THE CHALLENGE: Drink 60 ounces of water every day, and avoid soda and diet soda over the next three weeks!
For this challenge, over the next three weeks, we challenge you to drink at least 60 ounces of water each day, and to avoid soda and diet soda.
As we saw in the first challenge, there are plenty of ways to exercise. But that's not the only component to wellness, so we're expanding to other facets of healthy living.
Over the next several columns, we'll talk about the reasons behind avoiding soda (namely, sugar!), as well as concerns we have with diet soda consumption. But first, water!
"Water's great. It's cheap, abundant, and can be taken pretty much anywhere," says Sarah Young, a registered dental hygienist and medical advisor for NoFizz America, a hydration-focused non-profit based in Charlotte, NC.
"Drinking water has so many benefits - it improves your metabolism, skin, muscle tone, aids in weight loss, helps bodily function, and provides lasting energy. It's as close as we get to a fountain of youth."
Consuming water in favor of high-calorie beverages has consistently been linked to health, weight loss, and faster metabolic rates.
A 2009 study found that drinking a glass of water before meals caused people to eat 75 fewer calories per meal, creating sustained weight loss.
A 2007 study found that people who replace soda consumption with water lose at least ten extra pounds per year.
"The good thing about advocating for water consumption is that it's pretty obvious this is a healthy choice," Young said. "The bad part? Getting people to change habits and focus on actually implementing water consumption into each day."
And therein lies your challenge! So, what's so special about 60 ounces?
For us, the 60 ounces simply represent a round number that is challenging, and yet, realistic. Sixty ounces is a "safe" number - as an adult, you will not approach water intoxication levels (over consumption) while taking the challenge.
How can you get more water throughout your day? First, carry a water bottle with you.
Next, start early! 60 ounces isn't a lot, but it is insurmountable if you start at 8 pm (not to mention the, um, bedroom issues at night). Make it a point to start in the morning - you'll find yourself off on the right foot and excited to continue.
Third, eat your veggies!
"When you're tracking ounces, it's tough to gauge exactly how many are in each vegetable," Morse said, "but veggies are predominantly water, and it will help hydration."
And finally, focus on the habit rather than perfection. We're challenging you to do two different things this week; drink 60 ounces of water each day and avoid soda and diet soda.
If you were drinking ten sodas a day, and because of this, manage to cut it to five, while it's still too much it's a huge success compared to previous habits. If you came in to this challenge drinking no water, and leave drinking one bottle a day - that's another victory.
The small things really do count. So, get up, get out there, and get hydrated! Embrace the change!
About the author:Bobby DeMuro is the Founder of No Fizz America, a non-profit dedicated to health and fitness. He is also the founder FusionSouth, a sports conditioning firm. You can follow him on Twitter here or on Facebook.
You can listen to Bobby on his weekly radio show on Radio Exiles.