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If you regularly keep tabs on your weight, you may have noticed that the numbers on your scale fluctuate by a few pounds in a single day. But this weight fluctuation might be less about what you ate throughout the day, and more about your water weight.
Your total body weight comprises 60% water, which your system uses to properly function. As it makes up a large percentage of your body, water does impact your weight range. Each day, your weight may fluctuate between 2 and 4 pounds as the water inside your body shifts. The extra fluids retained by your body refer to your water weight.
If you’re trying to shed excess pounds, you can help keep your water weight within a healthy range. Read on to find out why this is important and how you could avoid high fluid retention levels.
Healthy Water Weight Levels
More than quenching your thirst, water helps eliminate body waste, regulates your temperature, transports oxygen and nutrients to your cells, and many more. Your body also retains water to prevent the effects of dehydration in case of low water consumption.
Too much fluid retention, however, is something that you should avoid. High water retention makes you feel bloated and uncomfortable. If you've gained some weight in a day despite your weight control efforts, it’s likely because you're retaining extra fluids.
For chronic water retention, however, this may indicate serious health conditions, in which case you will need to see your doctor as soon as possible.
For your weight loss efforts, here are some steps that you can take to maintain a healthy water weight level.
Avoid High-Sodium Food
According to Erica Zellner, a Health Coach at Parsley Health in California, frequent consumption of food with high sodium content could result in excess water inside your body. This is because your body works to retain more water to balance out your high salt consumption. As part of your healthy habits, it’s best to steer clear of high-sodium meals such as processed or packaged foods.
Move Your Body
Lack of exercise contributes to excess water retention as well, Dr. John P. Salerno, Founder of The Salerno Center and a Pioneer in the practice of complementary medicine, says in an interview.
Your body sweats when you engage in healthy physical activities such as walking or running. You may lose an average of 16-64 ounces of water when you exercise for an hour, with consideration to factors such as your clothing, according to Healthline. With that said, keep in mind that you need to stay hydrated throughout your workout.
Be Mindful of Your Carbs
High carbohydrates lead to weight gain and high fluid retention rate. Dietitian Joanna Sheill DiCicco explained that your body tends to store carbs as glycogen, which “pulls in water.” You may minimize your intake of high-carb foods such as pasta, chips and crackers, white bread and high-sugar beverages to help sustain a healthy water weight.
Drink More Water
When dehydrated, your body keeps more fluids for it to function properly. Drinking the right amount of water prevents excess water retention, but too much water intake could add to your water weight. Optimal balance is, therefore, the key.
How much is enough will depend on your overall health. Consult your doctor to know if the general four-to-six-glass-of-water rule is appropriate for your condition.
When is water weight considered weight gain?
When tracking your weight, knowing how much of your total weight is body water, muscle or fat is essential for better insights into your fitness progress. Zellner maintains that water weight easily fluctuates while a healthy weight loss happens gradually.
Smart body fat scales are designed to provide comprehensive health metrics. By using the scale, you’ll be able to know where you are in terms of your fitness goals and what you need to reduce to reach your targets.
According to Family Medicine Physician Dr. Gabe Neal, a higher percentage of body fat generally means lower water percentage of water. Additionally, high water weight percentage may indicate health issues.
Should you be worried about water weight?
Water weight is normal. The goal is to maintain healthy water weight levels for a properly functioning body. If you have serious swelling caused by excessive water retention, consult your doctor immediately.
Monitor your body water percentage and other health indexes through our Smart Body Scale to help reach your weight loss goals more effectively and efficiently.
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