What Is Water Weight And Why Is It So Hard To Get Rid Of?
7 minute read
The extra few pounds you can’t seem to shed no matter what you do are more than likely water weight. Water weight is simply water that your body retains for a number of different reasons. We all know that roughly three quarters of our bodies are made up of water. Consuming certain foods or drinks and not having enough of others can cause the body to retain fluids to balance itself out. When you hold onto water weight, you might feel extra puffy or bloated. There are ways to prevent this from happening, and it starts by watching out for certain things in your diet.
5 Foods To Watch Out For:
1. Salty Foods
Salt is one of the top culprits of water retention. Sodium plays an important role in keeping homeostasis in the body. The micro-nutrients in our bloodstream need to stay balanced; therefore, when there’s too much sodium in the blood, the body
will require more water to balance it all out. This is also the reason why you tend
to drink more water after eating something extra salty. People with diets that are high in sodium will have long lasting problems with water retention than usual.
2. Processed Foods
Generally categorized as 'bad for you,' processed foods don’t get a break when it comes to water retention. This includes anything that’s packaged, including lunch meat, canned soups, or basically anything you can think of that’s not sold fresh.
The problem with processed foods is that they are extremely high in sodium content. This is why it’s important to read labels before buying them, especially if you do have to buy something that is processed. If not, trying to avoid or eliminate processed foods altogether, which will be better for your body in the long run, anyway. Less processed foods directly translates to less water weight.
There’s a reason why people tell you to chase your alcohol with water. It helps to avoid a hangover, which is caused by the feeling of dehydration brought about by too much alcohol intake. Because of this, the body demands more water in order to prevent actual dehydration. In addition, alcoholic beverages such as cocktails, mixed drinks, and beers are usually teeming with high sugar and carbohydrate content. This will cause the body to retain enough water to be noticeable. If alcohol consumption is expected, make sure to hydrate properly to counterbalance the effects and keep the body well balanced.
4. Sugar and Carbs
Speaking of sugars and carbohydrates, these will make you hold on to water weight just as much as salt would. The sugars and carbs that we consume are converted by the body into a glycogen, a polysaccharide of glucose that stores energy in the muscles. The body holds on to about three times as much water for each gram of glycogen stored in the muscles. You can imagine how much a diet that is high in carbohydrates can cause you not only to gain water weight easily. Watching out for carbs altogether will help your body avoid water retention.
5. Cleansing and Fasting
While too much carbs is certainly bad for you, not enough of it is just as dangerous. Most of the diet fads today call for detoxing, cleansing, or fasting that involves eating mostly raw and fresh ingredients without any carb consumption. While this might be good initially, as you will notice weight loss faster probably due to some loss in water retention, it may not fare so well in the long run.
Once you reintroduce carbs in your diet again, your body will go into overdrive being more susceptible to overeat the carbs it’s missed. Make sure to avoid diet fads that make you eliminate food groups altogether. You shouldn’t try them.
3 Foods To Eat Instead:
Fiber has been getting tons of good feedback lately for being a great weight loss tool, and rightfully so. Fiber plays a large role in waste management, and water weight constitutes part of our body’s waste as well. Eating fiber will not only help you pass your solid stools but also any retained fluids in your body. Fiber will also help you feel and be less bloated. It’s easier to incorporate fiber into any diet. All it takes is to introduce fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily meals.
By eating more fruits and vegetables, you also introduce something else in your diet that will help you prevent water retention: antioxidants. Antioxidants are great for many things. It helps get rid of free radicals in your body. It helps prevent aging and maintain younger looking skin. Antioxidants also help to flush the body of toxins and of course, water weight. The best way to introduce antioxidants in the body is by eating colorful, raw ingredients: leafy greens, bell peppers, squash, different types of berries, and tomatoes.
Potassium is just as important in regulating balance in the body but in the opposite way. When you don’t eat enough foods with potassium in it, your body tends to retain more water. Eating foods rich in potassium will not only help you remove the excess fluids you’ve retained, but it will also help prevent future retention. While it’s easy to consume potassium-rich foods, make sure to not eat too much of it either. Too much potassium can become dangerous to people experiencing kidney issues. You can always check with your physician first to find out the right amount of potassium to consume for your body.
Changes You Can Make
Besides avoiding certain foods and stocking up on others, it’s important to remember a couple of basics you can practice. First, make sure that you exercise. Movement will help you get rid of water weight faster. Our bodies tend to retain fluid in the extremities when they have been idle for too long. Also, make sure to drink enough water. While it may sound backwards, it actually makes perfect sense. When you are drinking enough fluids, your body will have no need to retain. Water retention is the body’s first response to dehydration. Hydrate yourself properly and the body will shed water weight naturally. You'll be ecstatic that you won the war.