Day 134 – REAL Weight vs. WATER Weight – June 8, 2016 – My weigh-in charts are a perfect example of “water weight.” My weight fluctuates daily and can be up or down by .5 pounds (and more). It takes an extra 3500 calories (per my calculations that’s like eating 2+ plus days of food in one day) to gain one pound in a day. And our bodies don’t gain or lose significant amounts of fat or muscle overnight. What then causes the daily fluctuation? Water weight.
While it may not make much sense, the first solution to reduce water weight is to drink MORE water. A well-hydrated body is healthier and is less likely to retain water.
Signs of Water Weight
Check your hands, feet and ankles. Are they puffy? If yes, it is likely that your gain is water related. When you are retaining excess water, you might also notice imprints in your skin left by your socks, or your finger rings may be tighter than usual.
Causes of Water Weight
- Too much salt – excess sodium makes the body hold extra fluids in the cells
- Too much sugar – diets high in sugar can cause swelling (fluid retention)
- Dehydration (not drinking enough water) – the less you drink the more your body retains water
- Too much alcohol – can cause water retention
- Dieting – too few calories can raise cortisol levels which can result in increased water retention (a post for another day)
- Eating a diet high in carbohydrates – our kidneys hold on to sodium in response to carbohydrate consumption (a post for another day)
- Eating large meals – eating large meals can cause an increase in water retention
- Women’s monthly menstrual cycle – can hold/cause up to 5-pounds of extra water weight
Reducing Water Weight
- Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day
- Avoid table salt and excess sodium in your foods
- Eat fresh vegetables and avoid canned and processed foods
- Eat fresh fruits rich in Potassium (bananas, apricots, avocados and raisins)
- Increase exercise (sodium leaves our body in our sweat)
- Reduce sugar (sugar raises insulin levels which lessens the body’s ability to expel sodium)
- Avoid alcohol (alcohol acts as a diuretic and can lead to dehydration that makes the body hold on to fluids) – drink water with an alcoholic drink
- Avoid extreme dieting of 1200 calories or less as this can cause your body to retain water
Day 134 – REAL Weight vs. WATER Weight
I decided to write this post after having belly bloat immediately after eating out last Saturday evening. My stomach swelled up and I felt awful. We went to a buffet and I had exact plans on what I was going to eat. I learned that just before we arrived, the buffet got hit with an unexpected large party and nothing had not been re-stocked with the items I had planned to eat. Since I couldn’t get the foods I wanted, I ended up eating fried foods, breaded foods and basically not at all what I had planned. Although I added NO table salt (table salt is the most common cause of water retention), the combination of high fat and high sodium foods took their toll.
When I got home, I had a panic moment. I know all to well that excess sodium causes water weight (and bloating). Now that the damage was done, what was I going to do to get this excess sodium out of my system? My battle with sodium and sugar is never-ending. I found myself researching again how to combat excess sodium once it’s already in my body. I doubt I will ever be able to stop dealing with or talking about the damaging side effects of sodium.
I also have learned NOT to get too upset when I weigh myself after a heavy meal, a big night (meal) out or after drinking a lot of liquids. As soon as I get back on track with eating healthy and drinking lots of water, my body releases the excess sodium and my weight gets back to normal.
Of course, since I am trying to lose weight, normal still isn’t good enough.
Facing MY FAT,
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