Water is an important component of our body. In fact, about fifty to sixty percent of our weight is actually the water content within our body. Now sometimes while estimating the body weight, you may have come across terms such as water retention or water weight. The meaning of this is that the excess water is present in our body, gets accumulated in the cells and tissues. As a result, it contributes to the weight gain.
- Causes of water retention
- Home remedies to get rid of water weight
- Exercises to lose it
- Lifestyle and diet changes
- Myths & Facts
Causes of water retention
Here are the most common causes of water retention:
Excess salt intake
Some amount of salt is essential for our health but the excess of sodium can put forth various problems. A high amount of salt in the body leads to water retention. This is why during dehydration, we are recommended to take salts and electrolytes.
Taking birth control medications can hold water in the body by altering the hormone levels. You may gain some water weight even before your regular menstrual cycle. This is again due to the fluctuation of hormones. But the extra weight due to this reason is lost very easily and quickly.
Staying in a state of stress for a prolonged period of time affects the body too. This is because prolonged stress acts as a stimulating factor and Cortisol is released into the blood stream and its constant presence can cause water retention. Although the cortisol levels could rise due to several factors, stress is the most common reason.
Medicines for high blood pressure and depression can lead to water retention in the body. Chemotherapy also causes water weight.
Home remedies to get rid of water weight
The key to losing water retention weight is maintaining the blood sugar levels within your body. Cinnamon can help you do that. It is a spice which has a distinct taste and a savoury flavour. It can easily be incorporated into your diet.
You can prepare cinnamon tea every day in the morning to prevent water retention in the body. To make this, you will need ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder and a cup of water. Boil the water and then mix the cinnamon in it. Avoid adding anything sweet to this tea. Another great way to incorporate cinnamon into your food is by sprinkling it over your salads or pancakes. Not only will it enhance the flavour, but will also help to nullify the effects of sugar you might be consuming.
Lemon juice is an excellent source of electrolytes. It helps to hydrate the body from within and can prevent water retention to a great extent. Take a glass of lukewarm water and squeeze one lemon into it. Since lemon juice has a very strong taste, you may add a teaspoon of honey as well. Have this every day in the morning before eating anything. You can also have this after your meals.
Carrots contain anti-oxidants and several other essential compounds which speed up the metabolism of the body. Hence they help to lose water retention weight rapidly. You can consume carrots before doing your workout. Carrots also help to reduce inflammation in the body and add a lot of fibre which heals the gut.
Baked carrot sticks
To add carrot into your diet, you can simply chop some carrots into thick sticks. Now coat them lightly with some olive oil. Chop a few garlic cloves and mix with these sticks. Sprinkle some pepper and when you find that each stick in nicely coated, spread them out on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes on each side. If you do not prefer baking then you can lightly stir fry these on a pan. Leave them on the pan for 10 minutes on each side so that they get crispy. Have these carrot sticks with tea or as a healthy snack.
Watermelons are mostly composed of water. The reason why watermelons can help in losing water retention weight is that they hydrate the body naturally and this enables us to lose the unnecessary and excess water accumulated in our body. This fruit can be enjoyed just as it is or can be made into a healthy smoothie.
To prepare the watermelon smoothie, you will need 1 bowl of diced and de-seeded watermelon, 1 cup of fresh coconut water, 2 tablespoons of psyllium husk and 2 teaspoons of honey. Simply blend all the ingredients together until you get a smoothie. You may find that the smoothie is very watery. If so, allow it to rest for ½ an hour in the refrigerator. The psyllium husk present in it will act as a thickening agent and help to make the smoothie thicker.
Fennel seeds are a common ingredient in many sweet dishes. These seeds help to increase the metabolism of the body and help to decrease the sugar level in the blood stream. They also help to reduce cravings for sugar and thus, can prove to be very beneficial in losing water retention weight. To use these seeds to your benefit, chew on 1 tsp. of these after every meal. You can also take 1 tsp. of fennel powder and add it to a glass of water. Have this early in the morning and before going to bed. Fennel seeds are great for digestion. They help to cure the inflammation of the digestive tract where most of the water retention occurs. Including fennel seeds in your diet will not only improve your overall health but manage your weight as well.
Coffee is a diuretic. This means that it induces water loss the natural way and also helps to flush out toxins from the body. This happens due to the presence of a drug known as caffeine. This drug is also present in green teas but in varying amounts. However, coffee is its best source. Consuming freshly brewed coffee will help to reduce bloating as well as water retention and thus help in losing the water retention weight.
To prepare a cup at home, buy some good quality coffee grounds. It is important to purchase pure coffee grounds. Do not reach out for instant coffee as it won’t be as beneficial. Now brew a cup as mentioned on the packet. The general measurements would be brewing 1 tsp. of coffee with 1 cup of hot water. Add some sweetening agent to suppress the natural bitterness of coffee and have at least 1 cup daily.
Cold brew coffee
Another great way of having coffee is cold brewing it. To make coffee using this method, add ½ cup of coffee grounds to 1 litre of cold water and mix. Now keep this mixture in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then strain it. Cold brew coffee can be consumed even without sugar.
Do not consume coffee before going to bed as it will disrupt your sleeping pattern. Make sure you do not consume more that 3 cups in a day otherwise it could cause dehydration.
Psyllium husk is an excellent source of fiber. Once mixed with water, psyllium husk begins to form as gel like substance. It is beneficial for suppressing appetite as well as improving the bowel movements. Simply mix 1 tablespoon of it with a glass of water and drink before meals. This will make sure that you do not indulge in overeating. This husk is gluten free and can be used by gluten intolerants as well without the risk of having any allergies.
Cabbage juice is a great cleanser for the body. It can detoxify the digestive system very quickly and reduce internal swellings as well. Cabbage juice is an excellent home remedy for decreasing water retention and losing water retention weight. Since cabbage is alkaline in nature, it also balances the body internally.
To prepare cabbage juice, cut off the stem of one cabbage. Soak it in warm water to remove any chemicals which may be present on the outer leaves. Now chop the cabbage into chunks which can fit into your blender. Add two chopped pieces of cabbage with a few tablespoons of water and blend on high speed until you get a pulp like mixture. Blend all the chunks the same way. Take a clean cheese cloth and hold it over a large bowl. Put the cabbage mixture in batches and squeeze the cheesecloth to extract the juice. Consume this juice daily to improve your overall health as well as lose water retention weight quickly.
If you are someone who workouts daily then losing water weight with the above mentioned remedies will be sufficient. In general, the focus should be on exercises which make you sweat more. Cardiac exercises can be of great help in reducing excess water retention weight.
Simpler exercises also include indulging in daily walks and doing yoga. Yoga makes one more flexible and helps to improve blood circulation. It is extremely effective for people who experience water retention in their feet or the legs as the circulation helps to reduce the accumulation of water.
Lifestyle and diet changes
Keep your body naturally hydrated. When you do so, your body will have no need to store excess water in between the tissues. Since your body is already hydrated, you will lose the excess water more rapidly and shed the excess water weight.
Have more infused water. Water rich in anti-oxidants will boost your metabolism and help you manage your weight more easily. The simplest way to prepare infused water is by adding a few mint leaves, 2 lemon slices, and 4 slices of cucumber with some honey to a bottle containing warm water. The water should not be hot. Now allow the water to get infused for about ½ an hour and then have this water whenever you wish.
Limit your processed food intake. Processed foods are rich in empty calories and have no nutrition. To make matters worse, processed foods contains high amounts of sodium which is a major cause of water retention. The extra carbohydrates present in such foods also contribute to water retention and then lead to bloating and weight gain.
Get proper sleep. Having an irregular sleeping pattern will make your body dehydrated. Make sure you provide yourself with a daily sleep of 7-8 hours.
Do not try to dehydrate yourself by restricting your water intake.
Eat foods rich in potassium. This mineral is essential for the regulation of water and its movement throughout the body. Its deficiency can lead to fluid retention and bloating. Some of its sources are bananas and coconut water.
Myths & Facts
|The loss of weight because of water retention is permanent.||You can only maintain your weight with a proper lifestyle. If you do not keep yourself hydrated enough then your body will hold on to whatever fluids are present in the body and the water weight will appear again.|
|Drinking excess water will help you lose weight.||Having enough water is what needs to be done. Consuming too much water can actually dilute the enzymes in your body and restrict digestion. This could make you sick and lose important nutrients quickly and reverse the cycle of water retention.|
Is taking diuretics safe?
To lose this weight, it is not necessary to take medicated diuretics and their effect can be very drastic. Opt for natural alternatives which work slowly but effectively. A small dose of caffeine can be very helpful in losing excess water weight.
Are there any precautions to take while on some medication?
If you are taking certain medicines then trying to get rid of excess water from your body can be tricky. Consult your doctor so that the decrease in the water holding capacity of your body does not adversely impact the effects of medicines.
How is fiber related to water retention?
Having enough fibre in your body will help to absorb excess water and shed the excess weight because of water retention. Sources of fibre include leafy vegetables and fruits such as guavas and apples.
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