Drink More Water
It might seem like a bit of an oxymoron, but drinking more water actually helps you lose water weight. When your body doesn’t get enough external water from your diet, it holds onto what it has. Keeping the flow of liquids consistent sends a signal to your body that it’s OK to let go of the water it’s holding – there is no lack of fluids on the horizon.
Improve Your Insulin Sensitivity
Your insulin sensitivity is a measurement of how well your body responds to the effects of insulin. Released in response to a meal containing carbohydrates or protein, it helps remove glucose from the blood and store it for future fuel use. Insulin levels and fluid retention are positively correlated. If you can manage your insulin levels by improving your insulin sensitivity, you can bloating under control.
Lower Your Carbohydrate Intake
There are two ways that lowering your carbohydrate can control fluid retention. First, it improves insulin sensitivity and keeps insulin levels low. And second, your body stores carbohydrates as glycogen in the muscle and liver. Glycogen is about 1 part glucose to 3 parts water. I wouldn’t concern yourself so much with the second reason. Intracellular water retention (inside the muscle) is good for the body, it’s the subcutaneous water retention (under the skin) that we want to get rid of.
Avoid Processed Foods
Usually packed with sodium and high on the glycemic index scale, processed foods are the biggest contributors to water retention. If you like eating sugar and packaged foods, and like carrying around an unnecessary 10 extra pounds of water, then by all means enjoy your food. However, if you want a lean/toned physique, then processed foods need to go for more reasons than just excess water weight.
Watch Your Sodium Intake
Sodium is an essential nutrient, so you obviously don’t want to omit it from your diet. It’s an important electrolyte that helps balance proper water retention. The problem is when you start eating too much of it. Most people don’t have to worry about excess sodium intake if they are getting their intake from whole foods. However, if you are a processed food eater, sodium is used liberally as a seasoning and preservative. Enough so, that it can lead to hypertension, let alone excess water weight.
Drink Natural Diuretics
I’m not really a coffee or tea drinker, but there are several drinks that contain caffeine – which is a natural diuretic. For people who don’t regularly ingest caffeine, it can induce a strong diuretic effect. However, if you are a regular coffee drinker, the diuretic effect is minimal . For those of you who drink the occasional cup to add a little energy to your workouts, you’re also getting the added benefit of dropping water weight.
Perhaps I should have put exercise as the #1 most effective method, but the list is in no particular order. Exercise helps you several ways. It improves your insulin sensitivity by making your cells more receptive to glucose – thus lowering insulin levels. It makes you sweat – which makes you lose water and salt. And it also depletes glycogen stores – meaning there is less water to store with each glucose molecule. But again, intracellular fluid is a good thing. It makes us stronger, and makes our muscles appear bigger. However, some of us need to drop weight for whatever reason, and glycogen depletion can have a dramatic effect on your weight.
When it all comes down to it, water weight is mostly manipulated through diet and exercise. If your goal is to keep excess water retention under control, these 7 tips will help get you there.