You’ve been eating right, working out… doing all the right things. But while you’re doing everything you’re supposed to, you still have days where you wake up to find you’ve somehow gained weight. What gives? How is that possible?
To begin, let’s clear up that it’s simply not possible to put weight on in just a day or two like that without a very, very deliberate effort. The explanation in almost every case is that you’ve simply taken on some water weight.
But the good news is: as quickly as water weight comes on, you can just as quickly take it back off. Let’s cover how…
1. Regulate Your Salt Intake
Taking in too much, or too little, salt is one of the leading causes of fluid retention. Sodium is a common electrolyte which plays a major factor in regulating your body’s level of hydration.
If your hydration levels get too low or too high, imbalances are created which will lead to your body retaining fluids. Those who exercise intensely or live in a very hot environment could have problems with low sodium levels, and should increase their salt intake.
If you eat a diet that is rich in processed foods, don’t drink much water, and don’t exercise, then you are likely taking in too much sodium which will in turn cause water retention. Change these habits and you should see things balance out quickly.
Sweating obviously will rid your body of water, so exercise is a great option if you need to shed water weight in a hurry. An hour of exercise will result in a fluid loss of anywhere from 16 to 64 ounces, or about 2 to 8 cups.
Your fitness level, the temperature, and your workout intensity all will play a part in determining just how much you’ll lose through sweating. Exercise will also shuttle water into your muscles. While it remains in your body, the bloated, soft look water retention can cause will be reduced.
Remember that it is still very important to keep yourself hydrated during your workout.
3. Cut Your Carbs
Cutting carbs isn’t just effective at getting rid of flab, it’s also very effective at dropping water weight. Why’s that? When you reduce your carb intake, your body responds by flushing glycogen that is stored in your muscles and liver.
When this glycogen is flushed, it takes water that is being retained in your body along with it. But there’s more to it than just that. A diet high in carbs will also cause a rise in your insulin levels. This causes sodium retention, which as we discussed earlier causes you to retain water.
Not sure what foods are low in carbs? Check out our list of low carb foods. We made it easy on you by organizing by category!
4. Sleep More
Getting plenty of sleep is important not just for your cognitive function and mood, but also for some surprising reasons like helping you lose weight, and yes, keeping that pesky water weight off your body.
How does it help? A proper night’s rest (7-9 hours for most people) is necessary for your body to regulate its sodium and water balance, control hydration levels, and minimize water retention. So, rest up!
5. Watch Your Stress
We’ve told you before about the unwanted side effects of the stress hormone cortisol, but it does more than just increase your appetite — it also has an unfortunate direct correlation with water retention.
It happens when your stress causes cortisol to produce another hormone known as ADH which signals to your kidneys that they need to provide more fluid to your body. So, learn to handle your stress or your hormones will not only make you hungrier, but also cause you to retain water!
6. Take Supplements
For many women, simply taking supplements alone can be enough, especially if your problems with water weight are mainly during your period. A daily supplementation of 200mg of magnesium oxide has been proven to reduce mild premenstrual symptoms such as retaining fluids.
Dandelion root, tea, and black coffee are natural diuretics that can also help to combat fluid retention, just be sure to drink plenty of water while taking these (as odd as that may sound).
7. Drink More Water
It sounds crazy, but drinking more water can actually help if you’re retaining water. If you’re not drinking enough water regularly, you’re body has become use to dehydration, and will begin to retain water as a result.
The solution here is simple: make sure you drink plenty of water (though you shouldn’t over do it, either). You’ll not avoid that awful bloated feeling water weight gives you, you’ll also get the many benefits of drinking water as well!
8. Get Some Potassium!
Eating foods high in potassium will help balance out your sodium levels (which, when out of wack, cause water retention). It will also, to put it quite bluntly, cause you to pee more often.
Some common foods that contain lots of potassium are bananas, avocados, dark green leafy veggies, tomatoes and dairy products like yogurt. Remember to avoid pairing these with highly processed foods, which are typically high in sodium and can cause water retention.
Hopefully, this has given you all the tools and then some that you need to get rid of you excess water weight in a hurry! Be sure to pin this so you’ll know what to do the next time you need to cut water weight quick!