A Little (Or A Lot Of) Water Goes A Long Way - A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss

A Little (Or A Lot Of) Water Goes A Long Way

glass-of-water

When I first decided to give up the juices and soft drinks, I almost felt like I didn’t have any other options.

“What the hell am I supposed to drink? Water?!”

I mean, you learn the hard way that, like a lot of things in fitness, some sacrifices hurt but sacrifice is vital. If I used to put an unnecessary priority on having the gallon jug of [insert juice brand] in my house, of course it’s going to hurt to give up that “flavor” and begin drinking water.

Now, when it comes to sheer hydration, any liquid will suffice. Contrary to the popular understanding that a soft drink/juice/coffee cannot hydrate you, the truth is that they can. But this isn’t about the basics. This is about the fact that those drinks carry an awful lot with them beyond simply water. Unnecessary calories, teaspoon after teaspoon of sugar, and a complete lack of nutritional value? Can you say those calories are worth it?

I couldn’t.

What benefits does water have to offer you?

Water is an appetite suppressant. The body often doesn’t properly relay the message to you that you are, in fact, hungry or full. It doesn’t properly relay the message to you that you are, even, eating food or drinking water to fill up. That being said, you could drink a nice tall glass of water during a meal and fill yourself up faster, or you could drink tall glasses of water frequently throughout your day to help stave off hunger as well as help prevent overeating.

And these aren’t little glasses, here. We’re talking big gulp status. I’ve got a 32oz cup sitting beside me right as I type this.

Water flushes your digestive system. As often as we talk about the importance of fiber, here… water is the second half of that equation. Water travels through the digestive tract and helps carry the fibrous materials through, aiding in the collection and expulsion of waste. In other words, if you want to poop regularly and often, you’ve got to drink water as well as eat your fibrous foods.

Water clears your skin. I look younger than I did in high school, mainly because of the amount of water I drink and how it flushes my skin. With the incorporation of more water into my daily habits, I rarely – if ever – experience skin problems on either my face or the rest of my body. Blemishes started to clear up and fade. I mean, it flushes out any toxins. That’s clearly going to help your skin.

Water can aid in curing headaches. Most of my headaches come from the fact that I haven’t stayed on top of my water drinking, and they almost always fade after I’ve downed a nice tall glass.

Now, there are tons of posts on the Internet that talk about how “the benefits of water are overblown,” and some of them are. Reading about how “water is linked with a reduction in cancer occurrences” doesn’t sound like a benefit of drinking water – it sounds more like a benefit of drinking less of something else. It’s also uncertain where the average recommendation comes from in regards to how much water one should drink. Some people shoot for a gallon, some people use the “ounces in half your weight” method and some shoot for 8 8oz glasses. I know that I drink a lot, but a lot is required to receive the benefits that I’ve shared, here.

It was a bit of a struggle, in the beginning, to develop “a water habit.”At first, I was dying for flavor, and the urge to do the “flavor packet” thing was far too high. However, if the goal is to drink less of the harmful stuff and more of the pure and innocent stuff, then you simply cannot do it. I, personally, didn’t bother trying to make a slow conversion to drinking water because the rationale was simple – as a neophyte calorie counter, the more of this stuff I drank, the less food I could eat if I wanted to stay under my calorie budget. It was an easy decision to simply accept the reality of water, and it’s most important benefit – feeling satiated without calories.

Then, it became a matter of doing what I could to prevent the excuses – buying bottled water and then complaining that it’s too expensive (although soft drinks or juices are often much more expensive), not having a water fountain around and not carrying change, being too lazy to get up and get myself another glass of water (because water doesn’t compel you to get up and move the way a glass of juice might) – and just sucking it up and investing in a couple of quality water containers. One big 32oz insulated glass, and one stainless steel container to keep in my jogging stroller when we’re on the go. Now… the only thing left to address… is time.

The best – and fastest – way for me to start developing my new habit was to set the alarm on my cell phone to go off very few hours. That way, on top of drinking water with each meal, I’d drink it in between, as well. Helps keep me from overeating, binging on calories, kept my hunger in control and kept me focused on my goal – avoiding hunger pangs and eating properly – throughout the day. Needless to say, I’m a devout water drinker.

What about you? How do you manage to get in your water?

The proud leader of the #bgg2wlarmy, Erika Nicole Kendall writes health, fitness, nutrition, body image and beauty, and more here at #bgg2wl. After losing over 150lbs, Kendall became a personal trainer certified in fitness nutrition, women's fitness, and weight loss from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She now lives in New York with her family, and is working on her 4th, 5th and 6th certificates.

87 Comments

  1. Tia

    May 9, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    For me a few years ago I decided that before I allowed myself to drink anything else I had to drink 64 oz of water and I stuck to that…then I started noticing that certain things that I used to drink were just too sweet and I didn’t enjoy them…so I slowly began just NOT drinking things. I find it easier to follow this theory. Now over the years I have steered away from that but I am back on it now and find that I can drink over 100 oz of water on a good day with no problem. It quenches my thirst like no other….

  2. Breezy

    May 9, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    Nice Soror. I am giving up juice, soda, etc this whole month of May and seeing how long I can last. It’s actually been pretty easy so far.

  3. Tracy

    May 9, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    This post is right on time for me. I’ve been trying to drink more water and I’ve been doing well so far. I can feel a difference already. I feel quite a bit better than I did a few weeks ago when water barely got a second look from me. I need to set my alarm in order to remind me to drink consistently throughout the day though. I’m still trying to sort through that whole issue of how much to drink. I’ve been aiming for anywhere from eight 8oz. glasses to half my body weight. I figure one can’t have too much water (can they?), so the more the better. If I don’t reach my daily goal, I, at least, make sure I have the minimum.

    • Lisette

      May 2, 2012 at 12:21 PM

      You can have too much of a good thing. My mother was drinking excessive amounts of water, not realizing that she was not getting enough nutritious food because she was so full of water. She has high blood pressure for which she takes medication. She thought that she would help flush excess sodium from her body by drinking so much water.

      What she was actually doing was filling up on water and limiting her food intake, so she actually didn’t have enough sodium in her bloodstream. We actually need certain levels of sodium in our bodies for our bodies to function properly (think electrolytes).

      • Catrice

        February 28, 2013 at 1:21 PM

        Lisette,

        My physician recently shared the same information with me. I have always imbibed a lot of water and then eaten. So I am rarely hungry and fill up on water. She explained that certain symptoms I was having was due to not having enough sodium intake which was being displaced the high amount of water I drink. So she offered suggestions so that I could add sodium to my diet in healthy ways to offset that imbalance. These were things i already dis but the amounts and some sources needed adjustments. However, the benefits of drinking enough water are so positive I can’t stress enough how much the entire body needs it to function. None if the adjustments we made included drinking less water. My water consumption is substantial and remains the same and the minor adjustments to add sodium in a healthy way have proven beneficial.

  4. MANDA

    May 9, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    I am drinking more water now. I set a challenge that I drink a glass of water, sometimes two every hour. We don’t buy any other drinks. We have a Brita filter. I have a Bobble water bottle that filters tap water. This is wonderful I LOATHE warm water, so it is hard to drink water that is not very cold.

    I sometimes drink ginger-ale when my stomach hurts, but I am backing away from that since I know that soft drinks are not good for you.

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      May 9, 2011 at 12:20 PM

      It’s not the ginger ALE that soothes your tummy, mama.. it’s the GINGER. Ginger tea or regular ginger spice works just as well. You don’t have to stick to the soft drink.

      • CoCo

        May 9, 2011 at 6:53 PM

        LOL…it cracks me up how quick you give the smack down! I was thinking “Mm hm, ginger ale IS good for the stomach aches” and then I saw your smack down.

        I love your “no excuse for excess calories” attitude. I just wish admiring that quality in someone made it easier for me to adopt it.

      • Terry Blair

        May 10, 2011 at 5:54 PM

        I drink ginger tea to help with colds ,but also find that it soothes cramps when i drink it a few days before i expect my cycle awesome!

        • Chris B

          June 6, 2013 at 6:57 PM

          I have been sharing that bit of Ginger info ever since I found relief in my teenage years…got me off my knees, able to function without extreme pain and discomfort.

  5. milaxx

    May 9, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    My journey has been different. I have always liked just as much of the healthy stuff as I have the unhealthy stuff, water included. So I had no problem drinking water. I did go through a food additive phase, but since I actually like water dropping that wasn’t too difficult.My biggest challenge now is that since I am unemployed I can actually drink more water than I can keep on hand.

  6. curious

    May 9, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    i don’t mind the idea of giving up the sugary drinks for water, i do have a question about morning drinks. i always see articles on yahoo/msn that say coffee has some health benefits. is that true? i usually only drink my coffee black or with skim milk, though; no sugar.

    also, i get nauseated if i drink water in the morning. not sure why, but i just cannot stomach it. and as of late, i’ve been cutting back on the milk because i’m trying to be more sensitive to the way my body reacts to food. what do i drink in the morning instead?

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      May 9, 2011 at 12:28 PM

      I’d have to see what those benefits are before I could say anything either way.

    • Sarah

      May 9, 2011 at 12:49 PM

      How do you feel when you drink hot tea (regular or herbal)? I find that tea gives me the morning warmth and taste that I’m looking for, without the jolt of coffee or the sugar of other things (provided, of course, that you drink it unsweetened).

    • Kim

      March 6, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      Our system sleep at night. When our bodies just awaking it needs few seconds to get up and get blood circulation. My way, I start with easy exercises, breathing and drink water slowly in the mean time to get blood circulation first, its only takes couple minutes then I can do what ever I wanted after that.

  7. Shannon

    May 9, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    When I’m in my water routine, I’ve found that it connects to other good habits: not buying so much takeout and carrying my own healthy snacks. Water goes with fruit more than it goes with Cheetos. I can stand water with a turkey sandwich, but nachos have to have cherry coke :) Anybody else have those food relationships that seem to start with one junky thing and move to all the others?

    • Daphne

      May 9, 2011 at 9:00 PM

      Yep, I can get like that with pizza. Prefer a soda with it, but have been moving away from that. It ain’t easy!

    • Lisette

      May 2, 2012 at 12:23 PM

      Coke and chili cheese Fritos or Coke and McDonald’s fries. Lord, save me from myself! LOL

  8. Kathryn

    May 9, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    I always considered myself fortunate that my parents never bought soda or juice for other than special occasions in our household. I never had much a taste for them and I really love water. I can drink distilled water like nobody’s business. ***TMI alert*** However, the most difficult part of drinking a ton of water is that I, apparently, have the bladder of a toddler. This has gotten worse after the births of my children and subsequent hysterectomy. So….I would definitely drink much more water than I do if my bladder were stronger. Has anyone else encountered this and been able to somehow conquer?

    • Christina Bennett

      March 18, 2012 at 7:18 PM

      I have had the exact same problem! I had a hysterectomy in 2007 and I’ve noticed that I run to the bathroom so frequently it’s embarrassing. I spoke to my dr and he did tests and said there is nothing medically wrong with my bladder, although he’s heard other women say it too.

      I keep a regular glass on my desk (the one at work and the one at home). I try to fill it at least 4 times a day. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don’t. I’m also trying to cut out soda. I’ve been migrating over to iced teas. I’m diabetic, so I can’t do a lot of juices.

      • Jan L

        August 28, 2012 at 1:30 PM

        I try to drink most of my water at work at my desk, which means frequent trips to the bathroom. At first it was annoying, but then I realized at least I’m getting regular breaks from my desk. If it wasn’t for my water habit I’d probably spend all eight hours plus lunch right in my chair.

  9. Liana

    May 9, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    I have been a silent reader on your site for a little while now. I kept thinking I was crazy for thinking my headaches and feeling not quite right were due to needing water, but now I have accepted that I just need lots of water to feel like myself. I don’t like the taste of unfiltered tap water, even though I know its all mental. So I keep a water filter pitcher in our fridge and it is always full. I also drink a lot of herbal, green and black tea without sugar either hot or iced, and whatever fruit we have ends up sliced in a pitch with water, it really helps when I need flavor. I also have a water bottle that has a filter so when I am on the go I can get water without having to lug around water which is heavy since I drink nearly a gallon a day. I find that the hardest part of drinking water is having to use the bathroom more and needing to remember where there are local public bathrooms in my city.

    • Chauna

      April 5, 2012 at 9:01 PM

      I, too, seem to have a tiny bladder. Someone referred to being in their “water habit” – when I am drinking more water, I have noticed that I will go to the bathroom literally every 20 minutes. This lasts for several days until my body gets back into the swing of having more water coming in, thus letting more water go. Stress urinary incontinence (peeing when you laugh, sneeze, cough, etc.) and frequency can be lessened by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles – and they also help you to have better orgasms (big cheesy grin). As with any other muscles, you have to train. Find the muscles (google many ways) and work them throughout the day. Ben-Wa balls and other such devices can help as well.

  10. CurlieGirlie

    May 9, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    I have been drinking lots of water since I ran cross country in high school. It was such a huge deal for us to be hydrated before every practice and race that it kind of came naturally. I gave up soda and sugary drinks at the same time. (Seriously, if our coach caught us drinking soda–or, even worse, an energy drink– at lunch, we were in trouble, lol.) The habit of drinking lots of water and no soda caught on. For years after that, all I ever drank was water. However, about a year ago, I started to drink green tea. I love it! Because green tea is a natural diuretic, though, I have to drink a little more water then I usually do. I drink at least 3 liters of water a day…sometimes a little more depending on what kind of day I’ve had.

    Water is also really good for your hair, btw. I mean, it’s good for your entire body, but for people that have a hard time keeping their hair from drying out, sometimes the problem is that you’re not taking in enough moisture. Water can help with that.

  11. Tracie G.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    In honor of Mother’s Day, I’ve got to give my mom a shout out on this one, as she is the SOLE reason my aversion to water is minimal nowadays. She was REALLY big on NEVER letting me have non-water drinks growing up; for me, it was LITERALLY one cup of water at every meal, EVERY. NIGHT. I used to hate it…but I see now how much it’s helped, because I don’t “miss” anything by drinking it now, even if only out of habit. I still enjoy an occasional glass of 100% apple or orange juice in the morning with breakfast; however, even now I like it more when halved with cool filtered water. Thanks mom for THAT! LOL

  12. Caitlin

    May 9, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    I carry water around with me. I find that if I don’t have it easily accessible I won’t drink it, but if I’m always toting a big bottle of water, then it’s easier for me to remember. After a while, I get to the point where I don’t have to remind myself – it’s just a habit. Plus I notice that I feel better when I’ve been drinking a lot of water, whereas I can tell when I’m getting dehydrated because I feel tired and almost…sticky. If that makes sense.

    But I’ll tell you – what really helped me be consistent about my water drinking, though, was moving to Florida. It gets so hot and so humid down here that it’s really a matter of survival, much like staying inside between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and wearing sunscreen. It’s one of those things you learn to do in order to cope.

  13. Nicole

    May 9, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    I would be all aboard if someone could pry the starbucks out of my hands. The only thing I drink is water, and starbucks. I really need to let SB go! I recently added green tea to my daily routine, and its been 3 days since I have had starbucks. I am hoping this will be a permanent change!

    I am just always so tired in the mornings :(

  14. Dana

    May 9, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    About a year ago I purchased a 2 liter water jug from the Container Store. I take sips of water from this jug throughout the day and manage to stave off hunger. When this is soaking in soapy water, I carry my 1-liter stainless steel water bottle and refill it once I finish it. My skin has cleared up dramatically and I’m noticing consistent weight loss since I started.

  15. Serenity

    May 9, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    I hate to admit it….. but you re right. Phooey!

  16. Jonesie

    May 9, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    Hi all. This is my first time posting. I’ve really learned so much since finding this blog. I’ve made several of my friends avid readers of it, too.

    As for water. I have discovered that sparkling water (like Pellegrino – not “flavored sparkling water beverage”) takes away my urge for soda. After reading lots of research and discovering that its health benefits are comparable to drinking flat water, it’s become my beverage of choice. I like the fizz, and sparkling water does it for me. Pellegrino can be a bit pricy, so I’ve found generic alternatives that are just as good. You just have to be careful not to buy sparkling water (on the water aisle) and not other water-like beverages (with lots of additives) on the soda aisle.

    • Jonesie

      May 9, 2011 at 7:36 PM

      I meant you have to be careful *TO* buy sparkling water on the water aisle and not the other stuff on the soda aisle :)

    • Christina

      March 18, 2012 at 6:12 PM

      I love the sparkling water, pelligrino is my favorite!! I had been wondering if it had some of the same benefits as flat water, and it does satiate my craving for soft drinks. I’m not much a pop drinker, or juice… I really don’t drink much of anything, as I’m rarely thirsty. But I’m making an effort to start drinking more water to help with keeping my digestive system regular.

  17. Dre_Divah

    May 9, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    I became an avid water drinker during my pregnancy, I was soo afraid of getting gestational diabetes, as I did in my first pregnancy. I still drink 8 bottles of water a day, and I too have a 32oz. glass that I fill four times a day if I am out of bottled water and let me tell you, it has done wonders!!!

  18. Daphne

    May 9, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    I’ve always liked plain water – I’m one of the weirdos that can’t stand anything in my water (i.e. lime, lemon, etc). So, I’ve been a 64 oz per day girl for several years. I’ve not been a huge fan of juice since I was a child, so I drank every once in a while, maybe once a month with some breakfast. I used to add apple or orange juice as a liquid for my green smoothies, for extra flavor, but I’m moving away from that. I’ve found using the whole fruit, especially oranges, provides the flavor I need, plus the fiber. Plain water is the base liquid now.

    That said, soda was a weakness for me for awhile, up to about last year. I still have one occasionally (maybe once a week). I know some people who gave up soda completely, and I’m not there yet. It’s even tougher than usual, considering I work for a beverage company, and we get free soda, lol.

    • Sonya

      August 25, 2011 at 9:38 PM

      I’ve never been a fan of lemon in my water, either. I always get funny looks when we go out and I ask for water, no lemon.

  19. Mischa

    May 10, 2011 at 2:12 AM

    I stopped reading this midway and went and grabbed a bottle of water! LOL
    Thanks for keeping us in check!

  20. Candace

    May 10, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    Until my adulthood I had a serious adversion to drinking water. Around my college years I started drinking water minimally as it became more available in the form of bottled water. Recently, however, I have been trying to drink water more frequently and in larger quanities. My biggest issue is that I’m not a big drinker in general. I usually drink about 24-48 oz of ANYTHING in a day. I’ve even gone days without drinking at all. It’s a big problem for me because I have very severe eczema (that medication is not seeming to work for at all) so I’m trying out this water thing out of desparation!

  21. Shante

    May 10, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    I love drinking water. I too am lucky to have a mom that told us to drink water and not juice when we were thirsty. There is no need to drink a super big gulp of soda because you are thirsty. That is just wrong and not only because of the sugar but I mean soda is going to stain your teeth and eat away at them and your insides.
    I’ve never heard of water curing a headache though. One could only wish it were that easy for me. It does however keep my skin clear and bright. I can always tell by looking in the mirror if I haven’t been drinking enough. People do need to be mindful though not to drink too much water and too frequently because you can drink too much and it is not healthy.

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      May 10, 2011 at 11:33 AM

      The idea that “too much water is unhealthy” is a little conflated, especially since you have to be talking about an extreme amount of water. Obviously someone who’s six feet tall is going to be able to handle more water than someone who is five feet tall, so giving blanket figures for how much a person should drink doesn’t make much sense (which is why I didn’t do it), but “drinking too much water” to the point where it’s unhealthy is literally referring to a situation where you’re drinking a gallon in like 15 minutes, and not allowed to go pee in the process. That’s not sensible and an extremely uncomfortable situation… one that I’m willing to bet very few people are going to put themselves through willingly.

      On hyponatremia: http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/1469.html

      “The kidneys of a healthy adult can process fifteen liters of water a day! You are unlikely to suffer from water intoxication, even if you drink a lot of water, as long as you drink over time as opposed to intaking an enormous volume at one time.” – http://chemistry.about.com/cs/5/f/blwaterintox.htm

      Good advice on how to determine how much water you need: http://drbenkim.com/drink-too-much-water-dangerous.html

      • Shante

        May 10, 2011 at 3:52 PM

        I’m not trying to confuse anyone which is why I said people need to be mindful of how much they drink. You can always have too much of a good thing. It doesn’t just take drinking a gallon in fifteen minutes, which is why I also didn’t make any mention of time or quantity. People need to be mindful because I can tell you for a fact every time I bring this up people do not believe me and think I am full of BS. People need to do their research.

    • Sonya

      August 25, 2011 at 9:44 PM

      One reason that water helps with headaches is because many headaches are caused by dehydration. (I think it’s like when someone has a hangover.) This isn’t the case for everyone, but dehydration one of the reasons I get headaches.

      I keep a 64-ounce cup full of ice and water with me all day. I get my kids to drink water by sipping out of their cups — they immediately want what Mommy is drinking. I prefer drinking water with meals, too. I feel like it cleans my taste buds instead of coating them with something. That way I can actually taste the food.

  22. Nicole

    May 10, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    I personally a few months ago, stopped drinking soda. I do drink juice from time to time but my first option is water. I hated water when I was younger and only used to drink it when I was extremely thirsty. I have gotten used to drinking water now, so it’s an afterthought and as far as soda is concerned, I had stopped drinking it before so it wasn’t really a big deal to me. That being said I have noticed that my skin is a tad bit better than what it was before so in that respect I have noticed the difference there. But since I’m trying to lose a massive amount of weight I figure that I better start training myself to have good habits now, so that when I get older, I can have good habits later.

  23. Allison

    May 10, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    I personally have stopped drinking soda completely and rarely drink juice. If I do drink juice it’s a 8 ounce glass of homemade grapefruit juice a week. I really don’t miss juice at all. In fact, on Saturday I went out to eat with a friend and the restaurant had a “all natural sugar free pomegranate juice” and it was so strong to me. I didn’t enjoy it and much preferred my water. :). So far I’ve lost 23.6 pounds with clean eating and working out and toning, I still have a lot more to go but I’m very happy with my results so far.

  24. Ren

    May 22, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    I have been a fan of water for years. Every morning I start the day with a glass of water that has lemon squeezed into it. I manage my water consumption by estimating the availability of restrooms once I leave my house. At home I drink water like a fish (do fish drink water?). At work since I have easy access to the restroom I drink water and tea (peppermint or ginger) all day. If I am going to a fair, concert or some event that only offers those disgusting pot-a-potty/ Honey Bucket deals I reduce my water intake just prior to the event. I attempted to use one once and lets just say I am not doing it again. It was clearly designed for only the comfort of men. I do have this cool device called the P-style that lets women pee standing up. I use that for camping or other places I am not willing to risk squatting. Anyway- great post! I love your blog. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

  25. Johnnie

    July 21, 2011 at 1:03 AM

    This sounds weird and some of my coworkers have laughed at me but this is what I do: I fill two hydration bottles with ice and pack them with an ice pack to keep them from melting too quickly during the day at work and sip the water as the ice melts down, then I eat the half melted ice…delicious! I also fill a double walled Tervis tumbler with ice and water and sip it on the way to my son’s school and work in the morning. Soda just doesn’t do it for me…gotta have my water!

  26. Mika

    July 21, 2011 at 9:44 PM

    This is something I struggle with! I’m trying to increase my water intake…I would like to do the standard 8 glasses a day, but for some reason, after about 5 glasses or so, I literally feel intoxicated. It’s weird. Is this normal while I am trying to transition?

  27. Stacey

    July 21, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    I am a 23 year old woman who has been overweight since I was 12 years old. A couple of months ago I started to read your blog and was inspired to begin eating clean. So far, it is the one diet that I think is easy to commit to. Since then, Ive l0st almost 10lbs. God bless you keep it up and I will keep it up! Thank You

  28. Shannon

    July 21, 2011 at 10:54 PM

    I have never been an avid water drinker, but find myself lately drinking more water. I will fill a 64 oz. container with water (lemon, or lemon/cucumber added), but I must have some type of flavor to go with in it. Nothing artificial though. With the added flavor I can drink the whole container with no problem. When eating out now I only order water. I know that I need to eliminate the sodas/juice, and I’m slowly trying to do that.

  29. Kaara

    August 21, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Sometimes I really do wonder about the benefits of water. I drink at least 2 50 oz bottles of water daily! Sometimes more … the only thing I drink other than water is tea!
    to be honest I only keep drinking it because I know the other things are bad for me but I have not seen any benefits. Once I had a UTI and I doubled that amount of water daily plus some cranberry juice, and it was only then I had proper bowel movements.
    My fibre intake could be the problem which I have been desperately trying to correct over the last 2 months … But I’m still waiting to see these benefits in my life.

  30. Ashleigh B

    September 19, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    I have a huge problem with drinking water and it’s not because I don’t like it. It’s because I’ve gotten so used to being dehydrated that I don’t pay attention to normal signals of thirst. I literally have to remind myself to drink. I use apps on my iPad and on my Android phone to remind me to drink. Plus, I like tracking how much water I’m getting. It hasn’t completely solved my intake issue but it’s a good step in the right direction.

  31. Jennifer

    October 13, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    It’s bad for the environment, but I buy a 24 or 28 pack of Arrowhead water, and drink at least 2 liters throughout the day. The large cup becomes overwhelming to me, but drinking 4 bottles throughout the day s easy.

  32. Erika

    December 12, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    I know you say you set your phone alarm to drink water. Another alternative is a android app (If you have a android phone). I love the Carbodroid App. It goes off like every 15-30 minutes to remind me to drink water. You’ll watch your “droid” fill up with water.

    But I’m not going to lie, some days it can get on my nerves, but it’s a healthy habit I’m trying to put into concrete.

  33. Nasha

    December 13, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    Love this post….Water is a great appetite suppresant (um, but I do eat when I need to..)..and I just feel better in general…This is coming from a reformed soda junkie (up to 6 sodas a day)…I won’t say I’m completely “delivered”..I still have urges…but I’m sacrificing for better health. My co-workers can’t understand why I’ve forsaken even the diet drinks and “Zero” drinks (we won’t go into the whole apartme discussion..I know how you feel..lol). Plus, they just don’t even feel right to drink anymore..it’s weird. I do a tremendous amount of cardio, so I’m with the “jug nation” in trying to drink far more than 8 glasses per day. Water is pretty awesome for a number of reasons…do I still crave flavor? Yes, and occassionally I’ll have some tea..but water is where it’s at baby!

  34. Tonya Swanson

    January 9, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    I’d really like to know your thoughts/findings on morning drinks such as coffee and tea. Thank you for all that you do. =)

  35. Hadiya W

    January 11, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    I find it easy to drink water on the days I work (M W F) right now and really hard on my off days. I can tell the difference on the days I drink more, but when I’m not doing much of anything i don’t feel like eating or drinking.. It’s also hard for me because I have the lapband, and I can’t drink right after I eat, and that’s when I’m usually DYING for somthing to drink, and 30 min after my meal i don’t even want anything after that.

  36. Missuno

    January 12, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Thank you Erica for posting this, water is so underrated. The benefits of drinking water are too many to name, but I will say that I completely gave up juice and soda and I only drink water. I started doing this in August of 2011, I’ve lost 50 pds and this is with consuming 60-120 oz of water daily, eating clean and regular exercise. I feel wpndrful

  37. Lynette

    January 13, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    I dropped 25 pounds within 2 weeks of giving up soda, energy drinks, and vitamin water. No increase in exercise, no changes in eating, just water. It’s scary how many calories you can consume through drinks and not even realize it.

  38. Tasha

    January 13, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    I used to drink only one glass of water a day (and thats being generous) and 100% fruit juice with every meal and snack. I foolishly assumed that since it was 100% juice it was ok. All those extra calories were making weight loss difficult. I started drinking 3 cups of green tea with only lemon plus having a glass or 2 of water before meals and snacks and before and after my workouts. It was hard at first but now I rarely have a taste for anything else. I end up drinking about 90 oz of water a day. I am never hungry. This is one of the best things that I have done for my weight loss. Great article!

  39. DianaLyn

    January 13, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    I start and end my day with a glass of water just after my teeth re brushed. At work I make my cup of herbal tea (nothing in it) and poor myself a beer pint sized glass of water. My goal is to have to refill that glass 4 times during the day. I’m talkng so much it keeps hydrated. My challenge is weekends I find I don’t drink as much water. I’m not talking or as busy and feeling dehydrated so it’s just not on my radar.

  40. Vee

    January 31, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    I love drinking water. I occasionally have a diet soda every once in awhile but there is nothing like drinking water.

  41. Cwright

    March 5, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    What do you do about frequent trips to the restroom when drinking all this water?

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      March 6, 2012 at 7:34 AM

      You thank your lucky stars that your body is ridding itself of water that it very well might’ve been unnecessarily retaining, and joyfully skip back to your desk.

      You also learn how to hold it better.

  42. Kimmie

    March 18, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Drinking water became a habit when I sat down one day and thought about all of the reasons why I gained weight. I was addicted to Cola. There was nothing more that I wanted from day to day than a ice cold Coke. I didn’t realize in guzzling down 140 calories plus nearly 40 grams of sugar per can that I was ruining my health and putting myself at risk for obesity related illnesses that could shave years off of my life. I waned myself off of coke using diet coke, and Earl Grey tea. Eventually, I just stopped drinking diet coke and I started to enjoy water a lot more. Americans are fat for a reason. Everything that’s advertised to us is bad for us at some point we have to get back to the basics and you can’t get anymore basic than refreshing pure water!

  43. Sabina

    March 26, 2012 at 7:44 AM

    I am so glad I found this website!!

    I recently started my journey to water… and it is not easy. i grew up on soda and juice and koolaid and all that stuff, so being plain is boring. I do not drink water with ice anymore cause i can get it down faster than with. and I do enjoy pellagrinos for that “fizzy” sensation with a squeeze of lime or lemon. ( real fruit not the fake liquid or powder) I add cucumber slices for extra oomph. and when I really do need something sweet I drink lemonade but water it 90% down.

  44. alicia

    April 5, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    love water. I try to drink at least a half a gallon a day

  45. Denise

    July 17, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    I drink water every day. I do drink tea and sometimes coffee, but water is my mainstay. I didn’t drink soda or juice growing up, so I don’t have the taste for it today. I’d say I drink about 60 oz. or more water each day. I love water! I know some people who say “it doesn’t taste like anything”, but I think water does have flavor. Water can taste very different, depending on where you live, and whether or not it’s filtered. Bottled waters taste different from each other (to me) also.

  46. Stef

    July 18, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    I have 32 oz and a16 oz bottles of water I take with me to work everyday. I drink the 3oz in the am and the 16 oz in the pm. In addtion I freeze a 32oz all day and take that to the gym with me. I usually finish it at the gym but if not I finish it in my way home or at home.

  47. Mydria

    July 21, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    I had to buy one of those cute 16 oz insulated tumblers with a straw in order to get me to start my water drinking habit. For some reason, it’s easier for me to drink water through a straw. I started by drinking 16oz a day, and now I am up to 32 oz. The tumbler totally worked for me, and I take it everywhere I go…I even feel naked without it!

  48. Miss. Marie

    July 21, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    I’m reading some wonderful comments & encouragement here, but I’m going to interject & add to the information that Ms. Ericka provided about water intoxication. I’m a Nursing student & as I’ve recently just learned from studying the various body systems & from personal experience; a person can suffer from water intoxication very easily by drinking excessive amounts of water daily. (Key word: Excessive) Which can but doesn’t have to be coupled w/an unbalanced diet. The kidneys can filter large amounts of water a day but that’s not where the problem arises. It arises in the blood stream which carries nutrients, minerals, vitamins, ions, CO2, O2, & water molecules throughout our body. Water intoxication occurs when our brain cells receive too much water inside the cell membrane & thus a person can suffer from headaches, mood swings, altered mind function… Kind of like being drunk by alcohol. Consequently, another danger of ingesting too much water can cause a significant loss of sodium via too frequent urination which in turn causes an imbalance in the body as well as heart & muscle malfunctions. Our heart & skeletal/smooth muscles need an adequate amount of sodium in order to work properly (heart: pump muscles: contracting/relaxation/movement). A lack in sodium causes the heart’s contractibility to weaken & causes the muscles to fatigue & prevents proper contraction. Water is essential for all of the above mentioned benefits but please do take care to include a nutrient/mineral/vitamin/ion rich diet, exercise, & an adequate amount of sodium & potassium, as they are the key ions that provide the backbone of many of our bodies functions. Water is essential to a healthy body & lifestyle. It’s benefits are worth investing time & dedication to drinking adequate amounts throughout the day. Please take care to keep it realistic . Don’t replace nutrient rich meals w/water & don’t ingest more than your body needs to function properly. That amount, as Ericka stated, varies from person to person. Know your body & listen to it’s cues that it either needs more or less water.
    *Happy Health Journey*

  49. Teruko

    August 28, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    I am huge water lover but sometimes I want a little flavor. I have recently discovered Polar Seltzer Water & I LOVE IT! No sodium, no sugar and no calories. Just water, bubbles & a little fruit for flavor.

  50. Nikki

    August 28, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    I absolutely HATE the taste of water. I know, most people says it doesn’t have a taste–but to me it does. The only time I can tolerate it is during or after I work out. So what do I do to get “used” to drinking water?

  51. Tranae

    September 2, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    This was my first week of no sodas. Only water and a small juice box once every other day. I feel amazing. Next week I’m going for water only.

  52. Carolyn

    September 2, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    I’ve never been that much of a soda drinker to begin with, so drinking water isn’t that much of the problem, just drinking a LOT of water is my problem. I just tried buying some lemons, cutting them up and keeping a stash of them in the fridge. Then I take a few slices out, squeeze them into my tumbler, and add some stevia and/or agave nectar. Basically like drinking lemonade to me, and a lot easier to get down the amounts of water I need to drink daily. I may try this later with some seltzer water to see how that tastes. Happy drinking y’all!!

  53. Sweetpea

    December 31, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    I gave up sodas awhile back, and I drink more water than I used to; however, I juice now too. Water can be gathered from it too :)

  54. KareBareStare

    January 17, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Ohhh water! My struggle is actually a little different. I’ve never been big on fluids over all. People always laugh when I say this but when they hang out with me they always state “You really don’t drink enough fluids!” On a regular day I would probably only drink 3 – 4 mid-size glasses of fluids (that includes water and sugary drinks.) I’m not sure why I just never feel thirsty. However, I recently have decided to try and drink only water and I’m working on getting up to eight glasses a day. I’m still only at about 4 – 5 large glasses of water but I’m getting there. I’ll try to set my alarm and see how that works out.

  55. Kenni727

    January 20, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    I recently installed a water drinking app on my phone which alerts me every hour between 8am & 10pm to drink the proper amount of water. I have never been a water person but I have made a choice to improve my life with small steps that can lead to bigger & better things.

  56. Katrinda

    January 24, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Every ince you challenged us to drink water every hour I have increased my water intake so much. My goal is to drink 3 32 oz jugs of water a day and drink 16 oz of water while I’m working out. This does not include my water that I drink to take my morning dose of synthyroid or make 8 oz of warm lemon water. Thanks for the challenge although I’m only seeing myself go to the restroom more often right now I know it’s doing my body good……

  57. Lee

    February 11, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    Water rocks my socks. I have to drink it and when I don’t I get a headache. I have found that the more hydrated I am the less symptoms of PMS occur for me. When I do drink a soft drink it doesn’t taste quite right to me. Do I drink them from time to time? Yes. If I have juice then I make it.
    My “water habit” is helping me in more ways than one :) *woot* Plus I have seen the downside of a constant soda/sugary liquid diet. I can not see myself going through that much pain for kidney stones and etc.

  58. Alicia

    February 11, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    I had the hardest time with water. It really started with limiting my soda to one can and my coffee to one cup. Just told myself any other liquid is water.

  59. Dawn Mobley

    February 16, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    It is very hard for me to get in the water that I need throughout the day. My access to the bathroom is limited. I am a teacher and can not leave my classroom. throughout the day-30 minute Lunch and one 45 minute break, and at dismissal. I guess I would have to make up for it when I got home.

  60. Kristin

    February 28, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Something that helped me a lot was to buy a water bottle that has an infuser attachment. That way if I am craving flavor-I can use fresh fruit , veggies, or herbs like mint, etc to make a refreshing way to have water. It keeps me drinking my water because I can be creative with the combinations and I can never use the excuse that water is “boring” or too plain.

  61. Candy

    June 6, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    I am blessed that my mother did not allow a lot of sugary drinks and juices in the house as I was growing up so I never developed much of a taste for them. Every once in a while I’ll go through a phase where I stop drinking water but the bad thing is I’m not drinking much of anything. But then I start to feel like crap and realize why. I only wish that drinking water would help my skin. I have been cursed with cystic acne, which is hormonal, so water does nothing to help it. But the other benefits are so great I will always drink water.

  62. Danielle

    June 9, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    I drink seltzer water a lot. This is just regular water, but it’s carbonated. It has no sodium or anything else added to it. (Including, no calories or fat.) It’s very refreshing, especially in the summer time. At times, you can also find it very lightly flavored with the essence of lemon, raspberry and other fruits (But it’s not that flavored water crap!). I buy the generic version, which is very cheap and at most supermarkets. Please note this should not be confused with tonic water, which I think, is like soda. Drinking both regular water and carbonated water all the time has really improved the way I feel. I usually carry a bunch of bottles in my trunk, so that I’m never thirsty.

  63. Nikki

    June 16, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    I love my water, always have. I remember as a teenager I drank at least 8 glasses of water a day. My pediatrician would check me for diabetes every visit because “it was abnormal for someone to drink so much water.” Sad, I thought a doctor is supposed to be happy. What has worked for me in the past is to fill a gallon apple juice or other juice bottle with water and freeze it overnight. As it melts throughout the next day I try to make it my business to drink most, if not all of it. If I drank half the bottle, at least I got in the 8 recommended cups. Now I try to drink a cup at at least every couple of hours while I am up. I find that drinking sodas and juice gives me a sugar rush and a headache when I do not maintain my water consumption.

  64. Nicolette

    October 17, 2013 at 7:49 AM

    I recently have decided to get healthy and shed pounds. I stopped drinking anything with sweetners and artificial sweetners. I mostly drink what I call greinger which is ginger and green tea, no sweetners just natural and I make my own ginger tea. I stopped eatting anything made with artificial sweetners and I am trying my best to stay away from junk food. So far so good but this is a mind over matter thang but it gets easier to make the good decisions with preparation, research and practice.

  65. Angelica

    April 22, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    I loved your story and you look AMAZING!
    I have started the water journey myself as of last week! I went from 0 oz of water up to 67.2 oz. (4 bottles a day) And cut out the coke from 34 oz to a six pack a day! IKR lots of soda!
    *Back story:
    I have been vegan for over a year now.
    Have hypothyroidism, (lots of symptoms: over weight, dry skin, head aches, pain, ETC ETC ETC
    High blood pressure, Anemia, and this Thursday find out if anything else is wrong with me?!?!
    I’ve been feeling very poorly lately and I thought I owed it to myself to try anything I could at home to feel better so I cut out the soda to maybe 2 cans a week and added 4 bottles of water a day! I was kinda expecting a Miracle with a week of lots of water intake! From 0 to 4 bottles a day!
    I guess what I’m getting at is when will i start seeing results from drinking lots of water? Thank you! ~Angelica

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