Do you know what it’s like to wake up in the morning, step onto the scales and all of a sudden, you’re a few lbs or kilos heavier than usual, even though you haven’t eaten a bite?
It’s not really possible to eat so much in a few sittings that you’ll notice the difference in weight. Such extreme fluctuations are usually due to water retention. Pregnant women often experience swelling, as well as people who aren’t very mobile — or even as the side effect of certain medications.
Often the water appears in the legs, fingers, and joints. It’s not only very uncomfortable, it can also wear out connective tissue and is associated with permanent weight gain.
But fortunately, water retention usually has a simple cause and can be solved quite easily. Here are several common reasons for the problem and some ways to combat it.
1. Too much sodium
Salty foods often boost water retention. This is especially the case when you don’t drink enough water. It’s important to be able to rinse out the salt from our bodies. When the body consumes too much salt, it retains water to keep a healthy balance.
In extreme cases, the cells can grow 20 times bigger than normal, just holding water. Fortunately the solution is quite straightforward: eat less salt and fewer processed foods.
Fast foods and ready-made meals often have a much higher concentration of salt. This also applies to canned soups and frozen pizzas. Consider eating more homemade food instead, especially fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and other healthy legumes.
2. Too little water
Many people still don’t drink enough water. When this happens, the body tries to compensate and ends up storing as much water as possible. What helps, of course, is to drink water more regularly.
It’s also helpful to eat food with a high water content, such as peppers and cucumbers. The advantage of this is that you get an additional vitamin intake by doing so.
A lot of us turn to sweetened teas, juices, or other prepared drinks to get more liquid into our system. But most of these beverages have a lot of added sugar. In the end, water is always a sure thing!
3. Magnesium deficiency
Too little magnesium can also lead to water retention. Our bodies need this mineral for nearly every function. When it’s missing, our bodies can’t function properly and one result happens to be holding onto water.
Luckily, the solution here is also quite simple and delicious.
By eating foods such as avocado, spinach, or yoghurt, you’ll get your magnesium levels back up. Whole-grain products and green vegetables of all kinds are rich in magnesium too. Pretty soon, excess water weight and bloating will disappear!
These simple tips can help you lose water weight — and can be a great first step for anyone starting a diet because they pay off right away. Whatever you do, it’s always good to choose a healthy lifestyle, including fresh food and plenty of water as well as regular exercise.
If your symptoms persist over time however, don’t hesitate to see a doctor!