It’s probably safe to say that we’ve all had those frustrating moments when you look in the mirror and think, “That is so not my body.” You’re puffy, bloated, and completely confused or even shocked about that belly bulge that popped out of nowhere. Definitely not the #IWokeUpLikeThis moment you want first thing in the morning.
First off, take a deep breath. You are probably experiencing some extra water weight — totally normal to have every now and then, especially considering there are seriously hundreds of things that can contribute to belly bloat.
And you’ve likely heard about water retention once or twice before, but do you really understand what that means for you? No worries, we’ve got your back! Here’s everything you need to know about water weight, from exactly what it is to how to manage it.
Let’s get started, shall we?
What is Water Weight?
That dreaded bloat, that’s what it is. Your body thinks you need water, so it’s holding onto H2O for dear life! You’ll notice that your hands, ankles, and other extremities will look a little puffy. Annoying, yes — but perfectly normal.
In a nutshell, water weight is extra water that’s hanging around your joints, tissues, and body cavities between cells. Other than feeling so incredibly puffy, uncomfortable, and swollen (if that wasn’t enough), another downside of water weight is minor weight gain.
Usually, when you retain water, it will make you five to ten pounds heavier and can easily be the culprit behind why you gained weight this week.
Is Water Weight Different From Fat Gain?
As mentioned, water weight will, unfortunately, make the scale tick up a few digits, but it’s a different kind of weight gain than body fat.
For one, water weight is not necessarily linked to calories expended or consumed; meanwhile, fat weight is linked to an imbalance of energy and is manipulated by consuming fewer calories than you expend.
The good news? Water weight gained will go away — eventually. It’s not permanent by any means nor does it contribute to long-term fat gain.
Oh, and sorry ladies — since women generally have smaller bodies than men, there is less space for water. What this means is that women are going to notice their differences in weight more than men.
Thankfully we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves like Bye Bye Bloat to kick water weight to the curb (more on this later!).
What Are the Causes of Water Weight?
Before we dive into the causes, it’s first important to note that there can be several reasons as to why your body might be holding on to excess water. While some of these causes can be fixed in a jiffy, there are some causes that may be a lot more serious.
So, if you’re experiencing large-scale water retention, it’s wise to make an appointment with your primary care provider to find what could be causing it.
So, without further ado, here are three of the top causes of water weight:
Sitting Or Standing For Long Periods
Think back to your grade-school science classes where you learned about a little something called gravity.
As we know (or should know), gravity is that force that basically pulls everything towards the earth — including our bodies. When we’re sitting or standing for long periods of time, gravity can quickly cause water to build up in our feet and legs, which may lead to a little bit of swelling.
If you stand for hours on end and are experiencing some water retention, it might be a good idea to try and move around as much as possible throughout the day. Movement — whether that’s a quick stroll around the block or an impromptu dance party — can help immensely to improve circulation, which can then help reduce water retention and swelling.
If you happen to work in an office and spend most of your time sitting, try taking a walk every 30 to 45 minutes. You might get a drink of water, refill your coffee mug, go to the restroom, or even just take a lap around the office. We’re all already aware of how bad sitting all day is for our health, so a quick stretch and walk can help in many different ways!
A Super-Salty Diet
If you love everything there is to love about salt, chances are it’s the culprit behind your water weight. Consuming too much salt can cause water weight because it makes your body hold onto more water. Even if you’re not heavy-handed with the salt shaker, a lot of pre-packaged and processed foods can be extremely high in sodium — even if they aren’t necessarily “salty” foods.
To avoid gaining water weight due to dietary reasons, experts recommend a diet consisting mainly of healthy whole foods, including fresh fruits and veggies. These foods naturally contain potassium, which is a powerful mineral that can help to counteract sodium and may even help to reduce fluid retention.
Some women experience water retention in the lead up to their time-of-the-month. This is actually really common, as it can be caused by fluctuating hormones that prepare your body for your period.
If you happen to notice that you do, in fact, hold onto a little more water before your Auntie Flo comes to town, there are a few things you can do to try and reduce this.
First and foremost, try your best to avoid processed, pre-packaged foods that are extra salty. We know this is probably the last thing you feel like doing when those period cravings hit, but the truth is that these foods high in sodium can cause your body to retain more water, so do your best to avoid them.
Secondly, consider taking an awesome supplement like Bye Bye Bloat, designed for women to make bloating and water weight go, well, bye bye. Each capsule is packed with organic fenugreek, organic ginger, organic dandelion, and powerful digestive enzyme to alleviate pesky belly bloat.
How To Manage Water Weight
It goes without saying that water is your life force, a friend to your skin, and the OG detox ingredient. But, like an aquatic catch-22, too much of the stuff can leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable — and honestly, who has time for that?
Try these methods below to cast the water weight away.
Less Stress is Best
Believe it or not, stress increases your level of the hormone cortisol, and when this hormone is increased, it leads to an increase in ADH — a hormone known to be anti-diuretic.
When your body is in a relaxed state, ADH properly lets your kidneys know how much water to release back into your body. But when ADH is unbalanced, it doesn’t exactly send clear messages — which can lead to water retention.
If you’ve been feeling pretty stressed lately (which no one will blame you for seeing we’re in the middle of a global pandemic), consider the Less Stress Kit from Love Wellness — a kit of powerful supplements paired together to keep you calm and resting peacefully at night while supporting digestion for overall bliss.
Drink More H2O
Ironically, drinking more water is a great way to de-bloat. A well-hydrated body is healthier and, therefore, less likely to retain excess water.
You see, when you’re not drinking enough H2O, your body holds onto every single drop to prevent severe dehydration. So, one of the best ways to fight water is to drink water.
Increase Your Electrolytes
Electrolytes are essential minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium. They have an electric charge and are key to many different bodily functions — including regulating water levels.
When your electrolyte levels become unbalanced, naturally so do your fluid levels, which can cause water weight. Consider taking a great multivitamin like Daily Love, which is made with a full-spectrum of 25+ vitamins and minerals to keep your body balanced and in check.
A Final Word
Overall, water weight is just one of those things in life that just kind of happens. But thankfully, there are some simple tips and tricks that can help.
Whether you’re looking for a quick solution to kick your water weight to the curb top-notch multivitamin to help tackle a recurring problem at its source, Love Wellness can help with science-backed, love-made formulas that actually work.