8 Ways to Cut Water Weight and Show Your Abs
It's New Year's Resolution time. And honestly, who hasn't included on their list of goals for the new year, a chiseled six pack?
Whether you're a newbie to the fitness world, and 2018 is your year to lose weight and get cut, or you're a veteran fitness buff or bodybuilder with upcoming competitions, cutting water weight is a key tactic to show off your hard work and hard body.
It's a less-talked about element of the weight loss/ chiseling process, and a relatively small piece of the overall fitness puzzle, but a critical piece nonetheless. It's especially important to know how to kick the water weight when you're late in your progress, and you're ready to really shred out and look your absolute best.
What is Water Weight and Why do We Get It?
We've all been there — we're on track with our goals, and suddenly wake up suddenly 3 pounds heavier. Sound familiar?
If you've experienced this common phenomenon, you've experienced water weight. While it's impossible for our bodies to gain true weight from muscles or fat, water weight is annoying and sometimes uncomfortable nonetheless, and still weight, even if it's not fat or muscle.
Water weight is really just another term for what we commonly call bloating, and is a very different thing that actual water retention, which is a far more serious condition and should be treated as such (always see a doctor if you're experiencing this).
While water retention is indicative of a more serious issue with the kidneys or some other real medical problem, water weight/bloating is thankfully temporary, easily triggered, and can be taken care of with these following suggestions.
The Basics of Cutting Water Weight
- Drink More Water: Though it might seem counterintuitive, one of the best ways to keep every major bodily system functioning as it should, and to ditch water weight, is to load up on the H20 (note, you never want to guzzle water too quickly—sipping constantly throughout the way is the best approach.) Since your kidneys are primarily responsible for holding onto water or letting it go, if you've loaded up on salty foods for example, and haven't flushed it out properly with water, your kidney senses the sodium overdose, and hold onto extra water in an attempt to flush it out. You'll want to strive for about half your body weight in ounces (if you weight 160, you'll want to be drinking 80 ounces a day).
- Adhere to a Low Sodium Diet: One of the biggest culprits for many health woes is sodium, and in terms of water weight, it can definitely be to blame. Sodium, which is lurking in everything nowadays, not just common table salt, triggers a reaction in the body to hold onto extra water weight. This shows up as bloating, and can definitely edge up the scale and make you feel like your abs are instantly gone. Watch out for processed junk or premade/packaged food that tends to be loaded, and strive to keep your daily intake under 2200 mg.
- Take a Magnesium Supplements: The importance of magnesium in our bodies really can't be overstated, as it's responsible for the proper function of around 300 various systems in the body. According to SupplementCritique.com, Magnesium deficiencies can be to blame for a host of symptoms such as water weight, so popping a supplement (with your doctor's okay of course) can assure you're getting plenty.
- Eat Dark Vegetables: You've probably heard that dark leafy green are your friend, but they'll also provide a natural source of magnesium your body might be lacking. Thanks to the chlorophyll molecule in dark greens, which contain magnesium, you'll be getting a dose with every salad, green smoothie, or side of spinach you eat, giving your abs a chance to peek through.
- Include Bananas in Your Diet Topic: Bananas are the perfect post workout snack, and are usually given out after 5ks for a reason. They pack an impressive dose of potassium, another vital mineral in the body for regulating water weight, among many other important functions.
- Eat Plenty of Fiber: Keeping your digestive system churning along like it's meant to is also of course vital to keep your system balanced and avoid excess weight. Plenty of fiber supports digestion so make sure you're loading up on plenty of plant based foods like beans, peas, and fresh veggies.
- Get Moving: You really can't avoid that more movement equals greater heath; it's just common knowledge. What you might not realize is your sedentary lifestyle can be causing your water weight as well. If you spend the majority of your day sitting or standing—which is equally as bad for this—your body can accumulate water in the body. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day will also promote sweating, which is the body's natural way to flush out things such as sodium. Fun fact, you can tell when your sweat has finished cleaning out sodium, as it will no longer be salty like it is when you first start sweating.
- Avoid Fad Diets or Cleanses: We all know abs are made in the kitchen, and though you may be tempted to reach for the nearest quick fix to quickly purge the extra weight you're feeling, strict fad diets or cleanses can actually be the root of the problem. Depriving our bodies of carbs, specifically, which is a comment tenant of cleanses or diets, means we might lose initial weight, but when we add carbs back into our diet, it's common to blow up and gain weight quickly. If you're one to always be on-again, off-again with your diets, your metabolism might not to be used to eating carbs again, and is hanging onto every morsel you feed it. Your kidneys and liver, if allowed to work the way they're meant to, are great at regulating all this in the body, so eat a variety of foods and adhere to a diet that's sustainable long-term.
Our body is a delicate system, and when all is working as it should, it keeps everything in check and all our levels balanced. However, throwing it off can be as simple as a night of overindulging, salty foods, or forgetting to hydrate yourself properly. Keep you sights set on basic rules of good health we all know: hydrating with good old-fashioned water, moving your body, eating the rainbow of foods, and steering clear of processed foods, and not only will you have the health you've always wanted but the abs to match.