What is "Water Weight" and Should I Lose it?
You wake up and feel a bit bloated. You check in the mirror and yup, sure enough, you have a glowing morning bloat. Do not fret though, there is a good chance your bloating is a result of water weight. It's nothing to be ashamed of, and it is a normal part of being a living, breathing, busy, powerful person.
Here’s a quick reminder that we are ALL beautiful regardless of bloating, angry skin moods, stretch marks, and everything in between. And no matter how many times I could say in this article that water weight is nothing to be ashamed of, it can definitely take a temporary knock on our confidence, especially if we feel uncomfortable.
Lucky for us, there are a handful of known causes and preventative measures we can take in order to help get rid of extra water weight and unwanted side effects too. Unsure if your bloating is from water weight or want to know how to get rid of it? Keep reading to learn the fundamentals of water weight and learn how to safely free yourself of the extra water.
What is Water Weight?
Water weight is caused by tissues in your body collecting excess fluid. Rather than the water going directly to your kidneys, the excess is stored in your organs and skin. Once your body collects and stores this excess water, tissues begin to swell which causes discomfort and bloating associated with water weight.
Is Water Weight Normal?
Yes! It's extremely common and is not usually a cause for concern. Lifestyle and nutritional habits are the leading causes of “gaining” water weight. If it sticks around after taking preventative steps, seeing a doctor could help you pin down the root cause and help you take other preventative steps.
Signs of Water Weight
Bloating in the abdominal area is the easiest symptom of water weight to see and feel. However, it has a handful of other symptoms including
- Swollen legs, feet, and ankles
- Puffiness in abdomen, face, and hips
- Stiff joints
- Weight fluctuations
- Indentations in the skin
Don’t we all wish we could relate??^^^
What Causes Water Weight and How Can You Prevent It?
Eating too many salty foods and carbs can lead to the body retaining extra water. Consuming too much sodium causes the body to retain extra water to maintain the proper sodium-to-water ratio. On the other hand, carbs fuel our body with energy, and the unused energy from carbs is stored as glycogen molecules. Each gram of glycogen comes with 3 grams of water, which means excess water being stored.
Paying attention to your sodium intake with the foods you eat can help reduce water weight. It is recommended adults eat no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day but the average American will eat over 3,400 milligrams a day. Increasing your intake of nuts, vegetables, bananas, avocados, and leafy vegetables can help reduce your sodium intake.
Reducing carb intake can also reduce water retention. You can replace common carbs like bread, pasta, and rice with high-protein and veggie alternatives such as meats, zucchini noodles, eggs, and beans.
2. Drink More Water
Ah yes, you might be thinking you read that wrong. Nope! Dehydration can make the body retain more water due to a lack of water intake. Drinking more water can increase hydration and also flush excess water and sodium out of your body’s system.
3. Lack of Exercise
Not breaking a sweat leads to extra water being retained in the body. Participating in exercise that leads to sweating will shed off excess water by stimulating blood flow, causing perspiration, and burning stored glycogen from carbs.
Remember to replace a healthy amount of lost fluids through electrolytes and water intake to ensure you are not dehydrated after your workout.
Unfortunately, there is no alternative to being on your period, and water weight is just one of the symptoms that we cannot get rid of entirely. Although you cannot get rid of your period, you can try any of the above steps to try and take preventative measures for when that time of the month rolls around.
Is it Safe to Lose Water Weight?
Yes, it is safe to lose water weight if you do it properly. Depriving your body of proper nutrients is not a safe way to go about it and may make you feel worse than when you were bloated. To ensure you are losing it safely make sure to…
- Stay hydrated by drinking enough water daily. The right amount of water for you depends on your gender, weight, and height
- Eat a balanced diet with the recommended amount of fruits, veggies, carbs, protein, and sodium
- Exercise to rid the excess water naturally
- Do not take any supplements that you do not speak with your doctor about beforehand! Many supplements are not FDA approved so it is always best to speak with a doctor first.
Overall, water weight is not a cause for concern but it can definitely cause some unwanted side effects like bloating, puffiness, joint stiffness, and more. Remember everyone battles it, so try not to be too hard on yourself. If you are looking to cut down on it, be sure to do it safely and check in with your doctor first if you have any concerns!
Written by Lauren Conklin