Everyone knows how important it is to stay hydrated but what happens when we get dehydrated?

What happens when we get dehydrated

Dehydration is a massive problem in society – far bigger than many might imagine – with research suggesting that one in five people in the UK don’t know how much water to drink.

When it comes to health and nutrition, good hydration is key and, for those on the Nutritious Lolly 6-Week Whole-Body Plan, you’ll know how much I encourage you to drink enough water.

You might feel like you’re peeing like a racehorse in the beginning but this will settle down!

The importance of good hydration becomes even more crucial when you add in physical activity. The more intense your activity, the more fluids you will lose and the more you need to drink to replace them.

Of course, none of this is rocket science. But I’ll say it again, please ensure you’re drinking enough water and this is around two to three litres a day on average, but should be more if you’re doing intense physical activity.

If you are somebody who does any form of cardio exercise at high intensity for 60 minutes or more at a time then you should have an electrolyte drink.

What happens when we get dehydrated?

So, what happens when we get dehydrated? Well, the first sign of dehydration is normally feeling thirsty. We all get this from time to time and we don’t think too much about it. We just have a drink and forget about it.

But really, we shouldn’t let it get to that stage. Our body is telling us that it’s already becoming dehydrated. If we’re really looking after our hydration, we should never really feel thirsty.

Other more severe symptoms of dehydration include feeling dizzy or light headed, feeling faint, tired and even headaches.

You might also notice that your pee is darker or more strong smelling than usual. If you notice that you’re peeing less than usual, that’s another signal that you’re dehydrated.

Most of us will have experienced these symptoms before; we’re all guilty of letting ourselves get dehydrated from time to time. But, if we’re letting this happen regularly then there’s a serious risk of causing long term damage to our bodies.

Why do we need to stay hydrated?

At face value, we all know that we NEED water to survive. But what many don’t know is that our bodies require good hydration for everything from maintaining temperature and blood pressure, lubricating joints, aiding digestion, maintaining organ performance (including our brain!)… and the list goes on and on and on.

In short, if we’re not properly hydrated our bodies cannot perform these functions the way they were intended to and the result is we end up feeling unwell from it.

Have I made this clear enough yet? Please, please ensure you are drinking enough water every day!

What good nutrition can do for you

You’ve probably read lots of ‘weight loss secrets’ online. Well, here’s one that shouldn’t be a secret but I sometimes feel like it is, good hydration can help you to maintain a healthy weight!

As well as that, good hydration can improve sleep, our skin and even improve joint and cartilage repair.

Good habits, just like bad habits, are developed over time so start your good habit of drinking more water today and give your body what it needs to perform the way it should.

Organic foods are a hot topic and there’s a lot of debate around whether they’re healthier for you so let’s delve in and examine some hard facts!

what is organic food?

This is a biggie because so many people assume that ‘organic’ is just a byword for ‘fruit and vegetables’ but that is completely wrong. Organic foods have a strict definition (even if there are some nuances from country to country). Essentially organic foods must be grown or raised without the use of synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs) or petroleum-based fertilisers.

Are organic – foods really any better for you?

This one is a real hot potato (see what I did there?), and much of that is down to a few studies which have suggested that there are only limited health benefits to eating organic foods over intensively grown and raised produce. BUT…
There’s also a torrent of data which suggests that organic foods do have significant health benefits so it really comes down to how you feel about it.
Personally, for me, it’s an easy choice to make. I’d rather that my family and I eat foods that don’t have lots of chemicals used in their production and that are kinder to the environment. Those two reasons alone are massive!
Here are some other reasons to eat organic foods:

Organic meats and milk are richer in nutrients

A 2016 European study found that organically raised meats and organically produced milk had up to 50 per cent more nutrients including Omega 3 fatty acids!

Organic foods have fewer pesticides

Pesticides are used in conventional farming processes. The reality of this is that residual chemicals can make their way into what we are eating. Do you want a side of fungicides, herbicides and insecticides with your salad? Nah, me neither.

Organically-raised animals are probably happier and healthier

This is an extremely contentious one… but the fact is that organically-raised animals are given far more space to move around and do what comes naturally to them (think cows out to pasture and chickens foraging). The use of antibiotics in intensively-farmed animals can create antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

Organic food is fresher 

Organic food doesn’t usually contain preservatives that are designed to make them last longer. So, that cauliflower that you thought was harvested from a farm a few days ago might actually be far, far older than that. Yuk. Organic produce is often produced on smaller farms near to where it is sold, so as well as being better for you and your family, you could actually be helping the local economy too!
For Nutritious Lolly, organic food is ALWAYS better.

Motivation can be such an elusive thing sometimes. Here one minute, gone the next. But there are steps we can take to ensure a more steady and reliable flow of motivation during our busy weeks.

Here are five methods I use to keep my motivation levels up, which I know will help you too.

Motivation comes with realistic goals

This is the biggest factor in determining whether we nail it or get disheartened and give up. Time and again I see people set themselves completely unrealistic goals in a particular timeframe and when they fail, they beat themselves up so bad that it’s counter-productive.

It doesn’t have to be like that. It takes times to achieve your goals.

Instead of one big goal that you’ll feel like you’re constantly trying to achieve, break them up into smaller goals. When you hit these little milestones on the way, the feeling of achievement spurs you on even more.

Reward yourself

If you’re a complete badass who can keep going like a machine without ever stopping to reward yourself, then go you. But that’s not me.

My advice would be to always, always reward your achievements with a treat. Did you hit another little fitness or body transformation goal this week? Great. Reward yourself for it. For me, it might be a Prosecco or two or maybe even sharing a Friday night pizza with the family.

Take a step back

We are all often far too hard on ourselves. Be kind to yourself. Take a step back every week and a deep breath and applaud yourself for what you have achieved and getting a step further to your ultimate goal.

Record your progress

Recording your progress is important. I like to record not only my fitness performance but also my body transformation.

So, write down how you felt after my 10-minute exercise videos, a brisk walk or run or whatever it is that you love to do. Also take weekly photos of your physique. Seeing and feeling changes in your body is an extremely powerful method of keeping motivated.

Remind yourself of the ‘why’

This is incredibly powerful but we don’t do it enough. Often when we feel like giving up, that overwhelming urge to can it all in is the only thought we have.

That feeling like you’re failing (see point 1 about realistic goals) can completely take over and that’s okay because here is how you’re going to stop it in its tracks.

Take a deep breath and ask yourself ‘why’? Or rather, remind yourself why, you  started your journey for a purpose; with a goal in mind. Think hard at this moment what that goal was. Think back to the moment you decided why you were going to do this. Now think about how important that purpose, that goal was to you then.

Then you’ll remember that it’s just as important now and you’ll keep going. I know you will.

Lolly Cunningham is the founder of Nutritious Lolly and was featured in Huffington Post. Read the story here.


Christmas is fast approaching (like you needed me to tell you that) and you’re probably worrying about how many extra pounds you’ll put on over Christmas but I’m going to tell you to stop.

It might seem a bit odd that a nutritionist and fitness instructor is telling you to forget about the fitness routine just now but this is actually something I feel quite strongly about.

Christmas is the one season in the year when I believe that it’s okay to over-indulge a bit. In fact, I’ll go even further than that and say that I positively encourage it. Why?

It’s simple really. Christmas is for enjoying yourself and letting go. Can you do that AND continue to smash your goals and fitness habits? I’ll leave that up to you to decide but for me, personally, I’d rather not.

I work really hard all year to ensure that my family and I get the best nutrition and that I’m treating my body the way that it should be. I see Christmas time, with my gorgeous family and gorgeous food, as sort of like a reward for all my hard work during the year.

It’s okay to let go a little

It’s really important that you don’t see this as me telling you to go and pig out right through the festive season with reckless abandon. That’s absolutely not what I’m saying.

What I am saying is that if you want to have seconds of that insanely good pudding, or be a bit naughty and have another glass of wine with the cheese and crackers, then go for it!

For me, if I’m watching what I eat or feeling guilty it’s just not Christmas! Can I let you into a little secret? On Christmas morning, before I’ve even had my coffee, the first thing I always eat are a few chocolates. If you can’t have chocolate for breakfast on Christmas morning then when can you do it!?


Christmas: A family affair

This Christmas Day for us will be another big family affair and I honestly cannot wait for the kids’ faces when they see that Santa has been, making the dessert and cake, the turkey and all the trimmings and all the other little bits and bobs that make Christmas such an enjoyable and special time of year!

Will I put on a few extra pounds? Probably? Am I bothered? Nope, because I know that come the new year I’ll be back to following my nutrition and exercise plan.

In the meantime, have fun organising your Christmas!

Lolly x

We all love to eat food that is nutritious but, more importantly, delicious and one way to add more flavour to your food is by using spices. Spice Pots allow you to do just that with ease. They contain loads of great spices with lots of nutritious value. I was lucky enough to be welcomed into owner Melanie Auld’s home and watch her in action as she created the perfect chicken korma. The korma spice pot contains several different spices each with their own nutritional benefits. So, what spices do what? Well, I’m just about to tell you…

Coriander – the marmite of spices

Coriander – you either love it or hate it and personally I love it. The spicy leave is used all over the world as a garnish but in this form you tend to miss out on the all the nutritional benefits that is has to offer. In a ground form coriander is great for digestion, skin inflammation, lowering blood pressure and it even has anti-histamine properties to fight allergies!


Remember those little black insect-like seeds you used to take out of curries? They’re cumin seeds. Back then you may not have given them a chance, but, trust me, they taste pretty good and if you look past their appearance the benefits are substantial. It’s a great way to boost your immune system, help you sleep and even reduce the chance of hypoglycemia in diabetes sufferers.


A spice used in most curries and has been called ‘the most powerful spice for fighting and potentially reversing disease’. Turmeric has more benefits than I could list.From being taken as an alternative to painkillers to being used as an anti-inflammatory. Turmeric is also well known for its anti-depressant properties.


Something many people won’t know is that chillies are great for weight loss. The heat that you feel after eating a chilli takes energy from your body to produce, the more energy used the more calories burned. They’re also great for clearing congestion if you’re feeling a bit stuffy, especially with winter well and truly here.


The health benefits of cinnamon can be linked to its antibacterial, antifungal and anticlotting properties. It’s rich in essential minerals such as iron and calcium. It can be great for those who need to lower their cholesterol levels and aid those who suffer from type 2 diabetes, as it can control blood sugars.


From soothing sore throats to reducing your risk of heart disease fenugreek is a great spice to add to any meal but it’s especially good in curry. It also works wonders for those ladies who are going through the change of life (menopause) as it is known for reducing symptoms such as mood swings and cramps.


Cloves are filled with vitamins. Vitamins that can help the preservation of bone density and antioxidants that can help protect your liver from the effects of free radicals. They are also being studied for their properties that could help control lung cancer in the early stages. All that from a small clove, amazing.  

Black pepper

Black pepper is great for your stomach. It increases the amount of hydrochloric acid produced to aid digestion and it’s also great for weight loss as it breaks down fat


Cardamom is great for your body and your teeth. It’s known for its dental disease prevention properties. Feeling nauseated or suffer from vomiting? It also works a treat if you need to settle your stomach.