Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result. – Bob Proctor
A personal transformation process involves trial and error as we learn what works for us and what doesn’t. And it also involves taking responsibility for change and being accountable to ourselves.
How do we keep track of how we are doing?
In the beginning of my weight transformation, I simply wrote my weight each Wednesday “Weigh-Day” on a small pad. That worked, for me. Since the numbers on a scale are directional, I only cared that they were going down, one to two pounds a week.
Weight was the “big picture,” but it was just one metric. I learned that a pound equaled 3500 calories of energy. The elements that made it possible to transform my weight were more complex: food, drink, and exercise. Was I going to count the calories in the foods I ate or pay more attention to the macros? And what about what I drank?
Hydration is necessary for all of us. But I was inconsistent and rarely remembered to drink between meals. I didn’t always recognize thirst and confused that sensation with hunger. Writing down every glass of water seemed onerous, so I looked for a more convenient method.
The first app I downloaded to my iPhone was Water Llama — to log my fluid intake. The Water Llama allowed me to input the amounts of liquids for everything from soup to green tea to wine, and it deducted the dehydration factor of alcohol or caffeine from the day’s total. The app sent me alerts from 8 AM throughout the day to remind me to reach my goal.
How much fluid?
There are several health sites that indicate that a man should drink 3.7 liters of water a day and a woman should drink 2.7 liters. However, that doesn’t account for your weight or your level of physical activity, which are important factors. I used this guide: How to Calculate How Much Water You Should Drink A Day – Slender Kitchen:
- Your weight
The first step to knowing how much water to drink every day is to know your weight. The amount of water a person should drink varies on their weight, which makes sense because the more someone weighs the more water they need to drink. A two-hundred-pound man and 100-pound woman require different amounts of water every day.
- Multiply by 2/3
Next, you want to multiply your weight by 2/3 (or 67%) to determine how much water to drink daily. For example, if you weighed 175 pounds you would multiply that by 2/3 and learn you should be drinking about 117 ounces of water every day.
- Activity Level
Finally, you will want to adjust that number based on how often you work out since you are expelling water when you sweat. You should add 12 ounces of water to your daily total for every 30 minutes that you work out. So if you work out for 45 minutes daily, you would add 18 ounces of water to your daily intake.
Accountability apps are intuitive and easy to use on a smartphone. It takes a second to log a drink; and if you forget, you can add it later, even the next day.
As I progressed through the action stage of my weight transformation, I added Cronometer to track macros, micronutrients, and supplements (more about that in a subsequent chapter). I didn’t adopt these accountability tools all at once. I added them one at a time and learned to use them to greater advantage as I saw results.
Seventy pounds later, I continued to use accountability tools to sustain progress and to reach maintenance.
You can do this, too! I’m drinking to your health!
♥ Susan L. Ward
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach