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Get rid of water weight: 14 natural ways

Excessive water retention can act like an added burden, hindering your performance. Shedding excess water weight, make you feel lighter & more agile
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If you find yourself experiencing bloating or swelling in your body, especially in specific areas like your legs, hands, face, or belly, then it’s a great possibility that you are facing a common problem known as water retention. In medical terms, we call water retention EDEMA, which can be at localized sites or in large areas of the body.
Water retention can be a natural response of the body to various events such as stress, illnesses, or injuries. As the body heals over time, this excess fluid accumulation may gradually diminish and resolve on its own. Temporary water weight gain is common and often harmless but it’s essential to distinguish between temporary water weight gain and more serious medical conditions that might require treatment. Sometimes edema might be a symptom your body is disclosing to you of an underlying medical condition that is more serious, such as heart, kidney, or liver issues. In such cases, seeking medical attention is essential to address the root cause of the problem.
In many cases, if water retention is not severe and doesn’t persist for extended periods, you can effectively address it with natural remedies, dietary adjustments, or lifestyle changes to encourage fluid drainage and alleviate mild water retention. When your body is retaining more fluid than it needs, there can be noticeable fluctuations in your weight and that could happen overnight too. Feeling puffy, sluggish, or swollen due to excess water retention is like unwanted stress on your body which can affect your psychological behavior and can be physically uncomfortable too.

FACT

Water is a fundamental component of the human body, typically constituting around 50 to 60 percent of an adult’s total body weight. This percentage can vary somewhat depending on factors like age, gender, and body composition.

The water in our bodies plays various critical roles, such as regulating temperature, transporting nutrients and oxygen, cushioning organs, and facilitating numerous biochemical processes. When we talk about “water weight,” we’re referring to any excess water being held in the body beyond what is considered normal or balanced.

Two types of water retention

Water retention or edema can manifest in various forms and can be influenced by a range of factors. Here, we’ll explore two main types of edema:

Generalized Edema

  • Characteristics – Generalized edema is characterized by swelling that occurs throughout the entire body. It’s not limited to a specific body part but rather involves swelling in multiple areas.
  • Causes – Generalized edema can result from a variety of factors, including dietary choices (high salt intake), hormonal changes (e.g., during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy), medical conditions (such as heart or kidney problems), or certain medications.
  • Symptoms – Symptoms may include noticeable swelling in the ankles, legs, hands, and face, as well as a feeling of overall puffiness.

Localized Edema

  • Characteristics – Localized edema, as the name suggests, affects specific body parts or regions rather than the entire body.
  • Common Sites – The most frequent areas for localized edema are the legs and feet, where it is often referred to as “peripheral edema.” However, it can also occur in the face, hands, and arms, depending on the underlying cause.
  • Causes – Localized edema can be triggered by factors such as prolonged sitting or standing, injury or trauma to a specific body part, circulatory issues, or even allergic reactions. Symptoms: Symptoms include swelling, tightness, and discomfort in the affected area. In some cases, localized edema may be accompanied by pain or limited mobility.

Natural Ways to Get Rid of Extra Weight From Your Body

It’s important to pay attention to your body’s signals and take steps to manage water retention for your overall well-being. So let us talk about some important steps that you can incorporate into your daily schedule and get rid of that extra weight.

1. Regular Exercise

Sweating is our body’s way of regulating its internal temperature, and it’s an essential process that helps us prevent overheating and heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
During a workout, our bodies heat up. As our bodies heat up, our sweat glands release moisture on our skin. When this moisture comes into contact with the air, it evaporates, taking away heat and effectively cooling our bodies down. While it’s important to replace water lost from sweating during exercise, sweating can also help you get rid of excess water in your cells.
Exercise not only triggers sweat production but also promotes increased blood flow and circulation throughout our body. This enhanced circulation aids in reducing water retention. As we work out, our bodies become more efficient at moving fluids and this can help balance our body’s fluid levels and sweat out excess stored water.
Always stay hydrated while you are exercising as drinking water or fluids is not just about quenching your thirst; it’s about ensuring your body functions optimally, preventing overheating, promoting waste removal, maintaining your energy levels, and helping to lower your rate of water retention.

2. Drink More Water

Water plays a vital role in ensuring our body functions properly. It’s responsible for dissolving nutrients and eliminating waste. When we experience a deficit in our body’s normal water levels, which can happen due to factors like dehydration, illness, exercise, or heat stress, it can make us feel quite unwell. This water deficit can lead the body to hold on to extra water to compensate for the lack of incoming water.
Here’s how it works – When our body senses that it’s low on water, the pituitary gland comes into play. It secretes vasopressin, also known as antidiuretic hormone, into the bloodstream. Vasopressin has a specific job – it signals the kidneys to conserve water and excrete less urine.
In simpler terms, when you’re dehydrated, your body’s natural response is to try and conserve the water it has left by reducing urine production. So, while it may seem counterintuitive, dehydration can actually lead to the body holding on to water as a survival mechanism. This is why it’s crucial to stay adequately hydrated to maintain a healthy balance and prevent such situations.

3. Soak Your Legs in Epsom salt

Soaking your legs in a salt bath can be a great way to reduce inflammation, which can help ease pain and stiffness. Consider an Epsom salt bath, Epsom salt when dissolved in water breaks down into magnesium and sulfate. The idea is that when you soak in this bath, these minerals can be absorbed through your skin. This absorption may have various potential benefits including muscle relaxation, reduction of swelling, and relief from pain associated with the condition.
Here’s how you can do it:
  • Fill your bathtub or a basin with warm water until it’s deep enough to cover your feet comfortably.
  • Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt to the warm water. Epsom salt is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, making it an excellent choice for this type of soak.
  • Soak your feet in this soothing mixture for about 20 to 30 minutes. This can be especially helpful for treating conditions like swelling, toenail fungus, and soothing pain caused by sprains and bruises.
Epsom salt and table salt are not the same
Epsom salt is specifically used for its therapeutic benefits and should not be confused with regular table salt, which is used for seasoning food. Epsom salt is only used for external purposes, such as in baths or as a topical treatment, and avoid ingesting as it’s not intended for consumption like table salt.
The science behind Epsom salt

Epsom salt, chemically known as magnesium sulfate heptahydrate, is a mineral compound composed of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. When Epsom salt is dissolved in water, it dissociates into its constituent ions: magnesium and sulfate. This dissociation occurs due to the polar nature of water molecules, which allows them to surround and separate the ions from each other, effectively breaking apart the salt crystal structure.

The magnesium and sulfate ions are then free to interact with the water and be absorbed through the skin during the bath. Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in many biochemical processes in the body, including muscle and nerve function, energy production, and the regulation of blood pressure. Sulfate, on the other hand, is thought to help with detoxification processes in the body and may have anti-inflammatory properties.

4. Compression Socks

Compression socks, also known as compression stockings, are specially designed socks that exert gentle pressure on your legs and ankles. They may be recommended by your doctor if you have a condition that leads to poor blood circulation in your legs.
Here are some of the benefits of wearing compression socks:
  • Improving Blood Flow – Compression socks assist in enhancing blood flow from your legs back to your heart and help prevent fluid from pooling in the legs. This is particularly useful for individuals with circulation issues.
  • Reducing Swelling and Pain – They have been shown to effectively reduce swelling and alleviate pain in the legs and ankles, making them beneficial for people with conditions such as edema or varicose veins.
  • Preventing Fluid Accumulation – Compression socks help prevent the buildup of excess fluid in the legs, which can occur due to gravity or certain medical conditions.
To maximize the effectiveness of compression socks, it’s advisable to put them on early in the morning when your limbs are least swollen. This timing allows you to start the day with optimal compression and support, which can be especially beneficial if you have conditions that require consistent use of compression garments.

5. Reduce Salt Intake

Bloating and retaining excess water weight are commonly linked to an imbalance in the salt-to-water ratio in your body. To address this concern, making changes to your diet can help you manage that excess water storage in your body.
An essential first step you must take is to reduce your consumption of foods known for their high salt content. Steering clear of junk foods and be conscious that you do not over consume products like pizza, canned soups, smoked meats, and cereals which often contain concealed salt ingredients.
By decreasing and adjusting your salt intake you can effectively alleviate issues related to bloating and water retention. You will be surprised to see quick results on your weighing scale if you can control your salt and food choices.

6. Elevate Your Feet

In the modern world, convenience is at our fingertips and many of us find ourselves leading increasingly sedentary lives. With long working hours and comfy chairs, we’re spending more time seated than ever before. However, this sedentary lifestyle comes with consequences.
Prolonged periods of sitting can lead to a condition where blood tends to collect in the legs and feet, causing poor blood circulation which can result in swelling, discomfort, and even the development of varicose veins. But there’s a simple and natural healing process that can help counter these effects – elevating your legs.
Elevating the legs above the heart allows blood to circulate back to the heart more easily, reducing the stress on the heart and improving blood flow to the extremities. Start with 20 minutes twice a day elevating your legs to see the results, this helps to mitigate swelling and brings fresh and oxygenated blood to the limbs.

7. Food Allergies and Intolerances

When someone with a food allergy consumes a food they are allergic to, their body’s immune system can react strongly, viewing it as a threat or harmful invader. This immune response can release chemicals and compounds that lead to various adverse effects in the body.
These effects can vary from mild symptoms like water retention, stomach pain, diarrhea, skin rashes, and itching to severe reactions that can affect the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Common food allergies include gluten, dairy, eggs, peanuts, wheat, and shellfish. These allergies arise because the body struggles to properly digest these particular foods.
If you suspect that you may have a food intolerance or allergy, it’s crucial to seek guidance from a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and a tailored treatment plan. They may recommend eliminating the problematic food from your diet and finding suitable alternatives to help alleviate these symptoms.

8. Avoid Refined Carbs

The interplay between carbohydrates, blood sugar spikes, and inflammation is vital to our understanding of how our bodies respond to what we eat. When we consume carbohydrates they are transformed into glucose, leading to natural rises in blood sugar levels. However, the type and quantity of carbs we choose can significantly impact the magnitude of these spikes.
Excessive consumption of simple or refined carbs can trigger rapid and significant increases in blood glucose, prompting surges in insulin production. When these glucose spikes become frequent and excessive they contribute to chronic low-grade inflammation, often referred to as ‘systemic inflammation.’ This inflammation is linked to various health issues, including cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.
Interestingly, each gram of glycogen in your body is closely associated with around 3 to 4 grams of water. As you reduce your carb intake and your body taps into its glycogen stores for energy, it simultaneously releases the water bound to these reserves helping you shed water weight.
It’s essential to note that this initial weight loss primarily consists of water, not fat. To manage water weight effectively, it’s wise to limit refined carbohydrates like white bread and sugary treats, as they can help regulate blood sugar levels and insulin production.
But remember, balance is key – eliminating carbs entirely isn’t a sustainable approach. A well-rounded diet, encompassing all essential macronutrients, is essential for overall health while being mindful of refined carbs can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce water retention.

9. Natural Diuretics

Natural diuretics are substances that promote the production of urine and the flushing out of excess fluids from the body. They work by increasing the excretion of sodium in urine, which in turn causes the kidneys to release more water. This decreases the amount of fluid flowing in the blood vessels, which reduces pressure on the artery walls and can help to reduce bloating and water weight.
Some examples of natural diuretics include:
  • Herbs and spices like dandelion, parsley, juniper berries, ginger, and asparagus
  • Fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumber, celery, and cranberries
  • Beverages like green tea, coffee, and cranberry juice

10. Prioritize Sleep

While taking rest in the night your body goes through a natural detoxification and fluid-regulating process. This process helps to flush out toxins and maintain proper fluid balance in the body. We do rest but many processes always work internally like respiration (breathing) and perspiration (sweating), which also helps in alleviating water retention.
But, when you experience poor or disrupted sleep, this natural process can be disturbed leading to hormonal imbalances, particularly the hormones which are responsible for regulating water and sodium levels in the body. As a result, your body may become less efficient at eliminating excess fluids.
Also if we are not getting enough sleep our body will stay under stress, elevated stress levels increase the production of cortisol hormones. Cortisol hormones also called stress hormones may affect the fluid balance and in stress response make your body hold water leading to symptoms like bloating, puffiness, and an overall feeling of discomfort.
Chronic poor sleep can contribute to ongoing water retention, potentially leading to more significant health issues over time. Therefore, prioritizing good sleep hygiene and getting sufficient rest is essential for maintaining a healthy fluid balance in your body.

11. Increasing Your Intake Of Antioxidants

Increasing your intake of antioxidants can help reduce water bloating by countering the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are atoms or molecules that contain an unpaired electron in their outer shell, making them highly reactive. This unpaired electron makes free radicals unstable, and in an effort to become stable, they seek to pair with another electron.
When free radicals interact with other molecules in the body, such as proteins, DNA, or cell membranes, they can steal electrons from these molecules through a process called oxidation. This can lead to damage to the molecules, altering their structure and function.
Oxidative damage caused by free radicals can have various harmful effects on cells and tissues. For example, damage to proteins can impair their function, leading to dysfunction of enzymes or structural proteins. Damage to DNA can result in mutations, which may contribute to the development of diseases such as cancer. Damage to cell membranes can affect their integrity and lead to increased permeability, disrupting cellular processes.
Antioxidants are molecules that can neutralize free radicals by donating electrons without becoming destabilized themselves. By neutralizing free radicals, antioxidants help to protect cells and tissues from oxidative damage and maintain their health and function. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, and dark chocolate are excellent sources of antioxidants.
Here are some examples of antioxidant-rich foods that can help reduce water bloating:
  • Berries such as blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries
  • Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, and broccoli
  • Brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as oranges, red peppers, and tomatoes
  • Whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, and barley
  • Nuts and seeds like almonds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds
  • Herbs and spices such as ginger, turmeric, and oregano
  • Dark chocolate, with a high cocoa content (70% or higher), can also be beneficial in reducing bloating.
In pursuit of optimal body function, many people turn to antioxidant supplementation to enhance their protection against free radicals.

12. Eat Small And Frequent Meals

By eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day you can regulate your digestion and prevent bloating caused by overeating. Eating smaller meals also helps to keep blood sugar levels stable, reducing the risk of insulin spikes which can cause water retention.
It is recommended to focus on high-fiber foods that are typically low in saturated fat and cholesterol and are good sources of vitamins and minerals. Fiber is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system, it helps to prevent constipation(which can cause bloating) and it can also help to reduce inflammation in the gut.

13. Electrolyte's Role

Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals that perform a multitude of vital functions including fluid balance, muscle and nerve function, pH balance, and hydration. These essential minerals help regulate chemical reactions and maintain the equilibrium of fluids both inside and outside your cells. Among the key electrolytes are sodium, calcium, potassium, chloride, phosphate, and magnesium, all of which are indispensable for maintaining the body’s fluid balance.

Imbalances in electrolyte levels can lead to various health issues, including edema, muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness, irregular heartbeat, and even more severe complications if left untreated. Electrolytes, particularly calcium, potassium, and sodium, are essential for proper muscle contraction and relaxation. They help regulate the body’s acid-base balance, are critical for nerve communication and the functioning of the nervous system, and maintain proper hydration levels in cells and tissues. Magnesium also plays a crucial role in regulating sodium and potassium levels, both of which are pivotal for maintaining the proper distribution of fluids in the body.

14. Healthy Fat Intake

Incorporating healthy fats, often found in foods like fatty fish (e.g., salmon, mackerel, sardines), flaxseeds, extra virgin olive oil, and avocados can significantly benefit your health and help combat water retention. These fats support optimal fluid balance, reduce inflammation, improve blood flow and circulation, and maintain essential electrolyte balance. Additionally, many of these foods are rich in dietary fiber, which promotes regular bowel movements and further aids in reducing water retention.

Common Factors That Contribute To Water Retention

Dietary Sodium – Consuming a diet high in sodium (salt) can cause the body to retain more water. Sodium is an electrolyte that helps maintain fluid balance, but excessive intake can lead to fluid retention.
Hormonal Changes – Hormonal fluctuations, especially in women during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or menopause can lead to temporary water retention.
Dehydration – Paradoxically, not drinking enough water can also lead to water retention. When the body senses dehydration, it may hold onto water to maintain essential functions.
Medical Conditions – Certain medical conditions, such as kidney disease, heart problems, or thyroid disorders, can disrupt the body’s fluid balance and cause water retention.
Medications – Some medications, like certain antihypertensives and anti-inflammatory drugs, can lead to fluid retention as a side effect.
Inactivity – A sedentary lifestyle can hinder the circulation of fluids in the body, potentially leading to water retention, particularly in the lower extremities.

Takeaway

It’s common for humans to naturally retain water and you can often control excess water retention problems by understanding the triggers and making lifestyle adjustments. Identifying the causes by tracking your activities can help you take effective measures to prevent or manage them.
However, if water retention becomes prolonged and problematic, it’s wise to seek guidance from a medical professional. They can provide expert advice and if necessary, recommend suitable treatments or medications to address the issue effectively.

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