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All you need to know about ‘water weight’

I’m sure that we’ve all heard the expression ‘water weight’ once or twice, but do you actually know anything about it? In fact ‘water weight’ comes from our bodies retaining liquids, making us look and feel bloated. Plenty of people are affected by it, but luckily there are few things you can do to prevent it or reduce the amount of water your body retains. But before we go into the steps to prevent our bodies from retaining liquids, we need to first understand what water retention actually is.

What is water retention:

To put it simply, water retention is fluid – mainly water – that begins to build up in our body’s tissues. Sometimes this happens only in particular areas of your body, most commonly your legs, but sometimes this can affect your entire body.

Some symptoms that could indicate you are retaining water are:

  • Unexplained changes in your weight over a short period of time.
  • Puffiness or swelling (particularly in your hands, feet, ankles and legs)
  • Aching or stiffness in the affected area

What causes water retention?

There are many different reasons why your body might be retaining excess water. Most of these causes can be easily treated by making some changes in your diets and lifestyle. However, if you are retaining liquids excessively, then you should consider talking to  a doctor about it.

  1. Eating a diet that is too high in sodium

    I think we’ve all heard once that foods high in sodium (salt) make us retain liquids, and sadly this is true. Even when you are not adding much salt in your food, what a lot of people don’t realize is that a lot of prepackaged and processed food can be very high in sodium, even when the food is not salty ?. In order to avoid your body from retaining extra liquids, try to eat foods that are high in potassium, like fruit and veggies! Potassium helps to counteract the effects of sodium in our bodies.

    * It is important to remember that sodium is not our enemy if we eat it in the right amounts

  2. Not moving for long periods of time

    When you are sitting or standing for long periods of time, this may cause water to accumulate in your legs and feet, which in turn may cause swelling in these areas. If you are someone who stands for hours on end, then you should consider moving around as much as possible throughout the day. Moving improves blood circulation, which helps to reduce water retention and swelling in these areas.  If you are working at an office and you are sitting or standing the whole day, you should try to walk every 30-45 minutes. Whether is it going to the toilet, getting a glass of water or simply walking around the office to stretch your legs.

  3. Experiencing hormonal changes

    Some women tend to retain more liquids during their period (I have a special maternity wardrobe for that week because none of my normal clothes fit) or the week before. Unfortunately we can’t change nature, but if you are one of the girls who retain extra liquids during that time of the month, there are some things you can do to prevent this from getting worse.

  • Try to avoid pre-packaged, processed food that are high in sodium. Instead of reaching for unhealthy junk food when those period cravings hit you, try eating fresh fruits instead. These will help you feel more satisfied and feel less bloated.
  • Drink water. I know this might sound contradicting but just because you might be retaining extra liquids does not mean that you should drink less water.
  • Move! Exercise can help reduce water retention and can make your period last shorter. That’s why you should try to do some exercise even if it’s for a shorter period than you usually do.

I hope this post has taught you something about the oh so famous ‘water weight’ term and what to do against it. Try not to stress about it too much and make these simple changes in your lifestyle. I’m sure they’ll help!

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