It has been a week since I asked you all if you would like me to talk about how to reduce water weight naturally.

So, here it is! An issue that I have been dealing with for the past 3 years on and off. Waking up in the morning looking and feeling lean and then hours later *BOOF* Im puffed up from the face down to my thighs.

Whyyyyyyyyyyy??? I yell in my head. However, I already know the answer! I already know that I alongside my incorrect nutritional priorities are to blame. I know my reasons why? Do you know yours?!

So, what could your reason be and how should you combat them?

What is Water Retention?

Water Retention aka Fluid Retention aka Edema is when there is an excessive build up of fluid within your circulatory system, body tissue or wall cavities. Under normal circumstances the bulk of this excess fluid would pass through the kidneys and be released during urination. However, the excess fluid gets stored between your organs and skin.

This causes the bloated, heavy and uncomfortable feeling that leads many to believe that they have gained weight (fat) even though they are exercising and watching calorie intake.

So, what should you do???

1. Sleep More

Sleeping 7-9 hours ensures your metabolic balance by clearing out waste product and fluids from your central nervous system (1). In addition, sleep helps to metabolise cortisol and reduce inflammation (2) which can cause a host of problems including unwanted retention of water.

2. Manage your Salt intake!

Sodium Chloride (aka Salt) is a vital electrolyte that we need to be able to function properly. Too much or too little affects your hydration levels and can cause vast amounts of water retention. 

Sodium binds water to your body in a bid to maintain fluid balance inside and outside of your cells.

Try cutting back on salty foods and if you do opt for it, switch table salt for Pink Himalayan or Truffle Salt which has slightly less sodium and contains all the vital minerals.

 The recommended daily intake of salt is no more or no less than 6grams per day.

3. Hydrate, Drink more water!

Our bodies are made up of over 60% water (3) and is vital for the function of almost every organ in the body.

The reason you should drink more water is because it is very easy for the body to become dehydrated without realizing it. Signs include; a dry tongue, dry mouth, dry skin, tiredness, dizziness, headaches and most obvious of all thirst (4). Once you become dehydrated your body releases an Anti-Diuretic Hormone (ADH) to prevent the body from releasing water.

4. Exercise! SWEAT! SWEAT! SWEAT!

Although temporary, this is one of the best methods for dropping water weight fast! During exercise, your body pulls water in to your muscles from other areas of the body as part of its recovery process. In addition, exercise promotes sweating which causes you to directly expel water. However, don’t forget to stay hydrated!!

5. Watch your Carbohydrate intake!

Carbohydrates are the preferred fuel source of the body, and wherever carbohydrates go water goes too! When we consume carbs, our body will only use part of it as energy and converts the rest to be stored as glycogen in the liver. For glycogen to be stored water is required, and for every gram of glycogen stored 3grams of water is brought in alongside it (5). It is worth noting that the liver can store up to 100g of glycogen!

Consider reducing or eliminating refined/ simple carbs and opt for Low GI, slow digesting complex carbs like Brown Rice, Sweet Potato, Whole Oats and Fibrous Vegetables.

Take Away Message

When it comes to water weight and retention it is important to identify what is causing you to retain water. Some of the most common causes are food intolerance, high salt levels, inactivity, stress and lack of adequate sleep. If you are having trouble identifying the issue or after making some of the recommended changes you fail to see an improvement, you should seek advice from your doctor, as there could be an underlying medical issue.