9 Practical and Easy Tips for Safely Reducing Water Weight
Water retention is a condition nearly everyone will suffer from at some point. Commonly known as “water weight,” it can cause bloating and puffiness around your stomach and limbs, creating significant weight fluctuation.
Let us look at some quick facts about water weight and why (and to whom) it happens.
After that, we will give you nine simple methods for reducing water weight and its effects.
Water Weight Quick Facts
- Water accounts for 50 to 65 percent of an average adult’s body. All water exceeding this amount is considered “water weight.”
- Water that builds up in the body can cause puffiness and bloat, particularly in the stomach and extremities.
- Water fluctuations cause weight to fluctuate by 2 to 4 pounds each day.
- Suffering from severe water retention could be a sign of an undiagnosed kidney or heart issue.
- Generally, water weight issues can be eliminated by making simple diet and lifestyle changes.
9 Practical Tips for Safely Reducing Water Weight
1. Monitor Salt Intake
When attempting to remove extra water weight, cut down on sodium-rich foods. Do some research and develop a restrictive diet or switch to as many “low-sodium” options as possible.
Your body needs a sodium and water balance to function at an optimal level. Ingesting too much salt causes your body to hold onto water to maintain balance.
The biggest culprits are processed foods, including cold meats, frozen meals, soup, chips, savory snacks, and cheeses.
Consider low-sodium options like vegetables, nuts, and seeds for snack ideas. Even better, consider consuming sodium-reducing foods like bananas and avocados.
2. Increase Water Intake
Many of us keep our bodies in a near-constant state of dehydration without realizing it. A dehydrated body holds as much water as possible. It may sound counterintuitive, but drinking more water could help eliminate water weight.
Maintaining hydration improves kidney function, which is key to flushing out excess water and salt. In general, try to drink around 2 liters or 8 cups of water per day. To give yourself a jumpstart, consider replacing sugary sodas with a tall glass of H2O.
If you drink coffee or black tea, experts recommend drinking an extra cup or two of water.
3. Monitor Carbs
Low-carb diets may seem trendy but are backed by research. When we eat carbohydrates, any energy we don’t immediately use gets stored as glycogen (stored sugar). For each gram of glycogen, our body attaches 3 grams of water.
It’s unlikely you thought eating bread, pasta, and rice would help you lose weight, but you probably never considered how much they could cause you to gain.
Refined, sugar-rich carbs like cookies, cakes, and donuts, which should be extremely limited in any diet, are worse.
Once you start restricting your carbs, you’ll see near-immediate water weight loss.
Your body will then begin using your stored glycogen. Don’t go completely carb-free though, as that may reduce your energy level. Instead, try switching to healthy carbohydrate sources like veggies, fruits, and whole grains like quinoa or old-fashioned oats.
According to health.gov, a person only needs about a minimum of 130 grams of carbohydrates per day for proper brain function. However, if you are physically active, you may need a little more.
4. Supplements May Help Reduce Water Weight
Doctors sometimes recommend both vitamin B-6 and magnesium for reducing fluid retention. Studies show these two minerals could also reduce PMS symptoms, like bloating, leg swelling, and breast tenderness.
As always, consult with your doctor before taking any new supplements, as some may have adverse interactions or side effects – especially in combination with other medications.
Stress increases hormones, like cortisol and ADH, that could lead to water retention. However, when relaxed, your body can properly instruct your kidneys on how much water to release. Chronic stress can take its toll on you mentally, emotionally, and physically. It is also a significant contributor to many diseases.
6. Avoid Being Sedentary
For the fluids in your body to circulate efficiently, you need to move around. Sitting in the same spot for hours each day causes water to build up in your tissues, resulting in swelling to your limbs and abdomen (even if it is not visible).
A simple walk around the neighborhood is sufficient for maintaining efficient blood and fluid circulation. Consider using a small peddler machine that can fit under a work desk for when you want to move your legs but can’t leave your desk.
7. Water Pills
Water pills are often able to treat mild forms of fluid retention. They work by making you urinate more than usual, thus shedding excess water and sodium. That said, they are not a miracle cure and should only be used short-term and when prescribed by a doctor. Improper use can result in severe dehydration or vitamin deficiency.
8. Eat Body-Hydrating Foods
If your current diet is low in water-rich fruits and veggies, try adding the following items to your meals to provide much-needed hydration:
Beets – these vegetables are high in potassium, which helps flush excess water from your body.
Celery is mostly water and contains compounds that may help you urinate more often. It also contains COX-2 inhibitors, which may help in easing pain in chronic inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
Asparagus is a natural diuretic that may reduce water weight. Thanks to the amino acid asparagine, asparagus may also reduce bloating.
Other water-rich foods include grapes, cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumbers, strawberries, fennel, and green vegetables (e.g., spinach).
Consuming foods considered natural diuretics may relieve water weight. These include watermelon, asparagus, artichokes, lemons, cucumbers, dandelion leaves, celery, mint tea, apple cider vinegar, pears, horseradish, red radish, pumpkin, cabbage, leeks, onions, cranberries, peaches, beets, pineapple, grapes, cherries, green beans, kale, and tiger nuts.
Some herbs may also relieve water weight, including cilantro, fennel, goldenrod, garlic, parsley, ginger, dandelion, D. horsetail, and nettle leaves.
According to some studies, water weight may drop immediately after exercise. So, be sure to replenish the water you lose to stay properly hydrated.
One of the many benefits of exercise is its ability to improve insulin sensitivity. According to a study by The University of New Mexico, insulin levels drop dramatically during vigorous exercise.
Related article: Exercise Burns Fat, Boosts the Immune System and Much More
Water retention can wreak havoc on the psyche of anyone on a weight loss journey. It gives the false impression of having gained weight (i.e., weight from fat) when instead, the body is simply holding onto excess fluid.
Natural remedies, consistently implemented, could minimize water retention. If natural remedies do not work, consult a doctor who may prescribe water pills.
If the water pills do not work, something more serious could be happening in your body. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist for further examination and treatment.
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Other References Journal of Biological Research; Vol. 93 No. 1 (2020) Arthritis pain? This 53p vegetable could cure joint pain and inflammation; By Matt Atherton; Jan 30, 2018 How the Celery Juice Fad Is Perfect For Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients; SheFightsRA.com Here’s Why Celery Juice Is The Biggest Trend In Health And Wellness Right Now 10 of the most hydrating foods; 12 July 2016 ( 28 June 2019 ); SAGA Magazine; https://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/health-wellbeing/diet-nutrition/nutrition/10-hydrating-foods 10 natural diuretics to beat bloating; Daniel Couglin / 05 October 2016 ( 29 July 2019 ) 8 Foods and Drinks to Keep You Hydrated; By Pamela Nisevich Bede, M.S., R.D.; Jun 30, 2017; Runners World Hydrate Your Body with High Water Content Fruits and Vegetables; Ian Harris; Ontario Equestrian Natural Diuretics to Reduce Water Retention; November 3, 2021; Cleveland Clinic ©; https://health.clevelandclinic.org/natural-diuretics/ Dehydrated? These 7 Foods Will Satisfy Your Thirst and Hunger; December 30, 2020; Cleveland Clinic © Can natural diuretics reduce fluid retention and help with weight loss?; Answer From Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. 10 water-rich foods to help you stay hydrated; Cecilia Jaarsma, Specialist Dietitian at Cromwell Hospital; 05 May 2021
In vitro Assessment of Anti-Inflammatory and COX-2 inhibitory action of some medicinal plants; Usama Ramadhan; https://www.pagepressjournals.org/index.php/jbr/article/view/8723
Sep 6, 2019; Jennifer Cohen; https://www.forbes.com/sites/jennifercohen/2019/09/06/everything-you-need-to-know-about-celery-juice/?sh=5511a3376069
SAGA Magazine; https://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/health-wellbeing/diet-nutrition/nutrition/10-natural-diuretics
Journal of Biological Research; Vol. 93 No. 1 (2020)
Arthritis pain? This 53p vegetable could cure joint pain and inflammation; By Matt Atherton; Jan 30, 2018
How the Celery Juice Fad Is Perfect For Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients; SheFightsRA.com
Here’s Why Celery Juice Is The Biggest Trend In Health And Wellness Right Now
10 of the most hydrating foods; 12 July 2016 ( 28 June 2019 ); SAGA Magazine; https://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/health-wellbeing/diet-nutrition/nutrition/10-hydrating-foods
10 natural diuretics to beat bloating; Daniel Couglin / 05 October 2016 ( 29 July 2019 )
8 Foods and Drinks to Keep You Hydrated; By Pamela Nisevich Bede, M.S., R.D.; Jun 30, 2017; Runners World
Hydrate Your Body with High Water Content Fruits and Vegetables; Ian Harris; Ontario Equestrian
Natural Diuretics to Reduce Water Retention; November 3, 2021; Cleveland Clinic ©; https://health.clevelandclinic.org/natural-diuretics/
Dehydrated? These 7 Foods Will Satisfy Your Thirst and Hunger; December 30, 2020; Cleveland Clinic ©
Can natural diuretics reduce fluid retention and help with weight loss?; Answer From Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
10 water-rich foods to help you stay hydrated; Cecilia Jaarsma, Specialist Dietitian at Cromwell Hospital; 05 May 2021