Water weight is the extra water that’s stored throughout your body. Sometimes your body retains too much water. This condition is called edema or fluid retention, and is a common side effect of chronic inflammation. (1)
Excess water retention is caused by many things, from poor diet, lack of sleep, and sometimes disease. It’s normally a temporary condition, and often comes after overindulging in food and drinks. Women often suffer from fluid retention during their menstrual cycle and pregnancy.
Although it’s not serious, excess water weight can cause some people to feel sluggish, uncomfortable, and can have a negative effect on their appearance and quality of life.
So whether you have a big event coming up, feel extra bloated, or just need to drop a few pounds quickly, losing water weight is one of easier things you can do. It may just be temporary, but sometimes it’s the difference between fitting into your clothes comfortably, and not fitting into them at all.
Here are my 8 tips how to reduce water weight fast and safely.
Your body is made up of about 60% water, and it plays a key role in almost every function of your organs and cells. (2)
If you know me, you know that I LOVE water. Drinking more water is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your weight loss, and interesting enough, drinking water can help you lose water weight. (3,4)
The reason drinking more water helps you lose water weight is because oftentimes, if your body is in a state of dehydration, it tends to hold onto as much water as it can. By drinking water, you help restore the fluid balances in your body, and you lose water weight fast. (5)
Here is a video I made on how to make infused water drinks, which will help you drink more water:
If you’re wondering “how much water should I drink to lose weight”, I recommend you read my article on how much water to drink a day. Also, keep an eye on the color of your urine. It should be light and yellow, not dark or brownish. That is a clear sign of dehydration.
Key Point: Dehydration causes your body to hold onto water since there isn’t adequate amounts being consumed. Make sure to drink the right amount of water every day.
#2. Manage Your Salt Intake
Your body requires salt (sodium) to function, but too much salt in your diet can lead to water retention. This is especially true if you are already dehydrated. (8)
You may think that avoiding the salt shaker is enough to avoid too much salt, but did you know the majority of the salt in your diet often comes from processed foods?
Processed meats, frozen meals, canned foods, and packaged snacks are some of the most common sources of excess sodium, so avoid them if you’re trying to lose water weight.
Key Point: Too much salt may cause your body to retain water resulting in bloating and swelling.
When it comes to reducing water weight fast, exercise is one of the best and most effective ways available. Exercising causes your body to sweat, which directly reduces the amount of fluids in your body. (9)
It also helps reduce the swelling in your skin so you don’t look so bloated and puffy. (10)
Try to do cardio or aerobic exercises which elevate your heart rate and cause your body to sweat more. Steam rooms and saunas are also good ways to get your sweat going as well. (11)
Key Point: Exercise helps your body naturally control fluid levels. Even a short sweat session can help decrease bloating and improve water weight loss.
#4. Get More Sleep
When it come to your health, sleep is almost as important as diet and exercise.
Studies have shown that adequate sleep is essential for maintaining proper body hydration levels and to reduce water retention. (12)
Try to get a good night’s sleep if you want to reduce water weight. For most people that is around 7-9 hours. Turn off all electronic screens at least 30 minutes prior to your planned sleep time for a deeper more restful night’s sleep. (13)
Key Point: Getting enough sleep is essential if you want to reduce water weight. Aim for 7-9 hours per night.
One of the main sources of sodium in our diets comes from processed foods. Most processed meats, prepackaged snacks, frozen dinners, and canned foods are high in sodium.
At Lose Weight by Eating, we advocate clean eating, which means your food comes from a natural source without additives or preservatives.
Eating whole foods that are not processed or minimally processed, as close to their natural form as possible, will help you lose water weight quickly and it tastes better, too!
Key Point: Cutting out processed food and eating whole, natural foods will help you reduce water weight and enable you to lose more weight in the long term.
#6. Eat More Potassium
There are certain foods that act as natural diuretics and help your body fight water bloat.
In particular, foods that contain a lot of potassium, an essential mineral, are known to regulate water retention. Not enough potassium in your diet may cause unnecessary fluid retention. (14)
The following are foods that are high in potassium: Acorn squash, apricots, artichokes, avocado, bananas, cantaloupe, carrots, dates, dried beans, kiwi, lentils, mango, oranges, peas, papaya, tomatoes, yogurt, and green leafy vegetables.
Key Point: Eat more potassium rich foods to help your body release excess water.
#7. Cut Out The Carbs
Did you know that the carbohydrates stored in your muscles and liver include excess water?
When you eat carbohydrates, your body uses some as energy right away and converts the rest into glycogen. As your body stores glycogen, it also brings water with it. For every gram of glycogen you store, 3 – 4 grams of water may be stored along with it. (15)
High carb foods like bread, pasta, pastries, rice, crackers, tortillas, bagels, muffins, sweetened beverages and desserts all affect your body the same way.
A low carb diet forces your body to rely on the glycogen stores in your body, which helps rid your body of excess water weight.
Key Point: Reducing carbs from your diet can help you lose water weight since it forces your body to rely on the stored glycogen in your body.
#8. Eat More Fiber
Fiber helps remove waste, excessive nutrients and water from your body. If your diet is low in fiber, you may be retaining extra water weight.
Your body does not digest fiber, and so it passes through your intestines without breaking down. Since fiber absorbs a large amount of water as it moves through your intestines, it helps reduce water weight.
The daily recommendation for fiber is 38 g for men and 25 g for women. For those over 50, men only need 30 g of fiber per day, and women 21 g.
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, cereal, pasta, legumes, nuts and seeds are all good sources of fiber.
Key Point: Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables can help you increase your fiber intake and reduce excess water weight by relieving bloating from constipation
When it comes to losing water weight, it’s important to figure out why you’re retaining water in the first place and address that problem.
It may be due to too much salt in your diet, not enough exercise, too much stress, or a generally poor diet full of processed foods.
If you continue to retain water after making healthy lifestyle changes, it may be due to a medical condition, and you should see a doctor immediately.