Have you heard of water weight? and should you be worried about it? In this article, we shall be looking at water weight, the cause of water weight, when it can be bad, and how to tell whether you are having a water weight of fat weight.
To begin with;
What is water weight?
Water takes up 50-60% of an adult’s total body weight. Any extra weight beyond this percentage is referred to as water weight, also known as edema. Water weight is common but shouldn’t worry you. Excess water retention is usually harmless.
Is water weight bad?
Since our bodies are made up of water which is about 60% of the body weight, water is much needed in the body.
However, water weight can pose a threat to the body if it’s severe. Many people have water weight and are not aware of it because they are perfectly healthy. A person can have water weight without being obese or overweight.
Water weight shouldn’t be of concern because it is generally harmless. It is a severe water weight that has some side effects and serious medical conditions.
Medical conditions that may be caused by water weight may include heart, liver, and kidney disease.
The people who worry about water weight are professional athletes and bodybuilders who have to meet a certain water category and improve their appearance.
Causes of water retention or water weight.
- Water weight can be a result of certain diseases or medical conditions that involve failure or reduced function of the liver, heart, and kidneys. Here, the organs fail to effectively eliminate fluid from the body.
- Standing for long periods of time can cause the legs and feet to retain fluids.
- Certain medications for example blood pressure and steroid medications can also cause water retention.
- Taking too many carbs or the intake of unhealthy carbs can also make the body retain water.
- Hormonal fluctuations can cause water retention especially to women in menopause or before menstrual periods.
- Foods that are high in sodium can cause water weight.
How do you know if it’s water weight?
Water weight is different from fat weight and here is how you can differentiate the two.
Fat weight takes time to show on the scale while water weight takes significantly a short time to reflect. If you ever find yourself gaining extra pounds in a very short period of time, it is likely water weight.
One of the methods to find out if its water weight and not fat weight is the use of body fat percentage. Simply compare your current body fat percentage to that of a month’s old and if it’s still the same you obviously have water weight. However, if the body fat percentage is more than in the previous months, then you have gained fat weight.
More so, looking at your body can give you a clue to differentiate between fat and water weight. If you have puffy hands, legs, face, or feet, press with your fingers on your legs or hand, if the imprint remains for more than a few seconds it’s an indication of water weight. On the other side if you press your hands or feet and it comes back to the original shape immediately then you are having fat weight.
How to lose water weight.
Below is how you can get rid of water weight.
Regular exercises are one of the best ways to get rid of water weight. Workouts and exercise will increase your sweating which means that you will lose water. On average, you will lose about 0.5 – 2 liters per hour during workouts depending on the exercise being done, intensity, and other factors.
Exercise stimulates blood flow, improves circulation, and reduces fluid buildup throughout the body especially in the lower sections of the body.
Drink more water.
Although this sounds ridiculous, it is actually true. You will flush out water as you continue to take more water.
Dehydration can make the body retain extra water to adapt to the situation. Drinking enough water can improve kidney function allowing excess water and sodium to be flushed out of the system.
It is therefore recommended to drink on average 8 glasses of water in a day but you should note that the amount of water differs from person to person. Replace sugary drinks with pure water to meet your daily water requirement.
Read also: Drinking water for weight loss.
Reduce carbs intake.
When the carbs we eat aren’t fully burned, they are stored in form of fat as reserve energy for the body.
Carbs are stored as glycogen molecules and of which; each gram of glycogen comes with 3 grams of water attached to it.
Therefore, cutting on your carbs intake will mean no or less supply of glycogen that is stored in the body, and this will reduce water retention.
Additionally, cutting on your carbs intake can also reduce your general body weight and fat stores in the body.
Carb food sources include rice, bread, pasta, pizza, and others can be replaced by high protein foods such as lean meats, eggs, soy, and other healthy protein food sources.
Alternatively, you can choose whole grains and other healthy carbs.
Cut on salt (sodium) intake.
Too much sodium or salt can cause immediate water retention. As you increase sodium intake, the body will need to retain water to balance the equation for the proper body function.
Table salt is high in sodium but more than 75 percent is got from processed foods people consume. Foods such as cheese, cold meats, bread, frozen meals, processed soups, and savory snacks contain salt. You can substitute these foods with healthy and low sodium foods such as bananas, leafy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and other foods.
Supplements such as vitamin B-6 and magnesium oxide can help get rid of water weight. The supplements enhance the kidney function to flush out extra water and sodium from the body.
According to a study, Vitamin B-6 and magnesium helped with premenstrual syndrome including water retention and other symptoms such as abdominal swelling, bloating, swelling in legs, and breast tenderness.
Get enough sleep.
Getting enough sleep is known for helping with weight loss.
Even on water weight, sleep affects the sympathetical nerves in the kidneys that regulate sodium and water balance in the body. Adequate sleep of about 8 hours a night can help control hydration levels, minimize water retention, and help with weight loss.
You might be interested in: Lose weight by sleeping rightly (Includes tips)
Use of water pills.
Water pills can be used to reduce water retention in the body. These are usually prescribed by the doctor to people with serious water weight. What these do is to make the person urinate more often helping the body to get rid of the excess water and sodium.
However, they are not recommended for long-term use and should be prescribed by a doctor or qualified personnel.
Control stress levels.
Stress is known for increasing the hormone cortisol which directly influences fluid retention in the body and thus water weight. By controlling your stress levels you will be able to get rid of water weight or prevent its formation.
Doing yoga, meditation, workouts, watching favorite tv shows and other activities can make you happy and stress-free.
Learn the link between stress and weight loss here
Take drinks with diuretic effects.
Coffee, dandelion tea, parsley drink, hibiscus drinks, and more are some of the drinks with diuretic effects yet healthy for the body. These drinks will help you reduce water weight in the body.
These drinks will increase urine output and will slightly decrease water weight.
Although some drinks like soda and alcohol have diuretic abilities, they are unhealthy to the body, and overuse of them will cause weight gain and other unhealthy conditions.
Get rid of your sedentary or inactive lifestyle and get more active. Avoid over sitting in one place while at work or home on the couch and get active by walking around or doing other activities that can give your body exercise.
It is simple just get involved in day-to-day activities such as doing house chores, using the stairs instead of the elevator, taking short walks, and other activities most especially those that can make you sweat. Physical activities can improve blood circulation and help you sweat out the excess water while sitting around will do the opposite.
The use of weight loss belts.
Weight loss belts make you sweat excessively. This will help flush out the excess water through sweat and you will reduce water weight in the process.
Do you want to know more about weight loss belts? Read the article I wrote about what you should know before using weight loss belts. You will get to know their effect and how to use them for weight loss.
The bottom line.
The information in this article and strategies to lose water weight apply to healthy people who want to lose water weight. People with serious water weight should consult the doctor.
Read these articles that will help you lose fat weight.
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