You may have heard people say that they feel like they are holding onto some extra water weight. Bodybuilders when prepping for a show focus on pushing out as much water as possible to show definition and muscle striation. Wrestlers and boxers will focus on sweating to get as much weight off as soon as possible. In some cases, people have lost 10 pounds in a day, but more than likely it is just water weight.
With this being said, water weight is not necessarily a bad thing as much as it is a necessity. Our body weight is composed primarily of water, roughly 50-60%. With that a lot of our body’s every day function is based off of water. Our insulin levels and even digestive system are all maintained through water levels in our body. Muscles are composed primarily of water as well, so if water levels are depleted, muscles will cramp and lock up.
Added water weight however can be based off of unhealthy tendencies.
Water weight in a nut shell works like this, indulging in salty foods can trigger your cells to sop up water like a sponge. Similarly, a diet high in sugar can lead to higher-than-normal insulin levels in your blood, which can make your body retain sodium, which once again leads to the body being like a sponge. And when you consume a lot of carbs from sources like pasta or bread), for every gram of carbohydrate that your body stores to use for energy later (known as glycogen), it also stores up to three grams of water, which explains that “puffy” feeling you may experience after eating excess carbs.
This should paint a clearer picture on why you may lose weight so fast in the beginning when you go on a diet. You have cut back on sugar, salt, and most likely carbohydrates. Your body will return the favor by pushing water out and not focus on keeping it in (retaining it). Another rule of thumb with water is if you are eating healthy more water in your body equals more water out. By simply consuming a good amount of water daily your body will work on making sure the water it keeps is only water it needs to function, which helps out tremendously when you are trying to keep your weight in a good place.
Fat is burned as an energy source behind sugars, carbs, and even muscle. So, there is a big enough challenge with fat alone to get weight down. Do yourself a favor and keep the water weight in check by being smart with what you are eating when it comes to salts, sugars, and carbs.