drink waterWelcome to our healthy lifestyle challenge lead by our program dietitian Vicki Bovee and her husband, Bill. Because we can always do better to live a healthier lifestyle Vicki and Bill decided to work on a weekly challenge together to provide support and accountability for each other and hopefully inspire you to make healthy changes. Follow along with them as they tackle a variety of challenges to eat better, eat more mindfully, and improve physical health and emotional well-being. Vicki and Bill invite you to participate and accept the challenges to improve your lifestyle too. Some of them may be difficult and please feel free to modify the challenges to accommodate your dietary needs and physical abilities.

Challenge # 16 Drink Your Water.
The weather cooled down and we both noticed we weren’t drinking nearly as much water as in the summer. If we allowed thirst to be our guide, as is recommended, I don’t think we would be meeting our fluid needs. In 2004, the Institutes of Medicine (IOM) issued new guidelines for fluid requirements. The guidelines include all beverages even those with caffeine. Caffeinated beverages are not dehydrating as previously thought. About 20% of your fluid needs are met with food and if you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables it may be more than the 20%.
So how many fluid ounces (FO) a day do you really need? There are several methods to calculate how much you need.
1. This probably is the easiest but not the most accurate.
Adult males (>19 years): 3.7 liters (L)/day (this is about 124FO or about 1 gallon)
Adult females (>19 years): 2.7 L/day (this is about 90FO or about 3 quarts)
2. (kg body weight – 20) x 15 +1500 = mL fluid required daily

I went with method #2 to figure out our requirements. Using this method I need 75FO of fluid per day and Bill needs 80FO per day. Now if I figure 20% comes from our food (it’s probably more because we eat fruits and veggies but I’ll go with the minimum) I now need 60FO per day and Bill needs 64FO per day. Hmmm. That comes pretty close to old recommendations of 64FO per day.

Other things can affect our fluid requirements like physical activity, heat, humidity, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you’ve had weight loss surgery, especially if you are a recent postop, you will not be getting 20% of your fluid needs from food since your portions of food are small and you need to make the effort to drink your fluids to prevent dehydration.

Vicki’s Observations:
• This was much easier at work than at home. At work, I have my glass on my desk where I can see it and grab it. Since I am in a routine at work I can set a goal of how many glasses of water I need to drink by lunch and before I leave at the end of day.
• I had to make effort on the weekends. I found as the day went on I drank less and by the end of the afternoon I was forgetting to drink my water. I had to drink a lot more in the morning because of this.
• I stuck to counting water and didn’t add in my coffee or shake in the morning. For me, more is better because I have problems with water retention with certain foods.
• I did keep track with My Fitness Pal and that helped.

Bill’s Observations:
• I learned that I needed to fill up a water bottle and have it on my desk at all times. This is what I did when I went to work in an office. Working at home was more challenging.
• I didn’t want to drink too much water after 8:00pm because I did not want to visit the bathroom multiple times during the night.
• I did feel better and my body was not as sore and achy when I was drinking more water.
• I still have to remind myself to continue to drink water to get my daily fluid ounces.
• I find it takes work and concentration to get in my water but I feel better when I do.

Although beverages other than water count towards your fluid needs, water is your best bet. It’s calorie-free, inexpensive, and made without added sugars, colors, and other ingredients you can’t pronounce. If you’re interested to see how much water is the fruits and vegetables you eat, click here.
Next week we take our small forks and spoons to the next level. This is getting to be work and eating with distraction makes it difficult to be successful.

Eat Smarter…
Vicki Bovee, MS, RDN, LD

Want to catch up on what you’ve missed?

Challenge #1 Eat everything sitting down. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-weekly-lifestyle-challenge-week-one/
Challenge #2 Eliminate cheese as an ingredient. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-two/
Challenge #3 Walk sideways in your home. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-three/
Challenge #4 Include a fresh herb in your daily meal plan. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-four/
Challenge #5 If there is food in your mouth there should be nothing in your hand. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-weekly-challenge-week-five/
Challenge #6 Eat the MyPlate recommendations for fruits and vegetables. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-6/
Challenge #7 Stand (and walk if possible) while talking on the phone. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-7/
Challenge # 8 Don’t eat out of the package. Put your food on a plate or in a bowl. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-8/
Challenge # 9 Keep a food record. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-nine/

Challenge # 10 Power down while eating. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-10/

Challenge # 11 Eating to reduce inflammation. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-11/
Challenge # 12 Eating to help our environment. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-12/
Challenge # 13 Switch it up. https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=2576
Challenge # 14 The road to success is still under construction. https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=2583

Challenge # 15 Little bites. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-15/