5th Mistake: Not Drinking Enough Water
I think so many of us will have returned to work today, or to a more orderly routine, with the promise to drink more water. It was on the list of the 10 most common mistakes that bariatric patients make that I posted a couple of days ago. It’s now uppermost on my list of things to improve upon for 2015. Read on for the reasons why it’s important and what you can do …
Dehydration is one of the most common issues to address after WLS and during the hot Summer months can also be especially problematic. It’s hard enough at the best of times to get the recommended water on board but when the mercury soars, or exercise is added to the equation, it can be more of a challenge. It may not be hot in the UK at the moment but bariatric patients in Australia are having something of a heatwave!
For your body to function at its best, you must constantly replace any fluids lost by taking in more through beverages and foods. In the first few weeks after surgery this can be a pretty tall order so you may well find that you are constantly sipping to get the recommended minimum of 1.6 litres/64 fl oz inside.
Keeping a water bottle by your side or with you all the time is a good idea so that you can automatically sip on it between meals. Also remember to drink before and after exercise workouts, and to sip regularly as you’re sweating. Time yourself in the early stages to ensure that you don’t forget!
But what can you do if you are bored with straight water and need to up the intake without resorting to sugary treats like sweet tea or iced mochas? Here are some tried and tested ideas that I have found useful:
* Try iced water … it often seems more refreshing than that at room temperature.
* Jazz up your water with cucumber peel, lemon or lime slices or pieces of fruit.
* Likewise spruce up your water with refreshing herb sprigs like mint leaves.
* Make up your favourite low-calorie coffee drinks with a sugar substitute instead of sugar.
* Try out chilled diet iced tea … ready-made or your own.
* Check the supermarket shelves for low-calorie and sugar-free fruit drinks … many now also stock US favourites like Kool-Aid or Crystal Light alongside the more usual UK brands.
* Try crushed or shaved ice with low-sugar or no added sugar cordials and syrups. There are countless flavours so you should never get bored.
* Add a splash of orange or other fruit juice to water for just a hint of fruitiness.
* Freeze your flavoured water on a stick as an iced lolly …fabulous for cooling down on a hot day.