download-1So what do you want to achieve from your diuretic diet? Less water retention for sure. Some weight loss associated with less water retention perhaps. Less bloating and swelling for sure. Improved mobility due to limbs and other body parts being able to move more freely? Yes, that’s a check from me on that one. How about being happier, more productive, feeling more confident,sleeping better? Would you expect those things from dietary changes? If you do or if you’re hoping for them think of ways to measure improvements.

I’ll be expecting some inch loss and maybe for that to reflect perhaps better than weight loss on my success in reducing water retention. So I’ve measured the areas where I hold water. Many of us hold water in our legs but some, like me hold it in the chest and others in the hands.

It might not be sensible to measure around a finger but you can pop a tight ring on and video the fit so you can take the same ring and pop it on in two weeks, video it again and see if there is a difference in the fit. Use video and photographs to help you see changes.

Measuring around the waist, calves, thighs and chest might be a good move before you begin your new healthy eating. Keep those measurements tucked away safely with photos from front back and sides.

Weigh yourself if you want to and see if there’s a difference at the end of the challenge but don’t let weight be your only measure of the impact of your changes.

Before you start your new eating plan make a note of how much water you drink or how much of anything you drink or how many fresh fruits and vegetables you eat and see how you improve during the challenge. You might want to also keep a record of how many times you go to pee. You may even want to take a sample of your pee and snap a shot of it to see what colour it is and compare that with a pee at the end of the two weeks. We’ll look at pee colour and what it is saying to us in a later post. You can even keep an eye on number twos if you want to see if your bowel function has improved.

How about taking a piece of snug fitting clothing that’s tight around the waist and setting it aside to see how it fits at the end of two weeks? If you don’t have anything tight fitting (let’s face it if you’re overweight you probably wear stretchy clothes because that’s what we do)  use a piece of string to see how that fits at the end of the two weeks. Do you suddenly want to change your hair style or make up or have your nails done for the first time in years?

You can keep a record of your sleep, see if there are any changes to that or changes to how active and vivacious you feel. You can also keep a mood diary, start a week or two before your dietary change and see how things are going during the challenge and how you feel at the end of it. Do you feel happier, more confident, have less anxiety or fewer panic attacks? Do you feel more positive?

Other measures can be to note if you have less indigestion or bloating or heart burn, if you have IBS does it improve? If you suffer from pain from a condition does it improve? Do you have less headaches? Is your skin less prone to break outs, less dry, less oily, is your hair in better condition? All of these things can be ways of measuring the impact of the dietary changes you are making. You don’t have to measure all of them but if you do you might spot benefits of this eating challenge in places you didn’t expect to or in places you didn’t realise you even had a problem. I don’t know, I’m just going to go with it and find out for myself.

Besides the effects on your mind and body you can also look to see other effects, are you having better relationships with your kids, partner, family? Are you better or worse off financially… remember to tot up the money you would normally spend on junk food and treats, alcohol, fags, takeaways. Are you spending less time at the computer or on a games console?

So many ways what we eat can affect us and our lives. If you want to keep a simple record, either video yourself or write down exactly how you are feeling on the day before you start your challenge. Be honest and open only you will see it. Talk about your ailments and your worries about your health, about your relationships and how you feel mentally, emotionally and physically. Tuck that video or piece of paper away for two weeks and then do it again and compare the two versions of yourself.

However you choose to measure the effects of this challenge remember that the key point of it is to reduce water retention and if that’s all you measure then that’s enough. Anything else is a bonus.

As I’ve developed my own experiment I’m going to be measuring all of the above and will no doubt share some of my measuring tools with you along the way.

Thanks for dropping in.

A x