Every woman dreads stepping on the scale, especially to discover she has seemingly gained five pounds overnight. Don't panic, though -- chances are it's just water weight. Why? Because you'd have to consume an extra 17,500 calories to put on five pounds of fat. Lots of things can contribute to water weight, including:
- Sodium. This is the number one cause of excess water weight. Eating foods high in sodium, such as restaurant meals, cause your body to retain water, leaving you feeling puffy and bloated.
- Hormones. Most women see an increased number on the scale during their monthly cycle. Hormonal changes usually result in water retention the week before your period is due. This temporary weight gain typically goes away once your period arrives.
- Dehydration. The more dehydrated you are, the more your body holds onto water. This results in excess water weight. But if you drink enough water, then your body is able to better regulate itself.
- Carbohydrates. Eating foods high in carbohydrates forces your body to retain water. Once you lower your carbohydrate intake, you should notice the number on the scale go down.
If you want to shed excess bloat fast, then here are 7 natural ways to eliminate water weight:
1. Eat more bananas
Bananas are a rich source of potassium, and they can help your body eliminate water weight fast. How? Potassium is sodium's counterpart, meaning it helps to balance your electrolytes. Potassium flushes excess sodium out of your body, and with it, water. Other excellent sources of potassium include sweet potatoes, tomatoes, yogurt, and white beans.
2. Exercise regularly
Exercising regularly improves circulation. This helps to regulate and detoxify your body, shedding your body of excess water weight. It's recommended that you do cardio exercise five times a week for at least 30 minutes at a time. Great cardio exercises are running, swimming, dancing, and bike riding.
3. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated helps your body flush out excess water. This is because, when your body is dehydrated, it holds onto water as a safety measure. Instead of drinking soda, alcohol, and juices, drink at least two liters of water per day. Not a fan of water? Hydrating foods include watermelon, cucumbers, celery, and cantaloupe.
4. Cut out salty foods
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5. Lower your carb intake
Eating lots of carbs increases water weight, especially if you're eating simple carbohydrates. Your body converts carbs into glycogen for energy. For every gram of glycogen, your body retains three grams of water. Instead of chowing down on white bread and pasta, eat fresh fruits and vegetables as well as whole wheat grains and legumes.
6. Load up on fiber
Fiber keeps your digestive system running smoothly, and it also helps your body release excess water. Not eating enough fiber can contribute to constipation, bloat, and water weight. You should aim to eat between 25 and 38 grams of fiber per day. Good sources of fiber include fruit, legumes, whole grains, and vegetables.
7. Get more antioxidants
Eating more foods rich in antioxidants is an easy way to lose water weight. This is because antioxidants neutralize free radicals, helping to detoxify your body. Eat fruits and vegetables that are all different colors, such as tomatoes, oranges, squash, kale, blueberries, beets, and strawberries.
Watch the water go down the drain
Excess water weight is unpleasant to deal with, but luckily it doesn't translate to real numbers on the scale. Avoid salt, simple carbohydrates, and sugary drinks, and incorporate more exercise, healthy foods, and H2O into your life, and watch the water weight disappear. Follow the above tips, and you'll never have to worry about water weight again.