It’s a fact that you cannot gain weight overnight, but if the scale is jumping up a few pounds and fluctuating like crazy, blame it on water weight. If you have gained more than 500 gm of weight overnight, count it as water weight too. Human body is made of approximately 60% water and when the body retains more water than that due to various reasons, in between tissues and cells, it leads to puffiness and bloating, and can be easily mistaken as fat gain. In this post, we would list down factors that can make you gain water weight so that you do not feel frustrated and demotivated when the scale moves up even though you are working out and following a healthy diet for weight loss such as that on Rati Beauty app.
What is Water Weight?
Water weight is completely different from fat weight because water weight is temporary and happens due to accumulation of extra fluid within the body tissues. On the other hand, fat weight is a permanent layer of fat underneath in the subcutaneous layer of skin and around the organs (visceral fat), which would only melt away with dieting and exercise. Water weight would make you feel bloated, puffy, and swelled up. Water weight occurs when body retains the fluid instead of eliminating it out, and it’s just a temporary thing.
12 Factors that Can Make you Gain Water Weight:
1. Too much Salt/Sodium in the diet: When you are on a weight loss diet, eat salt in moderation, otherwise it causes a sharp jump in pounds by retaining excess fluids in cells. It is estimated that just a little extra salt in the diet can hold up to 1.5 liters of water! So, eat salt in moderation, do not go absolutely low because salt is needed to maintain the electrolyte balance in the body and to run all functions smoothly.
2. Cortisol levels High due to Stress: Cortisol is the stress hormone that can cause temporary as well as permanent weight gain. We have explained in detail how lowering stress can in fact lead to successful weight loss here. A hormone called, antidiuretic hormone, gets affected by stress and cortisol levels, and bringing down stress is important for AD hormone to function properly and to avoid water weight.
3. Too Much Refined Carbs: Like stress, too much of refined carbs can cause temporary as well as permanent weight gain. When excess carbs are consumed, the body stores them as glycogen, and each glycogen molecule carries 3 gm of water with it. So, cutting down on refined carbs will help reduce glycogen stores, thereby lowering the water weight.
4. Periods: Most women tend to experience water retention and bloating around their periods due to hormonal fluctuations. Once the periods are over, this weight goes away.
5. Poor Circulation due to Iron Deficiency: Deficiency of iron leads to poor circulation and temporary weight gain.
6. Dehydration: When there’s a shortage of water, the body tends to hold on to its existing water reserves, leading to fluid retention and increase in water weight.
7. High Intensity Exercises: If you have started exercising just recently, it’s possible that the muscles and fibers would become inflamed and develop small tears, and to repair these minor tears, the body tends to retain water, although temporarily.
8. Low Quality Sleep: When you compromise on sleep, a lot of body functions go out of whack, and that includes water retention and bloating. Just 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night can get rid of all extra water.
9. Magnesium and Potassium Deficiency: These two elements are needed to make electrolyte balance, and when there’s a deficiency of either of the two, water weight is a common outcome.
10. Certain Medications: Certain birth control pills, pain relievers, anti-depressants can cause water retention.
11. Sedentary Lifestyle: A lifestyle where there is little movement forces the body to retain water and in the long run, it leads to forming of permanent fat layers as well.
12. Too Much Sugar: Just like sodium/salt, sugar is also a major reason for fluid retention.
Most surprisingly, weather change, especially when it’s too hot and humid can trigger dehydration, leading to fluid retention and increase in water weight.