Did you know, excess weight can be caused by water retention? There are a number of causes and several factors such as age, sex, stress, and hormone levels that need to be considered when trying to understand how much extra water weight we may be retaining.
It is important to note that body fat differs from losing water weight. Body fat loss comes from a combination of calorie burning exercise and keeping diet under control.
This article will look at the best ways to lose water weight fast and naturally.
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What is Water Weight?
Usually when we consume liquids, our body uses what it needs, and the excess is disposed of when we urinate.
However, water weight is the process whereby our tissues collect fluids that cause it to swell up and instead of releasing the extra fluids, our body stores it between our organs and skin.
When this happens, we usually feel uncomfortable, bloated and generally unhappy with our appearance.
Why Is Water So Important?
We all know we need water. However, we don’t want to retain excess water unnecessarily. Here’s a quick rundown on why it’s so important to have an adequate water intake each day.
Our body is made of around 70% water and it uses the water for:
- Transport of nutrients through the body
- Temperature regulation
- Cognitive function
- Cleansing and detoxification
If our body is dehydrated, it will not be able to perform the above functions effectively. This will impact how we feel, how our body operates and potentially cause serious health issues. Therefore, ensuring we are constantly hydrated is vital.
The easiest way to identify dehydration is by regularly checking our urine – it should be a light straw like color and odorless. If it’s dark colored and has a strong odor, this will most likely be an indicator of dehydration.
The dark color and strong scent are signs that there is excessive strain on our kidneys as our body is struggling to flush out uric acid.
If we find ourselves in this position, we should drink about half our weight (in pounds) of ounces of water each day. This will ensure proper hydration. For those of us involved in intense exercise, or are in a hot climate, aim to drink another 1.5 to 2.5 cups a day.
The Benefits of Losing Water Weight
There are a few reasons we may want to lose water weight and the big one is because of the amount of bloating it can cause.
Bloating can have a negative effect on our appearance, cause us to feel weighed down and lethargic.
To be honest, it’s just an uncomfortable feeling altogether as we are left constantly feeling “stuffed”. That bloated ‘stuffed’ feeling is caused by excess gas production or disturbances in the movement of the muscles of the digestive system. This can come from food intolerances, infection, irritable bowel syndrome, or medications.
There are numerous reasons to lose water weight, these include improving athletic performance or even achieving an ideal weight goal for an event or competition such as boxing, modelling or fitting into that bikini for an upcoming holiday.
Regardless of the reason, the last thing we want is to feel bloated at any time in our life let alone at a special event and that is why in-order to prevent bloating, it is important we know what causes bloating.
When our body stores water in between our muscles and skin, we end up with the ever dreaded bloated “puffy” look and feel. Not only this, it causes the number on the scale to go up, making it hard to determine what our true weight is.
To get the best indicator of body weight, use a BMI Calculator or take consistent tape measurements and record progress.
Remember, you may be in good shape, but due to water retention, it might not be visible. If we’ve gained good lean muscle, and have dropped significant body fat, all this work can be hidden if we are retaining water.
How to Get Rid of Water Retention
Here are 9 ways to lose water weight fast and naturally:
30 minutes of cardio is a great way to sweat out water and burn body fat. Also, there are health benefits and cardiovascular improvements – a double whammy!
For best results, cardio should be done before breakfast as the body will use fat stored along with the retained water. Remember to pace yourself. Once exercise has been completed, wait 20mins before eating.
2. Use a Sauna
Sitting in the sauna is a great and easy way to lose water weight fast. If you’re new to a sauna, you probably won’t be able to sit in it that long. You may be able to do 10 to 15 minutes before it gets uncomfortable.
So, if you’re trying to lose water weight quickly, try staying in there for an hour, breaking it up into four 15-minute cycles.
Always remember to check any concerns you have with your doctor.
3. Wear a Sweat Suit During Your Workout
Whether it’s during the morning cardio or a regular workout any time during the day, wearing a sweat suit will get us sweating more. After all, the clue is in the title and it does exactly what it says ‘sweat suit’.
Sweat suits really are a forgotten natural way to lose water weight.
4. Decrease Your Sodium Level
We should all aim to be conscious about decreasing our salt intake. Too much of salt can cause issues with high blood pressure and causes water retention in the body.
Aim to stop adding salt to meals and be aware of sodium being added in manufactured and processed foods. Consumption of processed and prepackaged food will lead to an intake of large quantities of sodium.
Be aware that extra sodium even shows up in places we wouldn’t expect such as frozen food, frozen vegetables, and seasonings. The aim should be to get under 2300mg of salt each day.
5. Eat Asparagus
This is a natural food that combats bloat and helps our bodies flush out more water.
6. Get More Potassium
Foods high in potassium such as bananas, help to counteract salt; add them to your diet to reduce bloating.
Potassium supplements are available but for those who prefer to get it naturally, the following are good sources:
- Cooked spinach
- Cooked broccoli
- Sweet potatoes
If you have any kidney problems, it is vital to be careful with high potassium foods and remember to always check with your doctor first.
7. Drink Herbal Teas
Most herbal teas are a safe, natural diuretics which help to flush out water from the body.
Unnatural diuretics can be dangerous, causing symptoms such as jitters and other health problems. This is because, with herbal tea, we get smaller amounts of caffeine which acts as a diuretic.
Examples of berbal tea include:
- Dandelion tea
- Green tea
- Peppermint Tea
- Rooibos tea
- White tea
8. Cut out Refined Carbs and Sugar
This is an overall good health tip as these types of carbs are very high glycemic and cause a lot of inflammation in the body.
One symptom from inflammation is swelling and bloating. Not to mention, our blood sugar will spike and crash from consuming carbs, leading to more cravings and feeling of lethargy.
Cutting this stuff out, especially sugar, will help lose water weight fast.
9. Drink Distilled Water
Distilled water is water that has been boiled into vapor and condensed back into a liquid in a separate container. When it comes to water weight, distilled water can help reduce it because it decreases the amount of sodium in the body by attaching itself to it and flushing out the excess sodium and water.
It is ironic but the best way to get rid of excess water weight is to drink more water. This is because, the human body likes to store and retain whatever we aren’t giving it enough of.
Dehydration makes our body hold on to water as a safety measure because our body doesn’t know if it’s on the verge of shutting down or not. Therefore, once our body is given adequate water it will flush out the excess water naturally.
The Bottom Line
Hopefully this article has shed light on the the importance of staying hydrated and how to lose water weight in a safe and healthy manner.
Remember, water weight loss differs from body fat loss. For whatever reason, if it is water weight we want to lose, this can be achieved in a natural and healthy way.
Featured photo credit: Steve Johnson via unsplash.com