Tip 1: Use a large enough container to limit the dreaded re-filling process.
I drink my water and tea out of a quart canning jar. Yep, I’m a hick at heart I guess. But seriously- it’s fantastic for many reasons- glass is easily sterilized, you can put them in the dishwasher, there’s no worries about weird plastic ingredients seeping into my beverage, you can put both hot and cold liquids in it, and it’s large. If I drink 4 of these a day, that’s a whole gallon. A big turn off to drinking enough liquids for me is if I have to re-fill my cup way too many times- that just requires far too much thinking and focus on my cup when I have a lot of other things to think about during my day.
A second idea to limit the undertaking of too much effort to drink enough liquids that a fellow hCGer does is to fill up a 2 quart pitcher (or thereabouts) at work, add a sliced lemon, and drink that throughout the day at work, and then when they finished the first pitcher, they treated themselves by having a 2nd pitcher using some of the flavor enhancers like MIO flavor drops or those flavored liquid stevias.
Or you can try the Bubba Keg- a 52oz. mega mug with a lid. It’s huge! And easy to bring along with you wherever you go throughout your day.
Again, the advantages to these ideas is that you are limiting the number of times that you need to remember to refill your cup- if you had a small 8 oz glass or mug, remembering to refill it 8x’s throughout the day would no doubt get old very quickly, you’d soon move on to “more important” things, and before you know it, you’re not drinking enough on the diet plan and your losses start suffering.
Tip 2: Make it fun to drink
Another hCGer mentioned they like to drink their water out of a wine goblet. What a great idea! It feels elegant, and I definitely believe in the satisfaction that can come from a pleasing tactile experience, whether it’s grasping a smooth wine goblet, or a big mug of hot tea that is warm to the touch.
Tip 3: Use a straw
Several hCGer’s mentioned that using a straw really made drinking enough liquids on the diet very easy- the volume of water or tea that goes down your throat more smoothly seems to be more with a straw then just taking sips.
Aside from the usual plastic straws that you can find just about anywhere, for those who are more plastic-wary like myself, I discovered both glass and stainless steel straws! On amazon.com (where else) there are a lot of great reviews about these straws. The glass straws seem to have the most favorable reviews.
Tip 4: Make it taste like something other than water.
Aside from drinking just plain water, there’s of course the basics that people already no doubt include like coffee, tea, water with lemon, etc, there’s a few other ideas to spice up your water drinking life.
First there’s flavored liquid stevias. I used the Sweetleaf brand. These are a sweetener and flavorer all in one- you get both the sweetness and flavor from these so you just add a dropper or two to your water and suddenly you have chocolate water, strawberry water, or whatever flavor you want almost.
The 2nd type of flavor enhancing liquid you can add are called Cappella Flavor Drops. These are a flavor only and will not sweeten your beverage. So with the capella drops you must also add a sweetener of choice, like stevia, truvia or erythritol. The neat thing about the Cappell flavor drops is that they have a myriad of choices with delectable sounding names like “eggnog” and “gingerbread.” Now doesn’t sound homey?
As far as sweeteners go, I simply love Trader Joe’s organic stevia extract. I see also that the Kal brand of stevia now has an organic version that you can purchase online. So far from what I’ve tasted the organic stevia extracts have a far better flavor than the non-organic stevia’s and is worth the extra price, especially if you are especially turned off by regular stevia’s sometime weird aftertaste. The organic stevia has no aftertaste.
Lemonade with lemon and stevia or truvia. It really hits the spot to squeeze even just half a lemon (up to a whole lemon) into some cold or hot water and add a little sweetener. Now that the weather is turning colder I have been having mine hot and boy is it satisfying. I try to get away with using half a lemon so that I can do 2 cups of it (original hCG protocol states 1 lemon per day is allowed). Note: sometimes I cheat and use 1.5 lemons for a total of 3 steaming cups of lemon tea. Gasp!
There are also the Mio flavor water enhancers that can be found at most regular grocery and drugstores. I’m not as big a fan of these because they are made with sucralose as the sweetener which I don’t feel are too healthy, but sometimes if you’re feeling really desperate and the choice is between the Mio drops or eating a whole chocolate cake……go for the Mio drops.
Lastly there’s Stevita flavored crystals and drops. The crystals are flavored with stevia and xylitol, and the stevita powder is sweetened with stevia and erythritol. These are quite tasty.
Any of these sweeteneres when added to plain sparkling water or club soda can then taste like your having soda. I wouldn’t go so far as to say “it tastes just like diet coke!” because it doesn’t, and I know because even though I haven’t had a sip of diet coke in over a year, I still do this day absolutely love the taste of diet coke, fake aspartame sweetener and all, and these sweeteners and flavor drops just won’t provide the same taste if you are a diet coke die-hard. However, they will certainly do, and once you’ve been off diet coke as long as I have, these replacements start tasting better and better to you.
Tip 5: If you’re not a tea drinker, become one.
I was never a tea drinker until I met my now mother-in-law, and she got me turned onto tea because she added sweetener to hers and I like things sweet. Back then it was sweet n’ low, these days we both use stevia. Tea can make water un-boring. And in winter, let’s face it, it’s most enjoyable to drink something hot, but you can only drink so many cups of coffee without having some seriously bad side-effects like major grumpiness with your spouse or snapping at your kids when they smear ketchup all over the dinner table (maybe you’re like me and get this way without coffee anyway). So tea is the perfect stand in.
There are a lot of different teas out now that have flavors added making them quite tasty. Celestial seasonings ‘tropic of strawberry’ for instance. Bigelow brand ‘perfect peach’ is another of my favorite. ‘Apricot amaretto’ is a pricier loose-leaf tea that both tastes and smells absolutely heavenly. Good earth brand’s ‘original’ flavor ‘sweet n spicy’ is absolutely diving- the ultimate autumn/winter comfort tea. It’s very cinnamony (don’t look that word up in the dictionary). The republic of tea is another higher end brand of tea- ‘Apricot decaf’ is one of my favorite flavors.
Tip 6: Use the proper temperature for the best tasting tea
An hCGer mentioned something important when it comes to using Yerba Mate tea, which some really enjoy having on the protocol for it’s energy enhancing characteristics while not containing true “caffeine”. I had tried it in the past and found it to be bitter so the tea box sat in my cupboard for quite some time with 1 tea bag missing. It seems that it’s important with yerba mate tea to use water that is heated to the proper degree- namely 165 degrees. Water usually boils around 212 degrees farenheit, so if you then just immediately poured that over your yerba mate tea bag, it’s way too hot and will bring out that bitter flavor that I didn’t care for. It is true depending on the type of tea you have that the temperature of the water matters to get the best flavor. So how do you do that though? They actually have an electric tea kettle that will boil water to different specific temperatures. Cool huh? There’s the basic tea kettle that just boilds your water for you, and then there’s this higher end tea kettle that will give you perfect black tea, green tea, and herbal tea based on the temperature setting you set. It has 6 pre-set temperature settings.
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