Get Rid of Water Weight in Just a Few Days
You watch your diet and you try to get enough exercise. You dutifully step onto the scale every morning to monitor your weight. And there they are, just waiting to start your day off less than perfectly—two or maybe three extra pounds, appearing out of the blue. Where did they come from? If you blame them on water weight, you’re probably not far off the mark. The human body is about 60 percent water. Any number of things might prompt yours to hang onto a little more than that. But now you have to get rid of them. You have an event in a few days, maybe an important meeting, and that outfit you’d planned on wearing is already just a wee bit tight. Trying one or more of these tips might help.
Drink Some Water
Adding even more water to your body can help, and here’s why. If you’ve become dehydrated for some reason, your body is going to strive to come back up to a more balanced and healthy water level. You’ll begin retaining water to achieve that norm.
So give your body what it needs and chug a little water, but not too much. Remember, the goal is balance. If you drink more water than you actually need, you might end up gaining even more weight over the next few days. So how much is too much? Divide your weight in pounds by two; that number is how many ounces of water you should drink each day. So if you weigh 140 pounds, you'd aim for about 70 ounces of water daily.
Nothing says that you have to hydrate yourself with plain old water. Adding a little caffeine in the form of coffee or tea can act as a diuretic and help you eliminate water from your system relatively quickly, too. So rehydrate with a little water, but have a cup of tea each day as well.
You do not want to get your liquids in the form of alcohol. This is a diuretic, too, which might seem like a good thing, but if you drink too much or too frequently, you’ll become dehydrated and your body will begin retaining water again. This isn’t to say that you can never treat yourself to a glass of wine, but take care not to overdo it. Stay away from mixers and beers, which tend to have high carbohydrate content.
About Those Carbohydrates
Carbs are not the best foods to eat when you want to shed some water weight in a hurry. Your body converts them to glycogen, and glycogen hoards water in your liver and muscles, as much as 3 grams of water for each gram of glycogen your body stores. So swear off pasta and baked goods for a few days. But don’t swear off carbs indefinitely. This will most likely lead to weight loss—a number of diets work on this premise—but as with water, the body can be a greedy thing. If you reduce your glycogen levels long-term, it’s likely your body will begin hoarding the glycogen you do give it, along with the water it’s holding.
Watch the Salt, Too
Salt isn’t your friend either when you’re trying to eliminate water weight quickly and efficiently because high sodium levels also act to make your body retain water. You don’t necessarily have to eliminate salt entirely, or even worry about reducing your intake if you don’t consume a lot of salt to begin with. But you may be consuming it without realizing it. Processed foods like lunch meat and fast foods tend to have high salt content, so if they’re a regular part of your diet, you may want to cut them out for a few days, if not long-term. They’re not particularly healthy even when you’re not trying to eliminate water weight.
Keep Your Body Moving
Now that you’ve tweaked your diet and fluid intake, you’ll want to prompt your body to head to the nearest bathroom and let that water content go. Exercise can help in combination with the dietary adjustments you’ve made, particularly if your job involves sitting for extended periods of time. Exercise gets fluids circulating in your body instead of pooling and gathering. If you do exercise regularly, keep it up, and you might even want to ramp up your workouts just a little bit over the next few days. If you’re not keen on exercising, add some physical movement to your daily routine. Play catch with the kids, or jog a little with the dog instead of just walking it. That snug outfit you want to wear in a few days may have a little more room the next time you put it on.
Beverly Bird has been writing professionally for over 30 years, specializing in issues of personal finance. She has offered personal finance workshops for single, divorced, and new parents.