Nutrition and hydration are vital to ensuring our body and brain function healthily. Let us start with nutrition. Poor nutrition can lead to weight loss/gain, low energy levels, mood swings, development of chronic illnesses or diseases. Poor nutrition over a sustained period can cause a whole host of short and long-term problems both physically and mentally.
To ensure good nutrition we should ensure we are getting the adequate number of calories and nutrients for our bodies. This can vary from person to person and is dependent on various factors. Such as age, gender, weight, activity levels, personal goals etc. The key is to ensure you are following a healthy diet that works for you and can sustain long-term. Too many people look to try the latest fad diet and the end result is a constant up and down battle with their body weight. Consider a whole foods diet that has a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
As a guideline 20-35% of your intake should be good quality proteins. 30-50% of your intake should be carbohydrates, aiming for unprocessed carbohydrates as much as possible. Finally, 20-30% made up of fats. Here you should be looking for foods that are made of healthy fats, avoiding saturated fats and trans fats. Ultimately the ratio you go for will be determined by what your goals and preferences are. If you are working with FLOW, we can help to determine this for you and design a nutritional plan that is sustainable.
Poor hydration can also cause problems both physically and mentally. Did you know that our bodies are made of up to 70% water? This means that for our bodies to function properly we need to keep well hydrated. Even being mildly dehydrated can lead to poor mental and physical impairment. Such as weakness and low concentration levels.
There are many differing opinions on how much fluid you should be intaking daily, but the number one rule is not to wait until you are thirsty before drinking. If you are already thirsty you are already dehydrated. This is your body’s way of signalling that you need to drink more fluids. Again, as with your diet, hydration requirements will vary from person to person, but a s general rule of thumb you should be aiming for at least 2-3litres per day. If you are a very active person this will be greater.
Another great bit of information is that being well hydrated can help with weight loss. This is something many people who are trying to lose weight are unaware of. So, if your goal is to lose weight, get drinking more water. Not only will it curb hunger cravings, it will also help your body to shed fat.
If you struggle to take in enough fluid, my tip is to try to increase gradually. Think of something that can trigger you to drink more. Carrying a water bottle with you, filling up your glass as soon as it is empty, or using a phone app can help as a gentle reminder. Remember consistency is key.
If you would like a plan unique to you then check out our nutrition options. We have a great team who can put together a plan that works for you long-term. Stop looking for short cuts as you will only ever end up in an endless cycle of weight fluctuation.