What Causes Water Retention & Can It Prevent Weight Loss?

What Causes Water Retention & Can It Prevent Weight Loss?

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There are plenty of mistakes to be made when you’re looking for the best way to lose weight. In an attempt to slim down your stomach, you might accidently do too little exercise, or eat too few calories, or even over-estimate the amount of energy you have to burn each day. These are simple, and common problems to the process of losing weight that can be quickly and effectively halted – particularly with the help of a personal trainer in London. However, what if you’re doing everything right, and you’re still not getting results?

The last thing you should do is eat less and exercise more – as that can make the problem worse. Why? Because you’re probably struggling with water retention.

The Problem with Water Retention

Although we’d all like to lose weight in a near and orderly fashion – watching the pounds drop off as we engage discover how to get a flat stomach- the truth isn’t quite so straight-forward. Real weight loss is erratic and unpredictable. You might lose a pound per week, then suddenly see no change for almost a month. The reason for this is that the fat you’re losing through diet and exercise can be obscured by additional water that your body is keeping hold of.

During World War 2, a professional known as “Dr. Ancel Keys” conducted a significant study on 36 men who volunteered to take part in a semi-starvation diet of 1,500 calories per day for six months, alongside hours of hard work each day. The Minnesota Starvation Experiment found that for a while, weight was lost in a simple, linear fashion, before progress became suddenly unpredictable and erratic. The fact was, that the men were getting rid of excess fat though their apparent weight remained the same – because, as the fat disappeared, they were holding on to more water.

In simple terms: Water retention makes a big difference when you’re searching for the best way to lose weight.

How to Get Rid of Water Weight

The best rules of thumb to follow regarding water retention are:

  1. Eat large amounts of food occasionally
  2. Don’t expose yourself to hours of cardio each week
  3. Don’t starve yourself

Other ways to lose water weight include everything from ensuring you don’t exercise too much, to being cautious with your calorie deficit.

1.     Don’t Be Reckless with Your Calorie Deficit

A good way to lose fat quickly, and retain muscle, is to be bold with your calorie deficit – but this doesn’t mean acting recklessly. Eating too little can quickly lead to fluid retention – which is why experts recommend sticking to a 20-25% calorie deficit

2.     Don’t Exercise Too Much

Exercising regularly is a good idea, but pushing yourself too far while you’re eating too little is a good way to ensure water retention. Don’t go over three to five hours of weightlifting and one or two hours of cardio per week.

3.     Eat Cheat Meals

Sometimes, a large caloric intake can trigger a burst of weight loss when it comes to getting rid of water weight. Just remember that you need to be careful to cheat correctly – or you may end up hindering your progress.

4.     Adjust Your Potassium and Sodium

Sodium delivers water to cells – which means that eating a lot can lead to serious water retention and bloating. Try to cut back by eating fewer meals with salt and other seasonings, check dressings, and avoid cheese from time to time.

5.     Relax and Drink More Water

Finally, take some time to relax each day. This will help to reduce your cortisol levels – the hormone that’s responsible for making you hold onto weight. Sleep for seven to eight hours each night, and drink at least a gallon of water every day.

If you’ve been careful about watching your calorie intake and following a good workout program, then you should see yourself begin to slim down again soon the moment you start working on your water retention issues. Don’t try to fight back by increasing your physical output and reducing your food intake – as this will only make things worse. Instead, follow the advice above, and you should be smiling again in no time.

Marc Dressen
Online Personal Trainer

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