Gaining weight due to water retention? Easy tips to get rid of water weight naturally

Published on May 06, 2022 12:37 PM IST

Water retention is more common in summer season as the body finds it difficult to remove fluid from the tissues in hot weather.

Water retention occurs when excess fluids build up in your body and isn't removed efficiently(Pixabay)
Water retention occurs when excess fluids build up in your body and isn't removed efficiently(Pixabay)

Are you gaining a lot of weight of late and also suffering from swollen feet or ankles, puffy skin or stiff joints? The culprit could be excess fluid build-up in the body, also known as water retention or edema. It is more common in summer season as the body finds it difficult to remove fluid from tissues in hot weather. People who stand for long hours can also sometime suffer from the above-mentioned symptoms as the fluid gets collected in the tissues of lower leg. (Also read: 4 reasons behind your unexpected weight gain)

Pregnancy, certain health issues, menstruation, inadequate consumption of protein or vitamin B1 could also be other reasons apart from certain medications.

Water retention occurs when excess fluids build up in your body and isn't removed efficiently by circulatory system, kidneys or lymphatic system that help maintain healthy fluid levels in the body.

"We all face different kinds of challenges during our weight loss journey. Since most people are dehydrated when they age, the body tends to retain water and cause ‘edema’. It's usually harmless. Excess water retention can also be due to a medical issue like heart, liver or kidney disease," said Dietician & Nutritionist Dr. Poonam Duneja and Founder Nutrifybypoonam Diet & Wellness Clinic in an interview with HT Digital.

"Women also face water retention during the luteal phase of the cycle which can cause heaviness in breasts, swelling of face, hands or feet," adds Duneja.

Here are natural ways to get rid of excess weight due to fluid retention:

Regular exercise: During exercise the body loses 0.5-1 litres of sweat depending on temperature, hydration levels and clothing. Regular physical exercise reduces water outside of the cell and decreases swelling due to water retention.

Adequate sleep: This may also help your body water levels and reduce water retention. Try to get 8 hours of restful of good night sleep

Stress management: Chronic stress increases the hormone cortisol which directly induces water retention. Stress increases ADH (Antidiuretic hormone) that controls water balance in the body. Stress management will help normalize the levels of ADH and cortisol which is important for fluid balance and long-term disease risk.

Supplement with magnesium and potassium: When the electrolyte levels are too low or too high, they cause a shift in fluid balance and it leads to more water weight. Excess hydration levels, exercising in hot humid climates also needs replenishment of these electrolytes to replace those lost in sweat. Inversely, large amounts of these supplements coupled with less intake of water may again cause water retention

Avoid salty foods: If sodium levels are too low or high, it will lead to fluid imbalance within the body and result in water retention. Intake of lot of highly processed food, pickles and soups can also lead to water retention.

Dandelion tea: Dandelion also known as Taraxacum officinale, is a herb which is quite effective in treating water retention. Bodybuilders and athletes also use dandelion supplements to drop water weight to fall in a particular weight category. Dandelion helps you lose excess water by signaling kidneys to expel more water through urine and additional sodium.

Keep hydrated: Being well-hydrated can actually reduce water retention. If you are suffering from constant dehydration, your body tends to retain more water in an attempt to conserve more water if levels go too low. Optimal water intake of 2-3 litres daily ensures general health including good digestive health, fat loss and brain function.

Include green leafy vegetables: Add bananas, avocados, tomatoes, yogurt etc apart from other potassium rich foods to manage water levels in the body. Magnesium-rich foods include dark chocolate, nuts and whole grains.

Herbs to get rid of water retention: Corn silk, horse tail, hibiscus, fennel, nettle, garlic are some of the herbs that will help you get rid of excess water weight. Also, include low FODMAP foods in your diet.

Cutting carbs: It is a common strategy to quickly drop excess water weight as carbs are stored in muscles and liver as glycogen. That’s why people lose eight when they cut carbs. Low carb diets lead to a drop in insulin levels which lead to loss of water and sodium from kidneys.

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