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Ok, So I'm a Little Confused..

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Old 01-28-2014, 11:07 AM   #1
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Default Ok, So I'm a Little Confused..

How does water weight work? I know its weight that your body retains in water value due to the intake of sodium and the like... but.. yeah.. how do you get rid of it? Is it the first weight to go, before you really start burning off fat?

I was always told flushing your system with lots and lots of water (and staying away from sodium and sugar) will get rid of water weight but.. I record everything I eat and drink.. for today I've already got 72 oz of water in and I haven't eaten deliberately sweets or salty foods in two weeks. I usually drink about 15-20 cups a day ( I mindless sip water while I'm at work).

What am I doing wrong? Or rather, what are other tips as to getting rid of water weight?
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:15 AM   #2
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It typically is the first weight to go, yes. Really, I find that foods you'd think are salty doesn't get you -- it's processed foods. Anything frozen that's not mixed veggies is often loaded with sodium and that's where people can really get in trouble even though they're eating a Lean Cuisine, for example.

Eating out, even if it's healthy also increases sodium intake. A half cup of Soup at Panera has more than enough sodium than you need for a day or two and can cause water retention.
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:18 AM   #3
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Maybe it's the lunches I'm eating then, hmm.. bah >< not cool Lean Cuisine, not cool. Guess I'll have to try salads from now on
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Old 01-28-2014, 12:07 PM   #4
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Water retention can occur when you take in an excess of sodium which causes the body to hold onto water. When people first start switching to a healthy lifestyle they often start eating more whole foods and less processed foods/fast food ect. and start drinking more water. That is what causes the water weight loss and why it is the first to go usually. I would suggest tracking your sodium intake because as mentioned above, all processed foods have tons of sodium. Also, some people are more sensitive to the effects of sodium then others. I keep my sodium pretty low and make all my own food from scratch because I easily retain water. You appear to be getting enough fluids, so I really think you need to look closely at your daily intake to find where the sodium is coming from. I like to use myfitnesspal since its free, mobile, and easy to use. Good luck!
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Old 01-28-2014, 12:13 PM   #5
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Yeah, I use the mobile app of myfitnesspal to track my foods. Awesome little app I just checked the nutrition levels on there from the past week. It give me an allotment of 2300 mg of sodium a day.. each day I've looked at so far is around 800mg... I dunno, maybe I am really sensitive to sodium and never realized it o.o
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Old 01-28-2014, 12:44 PM   #6
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'Water weight' is most often referring to two things:

glycogen stored in muscle (ie. energy source for muscles, comes from carbs - glycogen binds with water)

and/or

blood and cell volume (moderately affected by sodium/potassium mechanism, but more importantly hydration)

Under normal healthy circumstances, people don't usually have 'water retaining' issues (eg. swollen lower legs).

However, if you start to follow a lower-carb eating pattern, your body will most likely use the glycogen stored in your muscles in the first week or so, while failing to replenish - decreasing the amount of water being 'stored' in your muscles as a result. This is usually what people are referring to as 'water weight'

Your body is pretty darned efficient at regulating it's sodium levels, so I generally don't worry about salt all that much. However, it is important to stay hydrated! Drinking less water than you lose (through perspiration, breathing, excretion, etc.) will also result in losing weight, purely in the sense of lbs off the scale. But it is a false loss, and you are much better off to remain well hydrated. Just as you're doing; kudos!

If you haven't experienced a 'whoosh' beginning with your change in diet, it doesn't mean that you're not doing it right! Everyone reacts a bit differently, so try not to overthink it. You're much better off to focus on long-term fat loss (and possibly gaining a bit of muscle, if that fits with your goals).

Best of luck, have fun!

Last edited by Defining : 01-28-2014 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defining View Post
If you haven't experienced a 'whoosh' beginning with your change in diet, it doesn't mean that you're not doing it right! Everyone reacts a bit differently, so try not to overthink it. You're much better off to focus on long-term fat loss (and possibly gaining a bit of muscle, if that fits with your goals).
Ditto Defining.

It's always great advice to avoid pre-packaged overly-processed foods, and also a good idea to keep tabs on sodium levels in the foods you eat. I myself once found that the small 300 calorie chili I had for lunch from a local fast food place was actually more than half of my daily sodium intake allowance (1300mg!). I'll still eat that chili if I want it... I just might choose to avoid something like that on the day before I were to say, weigh in, or go to an important event if it's likely to exacerbate bloating.

However, in the grand scheme of things, you'll never REALLY know exactly how many lbs of "water weight" you're carrying, as it fluctuates frequently (And daily) based on diet, exercise and (joy of womanly joys) your time-of-the-month. As a result, I think Defining made a good point--- focus on general weight loss through healthy eating and exercise and you'll see the lbs drop without having to also obsess over the sodium content of everything you're eating (on top of all of the other things you might be tracking--- calories, sugar, fat, etc.).

Regardless of all that, you're on the right track, keep at'ter! <3 <3 <3
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:02 PM   #8
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Whoo! Thank you all so very much ^^ I'll definitely keep at it!
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Run a mile in under 7 minutes ~ Get into the teens: 219 < lbs ~ Fit into my size 14 pants again ~ Reduce BMI from obese to overweight ~ Start the new school year in ONEderland
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One for every 5lbs GONE:
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