Many of us have been victim to a sudden increase on the scales. As we anxiously step our second foot onto the plate, we find that we’ve gained weight over the course of one day or so. In these cases, the increase is normally due to water weight and not a sudden increase in body fat. For this reason weighing yourself every day is not the healthiest habit to entertain. It’s natural for our weight to fluctuate to some extent and it is important to understand what causes water weight before we try to reduce it. Gaining body fat, however, is a gradual change over weeks at a time and if you’re working towards eliminating body fat then the methods to get there can differ from the ones that work on water weight. Water weight is a normal part of most bodies but there are some things you can do to ensure you’re not holding onto a larger than normal amount. Here we will cover the causes of water weight and How to reduce water weight.
How to reduce water weight
Causes of water weight
The factors that influence our bodies holding onto water weight range from hormones to medication, to diet and exercise. Any hormone imbalance such as pre-menstrual syndrome, thyroid disease or menopause can have a flow on effect to cause water retention. Medications that target these conditions, as well as anti-inflammatory pills, beta blockers, and the contraceptive pill, can also have the same effect. It’s important to discuss these side effects with your doctor as they may be unavoidable when treating a higher concern. Foods high in salt are responsible for water retention because it dehydrates your body. While foods high in carbohydrates are also a factor as your body turns carbs into a substance called glycogen which it then uses to fuel energy. Unfortunately, one gram of glycogen amounts to almost three grams of water as your body takes glycogen intake as a sign to hold onto sodium which in turn results in storing more water to combat a healthy balance of sodium and blood. Lastly, inactivity, a sedentary lifestyle or little to no exercise can also hinder your body.
Reduce your water weight with hydration and food
There are simple diet changes you can focus on if you would like to reduce the water weight in your body. This brings us to water intake. One of the most important control factors may seem contradictory but it’s very important to stay hydrated all of the time. If your body is used to being hydrated it doesn’t retain as much water and your kidneys are much healthier. A dehydrated body is trained to hold onto fluid as it doesn’t know when the next intake will be. Therefore, try to ensure you are always drinking water when you feel thirsty. If you are used to a limited water intake, make sure you stick to the habit of around two litres a day for a few weeks so your body can adjust to the feeling of being regularly hydrated.
Salt, also known as sodium can be counteracted by food which is rich in potassium as it’s been proven to eliminate excess sodium in the body. Foods such as bananas, avocados, fish and dark leafy greens are high in potassium. While cutting back on foods high in salt such as canned / preserved foods, pizza, processed meats, potato chips, and cheese will stop excess salt intake. When it comes to carbohydrates, don’t completely avoid them, but focus more on the slow absorbing carbohydrates as they fuel your body for longer and contain less calories. Examples of slow absorbing carbs include whole grain bread, pasta and oats, legumes and non-starchy vegetables.
Another important part of your diet is protein. Protein helps balance out the water in your body and therefore can help reduce water weight with regular consumption. Eggs, chicken breast and Greek yogurt are examples of healthy, high-protein foods to benefit your body.
Reduce your water weight with changes to your habits
There are simple changes you can make to your lifestyle and habits that can help reduce water weight. Although exercise is highly recommended for losing body fat, it should also be a part of your regular lifestyle just to stay healthy. However, when it comes to losing water weight, it can be just as important because while you exercise, you sweat and you also boost your blood circulation. Basic exercise such a short walk per day can really help with circulation, as do stretches and short breaks to avoid sitting or standing still for too long. On the other end of the spectrum, an hour of intensive exercise can result in sweating up to two litres of fluid! Just don’t forget to hydrate while and after you work out. It is just as important!
Sleeping is another important habit you should manage to ensure you get at least seven hours per night, if not more. Getting a healthy amount of sleep aids your kidney health and your kidneys are responsible for your water balance and sodium levels.
Supplements for an extra boost
We touched on potassium being great for eliminating excess sodium. Potassium is a mineral that contains ions with an electric charge, as is magnesium. They are both called electrolytes because of their electric charge. Both of these minerals help with balancing the water levels in your body, so if you’re lacking in either it can impact on this balance and cause water retention. You can find supplements for magnesium as well as electrolyte supplements in your local supermarket or health food store. Ensure you take them in moderation as over-doing intake of these minerals can result in the opposite effect. They are highly recommended for those who are consuming a lot of water and exercising frequently and at intense levels. Lastly, dandelion supplements, also found in your health food store are known to signal your kidneys to urinate more frequently as well as shed additional sodium from your body resulting in reduced water weight. Once again, always make sure you hydrate with significant water intake.
In conclusion, we hope you can take away these tips to reduce water weight and start to feel healthier and less bloated. And we hope that you get your answer about how to reduce water weight.These are all natural and simple ways to tackle the problem and the bonus is that they’ll leave you feeling healthier in general!