Going on a weight loss journey can seem overwhelming for the total beginner, with the amount of usually foreign jargon suddenly having to become an important part of life. One of the most used terms with regards to weight loss is probably water weight. But really, what is this water weight everybody keeps talking about? Well, you’re about to find out.
You probably already know this, but our body is made up of mostly water. All our bodily cells contain stored water, which helps keep things moving smoothly. However, when we take in too much of certain substances such as salt, or if we are dehydrated, our body retains even more water, and the weight of this extra water is called water weight.
Water Weight and Weight Loss
Often when people talk about weight loss, they think it’s naturally fat loss. But actually, weight loss is very subjective. When you see the scales moving backward, it could be fat, muscle or water that you are losing.
Most of the time, the first couple of pounds that you lose is usually water weight. This is why in the first week you often lose a large amount of weight compared to the following weeks. When the water is gone, that’s usually when the body chooses between muscle and fat to burn, depending on how many calories you take in. If you take in too few calories, your body will burn muscle instead of fat since muscle provides more calories than fat.
That’s not to say that you will certainly lose water weight at first; if your diet is still high in sodium and alcohol and if you don’t replenish your body with water adequately, then your body will still cling on to your water weight.
How to Lose Water Weight
There are several things you can do if you want to lose that excess water weight. First of all, be sure to drink enough water – that is, more than eight glasses a day if you can manage it. Also, restrict the amount of salt, sugar, and alcohol that you take in on a daily basis. Do note that if you are a woman, it is possible that your body will hold on to up to five pounds of water weight when you are having your menses. So during this period, don’t stress out if you suddenly put on a lot of weight; just keep to your healthy diet, and when your menses are over the weight will slip off again.
Understanding what water weight is can hopefully keep you motivated if you find that your weight is fluctuating in between weighing sessions.