You’ve probably heard that when you lose weight quickly, it’s usually water weight. Or maybe you point fingers at water weight after stepping around the scale when you’re feeling?totally bloated. But just what is water weightCand how do you eliminate it?
Water weight happens when fluid collects in your tissues, making them swellCand it will make you?feel pretty miserable. “Water weight is how the body retains fluid that would go to the kidneys,” explains Lynn Mack, MD, associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Nebraska Clinic. Rather than peeing out that extra fluid, the body stores it between your organs and skin, she says.
That can be uncomfortableCbut it’s often temporary, also it does not mean you’ve gained actual weight.
Of course, simply knowing that water weight often goes away on its own doesn’t make bloating or swelling feel any better. Here are a few tips on how to both prevent water weight and lose it whether it’s already there.?
Causes water weight
Carbs can also have an affect on fluid retention, particularly if start adding them back over time of restricting them.
“The carbohydrates we don’t use immediately for energy we store as glycogen,” explains Joanna Sheill DiCicco, an authorized dietitian at Henry Ford Center for Health Promotion in Detroit. “Glycogen pulls in water, so the more glycogen we are storing, the greater water we’re consuming.”
“When we’re on restrictive diets and at first lose weight quickly, that really is just water weight from the loss of stored glycogen from your muscles,” says DiCicco.
“With this kind of fluid retention, the chest could possibly get really tender and some women get belly fullness,” says Dr. Mack.
You may also notice swelling inside your face, legs, arms, and pubic area in the days leading up to your period.
“With pregnancy, you have a big belly therefore the [pressure causes] the fluid to visit out in to the tissues, and contains trouble returning into the vessels,” says Jennifer Wu, MD, an ob-gyn at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
If your main symptom is swelling, it should be normal (although the weight might not all come off the moment you deliver your baby). For those who have sudden swelling that hurts, you might have developed a blood clot (especially if the issue is only in a single leg) or perhaps a spike in blood pressure. In either case, for those who have these symptoms, reach a physician immediately.
Both the estrogen and progestin in oral contraceptives could be culprits, says Dr. Mack. Normally the water weight isn’t major and last for very long, Dr. Wu adds, however, you may want to talk to your ob-gyn about other birth control options.
Water retention because of elevated cortisol levels isn’t common, however it can occur.
“You’d have to have a pathophysiologic discharge of cortisol for that,” says Dr. Mack. In other words, there’d have to be a lot of cortisol. “Just being stressed won’t do this.” (Phew.)
Cushing syndrome, for example, might cause bloating. This is where tumors around the pituitary or adrenal glands release too much cortisol into the blood. People with low levels of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) can be cultivated swelling around their eyes, says Dr. Mack.
“Your muscles contract literally from sitting for too long,” says Dr. Mack, and your feet and legs may swell in response because the fluid pools there.
Your doctor or pharmacist can let you know if fluid retention is really a side effect associated with a medications you are taking and if you will find alternatives that may not cause water weight.
The valves in the veins in our legs, that are designed to keep blood flowing upward to the heart, collapse a little, therefore the blood pools in the lower extremities and causes fluid retention.
“It’s physics,” says Dr. Mack.?”You just have more pressure pushing recorded on those legs.”
How to lose water weight (or at least control it)
“All of the processed, packaged foods are going to have more sodium simply because [the manufacturers] would like them to stay on the shelf longer,” says DiCicco.
Cook on your own when you are able, using non-processed items like fruits and vegetables. If you do require a packaged item, read the label and compare sodium content across similar products.
If you’re retaining water, make sure you’re getting plenty?of H2O, especially if you’re also eating salty foods.
It may also assistance to limit tea, coffee, and alcohol, all of which could be dehydrating. Cranberry juice, however, has a slight diuretic effect and may help flush out some excess water.
Moving around can also help decrease puffiness. If you’re driving long distances, stop the car at regular intervals so you can get out and stretch your legs. Walk around when you are able on planes, buses, or trains, and do simple exercises with your legs and feet while seated.
Regular exercise is also important if you’re pregnant (although resting together with your feet up is sensible too).
Watermelon, spinach, strawberries, and cantaloupe, among other fruits and veggies, all have a lot of water.
Eating potassium-rich foods like tomatoes and sweet potatoes (and most vegetables and fruit) can also help you get eliminate excess salt, says DiCicco.