How to lose water weight
20th February 2020
Although it’s rarely anything to worry about, retaining water weight (also called oedema) can be uncomfortable and may cause bloating or puffiness. Your bodyweight should be made up of about 50 to 60 percent water so anything above this is considered “water weight”. Thankfully there are ways to lose water weight, which can fluctuate your weight by as much as 4 pounds in a day!
It may sound counterproductive but actually, making sure your body is hydrated can help you to lose water weight. This is because if your body is dehydrated (even mildly), it will cling to those water supplies.
Make sure you drink plenty of water to allow your body to let go of that water weight, and also to assist your kidneys in flushing it through.
Reduce salt intake
Sodium (salt) is needed by the body to function properly, but it’s needed in a well-balanced sodium-to-water ratio. So too much salt can mean your body immediately holding onto any extra water to keep things level.
Swap any high-sodium foods for low-sodium versions and cut back on processed foods which contain lots of hidden salt.
One of the quickest ways to expel excess water is to sweat it out so a session of vigorous exercise will have an immediate effect. Exercise also stimulates blood flow, which can prevent future water retention.
It’s important to remember to hydrate after a workout though. Drinking water will not immediately replace your water weight but it will ensure your body doesn’t become dehydrated.
Reduce carb intake
When processing carbohydrates, your body stores the energy it gets from them, along with water. In fact, it stores 3g of water for every gram of glycogen (energy) that it stores.
So if you’re looking to lose water weight then cut back on the carbs and try lean proteins instead (like steak, chicken, egg and soy products).
If your water retention is ongoing and has become a problem then a doctor may prescribe diuretic tablets (also known as water tablets). Diuretic tablets work by causing you to pass more urine than normal, and flush your body of excess water and salt.
Diuretic tablets are a common treatment for high blood pressure, as well as other conditions. They are only available on prescription and common ones include Furosemide, Indapamide and Bendroflumethiazide.
Weight loss tablets
For those who are struggling with more than just a little extra water weight, there are weight loss medications available. For people whose BMI is above 30 and who haven’t been able to successfully lose weight by diet and exercise alone, Orlistat (also known as Xenical and Alli) may be prescribed.
These medications work by blocking fat from being absorbed by your body and instead, 30% of the fat that you consume is flushed straight through your system. They are highly effective and can help users to lose 10-20% of their body weight in 6 months.