Weight Loss Support - Holding water

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08-31-2011, 11:41 PM
I was hoping you all could give me some insight on to the balance of water, salt, and water retention. My body is holding on to water right now. I can feel it, I hate the way it feels, I've gained weight, and yet I'm craving salt! I drank a lot of water today because I was running around a lot and I was hot. I have had probably around 120 oz so far, which is a bit more than I usually drink in a day (around 80oz). I haven't eaten any more salt than I usually do, around 1000mgs. I read on line that we want to stay below 2000, so I'm not doing too bad.

Anyone have any ideas? Is it possible I need more salt? I use sea salt.

09-01-2011, 02:11 AM
I've heard sometimes you crave salt when your body needs other vitamins/minerals. I can't seem to find the article where I read this right now, but are you getting enough other vitamins and minerals? I eat a fairly balanced diet but I take a multivitamin anyways, so maybe try that... if you have something like Gatorade/Powerade, maybe drink some because it has sodium but also electrolytes which might trigger the salt craving.

09-01-2011, 09:13 AM
I was thinking that might be it but the information out there is primarily "reduce salt". I was wondering though, if the body holds water to hold salt, then maybe if there's not enough salt or other electrolytes, then maybe the end result is the same. I sweated a lot yesterday so it's not outside the realm of possibility. I thought I'd add a little extra sea salt today and see what happens.

I do take supplements too, a multi vitamin and some others.


09-01-2011, 02:52 PM
your body holds onto water for a variety of reasons, and i soubt your salt intake is the culprit. If you WERE dehydrated yesterday, you would be retaining today. You could have also eaten more carbs than normal.... carbs cause the storage of glucose in your liver, muscles, skin, and along with every gram of glucose your body stores THREE(3) grams of water...... Hence the term, CarboHYDRATES.
it could be hormonal related.
My best advice to you is to NOT limit salt intake, like most dieters seem to do, because it causes an electrolight imbalance and sensitivity to sodium.... This resultts in HUGE water fluctuations whenever you DO eat a high sodium meal... people can retain 5 or more pounds od water when they restrict salt and then have a high sodium meal---> so my best advice, DONT DO IT :)
keep drinking fluids, give it time, it will work itelf out, eventually

09-01-2011, 03:06 PM
You probably need more salt. If you're consistently eating around 1000mg per day, that's not enough.

I'm personally of the opinion, after reading a lot of studies and academic analysis papers about the relationship between salt and health that in the vast majority of people, salt consumption should be unlimited. A normal, healthy body will use the salt that's needed and expel the rest with no negative effects.

Additionally, humans (and most mammals) have what's referred to as a "specific appetite" for salt - it's one of the few things that we crave specifically when we're lacking it (other cravings are largely psychological, whereas salt cravings are often physiological). That's because sodium is absolutely critical for a huge range of functions in the body, and not having enough can make you feel seriously crappy. Without sodium (and adequate potassium as well), the proteins that regulate fluid balance in your cells can't function.

Just watch the source of your salt. The best would be a high-quality sea salt (like Himalayan salt, celtic sea salt, etc etc - higher mineral content), followed by table salt (NaCl). Avoid MSG and stuff like that in highly processed packaged foods.

So my advice is to go grab some good sea salt, make some veggies or scrambled eggs and sprinkle to your heart's content.


09-01-2011, 04:40 PM
.... carbs cause the storage of glucose in your liver, muscles, skin, and along with every gram of glucose your body stores THREE(3) grams of water...... Hence the term, CarboHYDRATES.

keep drinking fluids, give it time, it will work itelf out, eventually

Mmmm, this is good to know!

09-01-2011, 07:51 PM
Thank you! Such great info!

My carbohydrate intake was pretty low yesterday and the day before, so the only thing I could think of there was eating some high carob, refined sugary and floury things a few days ago catching up with me. I wasn't sure if that was really the case considering the swelling started late in the day. I drank and drank.....

This morning, considering salt, I decided to try just adding more salt. I began the day with a dose of celtic sea salt all at once. I started drinking water early and stuck with my typical diet all day. I feel a lot less puffy as we speak, so I think maybe salt was the culprit, only I needed more. We'll see how the scale treats me tomorrow. I hope to have lost the water weight!

09-02-2011, 01:07 AM
I'm happy that worked for you!

When I was pregnant my perinatologist told me not to lower my salt because it would make me swell more. So I think this is a sound strategy.