Do you drink enough water?

Do you drink enough water? You can tell if you are by the colour of your urine! If it’s a pale straw colour then your fluid intake is probably fine. If your urine is dark yellow, you probably need to drink more. Water makes up 50 to 70 per cent of an adult’s total body weight and, without regular top-ups, our body’s survival time is limited to a matter of days.
Water is lost from the body through urine and sweat, and must be replaced through the diet. If you don’t consume enough you can become dehydrated, causing symptoms such as headaches, tiredness and loss of concentration. Dehydration also slows down your metabolism and thirst can send the same signals to your body that prompt you to eat.

The body gets its fluid from three sources:

-Drinks, either plain water or as part of other beverages including tea, coffee and squash
-Solid foods, especially fruit and vegetables (even foods such as bread and cheese provide small amounts of fluid)
-As a by-product of chemical reactions within the body

Most healthy adults need between one and a half to three litres a day, so aim to drink six to eight medium glasses of fluid daily. Beverages such as tea, coffee and fruit juices count towards fluid intake.

You may require more fluid if you’re very physically active or during periods of hot weather.

Tips to maintain fluid levels:

-Start as you mean to go on, have a hot water with a slice of lemon in with your breakfast
-Find time to make yourself regular drinks during the day – don’t forget that tea, coffee and juices can count. Just watch out for the amount of sugar consumed in some soft drinks.
-Keep a bottle of water in your bag, as it’s a convenient way of providing fluid if you’re traveling or exercising.
-Get into the habit of having a glass of water with every meal.
-The sensation of thirst is not triggered until you’re already dehydrated, so it’s important to drink before you get thirsty.
-Increase your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables, as they have a high water content.

I find it useful to fill two, litre drinks bottles in the morning and keep them handy and visible throughout the day, this way I am reminded that I need to drink them and can keep track of how much I have had!

My top motivation tips

These are my top tips for sticking to the program and ensuring you stay on the right track to a healthier lifestyle.

Stay positive
When your brain tells you not to exercise for whatever reason, force a more rational, positive thought into your head. For every negative thought you have I bet you can generate three positive ones! Imagine your self exercising and think about how good you will feel after you have exercised. When you do get that rush of endorphins (or happy hormones!) after exercising, write down how you are feeling. Look at this note when you are feeling negative to remind you of this happy, energised, positive feeling.

Mark off the days
Every time you exercise write it in your calender or diary. This written proof will help you to stay motivated and will reinforce your achievements.

Reward yourself
After all the hard work and effort of a good work out you need to treat yourself! A good old pampering session after a workout will give you something to look forward too. Why not look back at the goals you set yourself at the beginning of the challenge and plan how you are going to reward yourself when you achieve each one.

Work out with friends
Kill two birds and try being more social with your exercise. There have been a lot of studies published that have shown that people who exercise with friends are more likely to stick at it. Next time you r best friend asks you down the pub why not ask if they fancy going for a swim or a walk instead? You will soon be ticking of those goals!!!

Don’t beat yourself up
If you do miss a session or something comes up that knocks you of course slightly, don’t let it put you off. Just take some time out to think about why the set back happened and how you can avoid it happening in the future. Remember Stay Positive!

Remind yourself how well you are doing each day. It does take a lot of hard work and effort and that’s why its easier not to do it!! You can do this!!!!

Stand for it!

When you sit for long periods of time, at work for example, the enzyme lipase is switched off. Lipase prevents fat storage and is mostly found in the muscles that keep you standing. If the muscles aren’t active Lipase doesn’t function and fat is stored in your body.

-Take regular standing breaks from your desk or try working at a laptop on a bench.
-Stand while you make phone calls.
-Plan social events that require standing such as art galleries.

Any movement is good movement so try not to sit still for more than 20 minutes, even if it just to stand up!

Give booze the boot

Alcohol cant be stored in the body so it must be oxidised and converted to energy. If this energy isn’t used, it gets stored as fat. If you want to see drastic changes to your body shape knock the booze on the head or at least cut down! With a pint of bitter the same as a medium slice of pizza, and a standard size ‘ready to drink’ bottle (‘alcopop’) the same as 100g of cookies, the calories in alcohol soon add up…

Gin or vodka and tonic =126
Dark rum and coke =142
Medium glass of white wine (175ml) =130
Medium glass of red wine (175ml) =120
Bottle of wine (white) =555
Bottle of wine (red) =510
5% Lager (pint) =240-50
Cider (pint) =180-250

The Government guidelines recommend that women should not regularly exceed 2-3 units daily and that men should not regularly exceed 3-4 units daily. Drinking within these guidelines, and trying to give yourself a couple of days off alcohol every week, will help you avoid piling on the pounds.

Eat up
Along with drinking alcohol comes the temptation to eat fattening snacks – crisps and salted nuts in the pub, and chip shop on the way home. A healthy meal before you go out can help to slow down the absorption of alcohol and so helps you stay in control. With less alcohol inside you that greasy pizza or kebab will look a lot less appetising at chucking out time too. Slow-releasing, complex carbs, such as whole-wheat bread, pulses or brown rice, give your body more energy for longer. Combine them with lots of vegetables and some lean protein and you’ll be the life and soul of the party, without feeling the need to turn to alcohol to keep your spirits high.