Do you often feel puffy and bloated? Then there is a possibility that your body is retaining excess water.
The good news, however, is that bloating is only a temporary problem. If you are wondering how to lose water weight, avoid complications of water retention and generally feel good in your body, this article is your guide.
Meanwhile, do remember that when you are aiming for weight loss, you must target harmful fat mass, while working to retain your muscle mass.
What Is Water Weight?
When the body retains fluid that the kidneys would otherwise release from the body, it contributes to your water weight. Water retention is a common occurrence and depends upon various parameters. Your diet, lifestyle, hormonal fluctuations, menstrual cycle, pregnancy, body’s response to changing environment, or the intake of certain medications could all be the possible reasons you feel puffier than usual. While in some cases, water retention, also called as edema, may indicate an underlying disease, among healthy individuals it is temporary and making small lifestyle changes helps.
Am I Losing Water Weight Or Fat Mass?
Most people on a weight loss diet consume a diet low in calories and carbohydrates. When you combine this with exercise, the initial source of energy for the body is glycogen, which is stored in the liver and skeletal muscles. You store up to 3-4 grams of water for every gram of glycogen. This depletion of glycogen reserves explains why people lose water weight quickly when they switch to a low-carb diet. Sweating will also help you shed water weight if you exercise more frequently. Know that if your weight is fluctuating a lot and the weight loss is very quick, then it is water weight that you are most likely losing.
On the other hand, if you notice that you are becoming leaner with a balanced, low-calorie diet and a proper exercise regimen, it is mostly fat loss. This also takes longer.
-Lavanya Parthasarathy, PhD, CDE
Must Read: 7 Days Indian Diet Plan for Weight Loss
Top 3 Benefits Of Losing Water Weight
Getting rid of excess water weight not only reduces puffiness and bloating in different parts of the body but also has other benefits:
- You will notice a rise in your energy levels as excess water weight makes you feel sluggish.
- You will notice a drop in the numbers on the weighing scale by at least 1-2kgs.
- You will achieve a more toned and slimmer appearance. Further, as the body stops retaining water, it promotes muscle formation.
8 Ways To Lose Water Weight Fast Naturally In 2 Days
- Reduce Salt Intake: Too much sodium or salt can cause instant water retention in the body. Therefore, reduce your daily salt and sodium intake by consuming less processed meat, salted nuts, preserved foods like canned food and pickles, packaged soup, sauces, which are all rich in sodium.
- Eat Nutrient-Dense Meals: Carbohydrates cause an increase in the hormone insulin, which can lead to increased salt retention and water re-absorption in the kidneys. Replace carbs with protein-rich foods and switch to healthier fibre-rich foods, minerals such as magnesium and potassium. Include green leafy vegetables, nuts, whole grains, herbs, and dark chocolate.
- Hydrate Adequately: Drinking sufficient water helps the kidneys in getting rid of extra water and sodium. If you live in a warm or humid climate and engage in physical activity, you must drink more than eight glasses of water in a day to prevent dehydration and water retention. Several weight-loss programmes also recommend drinking enough water as it induces thermogenesis.
- Engage In Physical Activity: Exercise increases blood circulation in the body and helps prevent water retention in the arms, legs, feet, and face. Working out regularly helps you get rid of excess water weight in the form of sweat. As the body uses glycogen reserves, it also releases extra water (3g) stored with each gram of glycogen.
- De-stress: Stress causes a spike in the release of cortisol, which is also responsible for regulating the production of ADH or anti-diuretic hormone. Reducing stress maintains optimum levels of cortisol and ADH to manage fluid balance and prevent water retention.
- Consume Electrolytes: A decrease in electrolyte balance in the body may lead to water weight. Intake of electrolytes such as magnesium and potassium helps maintain a healthy fluid balance and decreases water retention.
- Get Adequate Sleep: Sufficient and proper sleep helps maintain hydration levels in the body, regulate sodium balance and reduce water retention. Sleep for at least 8 to 9 hours every night.
- Include Caffeine: Tea and coffee contain caffeine, which has a short-term diuretic effect on the body and helps in eliminating excess water, thereby reducing water retention. Caffeine might increase the frequency and urgency with which you urinate.
More Useful Tips To Manage Water Retention
- Have a proper workout routine where you exercise for at least 2.5 hours a week. Make sure to hydrate yourself after a workout session to maintain the fluid balance.
- Women can avoid water retention during the luteal phase of menstruation every month with a combination of exercise and supplements.
- If you are prone to water retention in your legs, stretching your legs, moving, placing them at a height using a pillow whenever you lie on the bed or sofa helps.
- You can speak to your doctor and get compression stockings if your lifestyle/profession requires you to stand for long hours.
- Massage your body to improve circulation, which reduces water retention.
- Avoid consuming over-processed foods or foods with preservatives.
Sauna To Lose Water Weight
Visiting the sauna is a wonderful way to enhance perspiration and water loss, which you try after a gym workout. While in the sauna, you will sweat out excess water, thus losing a little weight. Do note that this weight will return once you start drinking water again. Besides this, regular dry sauna bathing also has a wide range of health benefits, particularly for those with cardiovascular and rheumatological diseases, as well as athletes looking to improve their athletic performance. Although the sauna might help you burn calories, don’t count on the sweat sessions alone to help you lose weight, as it isn’t a viable option for long-term weight reduction.
-Lavanya Parthasarathy, PhD, CDE
Must Read: How to Drink Water To Lose Weight?
Water retention causes bloating, swelling of body parts, a drop in energy levels and weight gain. Understanding the underlying causes of water weight and implementing the above tips can reduce water retention and make you lose weight, feel active and healthy.
If you struggle with excess weight, we recommend visiting Oliva Skin & Hair Clinic, where expert nutritionists and fitness instructors will help you become fat to fit sustainably. Oliva’s holistic health and fitness solutions will ease all your worries about weight and related concerns.