Losing weight should be easy, not hard.
I know that I used to make it so complicated. I would count all the calories, try to figure out what the heck a macro was, and do all of the right things.
Generally after a week or so of “trying really hard” and “being so good” I would say “screw it” and eat all of the things because it was just too much.
Then a month (or two, or three) would follow with me shoving my head in the sand and ignoring whatever it was that was going on in my body until I was ready to try again.
And yup, you guessed it, I would just keep repeating the same cycle. Sometimes I would have success for much longer than a week, but it would always come back to me giving up because it was stressful to try to restrict so much for so long.
When I finally set out to lose my weight for the last time, I knew it had to be different. I knew the changes needed to be easy. You see, I had to start with something super simple.
I started with water.
Plain old freaking water.
Now, we all know that drinking water is important, but what many of us aren’t aware of is just how essential it is to weight loss.
Water, my friend, is EVERYTHING if you want to lose weight. And starting with getting enough water into your body is the absolute best way to jumpstart your biking weight loss.
Curious as to why I am making such bold claims? Read on to learn why water is so important, how much you should drink, and my super practical tips to easily drink more water.
Why Water is SO Essential to Weight Loss
There are so many reasons why you need to drink enough water if you want to lose weight. I am going to go over just a few of the ones that are the most important.
First of all, and this is a big one, a lot of times when we think we are hungry we are actually thirsty.
If you find yourself on the diet culture roller coaster of restricting, following this plan, that plan, etc. you probably never really learned how to actually tell if you are hungry.
Our body will send out signals that it needs something and we will think it’s food when what we really are is thirsty.
If you keep yourself hydrated than this is one less thing that you have to worry about.
Additionally, we absolutely need water to metabolize food. It is an essential piece of the process. If we aren’t drinking enough water, we aren’t keeping our metabolism functioning at its optimum level.
Finally, water can help us feel more full! Now I am not suggesting in any way that you drink water INSTEAD of eating food to get full, that will absolutely not work and isn’t healthy.
I am simply saying that if you drink a glass of water before you eat, you are more likely to avoid overeating.
We are overweight because we overeat, so anything that helps us NOT overeat is an absolute win.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
If you google “how much water should I drink” you will very quickly be overwhelmed.
Drink 64 oz a day! 64 oz a day is a myth! Drink when you are thirsty! Women should drink 11.5 cups of water a day! Don’t drink too much water, it’s bad for you! Drink half your body weight in ounces!
So how much SHOULD you drink to both stay hydrated and to lose weight?
You are probably not going to be surprised to hear that I don’t count oz of water a day anymore, just like I don’t count calories.
I shoot for my pee to be a pale yellow. Yup. That’s pretty much it.
On days that I am riding, especially if it’s a longer ride, I will usually drink a bit more before the ride to stay hydrated on the ride. If it’s a longer ride I will bring an electrolyte mix in one of my water bottles.
Just like everything related to weight loss you don’t need to over-complicate things. Shoot for that pale yellow pee. If your pee is dark yellow? You are not drinking enough.
How to Actually Get That Water In
As I mentioned before, a lot of times when we think we are hungry we are actually thirsty.
This is because it is so easy to forget to drink water if we don’t have a plan.
Here are some of the ways that I make sure that I get enough water into my body.
First, I keep a glass of water by my bed every night. In the morning when I wake up, right after I pee, I drink the glass of water to make sure I start the day off hydrated.
Secondly, I always keep water on hand and close by. I bring one of those big Stanley cups to work every day, and I have a couple gallon jugs of water that I fill up at the water bottle filling station so that I can easily fill up the Stanley cup when it’s out.
I am a teacher and am constantly talking, so having water close by all of the time is essential.
When I am on the bike on a longer ride I always bring the biggest water bottles my bike will carry, PLUS an additional water bottle that I will use when I am on my way to/from a ride.
My friend Deb has this genius idea where she sets an alarm to go off every 10 minutes when she’s on the bike to remind herself to make sure she’s drinking water while riding. I might try this!
Finally, if you hate water? Flavor it! Try to find a natural way to flavor your water, though in many instances any kind of flavored water is better than no water at all.
A Final Note…
Losing weight on the bike and drinking water do not need to be complicated.
Instead of going down a rabbit hole of water googling to try to figure out how much and how often, just drink water.
No need to overdo it! Drink when you are thirsty. Drink when you suspect you might be thirsty, not hungry, before reaching for some food you don’t actually want or need.
Aim for that pale yellow pee when you go to the bathroom.
Whenever you feel like you can’t plan your meals, can’t focus on weight loss, don’t have the energy to DEAL but still want to do SOMETHING?
Do the easiest thing. A lot of times the easiest thing is just drinking enough water.