course, it’s BPA-free.
Boxed Water – I had no idea this was even an option but in doing my research for this blog post I found out that boxed water is an alternative to using plastic, steel or glass water bottles. Boxed Water is not mainstream yet but is definitely growing in popularity. There are lots of people out there who want to drink water that’s not contained in plastics and are concerned about the environment. Most get half-gallon cartons as featured in the image below. Or you can get a small (8.5 oz), lunch-sized boxes that are perfect for kids.
JUST Water – This is another boxed water option. Each 16.9 oz box contains 100% Premium Spring Water in a Paper-Based Recyclable Bottle that has a naturally high pH level (8.0) and is BPA-free.
Drink Water Tip #3 – Drink When Hungry
Did you know that your body confuses hunger and thirst symptoms? So when you feel those hunger pangs, you may actually be thirsty, not hungry. Your body may be telling you to get more water in your diet. So if I think I’m hungry, I’ll just grab a bottle of water. This is especially good if I have an hour or two to go before I have to eat again. The water fills me up and holds me over to my next meal time.
It’s Ok to NOT Drink Water, Too
I know, I know! It is difficult to drink only water. But know that I don’t always drink water. I allow myself one diet coke a week. And during holidays and celebrations, I will indulge in a glass of wine or champagne. Because hey, you gotta live life and enjoy. And I’m a firm believer that what you do 90% of the time is what counts the most. However, I generally stay away from sugary sodas and drinks and opt to chug my H2O. But I don’t miss the juices, sodas and alcohol because I drink so much water that my body now craves it. And I guarantee that when you see those pounds dropping off, it will inspire you to keep drinking more water.
Additional Benefits of Drinking Water
Water is crucial to weight loss so you can’t skip it. And there are so many other additional health benefits that come from drinking water such as increased energy, relieves fatigue, flushes out toxins, puts you in a good mood, keeps your skin glowing, prevents cramps and sprains, is a natural headache remedy, saves money and so much more. Therefore if you wanna get healthy and drop the pounds, you gotta drink water – and lots of it. You can banish your weight loss woes and bust through plateaus by upping your water intake. I don’t know about you, but I’ll have another glass of water, please!
And before you dash off, leave me a comment below and let me know how much water do you drink in a day. Do you think it makes a difference in your weight loss or how you feel? Which of these tips will you use to drink more water while dieting?