The Jakarta Post
Eating food that is rich in potassium like bananas, tomatoes and avocados can easily help you lose water retention in your body. (Shutterstock/Stock-Asso)
Have you ever felt bloated after eating a heavy meal? Frustrated because you are not losing weight after that long hard diet? It is probably because of your water weight.
The average human body is made up of about 50 to 60 percent water, and eating too much or too little causes the body to hold extra water. Here are 10 tricks, based on Reader’s Digest tips, which can help you lose water weight.
1. Increase your antioxidants
According to Bridget Murphy, a registered dietitian at NYU Langone Medical Center, taking antioxidants is vital in reducing water retention.
"Research supports an increase in antioxidants can help flush our system and reduce water retention, as they bind to and neutralize free radicals," says Murphy. "My biggest recommendation when it comes to foods high in antioxidants is to ‘eat the rainbow’, meaning find a natural food source from each color."
Some examples include eating red bell pepper for red, carrots for orange, squash for yellow, spinach for green and blueberries for blue.
2. Don’t overdo the sodium
Taking sodium on a regular basis can have long-lasting effects. Salt that has been absorbed in the blood will require a higher water volume, thus increasing water retention in the body. Everything that contains sodium from highly processed foods to lunch meats can trigger water retention in the body.
3. Don’t take too much of the carbs
Though it is an essential part of our everyday diet carbohydrates also carry the risk of water retention. It becomes glycogen that is stored in the liver, and each glycogen molecule causes the body to hold on to three times the amount of water. Other than cutting back on carbohydrates, another trick is to start exercising to burn them off.
Read also: What to avoid when you're feeling dehydrated
4. Eat nutritionally balanced food
Just avoiding carbs and sodium is not the best solution. Most diets are unhealthy and would not help you lose weight in the long-term, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.
“Fad fasting diets will typically be very low in carbohydrates, so we lose water weight quickly when the glycogen stores are not replenished," Murphy said. "The only problem with that is when we are on a regular diet again, we regain all the glycogen -- and more sometimes -- depending on the cravings we've denied ourselves, and the overeating we may be more susceptible to."
5. Don’t sit around too much
Get moving, take regular breaks to stretch, take a jog around the park and occasionally hitting the gym is always a good idea. Exercising is one of the best ways to lose water weight and can help with your blood circulation.
6. Potassium is a good friend
Eating food that is rich in potassium like bananas, tomatoes and avocados can easily help you lose water retention in your body. Research has indicated that potassium could easily counter the harmful effects of sodium in the body. However, be warned that too much potassium will not be good for your kidney.
7. Enjoy food with fiber
Fiber -- a collection of grains, vegetables, fruit and legumes -- is best known for maintaining regular bowel movements in the digestive system. Unsurprisingly, they are also effective for weight lost. A lack of fiber can occasionally lead to constipation that can cause your body to feel bloated.
8. Drink as much water as you can
The more water you drink, the less it is retained in your body. If you drink less water, it tends to be stored in the body to prevent dehydration, thus giving you all those extra kilograms of water weight. Water can also prevent constipation and ensure the proper flow of blood.
9. Don’t overdo your alcohol intake
Alcohol can cause dehydration. Large amounts mean that more water will be retained in the body. Instead of drinking alcohol, try alternative alcohol drinks with water and seltzer water that can help maintain hydration through the night.
10. It could be your period
For women, there is nothing much you can do about this because you cannot control the hormonal surge just before a period. You can try staying away from salty foods, stay hydrated and exercise. (ely/wng)