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Where Does Water Weight Come From?

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water,weight,scale,help,diet,keto,lifestyle,itg,carbs,sugar,sodium,saltYou’ve been doing great on the program, sticking to the guidelines, watching what you eat, not cheating, and losing pounds every week. Then, that day inevitably arrives: you’re invited to dinner at a friend’s house; a surprise guests brings over wine and snacks; you decide that you can take a day or two off to enjoy some fun foods and beverages. Then… the next day, you feel puffy, bloated, tired, and fatigued. You check your weight on the scale. It has spiked dramatically!

Have you noticed that when you eat or drink off-program foods, your weight tends to immediately increase? It may be one or two pounds but could add up to even more! What is going on inside your body, and why does this happen so quickly?

You may notice that when you fill up on protein, vegetables, and salad, your weight doesn’t usually go up. By the end of the week, you’ll probably notice a nice drop in pounds on the scale. But when you eat foods and drink beverages that contain high levels of sugar, carbs, and sodium, you will most likely see the opposite happen on the scale and experience weight gain or a stall in your progress.

So, you’ve felt that bloated, overly stuffed feeling after you eat foods that are highly processed and are full of sugar and salt. Why does this happen? It’s mostly due to water weight.

Eating Foods with High Salt/Sodium – it’s a necessary ingredient for many bodily processes, including regulation of your blood pressure and the function of your nerve cells. Excess salt intake, in the form of sodium in the foods we eat, and the table salt we use to season our food, causes the body to retain water. When sodium levels are high, the body begins to conserve water. This is to dilute the amount of salt in your body. The excess salt in your system that is not used by your cells is kept outside of them, circulating around your body. It is not being used and needs to be removed. Eating salty foods will cause you to become thirsty and feel the urge to drink water. You may urinate more frequently, however, the sodium will take longer to leave your body and you can remain feeling puffy for a couple days. The body can only process and eliminate so much sodium at once.

Consuming Too Much Sugar/Carbohydrates – your body gets its energy from the easiest and most convenient sources that are available. Carbohydrates are considered fast energy sources because they can be broken down and put to use very quickly. They’re used in many body processes including energy production and energy storage. Normally, the human body is a sugar-driven machine: carbohydrates are consumed, then broken down into glucose and used as energy, or stored in the liver and muscle tissue as glycogen. Glycogen is created when glucose molecules are linked together in a chain. Glycogen also contains water. Chemically, each gram of glycogen contains 3-4 grams of water. That means that for each gram of glycogen your body retains, you’ll be retaining 3-4 grams of water as well. Overeating or drinking sugary foods will cause the glycogen and accompanying water weight to spike in your body, which translates into extra pounds on the scale.


How to Get Rid of Water Weight

Stick to your eating plan

When you follow the ITG Diet, you cut back on the amount of sugar and carbohydrates that you eat which will keep your body from having too much glycogen (which ultimately ends up being converted and stored as fat). By staying low carb, your body will not be accumulating excess glycogen and will eventually turn to breaking down fat for energy. You’ll begin eliminating the water that is attached to the glycogen.

Watch your salt intake

Avoid restaurant foods and too many highly processed foods that contain sodium/salt for flavor and as a preservative. Use a pinch of sea salt to flavor the foods you cook but don’t overdo it.

Drink water

It might sound a bit crazy, but drinking water actually helps your body eliminate water weight. The body can only hold so much water, and when new water comes in, your body gets the signal to push out some of that stored water.

Be physically active

Your body will continue to use up all glycogen in the blood stream, as well as the stored glycogen in your liver and muscle tissue as you go about your day. When the glycogen is being used, the attached water is then released from your body through urination. Physical activity helps deplete these glycogen stores more quickly since your muscles will be using them up for energy. This can be as simple as taking a walk or riding a bike. Check with your doctor before starting any exercise regimen and note that exercising too intensely on the ITG Diet Plan can cause increased hunger and a stall in your weight loss.

(Read more: Are My Workouts Too Intense?)


Keeping that water weight off

Depending on the amount of carbs, sugars, and sodium you ingested, your water weight and puffiness should retreat within just a couple days. The key is to stay consistent when trying to lose the water weight. Don’t cheat yourself while on the program since your weight will constantly fluctuate and your progress will stall; you’ll just be losing the same water weight every week (that's a maintenance goal!)

When you’re in maintenance mode and are able to enjoy a weekly Reward Day, you will gain a bit of water weight each time. Don’t worry, this is totally normal! Get back to healthy eating and your physical activity routine to return to your maintenance weight every single week.

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Through proven science and nutritional facts, the ITG Diet weight loss coaches provide this weight loss blog to our guests and dieters to aid you in your weight loss journey. We welcome any comments and questions that you may have. We're here to help you succeed!


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