Water Weight ???

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Ever since I started writing this blog, a very good friend of mine (who is also a fitness freak) has been requesting me to write an article on “Water Weight”. Well, everyone knows that ‘drinking lots of water’ is good for health. You read it in your favorite health columns, your mom asks you if you are drinking enough water, your doctor advises you to drink at least 4-5 litres of water everyday and so on & so forth. But do you know about the role of water in weight-loss issues especially if you are working really hard in getting those washboard abs?

 It’s a simple but very important concept in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and your overall fitness goals. Water weight is nothing but part of your body weight created due to retention of water by your body. Ok! So your body stores up water, what is wrong with that or why get concerned about it anyways? Do you need to shed off this water weight? If yes, how?

All the answers lie in understanding this concept properly. By water weight, I mean excess body weight due to “bloating”. It does not mean that something is wrong with your kidneys and so your body is retaining water. Your body retains water when:

  1. There is excess intake of sodium: If you all remember school level science, you might remember the concept of osmosis. Here’s what it means if you don’t remember it. In simple words, it is nothing but the tendency of a system to maintain a balance of solute concentration on both the sides of a semi-permeable membrane. And here’s why I just bored you up explaining this concept – “When you consume food that has a lot of sodium but you do not consume enough water, your body holds back as much water as possible to maintain a that sodium-water osmotic balance in your body.” As a result, you get bloated meaning you gain water weight.
  2. You do not exercise: Working out is a great way of sweating which in turn is a great way of releasing excess salts from your body.When you do not workout at all and you happily live a sedentary lifestyle, your body has no other option, but to retain water to maintain the solute-solvent ratio of your body.
  3. You do not drink enough water: This is the most important amongst all the reasons. You know it really well that water is the best fluid for your body. But still you never drink enough of it. Whenever you feel thirsty, you will grab a bottle of your favorite aerated drink or have a cup of tea/coffee but you will never give a second thought to water. If this is the way you behave, then obviously you poor body has to hold back as much water as possible.

**A little fact to be known (especially for all women out there): “Touch your belly. Can you feel that spongy lower abdominal pooch? Besides unhealthy fat, your body is also storing considerable water in that region. See, this where you are going to get all excited about knowing ways to get rid of that retained water and jump into the next para :)”

So, here’s what is needed to be done to shed off the water weight and stay away from gaining it

  1. Drink up: The best and the simplest solution is to drink enough water. Drink at least 3-4 and at most 4-5 litres of water everyday. Your body would not feel dehydrated and so, it will stop retaining water 🙂
  2. Keep a check on your sodium intake: Sodium is naturally present in all the food that you eat. And obviously, you sprinkle enough of it while cooking as per your individual taste buds. Then why consume extra of it? Cut down on those unhealthy snacks, potato chips, fatty dips-ketchups and all forms of deep fried junk.
  3. Exercise: See, here I give you another reason to love exercise. Working out will help you sweat and stay away from those water pounds in a very healthy manner. It’s always a win-win situation 🙂
  4. Consume high fibre food:  High fibrous food contain a good amount of water. They are great for your digestive system and are a natural way of staying away from gaining water weight.
  5. Love Potassium: Potassium is a very essential element in maintaining many important bodily functions. So consume potassium rich foods like Bananas, White Beans, Dark Leafy Vegetables, Papayas, Pumpkins, Avocados etc. It will help you in maintaing your body’s natural solute-solvent balance very easily.

Now here’s another reason to love drinking water – Research has shown that during several occasions, your body mimics dehydration as hunger. So the next time, you get food cravings even after having a wholesome meal, realise it’s time to drink enough water 🙂

Another important point: If you have trouble drinking plain water, you can always create your own flavoured water by adding a twist of lemon, orange, green tea or mint into your bottle of chilled water.

Remember there are no excuses. Drink your way to good health 🙂

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