Slimmers often come to us with many questions around their VLCD but the most common question is about drinking water (or the lack of it in many cases). Yes we know, water can taste.... well um tasteless? BUT it's a necessary when it comes to our VLCD diets and here's why...
When you embark on a VLCD, you'll be consuming less 'conventional food' and more of our sachets and high protein bars. As such you'll find that you need to usually up your water intake (to make allowance for the water that is usually found in our conventional foods). A common side effect of a VLCD is constipation. If your body isn't getting enough water, you'll find that constipation will happen as a result of your body lacking water.
As you know a common theme with VLCD diet plans is the fact that our bodies go into ketosis - ahhhh ketosis. That fat burning, breath stinking comfort blanket that keeps us feeling safe when losing weight. Well.... the thing about ketosis is that it makes you feel thirstier than usual. Your mouth may feel dry and your breath may smell icky. Water is FANTASTIC at helping eliminate any breath odours and also helps with stopping any unwanted side effects.
'BUT I STRUGGLE WITH THE TASTE OF WATER'
I don't know about you but I love drinking water. The colder the better. However, i'm aware that theres slimmers out there who think it's bland and boring. Don't panic!
On a VLCD there's so many options available to you to help you up that water intake.
Boullion by Marigold - You can find this in any supermarket. It costs about £2 a tub and is AMAZING (especially in winter). It's like a hot broth and i would say you can have 2 cups a day as it's quite salty. It tastes exactly the same as alot of diet / vlcd companies sell (different packaging though and the diet companies sell it for a lot more than the supermarkets but sssshhhh don't tell anyone).
Fizzy pop drinks - believe it or not, you CAN have pop on a VLCD. All you need to look at are the ingredients i.e does it contain citric acids? if so, it's a no no. Some slimmers have told me that certain 'ZERO' pop drinks are great as they don't contain citric acids.
Tea/Coffees - Tea and coffee is allowed on VLCD plans. With tea ensure it's made from the leaf not fruit (fruit teas usually contain citric acids that would affect ketosis). Twinings have created a really nice range of flavoured teas such as fudge or caramel. Green tea is also great to have. When it comes to coffee, at SMLDiet, we love the Beanies range (available from supermarkets). They usually have great deals on PLUS they have a fantastic range of flavours.
'I'M STRUGGLING TO DRINK MY WATER INTAKE'
This is quite a common gripe for VLCD slimmers. Mainly because they find themselves rushing to the loo every 20 mins or so (don't worry that does calm down). It's so, so important that you push yourself to drink water. Here's how you can increase your water intake without doing much extra...
Add extra to your shakes - If you usually make your shakes up with 200ml of water, then why not make each shake up with 250ml. Over the course of a day, that's an extra 200ml of water you are drinking without doing anything extra for it.
Drink as soon as you wake up - I do this to help with my weight management. As soon as i wake up, I have a large glass of water whilst the children have their breakfast. It feels great knowing I have 200ml of water already drunk before 7am.
Make lollies - If you are doing a VLCD in the summer, consider making ice lollies out of zero coke drinks. They taste so great and will help keep you cool.
Keep spares - I always keep at least 1 litre bottle of water in the fridge as I like my water ice cold. I then have 1 on me and i keep on filling up / swapping bottles as the day goes along.
Get 'appy' - There's a fab app I use called 'my water' (on the Iphone). It's free but you can purchase the app if you want extras. It's also so easy to use and the best thing about it is that it tells you off if you become too lazy to update it.
Try our fat burners. Not only do they taste great and help with weight loss but they are an easy way of increasing your water intake as they make a refreshing tasting drink.
'WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DRINKING WATER'?
Water is so incredible for your body, your mind and your overall wellbeing.
It helps with your skin. So many slimmers comment on how great their skin is looking when they're on a VLCD. Just give it 28 days to notice a true difference but you'll find that it's plumper, more hydrated, less greasy (less acne), less patchy and these are just a few of the benefits that slimmers have mentioned.
It helps keep you focused and alert. You know the phrase - 'do good to feel good' right? if not, I think I've just made up a great slogan! well... the better we start treating ourselves, the better we feel. So not only can it give you a placebo effect (with the fact you feel you are healthier for it) but it really does keep you focused and alert.
Stops de-hydration - yes i know abit of an obvious one but it can stop the onset of dehydration and migraines. It can stop you feeling sluggish. Plus when we are dehydrated, we usually hit the fridge as our bodies confuse dehydration with hunger WIN/WIN
Helps prevent constipation - please read our constipation post for more info on this one.
Stops the snack attacks - As said before, when dehydrated our bodies get confused. We usually feel hungry and rush for a quick calorie packed fix. Water can stop that in it's tracks. Drinking just 1 glass can help you feel fuller (even if it is for 30 mins or so).
'THE MORE I DRINK, THE MORE I SHRINK RIGHT?
We really dislike this message that some diet companies give out as it makes slimmers want to drink excessive amounts in the hope that they lose more weight quicker. It's got a bit of truth to it but not in the way in which you think.
If you drink more, you won't necessarily lose weight quicker (thinking of the 14 stone in a day Peter Kay sketch here) BUT it does help keep your body flowing nicely as it should. So drinking the right amount of water will help prevent constipation (which can cause bloat and gain), it will stop snacking (which can cause weight gain) and it will also help flush ketones out of the body - just what you want on a ketogenic diet. However, please be realistic and sensible when it comes to water and you'll read why in a mo.
'HOW MUCH SHOULD I BE DRINKING'?
This is such a hard call as we all need different amounts depending on our age, activity levels, weights and also the temperature around us.
If you are doing a very manual job in a hot country then sure you'll need to drink more than lets say someone sat in an office. At SMLDiet, we say 2-3 litres, little and often is fine and please be sensible.
Drinking too much in 1 go can be dangerous (even FATAL) so think of your body as a water wheel needing little amounts often to keep it going around.
Generally if your mouth feels dry, then have a drink.