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If you’re like me, you always look for new ways to get healthier. It’s not always easy to just pick up and start exercising and eating right. I’ve tried quitting things cold turkey and had withdrawals; I’ve started a new exercise regime only to quit after pushing myself too hard, too fast. I feel like I make better and more long-lasting choices when I introduce them into my daily routine, piece by piece. The Gallon Challenge is great for introducing new habits.
In my last year at university, I some classmates started coming in with giant bottles and jugs of water. They had to take bathroom breaks constantly throughout class. When I asked what they were doing, I found out they were doing something called the Gallon Challenge to help get fit before a trip we were taking.
This got my interest. I did some online searches and found out that the majority of people aren’t drinking nearly enough water, even though there are so many benefits to it! Most of the time, when you think you’re hungry, you are actually thirsty. That’s why the common suggestion is to drink a glass of water before any meal. It helps you feel more full without having to eat more calories. Water is also great for your skin. All the time, celebrities ask what their skincare secrets are, and the answer is usually drinking lots of water! Heck, if it’ll make me look like Jennifer Lawrence, hand over that water!
Anyway, I saw the benefits of drinking more water, and wanted some help losing weight, too so I tried the challenge out! At the time, I didn’t stick to it. But today I’m here to talk to you about my revamping the challenge for myself a second time around. This time I made it all the way through January!
Everyone who does this challenge can do it differently. Some cut out sweetened and caffeinated drinks, which I didn’t do. And some might keep daily progress reports, which I also didn’t do. My rules for myself were pretty basic:
- Drink at least one gallon of water each day.
- That’s it, I didn’t really change anything else.
It can be as basic or extensive as you prefer, you just gotta commit! I didn’t have a lot of rules for myself, so it was pretty easy to stick to. I got in a gallon, sometimes even more, every day for 31 days!
I don’t have a lot of photos for this one, but not a WHOLE lot changed as far as appearances go. I did notice a lot of changes, though!
I only listed things that changed.
Weight: 170.4 lbs
Weight: 169.8 lbs
So not a lot happened weight-wise. But to be fair, around the middle of the month, I weighed as low as 168! I ended up just going out to eat a lot toward the end of January, so I blame that.
Recently, I’ve been having issues getting through the day without taking a nap. During the challenge, that wasn’t the case. Part of my new burst of energy was due to the health benefits of drinking more water. But I think the main reasons I stayed up more throughout the day were 1. I couldn’t lay down long before having to get up and go to the bathroom, and 2. I didn’t want to waste time when I had so much water left to drink.
I went to the bathroom every 30 minutes to an hour. Not super convenient, but I started being able to hold it longer and with more comfort as time passed. This was a great boost to exercising my bladder! ha…
When I was going, it was clear! Which is a great sign that you are well-hydrated. Urine is supposed to be clear or at least be a lighter yellow, like lemonade. If this isn’t the case for you, you should probably get up and drink a glass of water. Like, now.
On a more personal note and for all the ladies out there, when that time of the month came, it was not that bad! Personally, I go through a lot of pain during that week, and it’s messy. This month, it was ALMOST like any other day. There wasn’t as much mess (probably because I was just going to the bathroom most of the time), and it wasn’t that painful. Thanks, water!
Here’s some advice if you want to do the challenge!
- Start early-if you wake up early, you’ll have more time to drink it all, and more time to do anything else!
- Break it down-I tried drinking out of an actual gallon-jug, but it was bulky to get around with and intimidating at the start of the day. I moved to a Camelbak Chute liter bottle and just refilled it. If you need help with measurements, 1 gallon=3.79 liters (just under 4 liter bottles)=128 oz (just under 8 average bottles of water you’d buy from a vending machine)
- Drink 20 oz before every meal-at 3 meals, that’s already almost half of your gallon! And you’re sure to need a drink throughout your meal, so that helps.
- Sip throughout the day, you’ll get the other half out easy
- Pace yourself and measure-I tried to have at least a liter done every 3 hours. It kept me from getting sick trying to drink it all at once, and helped spread out the bathroom runs.
I’m definitely going to continue drinking a lot of water throughout the day, even if I’m not pushing for a gallon. I like the results I got, and have proven that drinking more water has some obvious benefits!
The February challenge is giving up sugary drinks altogether. During the challenge, I still managed to fit in a soda with one of my meals, which isn’t so healthy! Join me, share your results, and find out next month what how it went!