As I stood on the weighing scale the other day, I noticed that I weighed 300 gms more than the previous day and the only thing I was thinking…Why? And that too after hitting the gym so often!
If you are facing a similar situation, do not panic, for it is nothing but only your water weight.
Take a deep breath; it would be almost impossible to eat the 10,500 to 35,000 extra calories required to gain that much fat in one or two days.
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You have likely gained weight because of water retention. Even though you haven’t actually gained fat, you may feel as if you did.
A high-sodium meal, a heavy workout, dehydration or hormonal changes can be the cause of water retention. If you are hauling around excess water, it will flush naturally after a day or two.
Dietary strategies and exercise may help you lose it faster.
If bloating and water retention are chronic and not sporadic, check with your doctor since they may stem from a medical problem.
What Causes Water Weight?
Water weight accumulates for a variety of reasons, some of them beyond your control.
For women, hormonal changes cause water retention in the five days before your period. Levels of progesterone, a hormone that helps support the fetus early in your pregnancy, rise substantially a side effect of which is water retention.
When the month passes with no pregnancy, the water flushes away with the excess hormone.
In some cases, too much sodium either from a restaurant meal or a binge during which you polished off a family-size bag of chips can cause you to feel puffy.
High fat foods and excess alcohol can also contribute to water retention. Ironically, not drinking enough water can cause your body to hold onto water. Your body senses its fluid levels are out of balance and will hold onto water until you correct it until you rehydrate.
A heavy workout can temporarily leave you modestly dehydrated right afterwards, which shows up as a lighter size on the scale.
But the next day, when your muscles are still inflamed, fluids rush in to help with repair and can make it seem like you’ve gained a pound or two.
If you exercise regularly, you may always retain a little water in your blood plasma because your body becomes “super hydrated” and wants to ensure you don’t run low on fluids during a workout.
This is a natural, positive state that supports your athletic efforts.
5 Simple Ways to Reduce Water Retention
1. Eat Less Salt
Salt is made of sodium and chloride. Sodium binds to water in the body and helps maintain the balance of fluids both inside and outside of cells.
If you often eat meals that are high in salt, such as many processed foods, your body may retain water.
In fact, these foods are the biggest dietary source of sodium.The most common advice for reducing water retention is to decrease sodium intake.
2. Increase Your Magnesium Intake
Magnesium is a very important mineral.In fact, it is involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions that keep the body functioning.
Moreover, increasing your magnesium intake may help reduce water retention.
Good sources of magnesium include nuts, whole grains, dark chocolate and leafy, green vegetables. It is also available as a supplement.
3. Increase Vitamin B6 Intake
Vitamin B6 is a group of several related vitamins. They are important for the formation of red blood cells and serve many other functions in the body.
Foods rich in vitamin B6 include bananas, potatoes, walnuts and meat.
4. Eat More Potassium-Rich Foods
Potassium is a mineral that serves several important functions. For example, it helps send the electrical signals that keep the body running.
Potassium appears to help reduce water retention in two ways, by decreasing sodium levels and increasing urine production.
Bananas, avocados and tomatoes are examples of foods that are high in potassium.
5. Avoid Refined Carbs
Eating refined carbs leads to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. High insulin levels cause your body to retain more sodium by increasing the re-absorption of sodium in the kidneys.
This leads to more fluid volume inside your body. Examples of refined carbs include processed sugars and grains, such as table sugar and white flour.
Why Do You Need Diuretic Foods?
We all know that our weight fluctuates due to water weight in our body. This needs to be flushed out with the help of certain foods, called diuretics, in order to reduce the weight and make us feel less bloated.
Diuretics are known to reduce hypertension as well by flushing out sodium from the body and getting rid of harmful toxins through urine.
These foods help clear your system by flushing out the water retained in the body and reduces bloating but they should be taken in moderation as excess of everything is bad.
Excessive intake can flush out vital electrolytes, which are needed by your body, leaving you feeling week due to electrolyte imbalance.
5 Diuretic Foods You Can Incorporate in Your Everyday Meals
They have a high water content and contains caffeic acid that helps to get rid of water retention in our body.
It also contains certain nutrients that help in flushing out uric acid from the kidney, plus it is low in calories, which makes it a good pick for those looking to lose weight.
It is full of antioxidants and vitamin C, and helps in flushing out all the excess water.
According to the book Healing Foods by DK Publishers, cranberries have a nondialyzable material (NDM) which prevents kidney, bladder and urinary tract infections (UTIs).
They contain 92% water and are loaded with vitamins and minerals, which have a diuretic effect on our body.
Watermelons are super healthy, and help in flushing out all the toxic substances from the body
Celery has coumarin, which helps to prevent high blood pressure as well as in cleansing the system by excreting all unwanted water in the form of urine that is retained in the body.
It eases digestion and relieves bloating.The high water and electrolytes content in Celery prevents dehydration and compounds present in celery cause it to act as a diuretic and reduce instances of bloating
It helps flush out bacteria, prevent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), lessen bloating and cleanse the system completely.
Lemon has potassium, which builds our immunity. If you cannot eat a lemon as it is then you can always drink fresh lemon juice which works just fine.
Hope you got a fair idea about what water retention is and how it is linked to weight gain/loss.
For a deeper insight to health, fitness and weight loss, talk to our Truweight Nutritionist. The first Health consultation is on us. Click here to avail.