Everyone has heard the old saying, "I'm just retaining water" or "It's just water weight." There is some truth to this saying, sometimes the body stores excess water weight, also known as water retention, which can make you feel bloated and look puffy.
It can also cause your weight to go up. So how do you combat this excess water?
Read on to learn how to get rid of water weight to aid in weight loss.
See Related: How To Increase Body Water Percentage
Ways To Lose Water Weight
Reduce Salt Intake
The body reacts to a high sodium intake by causing water retention, which drives up your water weight.
If you often eat salty foods and frequently battle water retention, you'll want to keep an eye on that intake and find low sodium snacks to replace those salty foods. Water and sodium intake are very closely linked in this way, so the more sodium you consume, the more you will retain water.
Likewise, the less daily sodium in your diet, the more likely you will get rid of water weight. Reducing your salt intake is also good for lowering your blood pressure. High blood pressure can also cause bloating.
Drink More Water
This might sound counterintuitive, but yes! You should try drinking water to get rid of water weight. When we are dehydrated, the body holds excess water in an attempt to counteract.
So, if you find yourself with water retention, you can stay hydrated to lose water weight fast. Drink water!
Reduce Carbohydrate Intake
High carb diets can cause water retention in two different ways.
Carbohydrates are stored in the body as glycogen, and every gram of glycogen stores three grams of water. So low carb diets can be a good way to lose water weight quickly.
Excess carbohydrates can potentially cause insulin levels to increase in the body, as well. This can also increase sodium levels in the body, which in turn causes water retention, as mentioned previously.
Lack of sleep can cause water retention by causing stress to the kidneys, which regulates water retention and sodium levels in the body.
Lack of sleep may also interfere with the release of hormones that regulate water levels in the body, leading to dehydration, which, as previously mentioned, causes water weight as the body uses fluid retention to combat it.
Getting extra sleep will also help your body ward off cravings for foods like sodium heavy foods and carbs, which can further help avoid fluid retention.
Stress, especially long term stress, can cause fluid retention due to the increase in the hormone cortisol.
Cortisol is one of the chemicals in the body that regulates your glucose levels, which ties right back to the body using water weight to combat dehydration, as mentioned above in the carbohydrate section.
Stress causes us to crave rich foods and processed foods that are more likely to be laden with salt and sugar, so keeping stress levels low is a great way to lose water weight.
Reduce Inflammatory Foods
When you are stressed, inflammatory foods raise cortisol levels, affecting your glucose levels and, ultimately, your water weight.
That increase in cortisol can cause stress on the body; stress increases cortisol levels, creating an endless cycle.
As you can see, many of the issues that cause excess water weight are all tied together and can all make each other worse. Pay attention to the foods that cause inflammation for you and try to avoid them.
It is possible to take supplements that make your body feel healthier and help reduce water weight by helping the kidneys flush out the excess water.
Studies show that magnesium can help people who are overweight by regulating insulin and blood sugars. These same studies have shown a link between magnesium and flushing water weight. You can add magnesium to your diet by eating leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, fish, and yogurt.
Vitamin B6 or Vitamin B Complex could help reduce water weight and is considered a way to help with the creation of red blood cells. Foods containing vitamin B6 include pork, poultry, peanuts, oats, and bananas.
Physical activity makes us sweat, which helps reduce extra water. Exercise can also move water into your muscles, which can change the appearance of water weight. Swimming and walking can be great methods of exercise for water retention.
Dandelion tea is a natural diuretic that promotes urination and can reduce water retention. Increasing your dandelion tea intake could help the kidneys to maintain fluid balance in this way.
Water pills are another name for diuretics, like dandelion tea; these pills promote the release of water and salt from the body through urination. Diuretics are used to treat high blood pressure as they help reduce blood vessels in the blood vessels.
Eat More Vegetables
As already mentioned, processed foods may cause water retention. On the other hand, potassium-rich foods can help reduce water retention as they help balance the levels of water and salt in the body. These choices may also aid in general weight loss. Vegetables high in potassium include broccoli, potatoes, cooked spinach.
Everyone knows coffee (or caffeine) in general is a diuretic. Drink coffee or take a caffeine supplement can help to reduce water by promoting urination and flushing excess water from the system.
Get to sweating! Like with exercise, hanging out in a sauna can help you lose weight from excess water by simply sweating it out.
What Causes Water Weight
So, now we know what to do when we have too much water in our bodies, but how do we avoid retaining too much water in the first place? Here's a quick rundown of the general causes of water retention.
- Food Choices - Processed or foods with too much salt
- Menstrual Cycle - An increase in the hormone progesterone activates the hormone aldosterone, leading to the retention of water and salt
- Inactivity - This leads to tissue in the body holding excess water, which can cause that swollen look
- Heart Disease - Heart disease causes the body to pump less blood to the kidneys, which impacts the release of water
- Medications - Certain medications such as NSAIDs, corticosteroids, or calcium channel blockers, among others, could promote fluid retention
Symptoms Of Water Retention
How can you tell if you are suffering from excess fluid? Bloating may be the most recognizable symptom and one that people most want to address. Swollen areas of the body or puffiness are similar signs. If you find your weight fluctuating, this can be a sign that you are currently retaining fluid. Stiff joints and dents in the skin could also signal retention.
See A Doctor
Many of these causes of retention are simple fixes and nothing to worry about. But pay attention to your symptoms and seek medical advice if you have trouble breathing, suffer from chest pain or pressure in the chest, or see a decrease or inability to urinate.