The Truth About Water Weight
What causes it—and how to fix it
You’ve heard people mention it before and maybe you’ve even nodded in agreement. But the bottom line is you’ve never fully understood what this “water weight” thing really is. Allow us to explain.
What is water weight? Depending on daily diet and lifestyle choices, our kidneys are constantly regulating fluids to keep things functioning properly at all times. When they sense an imbalance, they will sometimes hold onto extra water, which can cause a temporary spike on the scale and swollen body parts—particularly in the lower extremities including your hands, feet and ankles.
Why does it happen? There are a ton of reasons why your body might be retaining more water than usual—from eating too much salt or sugar to being dehydrated. And then there are the hormones. Most women experience some water retention the week before their period starts (hello, PMS) as well as during pregnancy.
OK, so how do I get rid of it? Well, for starters, drink more water. The more H2O you get into your body, the more efficiently it can flush out those extra fluids and sodium. And if you can't remember to sip more often, eat water-rich foods like cucumber, spinach, celery, bell peppers, watermelon and cantaloupe.
Next, exercise regularly. You'll sweat out some of that extra liquid immediately and improve circulation and lymphatic drainage over time (so you'll be less apt to bloating in the future).
And finally, chill out. Your body is sensitive to physical and emotional changes so too much stress can cause retention. Bottom line: Keep calm and sip on.