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What is Water Weight

What is Water Weight and Why Does it Happen?

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What is water weight? Have you ever asked the question? People talk about it an awful lot, but how many of us actually know what it is?  It can play a role in how much you weigh and how your clothes fit.  It can be something that happens for any of a spectrum of reasons, including some of your personal habits.

What is Water Weight?  

When you’re asking, “what is water weight”, what you’re really seeking to learn about is fluid retention.  The human body is naturally comprised of between 50 and 65 percent water.  The reason that is measured as a range is because it fluctuates throughout a day and from one day to the next.

This is perfectly normal. While it will happen at times and even though it will subside, it will return at some point.  The main problem it causes is that it can make it seem as though fat is being gained – or isn’t being lost – when it is merely a matter of retained fluids. It can also be uncomfortable, depending on how much retention there is.

Protection from Dehydration

The reason water weight occurs is that the body is protecting itself against the risk of dehydration.  We can survive for only a very short time without water – a couple of days on average. As a result, the body has built-in survival tactics to help reserve as much fluid as possible in case of drought.

What to Do About Water Weight

In the vast majority of cases, additional water weight is not a sign of a medical problem, and it will resolve on its own. If it is persistent, it’s always a good idea to talk to a doctor to make sure there isn’t an underlying condition causing the issue.  That said, in most cases, it can be corrected – or even prevented – with a few careful steps.

These water weight busting steps include the following:

  • Stay hydrated – If you don’t give your body any reason to think that there will be a risk of dehydration, it won’t take action to try to reserve the fluids you already have in your body.
  • Control your sodium intake – Sodium, found in salty foods, causes your body to store fluids instead of flushing them out. Therefore, if you’re eating a lot of salty foods, particularly highly processed or packaged foods or foods to which you’ve added table salt, it can lead to excess fluid retention.  To counteract this, cut back on your sodium intake.
  • Get moving – While you take care to stay hydrated, it’s also a good idea to get moving. Regular exercise helps to encourage your body to process water – and have more regular bowel movements, for that matter, also reducing bloating and fluid retention.
  • Don’t overdo it with carbs – Eating a high amount of carbohydrates encourages glycogen production, which simultaneously leads to fluid storage. Keep your carb intake under control and it will reduce this issue.
  • Get some sleep – One of the most unexpected ways to bust water weight is to get the sleep you need and control your stress to manage your body’s cortisol (stress hormone) levels. This will help to control antidiuretic hormone release.