Hydration is the key to success with any weight loss programme and nothing hydrates you better than plain water. Even though it is not officially a nutrient, it is essential to our health and, despite media stories highlighting how important water is, most of us still don’t drink enough of it.

On average, we should aim to drink about 2 litres of water a day to prevent dehydration. That’s the equivalent of about 8 glasses – not a lot when you break it down.

Dehydration causes fatigue and lethargy, so your energy levels suffer and you’re less likely to want to exercise. By making sure you get enough water every day, you may be surprised at how much more alert, energised and focused you feel.

Water is particularly important when you’re trying to achieve a healthy weight loss, as it improves the digestive system so that fats are eliminated from the body more efficiently. In effect, drinking water helps to flush your system out. It also reduces fluid retention and decreases the appetite. In fact, people often mistake thirst for hunger, so if you feel like a snack, try first drinking a glass of water. Very often, this satisfies the craving and stops you reaching for calories you don’t need.

Water will help you look better too, as it helps to flush out toxins, keep your skin clear and reduce the signs of ageing, so drink plenty, especially in the winter months when central heating or the office air conditioning can dehydrate you quickly.

You know why water is so important, but do you remember to drink enough every day? If not, set yourself a goal to make a healthy water intake part of your daily routine.

Top 5 hydration tips to help you get your daily water intake:

1. Bring a bottle of water with you wherever you go. If you have a bottle with you at all times you are more likely to sip from it during the day.

Don’t forget to fill it up at every opportunity. Why not invest in a quality water bottle? Check out the Motivation Contigo water bottles – stylish, yet resilient; sleek yet strong – the perfect combination of performance and grace. Available in your local clinic or online.

2. Build it into your daily routine. Drink a glass of water on waking, have another at your desk, before mealtimes and so on throughout your day.

Keep in mind that 2 litres is approximately 8 glasses; before you know it, 2 litres of water will be part of your daily routine.

3. Drink water before you exercise. This will replace fluid lost through sweating. If you’ve taken point 2 on board then your body will be hydrated but bear in mind that you should aim to top up just before exercise.

4. Give it some zing! Add a slice of lemon or lime to a glass of water – a refreshing pick-me-up first thing in the morning! The health benefits of lemons are well known and provide a welcome change.

5. Go herbal. Unlike regular tea and coffee, herbal teas are not dehydrating and with such a wide variety to choose from, this can be a great way to supplement your daily fluid intake without any sugar or calories.

Everyone feels better when they achieve a goal or pass a milestone. It’s human nature to feel better after achieving a goal. Drinking 2 litres or 8 glasses of water a day is one of those easy-wins and not only that, you are doing yourself the world of good. Hydration is so important and as you’ll find out, it’s a really easy good habit to fall into.

Blog Post by Michael O'Brien