There are so many methods to use when loosing weight. Some are tried and tested; others may be last resorts. With all the options out there - each with their own packaging and price tag - we wanted to put one method out there without all the fluff: how to lose water weight.
In this article we will detail what causes water weight, how to lose water weight, and some other helpful tips to keep you on track and feeling healthy. While staying in shape can feel like an uphill battle sometimes, here is some info that will help you to keep trudging:
What Is Water Weight?
There is a lot of info out there, so we want to set some things straight up front.
The Good and Bad
FIrst of all, you should know that everyone has water weight. It is normal and not necessarily a sign that you are slacking off. In fact, about 65% of us is water anyway, so do not go into this thinking that you need to get rid of all your water weight. You do need some water weight for basic survival, and water weight retention is crucial to our health. So, the goal should never be to lose all your water weight: just maintain a healthy water weight.
What Is a Healthy Water Weight?
What you should typically be looking for is 60-65% water weight overall. This is what has been deemed a healthy weight and is the weight needed to maintain healthy function in our bodies - so do not feel the need to round the number down.
Water Weight Causes
There are many causes for gaining more water weight than your body needs. We have not gone over every possible way, but these are some of the most common causes among otherwise healthy people:
1. A Sedentary Lifestyle
Not having an active lifestyle will decrease your health in a lot of other ways as well, but it will also add to your water weight. The activities needed to lose extra water weight simply cannot happen if you do not move around.
Solving this is as easy as getting up and moving. It does not have to be a major change - no marathons or two-week backpacking trips on day one - but making sure that you are moving around throughout the day will help keep that extra weight down.
To help see where you are at in terms of a sedentary vs active lifestyle, think about daily active tasks like checking the mail, mopping the floor, or taking a walk around the neighborhood. Do these make you tired? If they do, you probably need to be more active. Just take those walks more often, take the stairs more, and park a little farther from the entrance of stores. Little things can make a big difference in lifestyle.
2. High Salt Diet
Think of a high salt diet as like drinking sea water. It has water, but the salt content makes you thirstier because salt dehydrates you. This may seem a little counterintuitive, and we will get into the reasoning behind this more in a moment, but the high salt content in your diet alters the concentration of water your body has, making it dehydrated. This in turn, makes your body hoard water, which increases your water weight.
The solution is simple and just takes a few small changes in what you eat. Don't eat as much processed food (which is always packed with salt) and find other ways to flavor your food than just upending the salt shaker all over it.
3. Not Drinking Enough Water
This may seem counterintuitive, but we really wanted to hit this one hard. Do not dehydrate yourself to lose water weight! Simply put, the less water you drink, the more concentrated your water weight becomes. This bulks up that weight because your body does not want to lose the water it does have.
To solve this, drink lots of water! Staying hydrated will not only keep help you lose water weight, it will also help your health in every other area.
These three causes cover the basic areas of losing weight: exercise, diet, and hydration. All three are key to complete good health; not just for losing water weight.
How to Lose Water Weight
We have touched on how to lose water weight in the causes section a little. We will go more in depth here to help you understand exactly how to lose water weight and live a healthy lifestyle.
Develop an Active Lifestyle
Exercise is important to being healthy and losing water weight because sweating out that extra weight is one of the most efficient ways to get rid of it. Sweat comes from water we store in our bodies. The more we sweat, the more water weight we lose.
There are typically two forms of exercise that have been battling for the "best way to lose weight" title: cardio and weight training. The truth is they both work, just in different ways. Cardio works well as an immediate way to burn off fat or calories, and that sweat can definitely lessen water weight as well. Weight training on the other hand, tends to result in a slower but longer burn of fat and calories; and of course the sweatier the better for losing water weight.
Ideally, a combination of the two would work the best all around. Starting a workout with weight training to get that slow burn going and then finishing with a run or bike ride to get that extra burst is a good way to tackle it. The cardio will boost the burn of weight training, and that is exactly what you want because weight training will have you burning calories and fat long after the work out is done. Plus, progress in weight training means a progressively faster metabolism as well, which also means more fat burned in all the rest of life.
Monitor Your Diet
This is good to do for your health anyway, but if you are working on how to lose water weight, you will want to pay close attention to a few things in particular. Take a close look at your sodium intake. Eating lots of salt can concentrate water weight as well as dehydrate you. If you are eating more salt or taking in more sodium than you are drinking water, then look at switching that around. You need the water to dilute that concentration.
If you are looking at how to lose to lose water weight, you will also want to look at your carb intake. Because of the way your body utilizes carbohydrates, it holds on to extra water when you eat lots of carbs. This extra water gets added to your water weight, so if you are looking at dropping some water there, limiting your carbs is a safe bet. Eating the recommended fiber intake daily can also help you lose water weight because it can decrease bloating (which is entwined with water weight).
In terms of liquid consumption, limiting alcohol and caffeine intake can greatly affect your water weight too. Both alcohol and caffeine can make you slightly dehydrated, so if you are a connoisseur of either make sure you are keeping the limit low. Beyond that, drink lots of water! It is a good practice to always have a water bottle handy and to just sip constantly throughout the day.
Two very important factors to water weight retention and learning how to lose water weight are stress and sleep. Stress (long term stress especially) effects the hormone cortisol, which is responsible for water balance and retention. If that hormone is not working properly or is shut off due to stress, you will retain a lot more water weight.
Sleep is a game changer in terms of both diet and health. Adequate sleep helps balance out your body, which includes water weight as well. It can also be beneficial to the kidneys, which are in charge of regulating the sodium and water balance in your body. Get in a regular sleeping habit with healthy, stable patterns to make sure your body (and mind) is getting the rest it needs. Even if you are doing everything else on this list and learning how to lose water weight, if you are not sleeping well or enough you are unlikely to see the results you hope for.
Losing water weight is not typically a difficult battle to fight. The list we have created here is full of simple and small changes that can be made almost instantly. Your body may be complicated, and being fit may be a battle sometimes, but learning how to lose water weight should be clear and simple. Look through the info and tips here to see where you may need some more focus and get on track to a healthier you.