Getting Rid Of Water Weight
How To Drop Water Weigh
Our bodies contain about 60% water and this is good thing. A little extra water weight is pretty normal, even though some people think any extra weight is too much. It could be because they don’t like to see the bloat that it causes in the mirror or in the case of professional athletes who “need” to “make weight” in order to compete.
The term “water weight” sounds simple enough, but it can make some people miserable. It happens when fluid collects in one’s tissues instead of going to the kidneys. The “water” makes the tissues swell. This can cause symptoms such as swollen fingers, stiff joints, a bloated stomach or just an overall sluggish feeling. Then there is something called edema where the water weight itself is harmless, but it is a sign of a more serious medical condition involving the heart, liver or kidney.
Sometimes the water weight mysteriously appears in the morning but it evidence shows in the mirror and on the scale. For anyone wanting to lose weight, this extra weight gain can be downright frustrating.
Karla Walsh, writing for Prevention.com says, “The truth is that your weight fluctuates day to day, so those pesky pounds could be a sign that you consumed too much salt one day, or your diet was carb-heavy another day. Hitting up the drive-thru often or eating too many processed foods are reasons you might be tacking on water weight.” (Prevention)
Fortunately, she and other professionals have a few tricks up their sleeves to help other get rid of that unwanted water weight safely and easily. Here is what they tell their patients:
Cut Down the Salt
Consuming some foods tend to make you feel bloated. These include products made with bran or high fiber, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. But that is not the same as when we take in too much sodium.
“Salt acts like a magnet to water in your body, hence the water retention,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD and creator of BetterThanDieting.com.
Our bodies need about 200 milligrams of sodium just to function and the daily sodium recommendation is 2,300 milligrams per day. Somewhere in the middle is the sweet spot and even those very conscientious about their sodium intake might be surprised to learn that about 70 percent of dietary sodium comes from restaurant dishes, fast food runs and many packaged snacks we have on the shelves at home.
To make matters worse, some people are more sensitive to salt than others. If your hands are swelling for no good reason, you should cut back on the salt right away.
To easily cut back on salt, taste your food first to see if it really needs salt to begin with. If so, shake on just a little bit. Salt substitutes like Mrs. Dash products make for a nice alternative as well. Other tricks include limiting the number of salty snacks you consume, rinse canned beans under water and dilute salad dressings with balsamic vinegar.
Cut Down the Carbs
Guess what? Too many carbohydrates can cause water retention too! According to Amy Shapiro, RD and founder of Real Nutrition in New York City, when a person eats too many carbs and doesn’t use them the fuel right away, their body will convert those carbs to glycogen. “This is stored in the muscles for energy,” says Shapiro.
And here’s a fun fact: about one percent of our muscle mass is glycogen but eight percent of the weight of our livers is glycogen. “For every gram of glycogen stored in those areas, you gain about 2.7 grams of water along with it,” says Karla Walsh, a writer for Prevention.com. “To help you practice better carb portion control, consider carb cycling, a hybrid of high- and low-carb dieting. The idea is that you eat fewer carbs during recovery or rest days and increase your carb intake for days when you’re doing a tough workout. This way of eating helps promote muscle growth and fat loss.”
Easy ways to cut down on carbs include eating a bowl of fruit and yogurt instead of your morning bowl of cereal, enjoy celery and carrot sticks with hummus instead of salt crackers and swap out vegetable “Zoodles” for traditional pasta.
Up the Water
Some ingenious person began selling water in bottle and instantly, people all over are drinking more of the beverage and yet, many are still not drinking enough of the stuff; particularly those who consume too much salt. When you get dehydrated, your body’s cells hang on to all of the water in the body that it can and to make matters worse, your body might even trick you into believing that you are not even thirsty when in reality, you are. (It’s pretty bad when you can’t even trust your own body.)
Here’s some great motivation to drink more water. A recent study published in the journal “Obesity” found that drinking about 17 ounces before a meal will actually trick your body into losing more weight. Of course, that is the equivalent of drinking a can and a half of Coke, but if you can get that down, you’ll be much happier in the long run.
Up the Magnesium
Because of their menstrual cycles, women naturally retain more water during that week every month. By taking a 200-milligram magnesium supplement, women can lessen the swelling, stomach bloat and weight gain.
Up the Potassium
The American Journal of Kidney Disease did a study that links those with higher dietary potassium with less sodium in the kidneys which in turn reduced water retention and blood pressure. It’s a win-win-win. They recommend taking 4.7 grams of potassium per day and you can do that by eating more sweet potatoes, white potatoes, tomato sauce, watermelon, spinach, beets, black beans, white beans, canned salmon, edamame, butternut squash, Swiss chard, yogurt, avocado, coconut water and dried apricots; all of which have more potassium than bananas.
Forget the Water Pills – Maybe
A frequent go-to trick of many people is to head straight to the water pills to lose weight, but Walsh recommends that you talk to your doctor first before trying it out. “Sometimes, doctors will prescribe diuretics to people with high blood pressure to help reduce the amount of salt in the body. But diuretics come with a case of side effects, such as dizziness, headaches, muscle cramps, and dehydration, so be sure to consult your MD, especially if you’re taking certain medications,” says Walsh.
Get in More Exercise
Sweat may not be “pain leaving your body” as some people would like to suggest, but it is water leaving your body. Even a gentle 20 minute walk is enough to coax one’s cells to shed some water says Shapiro.
“Avoid sitting or standing in one place for too long because this can cause your tissues to hold and retain water,” Shapiro says. You can do this by setting a reminder to walk for at least five minutes every hour.
Of course, you can burn a lot more calories and lose a lot more water weight by hitting the gym – hard. Working out with intensity will help you burn off glycogen and help remove water from the extremities. And, be sure to consume more water during your workout to keep yourself hydrated.
Healthline states that the average water loss from one hour of exercise is somewhere between 16 and 64 ounces, which is equivalent to one half liter to two liters. Exercise is also good to move more water from your body and into your muscles give you a bulk you’ll be proud of.
Finish off your workout in the sauna and you can squeeze out even more stored water. (Healthline)
Sleep It Off
And now we have another reason to get more shut-eye. It turns out that sleep just might affect the sympathetic renal nerves in the kidneys which are responsible for regulating sodium and water balance. Just sleeping might even help your body control hydration levels and keep water retention down to a minimum. Here’s something you’ve heard before – be sure to get about 7-9 hours of sleep per night to make the biggest difference.
If after trying a few of these healthy tricks you still don’t see much of a difference in water weight, be sure to consult with your doctor as water retention could be a sign of a more serious problem.
Healthline – https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-ways-to-lose-water-weight#section4
Prevention – https://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/a23641727/how-to-get-rid-of-water-weight/
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