Your Weight Issues Might Not Just Be Fat
Do you ever get on the scale after having a great few days of following your diet, only to see the number go up rather than down? That might not be an issue of fat loss or gain, but instead just water weight.
Water weight happens when your body retains fluid. It happens when there is a buildup of fluid in the circulatory system or body tissues. There are many ways that it can be caused including:
– When there is a change in pressure inside the capillaries or the capillary walls are too leaky, the water will remain in the tissues, and cause swelling.
– If there is too much fluid in the lymphatic system, the excess fluid will remain in the tissues, which causes swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, or any other parts of the body.
– When the heart fails, in congestive heart failure, the heart has to work harder. This changes the pressure and causes water retention in the legs, feet, ankles and lungs.
– Severe protein deficiency.
– Insufficient B-vitamins.
– During kidney failure
– During pregnancy or menstruation
– Lack of exercise
– Certain medications such as hormone replacement therapy, birth control pills, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and beta blockers.
– Eating a lot of high sodium foods
– Eating excess sugar.
– via Calorie Secrets
But What Can You Do?
If you’re struggling with water weight, what can you do to get rid of it?
There are several different things can try to get your body back into balance and free yourself from excess water weighing you down.
Research on sleep highlights that it’s just as important as diet and exercise.
Sleep may also affect the sympathetic renal nerves in the kidneys, which regulate sodium and water balance.
One study found that when you sleep, your body acts like a plumbing system and flushes “toxins” out of the brain.
Adequate sleep may also help your body control hydration levels and minimize water retention.
Aim to get a healthy amount of sleep per night, which for most individuals will be around 7–9 hours.
Bottom Line: A good night’s sleep may help your body manage its fluid and sodium balance and lead to reduced water weight in the long-term.
Long-term stress can increase the hormone cortisol, which directly influences fluid retention and water weight.
This may occur because stress and cortisol increase a hormone that controls water balance in the body, known as the antidiuretic hormone or ADH.
ADH works by sending signals to the kidneys, telling them how much water to pump back into the body.
If you control your stress levels, you will maintain a normal level of ADH and cortisol, which is important for fluid balance and long-term health and disease risk.
Bottom Line: Stress increases cortisol and antidiuretic hormone, which directly affect your body’s water balance.
Electrolytes are minerals with an electric charge, such as magnesium and potassium. They play important roles in your body, including regulating water balance.
When electrolyte levels become too low or too high, they can cause shifts in fluid balance. This may lead to increased water weight.
You should tailor your electrolyte intake to your water intake. If you drink large amounts of water, you may need more electrolytes.
If you exercise daily or live in a humid or hot environment, you may need additional electrolytes to replace those lost with sweat.
In contrast, large amounts of electrolytes from supplements or salty foods, coupled with a low water intake, can have the opposite effect and increase water weight.
– via Authority Nutrition
Do you think water weight could be affecting your weight loss efforts?