While the Holistic approach to health takes your mind, body, and soul into consideration, there’s no ignoring the fact that your physical body is an amazing machine that needs to be fueled properly.
The two main sources of “fuel” for your body are nutrients and water.
Are you getting enough of each?
To be sure that you are, here are some ways that you can get into a nutrition and water intake routine – and why you absolutely should!
What Should My Daily Water Intake Be?
We’ve all heard the advice that everyone should drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, but science is showing that perhaps there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to water consumption.
This advice is easy to remember and is also a reasonable goal. However, you do have to take into account your activity level, environment, and overall health when it comes to determining how much water your body needs.
For example, those who work out and sweat more during the day are going to require more water than those who do not. Likewise, hot and humid climates are going to necessitate a higher amount of water consumption.
Plus, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are going to need additional fluids to stay hydrated.
With all of that being said, you can calculate how much water your body requires by taking your weight (in pounds) and multiplying that by 67%. This is how much water in ounces you should drink daily.
So, if you are 140 lbs, for example, you would require at least 94 ounces of water per day (this is about 11 cups).
However, you also need to take into account your activity level. You should add 12 ounces of water (around 1.5 cups) for every 30 minutes of intense working out (to the point of sweating).
3 Simple Ways to Drink More Water
Whether you don’t like the taste of water, or simply forget to drink it, here are four ways you can easily drink more water during the day:
1. Set a Daily Goal
You can help increase your water intake by setting a daily water intake goal – this simple act can be motivating and increase your chances of making positive and lasting changes.
Just remember to make your goal realistic and attainable – and find a way to record your progress, whether you keep track on an app or write down your intake in a journal.
2. Use a Reusable Bottle
When you have water readily available and near you all day, it’s a great visual reminder to drink more.
Treating yourself to a new reusable water bottle may be motivating enough to keep it filled throughout the day. Choosing a glass or stainless steel bottle like the Hydro-Flask is safer than drinking out of plastic, because they maintain your water temperature and don’t leach chemicals into your water. Need a little more help? You can even get fancy bottles that link to your phone to remind you when to drink!
3. Add Some Flavor
While it’s best to stay away from packaged water-flavoring that contains either sugar or sweeteners, you can naturally flavor your water if you require a bit more taste in your drink.
Add lemon slices, or any type of fruit, to your water to give it that extra zing!
Can I Get My Daily Water Intake from Food?
The short answer is that, no, you cannot get your daily water intake from the foods you eat. The water you consume from food rarely exceeds 20% of your total water intake.
However, that’s not to say you shouldn’t take certain foods into consideration. Consuming water-rich foods that contribute to that 20% both helps you stay hydrated (on top of drinking water) and adds more nutrients to your diet.
Just be aware that fruits with high water content, such as watermelon, strawberry and cantaloupe, have higher levels of natural sugar as well.
Vegetables such as cucumber, celery and lettuce have high water content and fewer calories.
You can also boost your water intake during the day by eating nutritious broths and soups or plain yogurt.
Drinks such as skim milk and coconut water are also healthy and low-calorie ways to get more liquid into your diet.
How Can I Increase My Nutritional Intake?
The above information is a perfect example of how you can add more liquid, and nutrients, into your diet.
However, moderation and diversity are key to ensuring that your diet is balanced with the right nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Here are some ways you can improve your overall nutritional intake:
- Try to eat more wholesome foods. You can improve your nutritional intake by adding more vegetables, fruits, whole grain, lean proteins and low-fat dairy products into your daily diet.
- Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables provide important vitamins and minerals and most have little fat and no cholesterol. Plus, they contain fiber that helps with digestion.
- Switch to whole grains. If you switch all, or even half, of your daily grains to whole grains, this will improve your nutrition. Whole grains are a great source of energy and fiber.
- Choose lean sources of protein. Meat is all well and good but can contain high levels of fat. Opt for leaner sources of protein or plant sources of protein (beans, peas, nuts, seeds, etc.).
- Cut back on salt. Canned, packaged and frozen processed foods are typically packed with more sodium than your body needs. Check the nutritional labels and choose lower-sodium versions.
Of course, it goes without saying that a huge part of improving your overall nutritional intake is to cut out junk and other “bad” foods. This is often easier said than done.
However, if you follow this advice and begin adding healthier foods and more water into your diet, you will find you have less room in your body for empty calories, fatty foods and sugary treats.
(Although you should always treat yourself every now and then – never deprive yourself of enjoyment!)
The road to optimal nutrition is not an easy one – and there’s no shame in reaching out for help.
Our Nutrition Services at Red Leaf Wellness are designed to take your unique needs into consideration while designing a plan to help you reach optimal health.