So far I've talked about being gluten free. I think that cutting out gluten has been a good move for me. I keep flubbing and having it accidentally (apparently rice crackers still have wheat in them sometimes and french fries come battered) so I'm not really sure if I've abstained enough to notice a difference. What has been good is all of the foods I avoid because they have gluten. Yesterday we ended our camping trip at Mo's in Lincoln City. There were maybe three things on the menu that weren't battered and fried. I had hoped to have a cup of clam chowder and even that had flour in it. All that was left was salads or fish tacos. These also happened to be the healthiest things on the menu. But enough about the gluten free stuff!
The other significant change I've made is drinking lots of water. I have at least four 16 ounce bottles of water a day, but most days I have more than that. I usually start my day by filling my empty juice bottles and taking them with me everywhere I go. Sometimes I also fill up my camelbak water bottle or my starbucks cold cup (these actually hold more water). Having it available is the first step to making sure I have enough.
The next step is knowing when to drink it. The juice cleanse was good training for this. They had me drink a bottle of water between every juice. I got used to alternating water with "meals" and have been doing the same thing since I finished my cleanse. I think this initial conditioning to drink lots of water is the hard part. It's got to turn into a habit.
One of the biggest changes I've noticed is my cravings and my satisfaction with what I've eaten. Typically in the evenings I will start wanting sweets. I've found that if I let myself have a bite or two of something sweet and then chug water I don't usually want to finish what I've started to eat. It's enough to have the flavor on my palate. I've also noticed that I naturally just drink more when we go out to eat and that I'm more mindful of the things that I eat and drink that are more dehydrating like alcohol and caffeine.
I was curious about some of the research on drinking water and weight loss so I google searched and came up with some really great articles.
Here's a cnn article about the subject. The study found that people who drank two 8 oz. servings of water before meals lost more weight on average than those eating the same diets without drinking water. The same study was also discussed in an article on webmd.
Go forth and drink water friends!