So many of us have misconceptions about what water weight really is, how we gain it, and how we can get rid of it. In fact, we can blame a lot of our weight gain on water weight because it’s easier to see that as the problem than accept that we might be overeating and need to change our eating habits. Below, we take a look at everything you need to know about water weight and how to stop it from being a problem!
What is Water Weight?
Our bodies are about 2/3 liquid, so it definitely stands to reason that there is a certain amount of “water” weight already present. However, in this case, water weight refers to the additional weight from water retained in the body as a result of bloating and excessive salt (sodium). People who spend a lot of time sitting down and consuming a high sodium diet tend to retain water. Bloating is a problem caused by hormone problems, kidney malfunction, or diet and/or lifestyle problems (including food allergies).
Being Dehydrated Leads to Water Weight Gain
It may sound odd, but it’s actually 100% true! When you are dehydrated, your body tends to retain water in order to keep your salt levels balanced (preventing excess sodium). You’ll find that you store more water than normal until you increase fluid intake to sufficient levels that your body no longer needs to retain water to keep those salt levels under control.
Exercise Helps With Water Weight
When you’re bloated from digestive problems, it may feel like the last thing you want to do is exercise. However, you’ll find that exercise can actually be the best solution for dealing with that water weight caused by bloat—as well as a solution for sweating out all that excess sodium. Any kind of exercise also does wonders to reduce inflammation in your body, which can help to manage the bloating caused by dietary triggers or hormone imbalances.
Drinking Water Helps with Water Weight
Remember above how we mentioned that increasing your water intake can help to reduce water weight? It may sound counterintuitive, but it’s totally true! Your body is a machine that responds to what you put into it—or what you don’t. If you don’t get enough water, your brain sends signals to your body that it needs to retain water in case the dehydration continues. But when you increase your water intake, your body is able to release the fluid it has stored. If you feel bloated or like you’re retaining a lot of water, make it a point to drink at least one more liter of water per day.
Eating Right is the Key to Dealing with Water Weight
There are three dietary solutions for dealing with water weight problems. The first is to avoid any dietary irritants, foods that trigger bloating or intestinal irritation. The second is to increase your potassium intake. Potassium works with sodium to maintain your electrolyte balance, essentially counteracting the sodium presence in your body. Getting more potassium will help to maintain that water balance, keeping you from feeling bloated or retaining water. Papaya, pumpkins, plantains, and bananas are all amazing sources of potassium. The third and final solution is to eat more dietary fiber, which is crucial for a healthy, balanced digestive system. Getting more fiber in your diet will help to prevent water retention and ensure that your electrolyte levels remain balanced. It’s a simple tweak to your daily meals, but it can have HUGE ramifications for your health in the long run!