Weight Control

How Much Fluid Do We Really Need?

During these “dog days of summer” one wonders how much water is enough.

As you may have guessed, water needs will vary depending on the temperature, humidity, how much you weigh, as well as exercise intensity and duration.  During hot and humid weather, or when physically working hard in a hot environment, it is easy to become dehydrated. If dehydration isn’t corrected, it is possible to get a heat stroke, which requires immediate treatment by a medical provider to bring body temperature down.  Symptoms of a heat stroke can include nausea, vomiting, flushed or reddened skin, rapid breathing and heart rate, headache, changes in sweating or mental state or behavior, and a body temperature of 104 degrees or above. Even mild dehydration can make you feel tired and can drain your energy.

Keeping in mind fluid needs will vary from person to person and with environmental changes, the National Academy of Sciences determined that an adequate daily fluid intake with average temperatures, is 12.4 cups per day for men and just over 9 cups per day for women.  This intake does not include what is consumed through fruits or vegetables, which normally accounts for 20% of a person’s intake.  All fluid sources can contribute, though water is best as it is readily available, calorie-free, and inexpensive.

Some signs to gauge whether one’s fluid intake are adequate, according to the Mayo Clinic:

  1. Color of the urine. It should be colorless or light yellow.

  2. Whether thirst is present.

What Does It Take To Lose Weight And Keep It Off?

For many individuals who have lost weight, keeping the weight from coming back can be even more challenging than losing the weight in the first place.

There is a National Weight Control Registry composed of 5,000 individuals who have lost an average of 66 lbs. and have kept if off for at least 5 years.  Here are some things the majority are doing to keep the weight off:

  • 78% eat breakfast daily (Helps boost metabolism and generally curbs heavier intake or snacking later in the day)

  • 75% weigh themselves at least once a week (Allows them to reverse any weight gain before it becomes overwhelming)

  • 62% watch less than 10 hrs. of TV per week (If a person is not watching TV, there is a good chance that the person is moving more)

  • 90% exercise, on average, 1 hr./day (This amount of exercise may not be necessary for all to lose weight but is what the registry participants have averaged.)

Though a variety of methods were used to keep the weight off, if you are having a tough time losing weight or keeping it off, you may want to look at your current routine and consider incorporating changes that those on the registry have been making to keep the weight off.