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Posted on Jan 6, 2012 in Giveaway, Weight Loss 101 | 99 comments

Weight Loss 101: Hello Hydration (Giveaway!)

Catching up? Check out my previous Weight Loss 101 posts!

Splish Splash
(photo by ben)

Water. We need it to, you know, live. It lubricates our joints, regulates our system, gives life to our cells, and heck, we ARE it — you know, what with that whole thing about the human body being two-thirds water (source).


(source)

There’s no doubt that staying well-hydrated is an important part of weight loss, too. Thirst can masquerade as hunger, causing us to eat more and, though it seems a bit counter-intuitive, being dehydrated actually makes you retain water. This causes bloating and (water) weight gain, which we all know can have a dramatic impact on our motivation and self-esteem.

I don’t know about you, but I am TERRIBLE about drinking enough of it. Depending on where you live, your weight, how much you exercise and sweat, etc, the specific volume of water you should be consuming may differ. Even just going by the old standard “8 x 8″ rule (64 oz, or eight glasses full of eight ounces of water daily), I find myself constantly falling short. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m too lazy to refill my water bottle, or if it’s ’cause I really just don’t think about it, but I would say I am under-hydrated on more days than not. To that end, I’ve compiled a few of my tips for staying hydrated that I’m sure will make you say “well, duh.” Also, you’ve probably already heard/read them 1,000 times before. But now you get to read them again! Huzzah!

Old water cooler bottles
(source)

1. Make it convenient.

At my last job, there was one of those little water coolers (you know, the kind with the big plastic jug that makes the “bloop bloop” noise when it bubbles?) about 4 feet from my desk. I could essentially swivel my chair and have water at my fingertips. I drank so much more water at that job than I do now, where I have to walk the length of the office (the horror!) to get to a water fountain! Why? Convenience. I’ve admitted to my laziness time and time again (at this point, it’s practically boasting!), so making something easy to access is a number one priority for me. If you find yourself without a similar convenience, try asking your office manager if you can get a similar water cooler installed in a central place, or get a mini-fridge to keep at your desk to store pre-filled bottles in.

2. Carry it with you.

Okay, so maybe your boss says you don’t have the budget for a more hydration-friendly office, or you’re thinking about those non-office moments (rare though they are). Well, no fear, there’s an even simpler way to ensure you have water available at all times. Just make sure you always carry a bottle with you. (See? Cue the “… duh”s.) Now, for bag ladies like me, it’s easy to toss a Klean Kanteen or other reusable water bottle into your giant purse. If, however, you find you’re needing another way to hang onto your hat bottle, might I suggest a bottle holder? And if you hang around until the end of the post, you’ll even have an opportunity to win one!

Healthy Water with splash
(source)

3. Make it interesting.

I hear it from people all the time. “Water is so boring!” “I just can’t drink that much water.” “I don’t like the taste.” Well, people, water is awesome. You can flavor it with anything, you can make it sparkle, it’s good hot and it’s good cold. Experiment! We all know my devastating love for all things sparkling water, an addiction that our new Soda Stream helps enable daily, hehe. Other suggestions:

- Add a squeeze of lemon or lime to ice water when at a restaurant.
- Enjoy a drizzle a touch of honey in a steamy mug of hot water on cold days.
- Use frozen fruit instead of ice cubes to give your glass some color and zing.
- Homemade cucumber water is very refreshing (it makes me feel like I’m at the spa, haha) and just about the easier thing ever: slice cucumbers, add to water. Ta-da!

There are tons of combinations and experiments you can do make water more appealing to you. Try a few of them out!

So there you have it. Whether you like your water fizzy, flavored, or flat, there’s no excuse not to try to get your 64 oz. in each day. And for one of you, it’s about to get even easier. Giveaway time!!

My good friend Sarah‘s mom handcrafts the very macrame water bottle holders you see in the photos above. They come in three colors (pearl, tan, or brown) and one of you will win one in the color of your choice!

I have one, and I love that due to its drawstring top, it’s flexible enough to fit a variety of bottle sizes (from the standard plastic water bottle to my giant reusable ones!) It’s soft, lightweight, and would be great to sling over your shoulder on a hiking trip or photography tour. They are also available from her Etsy shop, and she’s also working on designs for a farmer’s market bag, as well as a wallet that will clip onto the bottle holder. Neat, huh?

To enter, simply leave a comment offering your favorite tip for staying hydrated. Be sure to indicate which color you would want, too!

As always, bonus entries are awarded for:

1. Liking me on Facebook
2. Following me on Twitter
3. Blogging/posting/tweeting about this giveaway!

Just make sure to leave a separate comment here for each thing you do to ensure you have multiple entries! I’ll be drawing a random winner on Wednesday, January 11th.

Happy Friday, everyone!

99 Comments

  1. Great giveaway :) I like you on Facebook!

  2. I agree about keeping it with you at all times. I think tracking it helps me too. When I worked at a school, I never had problems drinking water b/c it’s all I had access to during the day, and I made it my goal to drink at least two 20 oz bottles during the day– then I’d drink the last one during my workout in the evening. Now I work from home and since I’ve been trying to lose weight, I’ve realized how little I drink. I have to make a conscious effort to keep it next to me at my desk.

    Great giveaway! I like you on fb and twitter :) And, I like the pearl one best.

  3. How that I’ve started really keeping track of how much water I drink, I’m shocked at how much I WASN’T drinking before! My new year’s resolution was to drink 80 oz of water a day, and at least an extra 20 on hardcore cardio (sweat) days. So far I’ve been rocking it because of my Camelbak Groove bottle- it makes it easy to fill up anywhere since it filters the water as you drink.
    I keep a full pitcher of water in my fridge so that I can just roll my desk chair over and fill it up whenever it’s empty.
    Adding a little lemon or lime makes it taste better to me, and I do that at home. I’m wondering though- I like to drink tea a lot (with nothing else added- just brewed tea)… does that “count” towards water intake?

    • According to the Almighty Google, opinions are split. Some people say that unsweetened tea definitely counts as part of your water intake, but others say that because of the caffeine it’s a diuretic so it doesn’t help with hydration. Personally, I think that anything that contains mostly water (including some fruits and vegetables) counts for hydration, but I guess the best way to go would be to drink low-caffeine teas (green and white teas have less than half the caffeine of black tea) to be sure?

      • Hey thanks for doing the leg work for me!! Almost all of Celestial Seasonings teas are decaf, and that’s pretty much all I drink. If you take their tour of the factory in Boulder (which I HIGHLY recommend!) they will tell you that their products aren’t all really “teas,” but herbal infusions, rather. Many don’t actually contain “tea” leaves.
        Go to BLEND in May and hit up the CS factory while you’re there! (I’ll gladly go with you :))

        • Are you guys both going to BLEND? I am trying to justify a getaway without my family…

  4. I love water with lemon. Drinking water is one of my biggest struggles too but when I am hydrated, I feel 100% better! I also carry a water bottle with me, wherever I go!

  5. I “like” you!

  6. I follow you on the twitter!

  7. My husband and I both don’t really like the taste of plain water (which sounds silly we know.) I fill up a huge container of water and add 4-5 lemon slices. The container stays in the fridge and we are able to keep replenishing our glasses with cold water flavored with fresh lemons. So good! (I like the pearl one!)

  8. I liked you on Facebook too.

  9. i’m still working on the water thing – i keep some in my office fridge, but don’t always remember to drink it. I’ve heard some people set reminders to go off every hour or so – maybe i’ll try a pop-up that says “DRINK!” :-)

    • That’s a great idea! I also hear of people putting similar alerts on their phone to remind them to get up every hour and stretch or walk around. I REALLY need to try that, since my desk job leaves me literally sitting on my laurels all day.

  10. RETWEETED. BONUS POINTS FOR ME.

  11. Already stalk you on Facebook, so you’re gonna need something new. Gretchen app for iPhone?

    • Bahahaha, just an app that shows me making various faces and quoting all the contradictions I’ve posted swearing I’ll never run again and then signing up for another race?

      • That’s gold.

  12. A few years ago Joanna went on a drink-eight-glasses-of-water-a-day kick. I tried to join her, but between stopping every few minutes to take a gulp, feeling constantly full, and the amount of time I spent commuting between my desk and the bathroom, drinking that much water actually made me feel worse. Emotionally. But it DID get me to pay attention to staying hydrated–as much as I can tolerate and still be comfortable. Sibling rivalry was a pretty good impetus, but I found that having a water bottle I like (both functionally and aesthetically) helped me drink more. Clearly, it’s a pink Camelbak, and I like to consider it an accessory (http://www.camelbak.com/Sports-Recreation/Bottles/Better-Bottle-75L.aspx). It’s like the Michael Kors of water bottles. Also, it’s the only one that’s survived my gym bag for a year of metro commuting. Added bonus–keeping hydrated has definitely helped me maintain my weight, and reduced my need for chapstick.

    P.S. I clearly want that bottle holder in pearl, since my vanity is so severe that it even extends to what I drink from.

  13. I’m currently trying to do the 6-8 oz glasses of water a day too. This would be an awesome giveaway to win!

    I try to utilize extra flavors whether it be some Crystal light or a tsp of lemon juice or an actual lemon wedge to give my agua a little kick. There are some times when plain water is fine (like right after a kick ass workout) but other times? It just needs that certain je ne sais quoi. :)

    I think I like the pearl or the tan one. The middle and the right one in the picture. Right?

    • Yep, it goes Brown, Tan, Pearl in the picture. I have the tan one! :)

  14. Already following on twitter! ;)

  15. I facebooked you too! :)

  16. I bring a 32 oz water bottle to work every day filled with flavored water (shame on me for crystal light and propel but i don’t really enjoy plain water) but that usually runs out after lunch and then I find myself fighting the laziness to get my butt up and fill up with plain water from the water cooler. I’m actually better at work than I am at home though!

  17. just tweeted! mwahaha… ;)

  18. I have a large reusable cup and a large bottle. I fill each with ice and refill the cup with the bottle…I can be rather lazy too and having the extra water at my desk helps me keep my water intake up. I refill it at lunch – and it is enough water for me for the day. The smaller cup is nice because I can carry it to meetings and drink (a plastic cup w/plastic reusable straw) in a quiet manner.

  19. I follow you on twitter!

  20. I follow you on FB!

  21. I like the tip to carry the water bottle with you. I carry one with me everywhere I go and I drink way more water because of it. It does get inconvenient carrying it through stores, etc. but anytime I’m thirsty I don’t have to go out of my way or spend money unnecessarily on a water bottle.

  22. I like you on facebook :)

  23. Retweeted! which also equals Facebooked cuz I’m linked sucka

  24. I Like you on Facebook (and in real life!)

  25. Annnnd finally – I have a cup at my desk that I try to keep full at all times, but like you, I can get lazy. One thing that I’ve seen that’s really helpful is having a carafe or bigger jug of water at your desk (if you like room temp this is perfect!) and you can just refill your cup and have to get up less often.

    I also make it a habit to refill my cup every time I get up to go to the bathroom. So it’s like a positive catch 22… you are drinking more so therefore peeing more, so constantly filling your cup (and emptying your bladder!) Hooray.

  26. Ooh!
    For some reason I find it much easier to drink water when it has a lot of ice in it – I bring a reusable bottle to work, and we’re lucky enough to have an ice machine in the lunchroom, so I pack that sucker with ice several times a day (and a little water, ha ha). Swig swig.

    I never win anything! Help me, Gretchen-wan Kenobi!

  27. Tip for staying hydrated is to try an drink water every two hours. I usually have some at my desk at work I refill before I start and after lunch. I carry some in my car and in my purse. I love reusable water bottles they come in so handy :)

  28. Staying hydrated in the kitchen is so important! If you don’t get a glass of water within the first five minutes of your shift, you are usually out of luck. At work, the guys make fruit-water and it makes it so much easier to drink the amount of water that I need to stay hydrated. They usually take a mango or cantelope or something and then put it in the food processor. After that, mix it with some ice, water and a splash of cider. It’s amazing!!

  29. I like you on Facebook, and I really like the black! I think it would be best for my walks with the occasional jumping puppy…

  30. And I follow you on Twitter! And miss you…!! Let’s get together soon!

  31. I keep my Camelbak water bottle with me everywhere when I’m at work!

    PS. I just liked you on Facebook (Sara Amber) and started following you on Twitter (little_dynamite)!

  32. Cute! I keep a 64 oz bottle of water at work that I sip on throughtout the day. I try to drink it all before I leave work.

  33. I already like you on FB.

  34. I already follow you on Twitter @GoddessFoodie.

  35. I keep my camelbak bottle on my desk at all times. I use to to fill the keurig machine when making my tea too so I know how much water I’ve gone through. I would like the pearl one if I win b/c that’s the same bottle I have and love the color combo.

  36. Does seltzer water count towards those 8 cups? Cause if yes, then I am totally meeting that goal… If not, I am totally failing :P I really like mixing in the Ocean Spray to-go packets into my Nalgene…

    • Errr, I hope so too, otherwise I’m MEGAfailing!

  37. I despise drinking warm water so I make sure it is always icy cold. Down a glass first thing in the morning for a quick wake up! At work I keep a big water jug at my desk. Weekends I jjust have to lug around a water bottle, no simple way around it (until now!!)

  38. Those water bottle holders are amazing. I’m not sure if I can enter, but couldn’t not leave a comment and say how cute they are. Have a great Friday Gretchen!!!

    • Why wouldn’t you be able to enter?

  39. I like my water with cucumber when I have them in my fridge and I don’t already have a purpose for them i.e. salad. I also have fruity sugar free, calorie free powder stuff to add to water when I’m feeling a little bored with water, but I’m not sure if that doesn’t make it water anymore. I mean I know it’s obviously still water, but what if it then becomes “juice”. Right? But other than that I try to always have a water bottle with me to get my daily water in. And I prefer the tan colored holder.

  40. And I’ve “liked” you on facebook. I love reading your blog every day. Still prefer tan. :)

  41. Oh, and I posted about this giveaway on my facebook! And tan it is. Lol. Have a good day Gretchen!

  42. I have a “Need Water? Get up and get some!” posted to my cubicle wall at work. So when my water cup is empty I know it’s time to go get some..so it helps me a LOT :) Oh and I use a Tervis tumbler so I can have some tea and get even more water, though hot. (Oh and those holders are amazing! I like them all, but I think the pearl is a great color.)

  43. And still following you on twitter :)

  44. For some reason, I am able to drink so much more water when I drink it through a straw, whether it be one of those tumblers that look like plastic cups or even a water bottle with the flip up straw. Don’t ask me why, but it works for me! So, I guess my tip is to try that!

  45. Also, I just started following you on Twitter (from my blog account)! Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

    • Gina, you got me here. Thank you. I love your spot. and I love anyone that loves Mini Schnauzers.

      • Then you are going to love me, because I love my schnauzers A LOT. :P

  46. I totally agree with the convenience factor. My office space used to be RIGHT by the kitchen and I would drink so much water, and I felt great! Now I’ve moved into a real office, far from the kitchen, and I fill my bottle once or twice a day, if I’m good. Very nice blog, by the way! It’s my first time here, I saw Gina from http://www.skinnytaste.com/ tweet about this post :)

  47. Thanks for the tips! Need to drink more water!!!
    Following you on twitter!

  48. My tip for staying hydrated is leave a bottle of water by your bedside, on the table. But, you have to drink some before you retire for the evening and upon getting up. That way, it’s handy, it’s there and you don’t have to stub your toe to get it.

  49. i have never had a problem with drinking water. i’ve always loved it. the one tip that i give to folks who have a problem with it is to start each day by drinking a giant glass of water. it helps wake you up (i don’t drink coffee), reminds you to take any meds/vitamins, and gets a jump start on hydration.

    • should i win (which will never happen….i’m the unluckiest person out there) i like the pearl color.

  50. also “liked” you on FB

  51. and twitter ;)

  52. I like the black! I already like you on facebook!

  53. I already follow you on Twitter!

  54. I’m the kind of the girl that forgets to drink anything all day because I am lazy! My best hydration tip is to invest in a Brita pitcher. I’m a sucker for cold, filtered water. And it’s right there every time you open the fridge! So convenient!

  55. I find if I give up diet soda I drink WAY more water! To make it more palatable, for those who do not like the lack of sweetness, flavour in it, add a little lime… or lemon. I like using True Lime and carry it with me… If you cannot drink it without sweetening it, put a tiny splash of juice in it.

    My soda stream also gives me the bubbles I crave, while keeping me on track with my water intake!

    However as much as I like water, unless I am carrying it with me, I forget to drink it :(
    Thanks for the reminders, hopefully I will win one of those cool bottle holders to help me keep it with me!

  56. I like drinking sparking water and sometimes I add a little orange juice or grapefruit juice for some flavor

  57. I liked you on Facebook!

  58. Followed you on Twitter!

  59. I like really cold water, or really warm drinks, so my strategy differs from summer to winter. In the summer, I keep an army of ice filled water bottles in my fridge at home and at work that are ready to go. In the winter, I stock up on caffeine free herbal teas to drink. I’ve been wanting to try something like this: http://nancycreative.com/2010/06/25/feast-your-eyes-on-flavored-water/

    Although, I may just want to eat the nice fruit!

  60. I liked you on Facebook!

  61. And just followed you on Twitter.

  62. I actually find myself drinking more water when I drink out of a straw! I also just started following you on twitter.. may have been your 1000 or 1001 follower! :)

  63. I have a motivating Back on My Feet (a running program for homeless people)reusable water bottle! UI just love to use it!

  64. I just make sure I have a water bottle that tells me how many ounces are in it and I make little goals throughout the days, e.g. “By noon I need to have drank two bottles”.

    • Oh and I think a pearl or tan colored water bottle holder would be sweet!

  65. I follow you on Twitter now!

  66. and I tweeted the giveaway

  67. I am also lazy at work and it always seems so hard to refill my water glasses (its really not :) So to help, I refill two 16 oz glasses that way when I do actually get up its more bang for my buck!

    And the water holders are super adorable, I like the pearl and the tan!

  68. I drink 2 glasses of “not-so-cold” water in the morning, I’ve read that this helps digestion a lot (weight loss as well). Ice-Cold water is not really my thing, the “normal” temperature does miracles.

    What I find hard is to drink at least 8 glasses during the day as well. I have a job where I can’t always leave my post whenever I need to go to the restroom :)

  69. I always aim for 8 glasses of water and I never have trouble with this. I always maintain myself hydrated :D

  70. Very good article. It just makes me think of how little water I do drink, and how much I should drink. Thanks.

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