Let’s face it, we all deal with water weight at some point or another, and it doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman.
Water weight is extra water that collects around the tissues, joints and body cavities between the cells, and can be very uncomfortable. What’s worse is that it not only feels uncomfortable, it plays a big part in weight fluctuation.
Yes, it is very possible to be harboring five to ten pounds of water weight.
So, people want to know how to get rid of water weight.
Well, that’s kind of a loaded question considering that it is impossible to prevent water retention at some point in time.
While it’s hard to prevent this sort of retention, there are a wide variety of things that can be done to control and relieve the issue, some of which we talk about a little later on.
First things first, let’s take a quick look at what water weight is and what some possible causes may be.
What Causes Water Weight?
Water weight affects everyone, though it tends to be more common amongst women than men.
If you are looking in the mirror and notice that you seem to be holding on to some extra weight, then water weight could very well be the answer.
What you will want to do is take a good look at your day to day life.
For women, are you getting ready to start your cycle? Hormonal changes can play a big part in water retention. You will also want to take a good look at what sorts of foods you have been eating and even what drinks you’ve been consuming. Have you been enjoying a few more cocktails than normal? Alternatively, maybe you’ve jumped on the carb bandwagon big time this last week. Either way, those are simple areas that you can switch up to try and shed some of those extra pounds.
It is also worth noting that sometimes water retention is a result of an underlying medical condition. If you haven’t noticed any significant lifestyle changes that you’ve made, then it could be worth talking to your doctor about.
Now, that being said, let’s take a quick look at some of the most common reasons people gain water weight.
Hormones play funny games with our bodies, and for women, it can hit us pretty hard. Abbey Sharp, R.D., owner of Abbey’s Kitchen, stated that female hormone “affect how the kidneys function and how much fluid your body retains. Changes in a menstrual cycle can influence water weight gain.”
This is why many women feel bloated during the week before their period and then “deflate” again once their period finally arrives.
Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, stated that carbs are another big reason behind water retention.
“When you consume carbohydrates, they are converted into glycogen, which is stored in the muscle as energy. For every gram of glycogen stored, the body holds onto about three times as much water.”
So, is it any surprise that water weight gain is so common? Many of us are carb fiends and have no problem scarfing down things such as bread and pasta throughout the day. The more carbs and even sugars you eat, the more your body holds onto water.
Believe it or not, dehydration can be the mysterious culprit behind your water weight gain. When the body is dehydrated, it will hold on to every little bit of water it can find. To fight water retention, you have to keep your body hydrated, as silly as that may sound. So don’t be afraid to flush your system.
4. Medications & Supplements
Medications and certain supplements could also be causing you to retain a few extra pounds of water weight.
Medication for high blood pressure and women on birth control sometimes notice an increase in water weight. Other drugs that could cause water retention include diabetic treatment drugs, epilepsy drugs and antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs.
Supplements such as creatine also cause water retention and are popular amongst those in the bodybuilding world. When you are using supplements that produce this side effect, you’ll want to make sure you stay properly hydrated. As your body begins to store the extra water, drink more to make sure you are properly flushing your system.
How to Get Rid of Water Weight In 5 Simple Steps
When it comes to shedding the unwanted water weight, it isn’t as hard as one may think. Unless there is some underlying medical condition causing you to gain and retain water weight, then by taking control of a few different aspects of your life, you can easily watch those extra pounds melt off.
Think about it, when you first start taking proper care of yourself and eating right, we always notice a quick drop in a few pounds. That is the water weight coming off. They always say the water weight comes off easily, and by taking control of your diet, fitness and stress, you can also keep that unwanted water weight at bay.
That being said here is how to get rid of water weight in a few simple steps.
While retaining water leaves us feeling bloated and lazy, in order to fight it off, you need to get up and move.
Getting up and getting sweaty is one of the best ways to help ride your body of excess water. Don’t let your body’s fatigue fool you into laying around.
Get up, get moving, and sweat it out!
2. Get Adequate Sleep
Something many don’t realize is that lack of sleep can actually cause your body to not only feel gross, but it can cause water retention as well.
Some research has even suggested that sleep may affect the sympathetic renal nerves in the kidneys, which regulate sodium and water balance. So if you aren’t getting enough sleep, these systems can get all sorts of out of wake.
3. Manage Your Stress
Stress can play a huge part in weight gain, whether it is fat or water.
Between stress eating and an increase in stress hormones, the body can go a little haywire. The hormone cortisol and the antidiuretic hormone. Cortisol has a direct influence over water retention and water weight, while the antidiuretic hormone sends signals to the kidney’s telling them how much water to pump back into the body.
By maintaining your stress levels, your body should be able to maintain normal hormone levels, reducing the changes of water retention and weight gain.
4. Proper Diet
When it comes to water weight, what you put in your mouth is very important.
If you’ve noticed that you are a little fluffier than normal, give your recent diet a close look. Are you eating more processed food? Extra sweets? Or maybe enjoying a few extra alcoholic drinks thank you normally do?
Between too many carbs, high sugar and too much salt, the body will take the water flowing through it and store it, causing you to put on a few extra unwanted pounds.
Once you start getting back to a healthier diet, not only will you notice a drop in not only water weight, but you may also find that you drop some extra pounds a feel a little better!
5. Stay Hydrated
As mentioned earlier, when the body becomes dehydrated, it will grab ahold of any and all water flowing through it and preserve it for later use. In order to prevent this, you want to make sure you are getting enough water.
The easiest way to think of this is that the more you do, the more you need. So even a quiet day requires you to get an absolute minimum amount of water just to keep the body functioning properly. When you get up and start doing something physical, you need to up that water amount significantly.
So, how much water do you need?
The short answer is that it depends on the individual.
You can abide by the 8 cups a day rule, or you can take your current weight and divide by two, giving you a more accurate number of ounces of water you should be drinking to stay properly hydrated.
Getting Rid of Stubborn Water Weight
At some point in time, almost everyone asks how to get rid of water weight, and unfortunately, there is no real way of avoiding it all together. While that may be disheartening to hear, keep in mind that there are many ways to treat and prevent most forms of water retention.
From maintaining your stress levels to having a solid fitness and nutrition routine, most should be able to avoid gaining water weight the majority of the time.
However, remember, it will occasionally happen when you see a change in lifestyle and or medication.
If it seems to be something out of the blue, that’s when you need to consult a doctor because it could be something more substantial, but chances are, a few modifications to your day to day life can alleviate the issue.