Last week I promised I'd bring back the Habit-A-Week Challenge, which I started in 2008 as a way to help people get motivated and have a concrete, *exact* thing they could do to start improving their health (click the link to read the original post about this challenge). The concept is a simple one: make small changes, slowly, so they become part of your LIFE, not just some crash diet. So often, we decide to lose weight and try to change so many things at once that it is overwhelming and hard to keep up with. After a week or so it gets exhausting and we give up. This challenge is so easy that you might say, "oh that cannot POSSIBLY help me, that simple little thing." But, in fact, if you make ONE simple change each week for the 16 weeks of the challenge, then at the end of 16 weeks you have 16 new healthy habits that are ingrained into your life. So much easier to do one each week than try to do it all at once. The time is going to pass anyway, why not try it?
The thing I like best about the challenge (because I do it with you) is that no matter what level you are on, you can participate. Each habit can be implemented on *so many * levels. I'll give examples in each challenge. So whether you're a beginner or a fitness/health expert, you can take the healthy habit each week and improve your life.
Every Tuesday I will post a link to a prior Habit-A-Week post for you to read. But I'll also add more information to it, so that if you did the challenge last year you can use this (as I will) as a refresher course to strengthen all the healthy habits. And I might throw in a couple of new Habits, too!
So, here's Week 1's Habit: Fix your water intake. Please click here, read the information, and then come back to finish reading this post.
Okay, so that's the challenge for THIS WEEK. You don't have to do anything else if you don't want to. If you are eating junk and laying on the couch all day and just trying to find a way to grab on and fix your life, do this one thing. Just this one habit. Make this week a success for that ONE step, and then next week you can add another step. Okay?
If you're already doing well with this habit, find a way to improve it. Some ideas:
If you drink tap water, consider getting a pitcher filter to get the chlorine and other contaminants out of it.
If you drink plastic bottled water, buy yourself a nice PVC free reusable water bottle and start using that instead. Saves money and the environment.
Or pick one of the Advanced Habits in the linked post.
What I am doing already:
Right now it is an ingrained habit to get up in the morning and drink 16oz of water right away. I have 16 oz of water/green tea with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I also drink a cup of water with every snack, anytime I feel hungry, and when I feel like eating off plan. I use a PUR water pitcher to filter my tap water. Other beverages: skim milk, unsweetened iced tea, NO soda except a very rare Enviga green tea soda (5 calories).
What I am going to do to challenge myself this week:
I am going to work on getting 2 cups of green tea per day into my body. I always get one cup, but two would be much better. I am also going to start using unsweetened almond milk in place of the skim milk in things like cereal. I like Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla... it has only 40 calories per cup compared to 80-90 calories per cup of skim cow's milk.
Please leave a comment telling me what YOU are going to do this week to improve your intake of water or other fluids. I'd love to hear more ideas! Let's get hydrated!
Guest RD: The School Dietitian
4 hours ago