Have you ever woken up, stepped on the scale and realized your weight has gone up 5 pounds? Is it even possible to eat enough food in one day to gain that much weight overnight? Probably not. Water retention is the most likely culprit for such a big jump in numbers.
Water retention is a common condition in pregnant women, individuals on medications and inactive individuals. The results of water retention include swelling and weight gain, according to Healthy Food House. Fortunately, researchers know what causes water retention and even have a few tips for how you can drop the water weight with a few simple changes in your routine.
Cause: Too much sodium
Eating foods that contain a lot of salt is a significant cause of water retention, especially if you aren’t drinking enough water to flush the salt out of your system. When you consume too much salt, your body retains water to help maintain a natural balance. A diet high in sodium can result in water cells that are enlarged by 20 times.
Solution: Eat less processed food
A simple solution is to replace processed foods with natural foods. Boxed pastas, soups and even canned vegetables contain significant amounts of sodium. Opt for fresh or frozen vegetables and low-sodium soups and sauces.
Additionally, consider replacing your traditional table salt with Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt, as these salts purportedly help reduce water retention.
Your body wants to live. When you don’t drink enough water, your body fights back to make sure you have enough water in your system to survive. While the Hollywood version of dehydration is fairly dramatic, most people you see aren’t drinking enough water.
Remedy: Drink more water
Drinking at least eight, 8-ounce (240 ml) glasses a day is a must, to ensure that your body functions properly. Other health experts argue that you should drink half your body weight in water. If you find chugging glasses of water hard to do, try adding more fruits and veggies to your diet (the water content counts toward your daily goal, too).
Cause: Magnesium deficiency
Water retention can be a symptom of not enough magnesium in the body. Your body uses magnesium in nearly all of its processes. When you don’t have enough, your body can’t function properly and retains water.
Remedy: Eat foods high in magnesium
Add foods like avocados, nuts, whole grains, spinach, yogur and dark greens to your diet. These foods are high in magnesium and offer plenty of other health benefits, too.
While water retention does affect the number on your scale, it can also be an indication that you need to make other lifestyle changes. Drinking plenty of water affects your weight, quality of sleep and energy levels. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water will help your body function properly so that it doesn’t need to hold onto excess water. Aim for at least eight glasses per day.