People do often query on how to lose water weight fast? But it’s important to understand what is water weight? Almost 60 percent of our body is made up of water. Regular intake of water is essential for all our bodily functions. When our body is dehydrated, it tends to hold on to this water, and this can lead to water retention. Not only does water weight lead to swelling of hands and feet and change our appearance, but it also makes us lethargic.
Reasons for water weight gain
There can be several different reasons for water weight gain. Hormonal changes during menstruation or pregnancy, lack of exercise and even allergies can cause water retention. Unhealthy eating habits like high sodium or high sugar diets can also cause you to gain water weight.
Sometimes serious health ailments related to heart, liver and kidney can also lead to water retention. In such cases, it is better to consult a doctor before you attempt any of these remedies.
Signs of water retention
You may observe some or all of these signs if you have water retention.
- Swelling of fingers and ankles
- Bloated stomach
- Stiff joints
- Swollen feet
- Unexplained weight fluctuations
How to lose water weight fast?
Here are some easy to follow remedies to lose water weight:
1. Drink water
Drinking more water can help you to lose water weight. When you are dehydrated, your body will try to retain water to prevent the water levels from getting too low.
- Suggested read: How Much Water Should I Drink a Day?
So, being well-hydrated can make you lose your water weight. We need water for the proper functioning of all our internal organs. Regular intake of water helps flush out toxins from the body.
It also helps in preventing constipation. You must also not overdo your consumption of water and keep a healthy balance.
2. Exercise regularly
Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. Exercise helps promote sweating, and this can remove excess water from the body. Sweating also helps in eliminating sodium from the body, which is one of the causes of water retention.
You must continue to drink plenty of water while you exercise to prevent dehydration.
3. Reduce sodium intake
If sodium levels in our body are too low or too high, it can cause water retention. Processed foods have high levels of salt, and this can make you gain water weight. The recommended daily intake of sodium is 2,400 mg in a day, which is equal to one teaspoon of salt.
If we have too much salt, our kidneys cannot process the additional sodium, and it remains in our bloodstream and attracts water. High salt intake (1), along with low water intake can increase water retention.
4. Lower your stress levels
Increased stress can be very damaging to your health. Long-term stress can increase the level of Cortisol hormone (2) in the body. Cortisol is known to directly affect the weight retention and water weight in the body.
Cortisol is known to increase the levels of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) in the body. ADH sends signals to the kidney to pump back water into the body, and this can cause water retention. So, lower your stress levels to avoid water weight.
5. Sleep more
You must sleep for at least 7 to 9 hours every day to stay healthy. A good night’s rest has a positive effect (3) on the renal nerves in the kidney, which regulate the sodium and water balance. Our body flushes out toxin from our body when we sleep.
- Suggested read: How much sleep do I need?
6. Follow a low-carb diet
Follow a low-carb diet to lose water weight quickly. When we eat carbohydrates, our body retains more water. According to research, unless we burn all our carbs during the day, we will add to our water weight.
A diet which is low in carbohydrates can help us shed this weight very quickly.
7. Take electrolytes
According to research (4), electrolytes such as magnesium and potassium play an essential role in regulating water balance in the body. When these electrolytes become too high or too low, they can change the fluid balance in the body.
So, have more electrolytes if you exercise a lot so that you can compensate for the loss of electrolytes in your sweat.
8. Eat high-fibre food
High fibre food is vital for a healthy digestive system. A robust digestive system ensures that you do not retain excessive fluid in the body. Not eating enough fibre can cause constipation and contribute to bloating.
9. Add magnesium to your diet
Studies (5) have found that magnesium supplements can help with reducing fluid retention during the menstrual cycle. Magnesium plays an integrative role with sodium and potassium to help reduce fluid retention.
These supplements prevent your tummy from bloating. Green leafy vegetables, beans and nuts contain magnesium. You can also get magnesium supplements from health food stores.
10. Drink dandelion tea
Dandelion tea is a diuretic that helps flush out excess water from the body. The dandelion herb has been used for years as an alternative medicine to treat water retention. This herb helps in reducing water retention by signalling the kidneys to expel more urine.
11. Add potassium-rich food to your diet
Foods like dark green leafy vegetables, beans, bananas, avocados, tomatoes and dairy products are rich in potassium. These high-potassium foods can help balance sodium levels and increase urine production to help reduce water weight.
12. Drink tea and coffee
Caffeine-rich drinks like tea and coffee are diuretic and are considered useful for removing excess water weight. Numerous studies have shown that drinking coffee and tea can reduce water content due to frequent urination.
These drinks are considered safe as they cannot lead to dehydration or any other serious side effects.
13. Eat food rich in antioxidants
Eat fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants to reduce water weight. According to research antioxidants help in flushing out toxins and reduce water retention since they play an important role in neutralising free radicals.
14. Improve your daily habits
- You must adopt healthier eating habits. Reduce high-sodium processed food and eat more fibre-rich fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Don’t follow a sedentary lifestyle; you must introduce some form of exercise into your daily routine.
- Eat food that is easy on the digestive system. Food that causes indigestion and bloating should be avoided.
- Reduce the consumption of alcohol.
15. Take prescription diuretics
If the water retention becomes serious, doctors sometimes prescribe diuretics (6). These prescription medicines should be taken only on doctor’s advice. Certain over the counter water pills are also available, but they are not considered safe.
Over to you
We all have suffered from water retention some time in our life. If, however, this is persistent, you must consult a doctor. Persistent water retention may be an indicator of a more severe health problem.