At the start of January, we put pen to paper and came up with our resolutions for the year ahead.
Some of us will start a new hobby or aim for an athletic goal, while some of us will be giving up a bad habit in a bid for self-improvement.
In light of this, and as a relatively new addition to the team at Ultimate Performance, I figured what better way to make friends than to get everybody in my office to give up something that they really love for a week.
I’m not entirely sure I made a lot of friends through this experiment, if the daily emails were anything to go by, however, it did make for a really interesting series of posts looking into human habits and the impacts on our health.
The idea behind the challenge was to explore some of the most common unhealthy habits held by relatively healthy individuals, and examine how giving up these habits would impact their lifestyles.
When clients train with Ultimate Performance, a strict diet and training plan are to be expected. What can often be the hardest and most underestimated part of a transformation, however, are the things that you have to sacrifice in order to achieve your end result.
Avoiding things like sugar, alcohol, nights out, restaurant dinners, starchy carbs and chocolate can be tough at times. There are a lot of things that we take great pleasure from that don’t marry well with carving an aesthetic physique, so to further explore the challenges faced by our clients, we each gave up something that we loved and wrote about it.
Furthermore, in changing our habits for 7 days we opened ourselves up to developing new, healthier habits that we could adapt into our lifestyles for good.
It was great to consider what habits might be detrimental to your lifestyle or which habits we could add to our lives to make beneficial changes.
Next up in the series, is UP videographer, Arthur. Arthur’s challenge was to drink more water, 3 litres a day specifically.
Here’s how he got on:
I am a tea guy, three to four mugs of ‘Sports Direct’ tea a day to be specific.
Every morning I start with one cup and I finish my day with another in the evening, it’s very much routine.
I don’t really drink much water, occasionally I buy a bottle of sparkling water or in the gym I will sip at a bottle. For me, it was a real challenge to start drinking 3 litres of water every day for a week. Despite what Jenny had told me, I didn’t believe that it would be easy to get through 3 litres in a day, however, I was willing to give it a go.
Day 1 and the challenge began when I put my 1.5 litre bottle of water on my desk and couldn’t believe that was just half of what I needed to get through for the day! I did, however, finish it by 4pm and I felt really good – refreshed.
I started drinking my second bottle during my workout in the gym and it was a lot easier as I had an intense session.
When I came back home, it hit me that I’d only had one cup of tea at the office – I couldn’t believe how easy it was to break my routine. It dawned on me that in the past when I was thirsty I would just drink more tea – but actually, this made me thirstier. After drinking more water, my body had no need for tea because I was adequately hydrated. I just didn’t feel like it at all.
Days 2 and 3 were great, I felt more refreshed and switched on. I wasn’t sure if it was the water but I really did feel more energised and focused at work. I had a one small cup of tea both days and that was plenty.
On Day 4 I didn’t even think about how much water I should be drinking, as I was naturally much thirstier than normal. By the end of the day I had another empty bottle by my bed and it was only 9pm (whereas on previous days I would only be finished by 11pm).
I found that it became much easier for me to consume 3 litres of water every day, in comparison to the first day of my journey – and it was only my first week.
On Day 6, I also noticed that I wasn’t getting as hungry as I used to, eating smaller portions of food at a time. This led me to the conclusion that perhaps drinking more water could help with weight loss as well as being healthy.
The final day of the challenge came around and I decided that I would like to keep drinking 3 litres of water a day as my usual routine.
Overall, if you find you are lacking energy during the day, or you spend a lot of time snacking – why not try increasing your water intake instead?
Staying hydrated is important when you have an active lifestyle and sometimes when you feel hungry – you may just be dehydrated and in need of a glass of water. Try to stick to mineral water where possible and avoid waiting to drink lots in one go.
Sip on water throughout the day and, like Arthur, it could help with your energy levels or reducing a caffeine habit.
If you’d like to read about what happened to Colin, when he gave up caffeine for 7 days, read about it here.