Whether you're coming off of a 3-day weekend bender or you just have been eating like crap, losing water weight is beneficial for aesthetics
If you've been in the gym working hard to get that six pack to pop, you probably notice some days you don't look as shredded as others. If you've been eating somewhat consistently, you are probably holding onto some water weight.
Related - 8 Week Get Shredded Workout
Water weight is generally the first thing people lose when they try a fad diet. It's why you lose it so fast... And gain more back later.
While these tips aren't in any specific order, the way you eat, how much you exercise, and your lifestyle will determine how much water weight you are holding.
Ready to get shredded?
How to Drop Water Weight
#1 - Try Intermittent Fasting
One of my personal favorites, intermittent fasting
is a great way to lose fat, drop water weight, and get overall healthy.
Since growth hormone is a great fat burner, you want it to be as high as possible. It has been shown that when you eat, growth hormone levels in your blood is mitigated.
So, if you can delay your first meal for a few hours, you will enjoy a boost of growth hormone.
You have to find what works best for you and your lifestyle and run with it.
#2 - Watch Your Sodium
Fluid retention and salt go hand-in-hand. Sodium plays a huge role in hydration levels... If they are too low or too high, your body will retain water.
Don't get confused, having some salt on your food isn't the enemy, it's processed foods. There's a reason you feel bloated after you down some McDonald's.
If your diet consists of mostly processed foods, start replacing your favorite dishes with home cooked meals. The salt you use for seasoning in your food will make it taste great, not make you bloat.
Slowly phase out as much processed foods and you will notice a drastic decrease in water weight.
#3 - Eat More Fiber-Rich Fruits and Veggies
Sorry, ordering extra lettuce on your burger doesn't count as eating more veggies. Going along with what was written above, eating freshly prepared foods will combat water retention and make you feel better.
Potassium works in the opposite way as sodium does; it pulls water out of your cells. So, eating potassium-rich foods seems to be a good idea.
Your dark green leafy veggies, bananas, beans, avocados, yogurt, and tomatoes are all healthy and full of potassium.
Eating easily-digestible foods will keep water weight down and help build those muscles you put so much work towards.
Foods that help regulate water weight:
- Cranberry Juice
- Dark Green Leafy Veggies
- Dark Chocolate
- Whole Grains
Natural diuretics are great to have in your diet because it keeps the body fresh and helps maintain a regular amount of water weight.
Adding in some of these foods regularly to your diet, along with cutting out processed foods, will get your water weight to a reasonable level in no time.
#4 - Replenish Your Electrolytes
When you sweat, you lose electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals with an electric charge, like potassium and magnesium.
Sounds familiar, right?
When your electrolytes become out of whack, your water balance and cell hydration become all screwed up. If you live in a hot or humid environment, you need to replenish your electrolytes even more or deal with the bloating and cramps.
Your career, where you live, your diet, your exercise regimen, and how much water you drink all play a role in how much electrolytes you need.
If you drink a lot of water, you may need to supplement with more electrolytes. In contrast, supplementing with too many electrolytes and not drinking an adequate amount of water will lead to an increase in water weight.
#5 - Drink More Water
This is going to sound stupid, but if your body is well-hydrated, your body will maintain a more balanced water retention level.
Many of us walk around slightly dehydrated, and since your body is trying to achieve a balance, it tends to retain more water so that your levels don't go too low.
Finding an optimal water intake level will help you your kidneys and liver get healthier, and it reduces long-term water retention.
Fat loss, overall health, and brain functions all depend on a healthy water intake level.
Not sure if you're drinking enough? Take a look at your urine.
A light yellow or fairly clear urine indicates that you are well-hydrated. If it's darker, you better get to drinking more water.
#6 - Lower Carb Intake
Cutting carbs is a fairly popular way of decreasing water weight. While macro manipulation can be overwhelming, simply swapping out some of your daily foods with something more sensible could lead to some great changes.
Carbs are stored in your muscles and liver as glycogen. Along with that comes the water retention.
For every gram of glycogen stored, three to four grams of water could be stored along with it. Carbs also raise your insulin, which can increase sodium retention and re-absorption of water in your kidneys.
Carb manipulation can give you an immediate weight loss if you go from your regular highly processed foods to a low-carb diet.
Already eating relatively low-carb and can't lose any more water weight? Try a carb refeed.
#7 - Get Your Exercise In
Exercise is a quick and easy way to get rid of extra water weight; you literally sweat it out.
The intensity of your exercise, your current conditioning level, the type of clothes, and the temperature all can dictate how much water you lose. In general, you can lose anywhere from 16 to 64 ounces of water per hour.
Be sure to maintain adequate water intake during your workouts to prevent dehydration.
Regular exercise is an easy way to maintain a natural balance of bodily fluids.
#8 - Get Enough Sleep
If you've read any of my other articles, you will see that I recommend getting a more restful sleep.
Getting the proper amount of sleep is just as important as a healthy diet and exercise routine.
Sleep can affect how your kidneys regulate sodium, and one study found that your body basically flushes your toxins out of your brain.
Aim for seven to nine good hours of uninterrupted sleep a night to perform and look your best.
#9 - Handle Your Stress
Long-term stress causes a rise in cortisol, which is an enemy to weight loss and water retention.
If you maintain a reasonable amount of stress, your body maintains a healthy balance of anti-diuretic hormone and cortisol. Both of these play a huge role in long-term health and disease control.
Spend time on yourself, go read, meditate, listen to some good tunes, and quit stressing over things you can't handle... it can kill you.
#10 - Hit The Sauna
Hitting the sauna is an easy way to sweat out some toxins and excess water weight.
After hitting the sauna, be sure to hydrate and stay hydrated so that your body will not start retaining an excess amount of water again.
#11 - Try Supplements
From water pills to supplements designed to strip water weight, there are plenty options out there to help you maintain a healthy balance.
A lack of Vitamin B1 or B6 can lead to some unwanted water weight.
Be sure to find a solid multi-vitamin, match it with some fresh foods and exercise, and you have yourself a recipe for a shredded body.
#12 - Change Your Habits
Your body is in the condition it is because we are creatures of habit.
You know that pint of ice cream you eat every night? What about those chips you grab at lunch every day?
Everything we do from how much we sleep, stress, and exercise dictates the state of our body.
Limiting alcohol, eating fresh foods, and getting your rear in gear and moving will be the most impactful things you can do for yourself.
Wrapping It Up
We all have water in our bodies, some just have more than others. Diet and overall lifestyle choices determine how much water we hold.
Take the time to prepare your meals and find a workout routine that works for you.
This stuff isn't rocket science, but it does take some effort.