Water weight, often called water retention or edema, can be easier to lose than fat weight, and when you start a diet, it's usually water weight you lose first. Your diet and lifestyle can have a negative impact on your weight by causing your body to retain water. However, making a few changes can help you lose that water weight fairly quickly. If you can't shed water weight after making changes, see your doctor right away because water retention can signal the presence of an underlying medical condition.
Drink More Water
It might sound odd, but drinking more water can actually help you shed water weight. When you aren't putting enough fluid into your body, it starts to conserve the water it does have in case you don't replenish those fluids in the near future. Increasing the amount of water you drink sends the message that your body doesn't need to hold on to as much because there is a steady and constant supply coming in.
Cut Back on the Sodium
Too much salt can lead to water retention, and cutting back can help you get rid of excess water weight, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. When your diet includes too much salt, you can become dehydrated, and holding onto fluids is one way your body works to prevent the negative consequences of dehydration. Restrict your intake of foods high in sodium including processed meats, frozen foods and potato chips, recommends Glenda Clarke, author of "Losing Water Weight." Canned soup, pizza, cheese, many packaged convenience foods and fast foods are additional foods high in sodium.
Eat A Balanced Diet
Including certain nutrients in your diet can help cut water weight. For example, add foods rich in B vitamins and iron, recommends the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends. Leafy green vegetables, fortified grains and lean meats are good sources of these nutrients. Foods rich in potassium help your body maintain a proper fluid balance, and bananas, avocado, apricots and raisins are a few good sources, notes Clarke notes. Include vegetables that act as natural diuretics, too, because they can help you shed water weight. Beets, leafy greens, green beans, pumpkin and onions are a few options. Cutting your intake of sugar, red meat and foods with trans fats can help, as well, advises the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Add Some Exercise
Exercise can help you lose weight in general, but it can also be a useful way to get rid of unwanted water weight. When you exercise, you'll sweat away excess fluid and sodium, notes Clarke notes. Aim to exercise four to five times a week, but ask your doctor what the most appropriate intensity level is for you based on your current fitness level and health history.