Need to drink more water? But can’t seem to get yourself to do it consistently?
Here’s how I dropped my water consumption considerably - and how a simple (almost effortless) strategy brought it back up.
In fact, you may read this and think “this is common sense”. If so, my challenge for you is “make it common practice” then. Because nutrition is a game of mastery not simply knowing what to do.
Anyway, let’s get to it.
Last year, I got in a bad habit of not drinking enough water, which left me feeling hungrier, having less concentration, and my energy level took a hit. For a while this wasn’t a problem in the slightest. I would simply drink out of a giant blue 30-40z plastic mug throughout the day. So downing a few of those each day was all I needed to stay hydrated.
However, our new kitten, Yuki changed that.
Yuki started seeing this blue mug as a water hole and used it as her second water bowl. So if I left it out, she would dip her paw in it or stick her whole head in. So I stopped using the mug and instead left a small glass of water in the bathroom to sip on. However, this little change dropped my water consumption considerably. Because that little 8-12oz cup just wasn’t enough. And I learned a simple lesson. In fact, it’s the same lesson for portion control of food (just flipped in reverse).
What’s the simplest way to decrease your portion size?
Use a smaller bowl or plate, right? If you increase the plate size, you typically pile more food on and eat more. Well, let’s take the same psychology applied to cup size.
Use a bigger cup, drink more water.
Use a smaller cup, drink less water.
(like I said this is not revolutionary, this is a simple, fast-action strategy you can put into practice today)
Look at how this adds up though:
According to NHANES 2005-2008, Americans are drinking around 3-6 cups per day (people in their 20’s and 30’s tend to drink more than 60+).
So let’s say you’re in the habit of pouring a cup (8oz) of water with each meal. If all you do is drink a 12oz glass instead you’ll rack up 36oz (4.5 cups) as opposed to 24oz. That’s not trying to get any more glasses in during the day – it’s just increasing your glass size.
Let’s say you switch to a 16oz cup instead (which is about the size of those red plastic party cups). If all you do is drink one of those with each meal, now you’ll bump up your water intake to 48oz, which is roughly 6 cups. Now you’ve doubled your water consumption (compared to using an 8oz cup).
What if you want to really go hog wild?
This time you take down 20oz of water at each meal (which is about the size of a typical water bottle. Now you’ll get 60oz (7.5 cups). Compared to your start (at 8oz) you’ve almost tripled your water consumption. And depending on which health expert you listen to, this is close to the recommended intake of 64oz (called the 8x8 rule).
If you think that’s not enough water for you. Great! Increase it even further by adding a glass when you first roll out of bed or midday or before bed. This is about improvement. This is about moving in the right direction towards drinking more and more water with this little habit.
Because if you are already in the habit of only drinking 3 cups of water per day. You can muster up the determination and focus to squeeze a few more in. Or just increase the size of the glass. My guess is you’ll improve your water consumption almost effortlessly with the latter.
In my case, I started using a 24oz water bottle throughout the day, which brought my hydration right back up.
(and it kept miss kitty from sticking her face in it).
For more fitness and nutrition tips – the fundamentals that make the difference – check out the link below:
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