Last Updated on July 3, 2017 by Michael Brockbank
When you’re trying to lose weight, there are a lot of things that can cause the scale to fluctuate. Today, I’m looking at how water weight can essentially give you a “false negative” when determining your actual mass. Retaining water can easily cause you to look bloated as well as seem heavier.
Healthy Ways to Lose Water Weight
It’s common for people who are trying to lose weight experience severe ups and downs. This is because of the many factors that can contribute to how heavy the body is. This doesn’t mean that you’re gaining and losing fat in rapid succession. In many cases, it means you may be retaining water.
So, what can you do to rid yourself of the excess H2O so you can get an accurate reading of how much you actually weigh?
Reduce Sodium Intake
Sodium, commonly identified as salt, causes the body to retain water. It’s a contributor to high blood pressure as well as other cardiovascular diseases. However, it’s also a component that helps the body regulate itself and is needed in specific quantities.
The biggest problem many people have is they eat excessive amounts of sodium. Whether it’s salt added to a steak or eating too much processed foods, a lot of us often get nearly twice what we should in any given day.
Although some people have to rely on low-sodium diets because of their physiology, this doesn’t mean that you have to cut out salt altogether. A lot of us are luckily enough to simply reduce the intake and rely on other methods for getting rid of the sodium.
Reduce Carb Intake
According to LiveStrong.com, carbs can lead to accumulating water weight. This is especially true if you have no way to burn off the energy.
Carbs are used by the body to create energy stores for the muscles. This is why you see athletes often load up on good carbs prior to a competition. However, these carbs can be a double-edged sword.
While some carbs will give you energy, they also increase the amount of water you retain. This is aside from being turned into fat unless they are properly used up.
If you’re not active, it’s best to reduce your intake of carbohydrates. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a solid scientific study regarding this aspect for losing water weight.
Increase Potassium Intake
Potassium does two things for water weight: promotes diuresis and decreases sodium retention. This element is vital to the functionality to humans, but is also one of the most overlooked among many. In fact, 98% of people in the United States are potassium deficient.
Adults should receive around 4,000mg of potassium per day. This is an incredible amount, especially given the scarcity of it in various foods and vitamin supplements. For instance, the Kirkland Daily Multi vitamin pill only provides 2% of your daily amount…as opposed to the 150% you receive in vitamin C.
Potassium is one of the primary supplements when combating various cardiovascular problems. In this instance, I am looking at the capacity it has to induce urination as well as restrict sodium. Both of these will reduce water weight.
If you’re looking to improve your potassium levels, cantaloupe and honey dew are perhaps two of the best melons to eat.
Drink More Water
As silly as it may sound, drinking more water can help reduce water weight. This is because it helps satisfies the body’s need to remain hydrated.
When you don’t get enough water in your daily routine, the body will begin holding as much as possible. This is because water is a vital component that is absolutely required to remain healthy. The more water you drink, the less the body has to retain on its own.
There is a conflict regarding how much water is the perfect amount. While some experts say it’s 80 ounces per day, others use an elaborate formula. I tend to use the former as a guide. Otherwise, I would be drinking more than two gallons per day based on my height, weight and age.
In reality, anything over 32 ounces is an improvement for me.
Use Dandelion Supplements
A dandelion, or Taraxacum, is commonly called an annoying weed in the yard. However, many have found it to be useful in treating a range of physical complications. For instance, some studies suggest it is effective as a diuretic as well as having a myriad of other medicinal purposes.
Many people will use dandelions and brew a home-based tea. However, you can simply buy these supplements almost anywhere you pick up vitamins.
It’s important to note that although some studies yield positive results, more research is required. On the other hand, athletes and body builders often use dandelion supplements to reduce water weight for competition on a regular basis.
Get More Sleep
One study suggests that proper rest contributes to reducing water weight. This is done as the body cleanses itself during rest, which means various toxins in the body are excreted. One of the most prominent tools of the body for this purpose is urination.
It’s also important to note that the study above is also focused on laboratory mice.
However, getting more sleep is always a bonus anyway. It helps keep the mind fresh, reduce blood pressure and improves overall functionality. You should never underestimate the value of a good night’s rest.
Get More Active
Physical activity causes the body to dehydrate. This loss of water is more noticeable in the amount of sweat you produce during an activity. However, you’ll also lose water weight simply by breathing.
Keeping the heart rate up to about 140 beats per minute has potential to reduce water retention by as much as seven milliliters per hour when you exhale. Of course, this also depends on external temperature and other physical factors. The point is, you can lose water weight simply by heating yourself up and breathing.
Of course, getting more physical activity also improves your carb use as well as your cardiovascular system.
Losing the Water Weight
Water is only one of the variables that will cause you to gain weight. Even something as simple as not going to the bathroom regularly can result in unflattering scale numbers. Don’t assume that because you gained weight that it has anything to do with fat. It may just mean you need to regulate your water intake.