65% of your body consists of water and your brain is made up of about 75% of water. That is why it is very important to keep yourself well hydrated. And I am afraid smoothies, fruit juices and coffee simply won’t do. In this blog I will explain what dehydration is, what the symptoms are and what you can do about it. The solution is simple and just one change away.
What is dehydration?
Water plays a large part in your normal functions, such as lubricating your joints and eyes, keeping your skin healthy by eliminating toxins, and facilitating proper digestion. Once the water in your body is reduced, it needs to be replaced because an imbalance between the salts and sugar in your body can affect the way you will perform.
If your body has lost one to two percent of its entire water content, you will feel thirsty, a sign that you need to replenish the lost liquids.
Dehydration happens when you’ve lost too much water in your body without replacing it, preventing your body to perform its normal functions. Mild dehydration can easily be treated but if it reaches extreme levels, it can be life-threatening and will require immediate medical attention.
What are the symptoms of dehydration?
Unfortunately we are no longer in tune with our body as much as our ancestors were and very often we do not recognise the symptoms of dehydration.
The major symptoms of dehydration are the obvious ones like:
- Feeling thirsty
- Sweating too much
- Dark coloured urine
- Feeling tired
But some symptoms are more difficult to recognise as symptoms of dehydration and they are:
- Digestive disturbances such as heartburn and constipation
- Urinary tract infections
- Autoimmune disease such as chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple sclerosis
- Premature aging
- High cholesterol and High blood pressure
- Weight gain
- Joint pain or stiffness
So what causes dehydration?
There are various reasons for dehydration of which intense physical activity is the obvious one as by sweating you lose a lot of water. Other causes are:
- Diarrhoea. It prevents your intestinal tract from absorbing water from the foods that you eat, which makes it the most common cause of dehydration.
- Vomiting. Common causes include food-borne illnesses, nausea, and alcohol poisoning
- Sweating. Vigorous sweating may happen due to various reasons like fever and engaging in intense physical activity. Profuse sweating can also occur when you are working in a hot condition.
- Diabetes. Aside from having high blood sugar levels, some medications for diabetes like diuretics may cause diabetics to frequently urinate.
- Frequent urination.It can be cause by alcohol and certain drugs like antihistamines, blood pressure medications, and anti-psychotics.
Which people are most at risk?
Of course everyone can be prone to dehydration but there are certain people that are at higher risk than others. People such as athletes and mountain climbers (due to the high altitude and its’ pressure they will lose more sweat and breath harder), infants and children, the elderly and people who are ill.
So how do we prevent dehydration?
Since dehydration can be a life-threatening condition, it is important that you replenish your body with water immediately after you’ve lost so much. Water plays an immense role in your bodily functions, making it an essential part of your everyday life.
Always bring a bottle of water with you during exercise or any physical activity, especially when the temperature’s too hot. The above bottle is stainless steel and BPA free and can be purchased true A Fine Choice. One good rule of thumb to prevent dehydration is to drink as much water until your urine turns light yellow. Dark urine means that your kidney is retaining liquids in order for your body to perform its normal functions.
It is especially important to pay attention to people who are sick with fever, vomiting, or diarrhoea, so they may not become dehydrated. They should be given lots of water to replace the liquids that they’ve lost.
And as I said before smoothies, fruit juices and sport drinks do not count towards hydrating your body. They can contain high fructose corn syrup, sugar and sugar substitutes which are extremely damaging to the body and ultimately may make you feel thirsty again. And I am afraid coffee and caffeinated teas also do not count as water; they actually dehydrate your body. That is why the Italians serve a glass or water with their espresso!
Dehydration is preventable if you develop a regular daily habit of drinking 30ml per kg/2 pounds you weigh, per day, which converts into 2-2 ½ litre of purified water.
Most of us simply do not drink enough water to stay hydrated.
In addition, the type of water you drink does make a difference. Mineral balance in the body is also essential for proper hydration. Thus, it is important to drink water that is mineral rich rather than de-mineralized water.
Filtered water can hydrate the body up to six times more effectively than regular water and it is free from chemicals, toxic metal salts, hormones and pesticides.
So start drinking healthy water and buy that filter. Cheers!
If you need any help or advice on improving your health through food by reducing your sugar intake, contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
Why you should stick to a healthier lifestyle after January.
As we have fully immersed ourselves into the cold, blistery depths of the New Year, it is more than likely that most of us started our annual habitual health kick in January. After December’s over indulgence, we decide enough mince pies is enough and we take ourselves back to the previous thought processes of bikini bodies, summer sun and toned physiques.
New Year always grants us with new resolutions which primarily focus on shifting that winter weight. But, a healthy lifestyle offers so much more than weight loss. By feeling rejuvenated, you will feel more inclined to persevere with the gym or exercise you have chosen, and stick to eating those colourful foods which will be sure to boost your general health, mental health, appearance and self-esteem.
Go the Distance
Adopting some simple lifestyle changes in terms of what we eat and how much exercise we take can have a really positive impact on our overall health and wellbeing. Our diet and activity levels can affect muscle strength, coordination, stamina and concentration levels, and even simple changes can have a dramatic effect.
Cutting down on sugary snacks and foods that are high in processed fats is a simple way to improve your diet. This could be as simple as cutting out the sugar from your tea or coffee to begin with and gradually progressing, Going cold turkey is unlikely to be successful over the longer term, so instead, try to replace sweet treats with nuts and fruit, and try to adopt an 80/20 approach to what you eat. If 80% of your food intake is healthy, there’s room in the remaining 20% for the occasional sweet treat or indulgence.
It pays to approach exercise in a gentle way too, gradually building up the length of time you spend exercising and the intensity of the exercise itself. That way, you build your strength up and stay motivated. Starting with two gym days a week will leave you room to spot your personal improvements and achievements which will motivate you to continue.
A Tribute to the Heart
Making a resolution to lose weight and eat more healthily will have an impact on your overall health, particularly your heart. Maintaining an optimum body weight and taking regular exercise can both help reduce the risks of developing cardiovascular disease.
The British Heart Foundation and the NHS recommend that adults try to achieve 150 active minutes a week, which is less than 25 minutes a day. For time to count as ‘active’, your activity needs to warm you up and make you feel a little out of breath. You don’t have to sign up for a gym membership though, as simple things like brisk walking, dancing or exercising at home can all count towards that target of 150 minutes of activity.
As winter is the busiest time for the NHS, with resources stretched to the limit, there’s even more of an incentive at this time of the year to get fit and stay healthy.
Love your Skin
Our skin is perhaps the most visible sign of Christmas over-indulgence and harsh winter weather. If you want your skin to look fresh and healthy, you need to pay attention to the foods you eat, as healthy eating can provide long-lasting benefits. All that processed food you ate over Christmas means that your skin has been starved of the minerals and nutrients it really needs. Crash diets won’t help restore your skin’s vitality, as they rarely offer a balanced intake of nutrients. Instead, concentrate on eating your five-a-day, making sure you get plenty of food that is rich in vitamins and minerals, such as spinach, sweet potatoes, blueberries and tomatoes.
You can also treat your skin by upping your daily water intake. Drinking more water will keep your skin hydrated, but, if you aren’t used to glasses upon glasses, start with one additional drink at the start of your day and gradually increase this until you’re hitting your daily recommendation.
Hydration for your Hair
We all know only too well how much damage the winter months can do to our skin, but we often forget about our hair at this time of year. Hair can suffer just as much during the winter – whether from lack of nutrition caused by poor diets over the festive season, or from cold, wet weather and the effects of constant central heating.
There are plenty of things you can do though, to boost your hair’s health. Healthy eating can play a vital role in helping you achieve great-looking hair, with some foods providing essential nutrients and minerals to really strengthen your hair and make it shine. By identifying which foods can boost hair health, you can easily incorporate them into your healthy eating regime, for visible and long-lasting benefits.
Healthy eating and regular exercise play such a vital role in keeping us in shape, both mentally and physically. We literally are what we eat, and bad habits can have an effect on our entire bodies inside and out. Trying to eat well and exercise regularly is more than just a New Year’s resolution – it’s a lifestyle change that we should all strive for, and one that will repay us every day for the rest of our lives.
This guest blog was written by Holly Barry who contacted me 6 weeks ago and asked if I could have a look at an article she wrote about how important it is to continue to eat healthy and to exercise. I loved her view on the matter and asked her if I could publish it as a blog on my website. Thank you Holly.
If you need any help or advice on staying fit an healthy throughout the year I can help you through a 3 week programme: The Successful Mindset to EatWright which is currently on special offer from £63 down to £42 or my 6 week healthy eating programme that will help you to reach an optimum in your health and fitness.
Two out of three women, and more men than ever before, have tried to lose weight in the past year. With an estimated 29 million Britons looking for ways to shed those excess pounds, it is no wonder that Britain’s diet industry is worth a staggering £2bn.
But here’s the thing: 95% of diets fail in the long term.
In this week’s blog post, we explore 7 reasons that could explain this phenomenon.
Dieting is hard because it relies on our willpower to keep us on the right track. When we have been pushed to our limits and are desperate to make a change our willpower can be very strong indeed. Few people struggle in the first few days of a diet. But, as the state of our health and weight changes, and the pressures of day-to-day life build up, it can be hard to maintain this momentum. Willpower is hard to maintain for an extended period of time, particularly when our dietary rules are inflexible and strict. There is also a danger that, as progress is made, complacency will creep in and will make us less inclined to endure the struggle of restricting our food intake. Lastly, Dieters rarely rehearse how they might manage difficult situations such as going to dinner with friends – they simply hope that their willpower will hold up and, if it doesn’t, punish themselves with feelings of guilt or shame.
2) The Addictive Power of Refined Foods
The foods we crave, and the foods on which we so often binge, fall broadly into two categories: sugary products like sweets, chocolate, ice cream, cakes, cookies and soft drinks, and flour-based or carb-loaded products like pizza, pasta, bread, crisps and chips. Foods like these release an unnatural flood of dopamine that hijacks the pleasure centres in the brain and, in the long run, lead to cravings for this small sense of euphoria. Recent scientific research confirms that processed foods like these light up the very same addiction pathways in the brain as heroin and cocaine. Always check the sugar content of your foods – it can be hidden in the most surprising places!
Most weight-loss programmes incorporate exceptions into the structure of their food plans. The thinking is that, with a sneaky snack here, or a “cheat” meal there, or a whole “cheat” day once a week, we will find the whole endeavour of losing weight a lot easier. Some programmes even sell sugary treats that you should “eat sparingly” or only count as a couple of points on that day’s meal plan. The irony is that building these exceptions into a diet does not work. For most people, treats and cheats like these are simply reminders to their taste buds (and receptors in the brain) that there are easier ways to achieve pleasure than through real, wholesome food. These exceptions prevent our brains from adopting a positive approach to a sustainable shift in diet and eating behaviour and will, eventually, keep us hooked on refined foods.
4) Diets Make you Hungry
Restricting your food intake is not always going to please your body and could actually make you gain weight in the long run. Our bodies store fat so that, if we are ever caught without a readily available supply of food, we can continue to draw on energy reserves. Eating too little will push your body into fat storage mode, as it understands this to be a state of emergency. Your level of cortisol will rise as your body does its best to hold on to what nutrients it can – nutrients that are then stored as fat. Your body is now looking for other energy sources and you could actually risk losing muscle because it burns more calories at rest while your body seeks to hold onto its fat reserves for emergency energy. Most diets starve your body of nutrients and lead to intense hunger pangs. When your willpower finally gives in and you binge on whatever is close-by, your body will create fat reserves to make sure you have enough energy to draw on should you ever try another diet.
5) Biochemical Individuality
We are all physiologically different and we all have different needs and requirements. One diet plan may have worked wonders for your neighbours or your best friend but there is no reason that you will enjoy the same success. Invariably, this leads to feelings of inadequacy and failure when you realise that you lost less weight than others on the same plan. The majority of diets simply do not account for the fact that their rules need to be adapted on a case-by-case basis.
6) Not Real Food
Many diets rely on highly processed, refined and unnatural products to supplement a strictly constrained food plan. Not only are these products unappetising and uninteresting but they have the capacity to damage your body in the long run. The challenge of building such a regime into everyday life seems insurmountable, particularly when you consider the attached price tag of these specially made foods.
7) Failure to Change Core Habits
The only people who lose weight and keep it off are those who make permanent changes to their, and their families’, eating and exercise habits. Dieters often go right back to their old habits and favourite foods upon completing a diet, thinking that once the hard work is done they can celebrate their achievement in the way they are used to. If the diet is not a sustainable one and has failed to modify your body’s desires, then the old eating habits will creep back in and, soon, you will find yourself back at square one.
So why do we keep going on diets?
Upon completing a difficult challenge, like a diet or a healthy eating plan, we enjoy an unmistakable sense of achievement and euphoria; we have done well. If we fail, however, it might encourage us to have yet another go.
The success and the profit of the diet industry is based on our desire to be in control, and to experience this again and again. Ultimately, we have to question whether the diet industry would be worth quite as much if every single diet provided a sustainable solution.
Lifestyle, not Diets
In a world full of temptations it is laudable to want to find a healthy balance that works for you. Dieting is not the way, however. For long-term weight loss, many things – not just your nutritional habits – will have to change.
We need to reconsider the way we think about food. Rather than jumping on the bandwagon of the hot new diet in an attempt to shed excess weight or achieve other aspects of wellness, we should be thinking about making achievable, realistic changes that we can sustain for a lifetime.
And this is where I can help. Have a look at my 6 week healthy eating programme that not only cleanses your body on cellular level and helps you to reach an optimum in your health but also teaches you how you can eat and live healthily for the rest of your life: http://www.eatwright.co.uk/work-with-leonie-wright/ This programme can change your life forever and is for those that are willing to look at getting better through food.
To better Health,
New Year’s resolutions; who doesn’t make them each New Year? A lot is written about it. Advice is given and opinions are divided. What I notice is that often the focus is on the reasons why, by the second week of the New Year, many good intentions have gone out of the window. Instead we should be given tips on how we can succeed. Here are 7 tips on how you can succeed with your good intentions for 2017.
New Year’s resolutions; why would you even take them?
Over the course of days, weeks, months and years, habits establish themselves in our daily life and they are not always the best habits. Nothing is more difficult than to change these ingrained habits permanently. Habits are for a lot of people something to hold on to, it gives them security. Traditions are ways to give people structure and direction. And how difficult is it to change that? It makes you feel insecure. You will have to get out of your comfort zone and learn to think outside the box. This will work but only if you are really serious about making changes in your life. The tips below could be of help:
- Don’t’ change everything at the same time!
The list of New Year’s resolutions can be endless and there is nothing wrong with that at all. But what can cause a problem is that people want to change too many things at the same time. You might want to start living healthier, lose weight, exercise more, stop smoking, look after yourself better, have more leisure time and so on. Phhhhhh just the thought of having to adjust all this at once makes me tired already. That is why I advise you to change only 1 or 2 things at the same time.
- Set your goals.
Many people who make New Year’s resolutions say: I am going to lose weight or I am going to have a healthier lifestyle. This makes you look at the process to achieve your goal. What would be more effective is to look at the result or goal you can achieve. So don’t’ say: I am going to eat healthily but instead say: I want to feel great, I want to look gorgeous or I want to wear my lovely summer dresses again. That is far more concrete than eat healthier or I will look better after myself. You want to know what the advantages are if you are going to make those changes. Look at the end result.
- Look positively at the resolutions you are making.
Have you ever heard that our brain does not recognize the word ‘NO’. When I say to you: ‘Don’t think about a blue car’, what will you be thinking of? Exactly.. .you can’t think of anything else but a blue car. Our brain ‘thinks’ in pictures. So if you say: I do not want to smoke anymore. What does your brain ‘see’ ? That cigarette and you can only think about that. If you think I want clean and healthy lungs, then that will be the image that is seen in your brain. So always look at the changes you are going to make in a positive light and not in a negative one.
- You don’t have to make changes on your own.
Nothing is more difficult than to make changes on your own. You don’t want to bother someone else with your New Year’s resolutions and keep them to yourself. What you do here is you keep the back door open. This way you give yourself, in advance, the chance to backtrack on your good intentions and your New Year’s resolutions will disappear as snow in the sun. Tell everyone who wants to hear it that you are changing you lifestyle because you want to feel healthier and fitter, or that you are going to join the gym because you want to improve your muscles and burn of more energy. Shout about it. This way people around you will support you and you will be locking that backdoor. Now you can’t go back on your word. And that is what you want. There is no more going back. You are moving to your new goal!
- Work with someone that can support you.
It is far easier to change your habits when you are working with someone else, either in a group or with a coach. That way you are held accountable, you get support and advice and you can exchange experiences. Working with others can stimulate, inspire and motivate you to change your lifestyle and install new habits. Making changes can hurt because you need to say goodbye to old habits. It will feel like a loss and it is good to have people you can talk to. They will encourage you to keep going as they know what you’re going through. Recognition and being heard are a huge incentive when learning a new habit.
- Reward yourself for every positive step you make.
Every step is one step closer to your goal, no matter how small it is. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Give yourself time to learn new habits. Make yourself a road map and reward yourself for every positive step you make. Suppose you want to lose 20 kilos. Set a milestone between your goals and for example reward yourself for every 5 kilo you lose. Rewards such as buying yourself a book, go to the cinema; choose something you really want to do. Be proud of yourself, say it to yourself, and reward yourself! This is much more important than you think.
- Don’t lose sight of your goal(s).
Most of the time you will be strong and it all seems to go smoothly. But then stress comes into play. When that happens you are enabling your ‘eatneurons’ which means you are forced to eat. The body is experiencing stress as a fight and flight situation and in order to flee, you need energy which indicates to your body that you need food. If you’re aware of this, keep your goal in mind as it will be much easier to resist the temptations. What you might find useful is to stick a note on your fridge with your goals written on it. Or if you want to go skiing and you do not fit into last year’s suit anymore because it is too tight, hang it in your bedroom so you can see what you are working towards.
Any more tips?
I could give you many more tips but for now I think this is enough. Implement them. Do let me know if you have any good tips or ideas to change your habits and share them with others by commenting on this page. Thanks.
If you need help let me know. There are several ways I will be able to help you. For example a 21 day programme: http://drdestress.co.uk/successful-mindset-eat-wright/ or a 6 week programme that helps you to reach an optimum in your health: http://www.eatwright.co.uk/work-with-leonie-wright/
To better health Leonie x
Does this sound familiar? Christmas is approaching and you are having one party after the other; the office Christmas party, a dinner with friends you have not seen for a while, an invite to a charity ball and so on. You bought some nice dresses and managed to lose some pounds in order to look good in the outfits you bought. You’re all set. You even plucked a “healthy” Christmas dinner from the internet firmly believing that you will stick to your guns and keep that weight off…… But before you know it, you’ve been tempted by all the delicious foods on offer. All good intentions to get through the month of December unscathed, disappear like snow in the sun. Yet you do not want to be too surprised when you get on the scales at the beginning of 2017.
Here are 7 tips that could help you to survive the holidays without putting on the pounds:
- Remember: December has only 3 holidays.
We are often afraid of the month of December with all its’parties, dinners and temptations. But don’t forget December has only three holidays: Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve. We ourselves make it a dangerous month. And to be perfectly honest: Do we really put on that much weight over those three days? The other 28 days of the month are the problem. The days before and after Christmas and the days before and after New Year’s Eve are the issue! Just thought I mention that.
- Is it worth the sin?
Ask yourself the following question with each bite you eat: I like this a lot but do I like this enough to go off the rails for? On the other hand, don’t be too harsh on yourself. You are allowed to enjoy yourself and have the odd treat. Being too strict with yourself might have the opposite effect. Try to strike a balance and ask yourself again and again the following question: Is eating or drinking this worth it? This way you will become more aware of what you put in your mouth.
- Breakfast is the most important meal….
What do you normally have for breakfast? Porridge or yoghurt with seeds and nuts and some fruit? That is perfect. Why should you have a different breakfast in December? Of course it is tempting to have the croissants and that lovely glass of fresh orange juice. I’m sure you feel that you’re not doing that bad with a breakfast like this. Oh, and just add to that a piece of fruit, another healthy option. Surely fruit is healthy, but if you have breakfast and a croissant, and a piece of fruit and a glass of juice and a donut…. Before you know it, your blood sugar level will raise sky high and you will feel very tired afterwards. Despite all the dinners and meals out, do have a good breakfast. You’ll probably think: well if I skip breakfast I will put on less weight. But that works counterproductive. If you don’t have a healthy breakfast, you will be hungry at coffee time and succumb more easily to the temptations of a mince pie or a piece of Christmas cake. Remember one thing: A hearty breakfast will make you feel full all morning.
- Healthy snacks
If you have had a good breakfast first thing in the morning, you will probably not succumb to that piece of cake with your cup of coffee or tea, while out shopping. What is wrong with just having a cup of coffee? You don’t always have to have something with it. If you crave something to eat, make sure you always take a handful of unroasted nuts with you or put an apple in your bag. That’s far better than having all those sugary snacks that are available in the coffee shops and restaurants. Your body will thank you for it.
- Keep exercising.
Nothing is as important during the holidays, as to keep moving.
- Particularly during the holidays when we don’t need to go to work, there will be plenty of time to go for an outing to the beach or the forest. Get your walking shoes on and take the family or your friends on a nice brisk walk.
- Being on the move will give you more satisfaction than launching on the couch with a book the whole day. I myself walk on Box Hill every day and try to get 10.000 steps under my belt. By being active you do your body a huge favour. You are less likely to put on those extra pounds and it will benefit your overall health. You will burn excess calories and you’ll be in better shape and feel fitter!
- Keep drinking water
If you drink enough water, there will be a number of advantages:
- Where there is water, food can’t go. Drink a large glass of water before each meal or snack and you’ll automatically eat less.
- If you drink plenty of water, excess waste (among others from alcohol) will be better disposed of and your body will not be forced to produce fat in order to store the excess waste.
- Make sure you enjoy the festive season and don’t start a diet in the New Year
Enjoy the festive season and promise me not to go on a diet in the New Year. 90-95% of diets fail in the long term. (Find out why here). If you anticipate putting on weight in December, and you decide beforehand to go on a diet in January, you give yourself permission to eat everything you want. Before you know it, you will have put on 4-5kg rather than the 2kg you allowed yourself. It is far better to change your lifestyle if you want to improve your health, fitness and waistline.
And this is where I can help you.
- Do you want to get rid of your sugar cravings and sugar addiction?
- Do you have health issues such as Diabetes 2, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol or another medical condition?
- Are you fed up with taking medication?
- Or have you tried every diet under the sun and still not managed to maintain your weight?
You might want to have a look at my 6 week healthy eating programme or the 3 week The Successful Mindset to EatWright course. If you book before 25 December there will be a 10% discount on the 6 week programme and an extra half hour session with the experts for the 3 week course. Send me an email if you would like to take advantage of this offer.
Wishing you all a Very Happy Christmas and Health, Happiness and Prosperity for 2016.
To better health,