Reduce water retention in 5 easy steps
Water retention can result in a puffy and bloated appearance, particularly in the feet, ankles and legs. This bloating can be caused by a multitude of factors, including: hormonal imbalances, heart and kidney problems, poor diet, dehydration and prescription medication. If you’re concerned that your water retention is the result of an underlying health condition, you should immediately consult your doctor. However, more often than not, water weight can be shed using a combination of lifestyle alterations to help give you the sculpted and healthy appearance that you desire.
1. Drink plenty of water
If you’re feeling soggy and bloated, it might seem counter-intuitive to increase your water intake. However, the reason you’re retaining water might be because you’re dehydrated and your body is storing water in case of an emergency. Increasing your water intake will reassure your body that there is not a scarcity of water in the environment, meaning you will shed water weight more easily. Also, drinking adequate quantities of water (and other healthy, non-caffeinated drinks) will help your body to function optimally and ensure that toxins are flushed efficiently.
2. Reduce salt intake
An unhealthy diet containing high salt content, processed foods is one of the key causes of water retention. Always check the nutritional labelling on the food you purchase and If you’re feeling the urge to add salt to a meal, replace it with some pepper or spice as an alternative.
3. Eat healthy and include natural diuretics in your diet
Try to eat a balanced diet containing whole grains, fruits, fresh vegetables and healthy food with high-fiber content. Fruits and vegetables in particular have a diuretic effect on the body, which increases frequency of urination and thus causes a reduction in water weight. Potassium deficiency can cause water retention, so be sure to eat plenty of potassium rich foods such as bananas to combat this. Dandelion root is also an excellent natural diuretic.
4. Take regular exercise
You don’t have to go overboard here – 45 minutes of moderate to high intensity exercise two to four times a week is all that’s necessary for reducing water retention. Remember to take the time to warm up and cool down with some light cardio or stretches; this prevents the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles which can often cause water retention.
5. Use a sauna
While exercising is excellent for shedding water weight through sweating, sitting in the sauna several times a week can really help to get rid of that last bit of excess water weight. When you have too much sodium in your body, water binds to the sodium and causes a buildup of water retention under the skin. This is why when taking a sauna, you’ll notice that at first your sweat is salty, but later on your sweat tastes like water – this is a sign that your body’s flushing mechanism is working properly. When taking a sauna, always remember to stay hydrated with plenty of water and take a multivitamin because vitamins are also lost through sweat.
(Photo by Keenanm)