Drinking water and losing weight is not hard...just take it slow, and go with what works for you.

Start drinking water and losing weight! There are two very good reasons for changing your drinking habits. One, it quickly reduces the amount of calories that you're taking in, and two, out bodies need water, not just fluid. Oh...actually three reasons, it's cheaper than sugar laden soft drinks.

Take it slow

Build drinking water into your schedule slowly. If you try and go off all other drinks onto only water, you're doomed to failure. You'll probably start to crave the other drinks, and you'll just be fighting a losing battle.Drinking water and losing weight is something that should become a permanent part of your life.

Try these tips for drinking water and losing weight as part of your long term weight loss:

1. Have a glass of water before every meal, especially when you're really hungry. Sometimes when we think we're hungry, we're actually thirsty. Our bodies are looking for the fluid in the food, not the food itself. Leave all your other drinks as they are...remember we're taking it slow enough that we introduce new habits, and break old ones.

2. Slowly - one glass at a time - replace the drinks you have during the day with water. This could take a week or two. Work up to it, get yourself used to having water instead of other things. Don't deprive yourself, if you can't give up all soft drink, don't just give yourself one glass a day, at a time when you can sit down and enjoy it.

I never gave up coffee. I've never really enjoyed soft drink, so I didn't miss it. I knew that I wasn't willing to torture myself into giving up coffee though. So I didn't, I cut down to two cups in the morning, I don't feel guilty, and on cold winter nights I even have one at night. And I enjoy it, but the rest of the day I do water.

I used to do about 10 cups of coffee a day, when the kids were tiny. I gradually eased them out of my day, one a time over a long period, until I got to two, these I'm happy to keep. You can ease water into your day, in exactly the same way.

3. Take a bottle of water in the car with you - this is a great one for me. It's a great way to increase your water intake without having to think about it too much. Just put it in the drink holder and sip every time you notice it. Before you know it, you've drunk 600-700mls.

4. One of the beautiful side effects to drinking water and losing weight is that it really does help improve your skin texture and tone. Our bodies need water to clean out, not just the internals, but the externals as well. Hydrating from the inside is one of the best ways to improve our skin (word of caution...you may suffer breakouts for a little while...don't worry it'll settle down). So if one of your aims is to look good and feel great...drink water.

Now, of course there is always the excuse...

But I don't like water

Okay, neither did my partner. In fact the only water that ever passed his lips was the odd bit that filtered in while he was having a shower, or brushing his teeth. Maybe, like him, you just need to come at it differently.

If you don't like tap water, try filtered. If you can't do filtered, try filtered and straight out of the fridge...Any luck yet? No...no, my partner couldn't bring himself to take water regularly this way either.

So, we tried again. I bought small bottles of different brands of water. None that he could do on a regular basis, but a couple that he would do occasionally if they were all that was available.

This was a start. When we were out, and needed a drink, we'd drop into the milk bar, corner shop or supermarket and pick up one of either of these two brands. But he still couldn't do some water every day.

Remember this is a man who usually drinks either canned soft drink or fruit juice every day. No water, not even coffee or tea.

Yet again we tried. While not perfect, flavoured bottled water is better than just sugary soft drinks, so we tried various flavours by various manufacturers. Bingo, we found one!....Then they stopped making it (of course, why would it be easy). So we went on the hunt again.

Now, we've found one (and no, a year later they're still producing it...thank goodness). Has he swapped totally to water. Nope. What he has done though, is cut his soft drink consumption by three-quarters and drinks at least 750mls of water a day. On warm days he'll do two bottles, 1.5 litres. And when we're int he car, he'll only buy water. He still does one glass of fruit juice with breakfast as well. Not bad.

And even better, he's been doing it over a year, and doesn't even think about it now. He has water at work in the fridge, and that's what he drinks. Even if there's cans of drink in there as well, and he's not thinking about it as he opens the door, he pulls out a bottle of water.

It's not perfect...but neither's life. He didn't grow up drinking water, so it's a huge change for him, and one that has developed into a healthy habit.

Me I've always drunk water. I just worked on drinking more of it! Which wasn't really that difficult.

Drinking water and losing weight is not difficult, you just have to find the best way that will suit you. If you can't do plain water, don't. You shouldn't deprive yourself either, just do what you can. Perfection is not the aim here. The aim is working to put good habits into your life, at a level maintainable for you, with the ultimate aim of achieving your goal...permanent weight loss.

Drinking water and losing weight is actually also drinking water and looking good, and feeling great. If we don't have enough water we can feel tired and lethargic. Tired and lethargic means that it's hard to get things done, to stay focused on our goals, and to celebrate our successes.

Start slow, incorporate water, and you'll find yourself drinking water and losing weight quicker than you thought.

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