Week 1: Drink the Right Amount of Water
You can share this plan with your friends and do it as a group. That way you get help all around.
Your job for the next 21 weeks is to
- follow your 21-week Healthy Living.
- follow the 21NLS official weekly tasks.
- record your progress in your journal every day, for the 21 weeks.
- check on your group members’ progress and friends, by sharing their stories.
Why am I setting this as the first task for 21NLS? Because water is life. Water is essential for our body to function – Do you know over 60% of our body is made up of water? Water is needed to carry out our body functions, remove waste and carry nutrients and oxygen around our body. Since we lose water every day through urine, bowel movements, perspiration and breathing, we need to replenish our water intake.
Furthermore, drinking more water alone actually aids in losing weight. A Health.com study carried out among overweight/obese people showed that water drinkers lose 4.5 more pounds than a control group. The researchers believe that it’s because drinking more water helps fill your stomach, making you less hungry and less likely to overeat. When you regularly drink water, your body knows that it’s going to get its supply of fluids, so it doesn’t try to retain more water.
Shockingly, most of us actually do not drink enough water. We only drink like 1-2 times a day, during the meal times, and we do not hydrate ourselves at all in the other times of the day. Hence, our first task of 21NLS is to drink water – specifically the right amount of water for our best health.
Step 1: Calculate the amount of water you need to drink
Most of you probably heard the common phrase “drink 8 glasses of water”. What it really means for us is to “Drink the right amount of water that’s needed for your body”. It’s important to note that we have different fluid needs, and we should identify what is the optimal amount for ourselves. It is equally important to drink more water if we are lacking water, as it is important to drink less water if we are drinking too much. Drinking too much water can be as harmful to our body as drinking less water is.
To estimate how much water you need to drink, use the method below.
- If you use the metric system, divide your weight (in kg) by 30. The answer is the amount of water intake (in litres) you need a day. (66kg = 2.2 liters/day)
- If you work in an air-conditioned room with lights switched on 24 hours, you need to increase the amount by 500ml.
Remember, when in doubt, use your own body as a gauge. If your lips/throat feel dry, your lips look dry, and you feel dehydrated, that means you should be drinking more water – and you should have been doing so long ago because signs of dehydration typically surface only after our body has been depleted of water for a while.
Step 2: Drink this amount of water this week.
Make sure you drink this amount of water every day. The water here refers to pure water, NOT soda, coffee, tea (drinks with caffeine) or alcohol! These are diuretics – mean they cause a fluid outtake rather than intake when you consume them!
Don’t drink them all in one go because it’s not going to solve the issue! (We’re not a camel; our water isn’t going to distribute itself when needed) The point is to distribute our water intake throughout the day. The best times will be when we wake up (since we’ve been sleeping for some time), before/after our meals, while we’re working, and at night before we sleep.
If you’re not sure how much water fills a glass, simply use a packet of milk 500ml.(1/2 litre), this I equivalent to two glasses of water. I hope this helps.
Some tips to help you in this goal:
- Carry a water bottle – You never know when you’re going to get thirsty! This way you can drink wherever you are. Knowing the capacity of your bottle will also help you keep track of how much you have drank/how much more you have to drink.
- Have a big drinking mug at your desk so you only have to refill once in a while.
- Having a jar/flask of water right at your desk is really useful for the same reason as #2.
- Set reminders (either on your phone or computer) on a busy day so you don’t forget to drink.
Step 3: Continue this habit for the whole of 21NLS
After you’ve completed this habit, continue on for all the days of 21NLS! Add this to your 21-WEEKS-HEALTH CHALLENGE PLAN. Mark a tick whenever you have finished drinking your required amount of fluid intake for the day. Mark a cross when you haven’t. At the end of 21NLS, you’ll be able to see how you fare in this area.
Week 1 of Your 21-WEEKS-HEALTH CHALLENGE
What are your tasks listed for this week? Do them with excellence and report them in your Journal. Please asses yourself. How have you done? can you do better?