Water Weight

Water weight: it can make you feel sluggish and embarrassed by your own nudity. Besides making you feel like a mass of gelatin, it can be painful and debilitating; and it can cause untold frustration for those who are trying to lose weight. There are incentives to get rid of water weight, but to do that you’ll need to identify the underlying causes. Water retention (also known as edema) is a clear sign that something is amiss in the complex web of systems inside your body.

Your body is telling you that something isn’t quite right. In rare cases, excess water weight is a symptom of an underlying illness, such as liver or kidney disease, heart disease, or even cancer. This is why it is important to see a doctor if your water weight is severe or accompanied by other symptoms. In most cases, you can lose water weight by making a few dietary changes and increasing your activity level. Below you’ll find out how to get rid of water weight using safe, research-backed methods that any doctor would recommend. If you doubt us, check with your doctor though!

Causes of Water Weight Gain

  • Excess dietary salt and sugar
  • Underlying illness
  • Medications
  • Lack of essential vitamins and nutrients
  • Rapid weight loss/fad dieting
  • Pregnancy
  • PMS
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of physical activity
  • High blood pressure
  • Binge eating
  • Alcohol use
  • Sudden, dramatic changes in diet

Best Ways to Lose Water Weight

Get rid of water weight by getting rid of excess sodium.

Salt is the cornerstone of the American diet – is it unpatriotic to avoid it? If you want to get rid of water weight, rebel. Don’t get me wrong, we do need some salt in our diets as it is vital to everyday functions inside our bodies. However, the average American gets somewhere between 5000mg to 6000mg daily, when doctors recommend no more than 2400mg. Salt-sensitive individuals should only get 1000mg. Most of the excess salt in our diets comes from processed foods, preserved meats, canned goods, and fast food. Become a food label scholar – you’ll be surprised at the amount of grocery store fare that contains too much sodium (as well as other garbage that’s no good)

Eating a balanced diet rich in potassium and fiber can help get rid of water weight.

Water retention is often a sign that the body is getting too much or too little of something. Eating a balanced diet will help prevent the surplus of scarcity that leads to water weight gain. So what is a balanced diet? The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertention) has been recommend by many health organizations, regardless of what your blood pressure is. It is rich in potassium and fiber, which are vital for fluid management. To learn more about DASH, check out the bottom section.

To get rid of water weight, you need to stay hydrated.

Lose water weight by consuming more water? Yes. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of water weight gain. Our bodies have evolved to survive in times of scarcity. People who eat very little will develop a slow metabolism. People who drink very little will retain fluids. Women require around 9 cups of water daily, while men should consume around 13 cups; however, individual needs vary. Drink when you are thirsty, and drink water. Caffeinated drinks lead to increased urination, which will exacerbate dehydration.

Regular physical activity will help you get rid of water weight.

Many people, through profession or by choice, are leading increasingly sedentary lifestyles. Motion is needed to get our fluids moving, and in the process we sweat and excrete excess salt. Vigorous exercise will lead to an increased heart rate and dilated blood vessels, which in turn causes more frequent urination. Besides helping you get rid of water weight, regular physical activity will improve your health, mentally and physically, in myriad ways.

You can use diuretics to lose water weight, but be careful.

The term “diuretic” refers to any substance that increases the rate at which the body excretes water. Diuretics come in many forms. Coffee and tea are diuretics because they increase urination. Over-the-counter diuretics (water pills) work for some, but they can also cause the body to dump potassium, calcium, iron, and also lead to dehydration. If you are going to use diuretics to get rid of water weight, consult a doctor. There are many different kinds of diuretics. Some shed water yet spare potassium, while others spare calcium. A doctor will be able to guide you to safer diuretics and prescriptions more specifically suited to your needs.

More Ways to Get Rid of Water Weight Gain

The DASH Diet.

The acronym stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension”, but it is by no means just for those with high blood pressure. Nor is it the only “balanced diet” that could help you get rid of water weight, but it does come recommended by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and The American Heart Association. Excess water weight is often caused by dietary imbalance – DASH can balance your diet, get rid of your water weight, and make you an all-around healthier person. For more information, you can check out the Dash Diet sold at Amazon.

No sugar, no cream.

If salt is the cornerstone of the American diet, then sugar is the foundation. One of the many problems of consuming too much sugar is that the body produces excess insulin, which keeps the body from getting rid of excess salt. Your body needs sugar, but from fruits, vegetables, and some cereals. Cut out the junk food, and you may just lose water weight.


Calcium supplements can help women get rid of water weight gain associated with PMS. In limited studies, it also lessened breast tenderness, cramps, and other symptoms. Look for a supplement that has a high “elemental calcium” content. Some brands have little bits of calcium stuck to heavy, innocuous yet unhelpful elements. Also, chewable and liquid forms are easier for the body to absorb. Amazon sells a variety of options, like these Calcium supplements from Kirkland.

Natural diuretics.

Using a natural, gentle diuretic can help the body get rid of excess water weight. Drinking one to two glasses of cranberry juice, green tea, or just plain lemon in water daily can coerce your cells into letting go of some water. Green tea can be effective in small amounts and it has many health benefits, but too much can be counterproductive, as caffeine can deprive the body of calcium and iron.

Weight Loss and Water Weight Gain

There are a few instances where water weight gain is inevitable and not abnormal at all. In the later stages of pregnancy and for a few weeks after birth, women can expect to carry around a good sloshing of water weight. You really can’t do much about it. Some say weight loss and water weight gain go hand in hand. This is partly true. If you are losing weight the way doctors recommend – slowly – you’ll only experience moderate water weight gain; however, if you are starving yourself or fad dieting, you’re bound to gain much more. This happens because your body is frantically searching for sources of energy, tearing apart proteins and going through stores of carbohydrates. These carbohydrates and proteins were holding water, and so the body reacts by bringing loads of water back into the cells. Fret not – this seesawing action will settle as your body’s systems stabilize.

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About the Author

Julianne Ragland

Julianne Ragland