Sarah’s Slim down: Week three of Inferno

Ever wonder if a diet plan’s claims are for real? We sure do — so we’ve decided to put health and diet plans to the test, starting with’s Inferno program. Is it too good to be true?

Sarah’s Slim-Down: Week 3

Staying hydrated?
About that…

Ever wonder if a diet plan’s claims are for real? We sure do — so we’ve decided to put health and diet plans to the test, starting with’s Inferno program. Is it too good to be true?

Sarah's slimdown -- Week 3

This week brought a blizzard, three feet of snow and two days of shoveling out my very long, very wide driveway. That was a little intense — so on those days, that was my exercise. But I also got some Inferno time in this week, too.

In the end, though, I found myself right where I started — without any change in my weight. It’s disheartening, to say the least. Still, I can pinpoint two things that acted against me this week. First, with the storm I found myself eating what was convenient (read: not that healthy). Second, I am not hydrating nearly enough. These are the two things I will be correcting this week — along with exercising even more.

Sarah’s stats

Height: 5’6″

Starting weight: 194 pounds

Current weight: 192 pounds

Getting my drink on


Rule No. 2 of the plan I am following? Drink more water — including starting the day with two glasses of water.

Sounds easy, right? Well, not quite as easy as I expected (I know, that sounds idiotic, but it’s true). Turns out drinking two glasses of water before my morning coffee is… hard. Over the last two weeks, I’ve gotten used to it and made some adjustments. For instance, though I usually love ice water, first thing in the morning it’s too hard for me to swallow. Skipping the ice helps. Somewhat.

Also, I realized that I still am not drinking enough water — particularly on busy days. Since being hydrated is so important to weight loss, I asked some experts for out-of-the-box tips on how to ensure I’m adequately hydrated. You know, besides just “Drink more water.”

Step up the flavor

One of my big complaints was that water didn’t always taste good to me (especially first thing in the morning). But as Jill Weisenberger, MS, RD, CDE, author of Diabetes Weight Loss: Week by Week, says, you can fix that by flavoring the water.

“We drink more when the beverage tastes good. I have my patients experiment with flavoring their water with fruit, vegetables and herbs. A common favorite is cucumber and mint,” says Weisenberger. “Some add-ins [like citrus] flavor the water very quickly. Others take one to five hours. If I wait overnight for the strawberry-lime-rosemary water, it’s a beautiful pink color and oh so delicious.”

Remember water content

Staying hydrated isn’t just about what you drink — what you eat can help too, says Rebekah Langford, RD, CDN, a clinical dietitian and culinary nutritionist at Montefiore Hospital in New York.

“Pick foods that have a high water content. For example, lettuce, watermelon, tomatoes, grapefruit, avocados (surprisingly, 81 percent water by weight according to USDA!) and cucumbers are all loaded with not only water, but electrolytes such as potassium and sodium, which are an important part of hydration,” says Langford. “You can also freeze ice cubes with these items in them and add to your water bottle for a drink that’s not only refreshing but beautiful to look at.”

Loosen it up

Love oatmeal? Although I prefer mine gluey, adding more water can mean more hydration.

“By opting for a thinner oatmeal, you can add more fluid to your morning breakfast bowl. If you eat some dried fruit, pair it with a cup of water. Think of it as replacing the water that would be in fresh fruit,” says Alexandra C. Oppenheimer, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant.

Use a straw

Drinking out of a straw can make a big difference too, believe it or not.

“The absent-minded action of sucking through the straw, especially while working, will cause you to consume more fluids throughout the day,” says Megan Ware, RD, LD.

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