Water weight is seen in almost everyone and is responsible for that sluggish feeling. It can cause bloating, puffiness, and minor weight fluctuations throughout the day. Water weight fluctuations are something you experience from time to time because your body comprises 50-70% of water. Whether water weight is a cause for concern depends on your goals. Apart from causing higher numbers on the weighing scale, having high percentages of water weight can lead to or be a sign of health problems. However, you can take easy and safe steps to get rid of water weight.
What is Water Weight?Water weight happens when the body stores extra water in the tissue or between blood vessels. So if you’ve suddenly gained a few pounds over the last couple of days, it can be due to water weight or water retention. One meal isn’t going to make you gain any weight or fat right away. If you feel bloated, especially after meals, that’s likely just water weight. Therefore, water weight is just the mass that water takes up between and inside your cells. Typically, your body removes excess fluids through urination. But when extra fluids retain between the body organs and skin, it leads to water weight. While water weight can be a barrier to weight loss, it’s not bad. But, of course, severe bloating is a flag of concern, and you should always consider getting an opinion from your doctor.
Signs of Water Weight
- If you are on a balanced diet and still find your waistline or abdominal area suddenly increasing in inches, your body retains water.
- Swollen legs and ankles are other symptoms. Again, it happens due to prolonged standing or sitting.
- Puffiness in the face and hips is another factor. If your hips look more bulky than usual or your face is swollen or puffy, you’re gaining water weight.
- Weight fluctuations are common signs that indicate water weight.
Causes of Water Weight
Standing or Sitting for Too LongGravity pull always acts on your body, keeping blood in the lower extremities. Therefore, it is essential to move your body to maintain blood circulation after a while. Studies show that people who stand for too long suffer from orthostatic stress, increased body mass, and increased total water weight. It also enhances both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. In addition, many people suffer from back pain due to prolonged standing or sitting. Therefore, after standing or sitting for a prolonged period, you should take 30-40 steps to maintain blood circulation.
Flying in an AeroplaneAir pressure and gravity fluctuate when you fly in an aeroplane. Air pressure is lower at higher altitudes, and our body lacks oxygen at that level. Such changes in air pressure cause your body to hold on to water. Alternatively, flying and travelling increase your appetite and lead to weight gain.
Menstrual ChangesHormonal changes during periods can cause water weight fluctuations. In addition, women experience increased salt intake, leading to water retention after or during their period. Studies show how menstruation retains extra fluids in the body. For example, your body experiences a peak water weight level during the first day of menstruation. Specifically, an increase in water weight in periods is due to the rise in progesterone hormone. In addition, progesterone activates aldosterone, which causes kidneys to retain water and salt.
Fluctuating HormonesEspecially in teenagers and adolescents, sudden water weight is due to hormonal changes. Some hormones like an Antidiuretic hormone(ADH) are responsible for raising water weight. The two most common factors influencing ADH are plasma osmotic pressure and volume status changes. The plasma osmotic pressure comes from the proteins in your blood fluid, and the volume status refers to the volume of blood your circulatory system holds. Other factors that boost the release of ADH include exercise and emotional states. In addition, ADH increases water retention by increasing the permeability of nephrons.
Overeating SodiumHaving too much sodium makes it difficult for the body to drain water. Your typical sodium sources are table salt and some packaged snacks or soft drinks. Studies have found that increased sodium consumption results in water retention and reduction in fluid intake. So make sure that you avoid packaged processed food and soft drinks. Reducing salt in your daily meals also helps you get rid of extra water retention.
Medicationsto reduce water weightCertain medications may also lead to water retention in our bodies. Especially medicines used to control blood pressure, antidepressants, and pain relievers can increase your body’s water weight. In such cases, consulting a doctor is advisable.
Complications Caused by Continuous Water RetentionIf your body retains water for a longer duration, it can lead to several complications. It not only increases your extra body weight, but the following health risks can arise:
- Swelling and internal damage to hands, ankles, and feet
- Stiffy and painful joints and increased body weight
- Uneven weight fluctuation with hidden reasons
- Skin becoming puffy and holding indent for a few seconds when pressed with a finger
How to Lose Water Weight Safely
Follow a Low Salt Diet.According to FDA research, the maximum safe sodium limit is 2300mg, equal to about one teaspoon of table salt. Try not to exceed this maximum limit. The following are some ways to cut down sodium from your diet:
- Prepare low-salt homemade food
- Always read nutritional facts on every packaged food purchased.
- Add flavour without adding sodium and buy fresh edibles.
- Make lower sodium food choices at restaurants.