Monday, February 21, 2011

Are you drinking enough water? Diet tip.

Quite a few ladies are mentioning that you are having trouble drinking enough water each day. This is something I used to struggle with but now find no problem drinking 1½ - 2½ litres a day so I thought I’d blog all the tips I’ve used or read so you can try out which works for you. I can’t take the credit as none of the ideas are new and I will try to give credit to our group where credit is due :o)

I’ve always worked on the recommendation of 2 ltrs (68oz) a day but Donna wrote that the latest diet news is we should aim to drink 1oz water for every 2lb of body weight. ie if you weight 200lb you should drink 100oz of water. For the non US world, take your weight in Kgs and multiply by 0.033 for the amount of litres, simple! (Now I need to work on upping MY intake again LOL)

Anyhow here are some tips to get help you get more water in your system:

Glass or bottle? If you’re a glass person, work out how many glasses you should drink a day, eg 10 glasses, and have 10 pennies piled up on one side of your tap. Each time you fill the glass move a penny to the other side of the tap, that way it’s easy to see how you are doing. (I think it was Alice who wrote that tip on a previous challenge).

I like to use a bottle, any bottle will do though I love my camelbak. It has a straw that reaches right down to the bottom so no need to
look like you’re taking a swig. I was abit self-conscious about it at first but have got lots of comments about it’s lovely blue colour and Mr H is jealous that I only got one!! One thing I love about it is that there is no pfaffing around with a lid and when the nozzle is down it is water tight. I got the 750ml (25oz) but there are other sizes and colours available. It does look kind of sporty so when I have to go somewhere abit posh I buy one of those trendy waters in a small 0.25ltr bottle and just re-fill it from the tap. By using a bottle you can easily carry it everywhere with you and just sip away, it soon goes down and you soon get in the habit.

Space out your drinking: Aim to drink 250-300ml (8-10oz) before each meal, the same amount either during or after and drink the rest whenever you want/can. This not only helps us to feel full with smaller portions but drinking a glass of water before eating activates hormone sensitive lipase to break down fat for use as energy. Water consumption with meals also assists in controlling insulin release.

Too cold? Drink room temperature water, it goes down so much easier and even if it’s really holt outside, when you’re drinking enough you don’t suffer from that major thirst. Even so, on really hot days I love a glass of icy lemon water.

Don’t like the taste? We all know that bottled water tastes better than tap water, (and some brands better than others) but drinking 15 – 20 ltrs of bottled water a week will stretch even the most generous of budgets. The cheaper solution is filtered water. Here in Germany, where we have some of the worlds’ safest tap water, I use a water filter; 1 for the taste and 2 to remove some of the lime. Seriously consider investing is a good build in one. We have one from Amway with a multi layered filter, Dani has a super-duper osmosis filter system. Yes, it’s a big outlay of money but we’ve had ours 11 years already so it really is a good investment. It has also survived 4 house moves in that time, one being international. If nothing else, use a jug filter, but remember they are nowhere near as good and work out more expensive over the long term.

Water is just so boring! Well it’s all down to personal taste but yes sometimes I just crave something tastier. Add lemon or lime juice for an extra "zing", this is also great for cleansing the liver and kidneys. Add a splash of pure cranberry juice and your bladder will thank you as well as your taste buds. Try adding orange rind to water and leaving it over-night, just experiment with your favourite fruits.

Flavoured bottled water is low calorie NOT no calorie and come with lots of choice in flavors, apple, orange, strawberry, berries etc etc. They look healthy but contain additives, either aspertine or saccharin and artificial rather than natural flavours, so are a half measure at best. Even so, it is the only way I can get Mr H to drink anything resembling a decent quantity of water which is better than nothing. Winning half the battle is better than losing completely I say.

I miss my sodas! Yeap, me too however I also love fizzy water. If you find it to bitter try adding a good squirt of flavor and see if that works for you. Again buying fizzy water is expensive, especially in the US where it is not popular. I invested in a Sodastream purely for the fizz and it only took 4 months before I was saving money!

Warning !!!!! Our esteemed moderator (love you Dani) has accused me of using scare tactics. If you don’t want to read the negative effects of being de-hydrated just skip on down to the PS that I’ve added on and read all the happy benefits.

The danger of dehydration: We all know the benefits of drinking enough water, it helps with weight loss, you have more energy etc etc but whilst researching some more tips I came across a list of all the things dehydration can either cause or exacerbate.
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Dry skin
  • Constipation and (paradoxically) water retention
  • Muscle cramps
  • Increased heart rate
  • Chest and stomach pains
  • Joint pain
  • Cause confusion
  • Increase depression
  • Lower the immune system
  • Increase blood pressure
  • Reduces eye health
  • Impedes DNA ability to repair cells
  • Impedes blood sugar regulation
  • Slows down the metabolism by as much as 3%
  • A significant factor in UTI’s
  • Exacerbates sleep dis-orders
  • Long term dehydration (even just 2%) significantly increases the risk of bladder and colon cancer.

Now if that list doesn’t get you reaching for a glass of lovely fresh water I don’t know what will!

Kathy <><

PS: Here's lovely positive list of all the health benefits with good hydration:

  • Increases energy levels and promotes weightloss
  • Boast your mood
  • Can speed up a sluggish metabolism
  • Promotes better sleeping and helps against tiredness
  • Helps relieve constipation and water retention
  • It boasts you immune system, your body heals faster and you reduce the risk of certain cancers,
  • Helps keep those pesky UTI’s at bay
  • You get less wrinkles – it’s not only face cream that helps keep your skin smooth!
  • Dry skin and eczema suffers will benefit too
  • Reduce muscle cramps and nausea – perfect when TOM comes along.
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Helps regulate blood sugar
  • Can reduce joint pain
  • Improves eye health
  • Helps reduce the symptoms of depression
  • You’ll get fewer headaches

One last point, if you don’t drink enough atm increase your in take gradually over a few days, going from 1/2 ltr to 2ltr over night will feel like you're drowning. Yes you’ll need to pee much more but your body will soon learn to regulate that aswell.

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