Fitness Tips: How to reduce water retention

It’s Wednesday already? The week has flown by and I realize I haven’t posted anything I said I was going to post this week. I keep talking about getting into the kitchen and doing some baking and cooking – but I’m still in lazy mode.

I have three recipes saved in draft mode but no pictures to share since I actually haven’t made these dishes yet. One is a delicious sounding raisin loaf – which I might do today since I’m out of bagels. And I’ve been dying to try another pot pie or casserole dish. So, maybe today will be the day.

I did manage to take down my Christmas decorations yesterday. All the ornaments are boxed up for another year. But I managed to get things to fit into two boxes instead of three just by reorganizing them. I did leave up the white lights because they make it bright in here when the days are so short.

What I do want to talk a little about today is water retention and how it can affect your weight loss. I stepped on the scale with relief this morning and saw that I was NINE pounds lighter than I was two days ago. How does this even happen?

I eat mostly the same foods every day. I mix things up with dinner if I’m cooking. I’m also trying to clear out my pantry for the move in a few months so grabbing more canned and pasta goods – but within reason and moderation.

But as I stepped on the scale this morning, a question popped into my head.

How often should I weigh myself?

This is a question that I see asked often in my fitness group. It’s a good question. For me, I like weighing every morning when I get up. It helps me to see how much the food I ate the day before had an impact on the weight. But I know not to pay too much attention because with women especially, hormones can fluctuate from day to day.

Then it got me thinking about what causes weight fluctuation and how can I minimize this each month so I don’t freak out thinking I gained ten pounds in a few days?

Good question. Here are some tips I’ve learned:

Drink plenty of water.

This will help keep your circulatory system flowing. Sounds ridiculous right? Your body is filled with water and you want to fill it with more? But that’s exactly what works for me. Staying hydrated. Whether it’s by drinking a lot of water, or flavoured water, or herbal teas – staying hydrated is not only important for weight loss, but it’s also important for overall health.

Get regular exercise.

For me this is why cardio is so important. I slacked over the Christmas break and felt it this week in my knees. Once I hopped back no the bike and started doing my stretches again, the water weight disappeared. You don’t have to kill yourself with cardio. But it is important for joint health to exercise at least 20-30 minutes daily – even if you go for a short walk outside it’s something.

I have tons of articles on general fitness tips and different exercise routines you can do from home. Make sure to check out my fitness tab for more info.

Get plenty of sleep.

Making sure you get enough sleep at night time is crucial. This is something that I have been struggling with due to insomnia. There is also the danger of sleep apnea if you find yourself waking up a lot during the night. What really helps is keeping a regular sleep schedule. You can read more about sleep hygiene in my post here.

Eat a well balanced diet.

Intermittent fasting really helps me keep on track with what I eat. I try not to eat before 11 am in the morning but it really depends on my sleep schedule. The later I get up in the day, the later I am up at night. Lately, I’ve been going to bed around four in the morning due to the insomnia and only getting a few hours of sleep. So my schedule has been off track. When fasting, I try to stick between the hours of 11:00 am and 8:00 pm. But now that I’m up longer, I will have a light snack around 10 pm.

For food, this will depend on what general diet you follow or if you have any medical conditions that require a special diet. For me, I eat mostly healthy foods like raw vegetables and hummus, a bagel in the morning and a healthy dinner with protein, vegetables and some fruit. Snacks can be anything like popcorn, cereal, fruit or crackers and cheese.

But do make sure to avoid fad diets as these will likely cause you to put on the weight you lose later.

I aim for a lower carb intake – less than 100 grams of carbs per day but some days are more. And I aim for around 1200-1500 calories per day. Again, some days are more, some are less.

Fitness Apps

I highly recommend using an app like My Fitness Pal which is free to track your daily food intake in the beginning stages. This really helps me to ensure that I am eating enough food during the day. If you don’t get enough food, you can slow down your metabolism. How often you eat, is up to you and your schedule.

Some people prefer eating once a day (OMAD), while others like me, prefer to eat at least three times during the day. I find eating five or six meals like what some health professionals recommend is just too much. It really boils down to personal preference.

You can read me article on the best fitness apps to decide which app will work for your needs.

Summary

So, to recap – to help reduce water retention try making these changes in your daily life. Get regular exercise, regular sleep, eat a well balanced and rounded diet – try to drink more water and reduce your sodium intake.

Other things that can help are getting massages, having a warm and hot bath, hitting the steam room after a workout. Or if you’re female and you have hormonal issues that cause weight fluctuation, you may want to talk to your doctor about remedies or vitamin supplements that can help you out. Vitamins play a crucial role in our overall health and there are some that can aid you in your weight loss journey.

And on that note, it’s 2 pm and I haven’t even had my lunch yet. I really need to listen to my own advice!

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