1-LOW-CARB DIETS

As mentioned above, cutting carbs releases water because it causes your body to tap into its glycogen stores.

2-HIGH PROTEIN DIETS

If you bump up protein intake to enhance weight loss, you will lose more water through urine. Protein breakdown creates urea and other nitrogenous wastes that require water to remove them from the body.

3-SALT

Your body retains water to dilute excess sodium from a high-salt diet. While this has a small effect on water weight, it can harm your health over time. Holding onto excess sodium and fluid increases your blood pressure. Your heart has to work harder, causing wear and tear on your cardiovascular system. Whether or not water weight is on your mind, it’s a good idea to eat less sodium.

4-CAFFEINE

Caffeine is a mild diuretic, meaning it increases urination and water loss. Research shows this effect is strongest in individuals who are new to or deprived of caffeine. If you regularly caffeinate, drinking coffee and tea does little for your water weight.

5-ALCOHOL

The classic hangover headache is partly due to dehydration. Alcohol prevents the release of vasopressin, a pituitary gland hormone that regulates how much water is lost through urine. Water loss (and dehydration) is a side effect of drinking alcohol, though it’s definitely not a good solution to get rid of water weight.

6-EXERCISE

Intense workouts, especially those in hot and humid weather, increase our sweat rate and water loss. This is why some long-distance runners weigh themselves pre- and post-run to determine how much fluid they should drink to replace sweat loss. It’s known that even mild dehydration can negatively affect exercise performance.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Water weight can be annoying since no one likes feeling bloated, but it’s thankfully a short-term issue. It’s normal for your water weight to fluctuate from day to day. This is why weighing yourself weekly is better than weighing yourself daily when you want to gauge progress. Long-term changes in body weight result from change to lean muscle or fat, which is what you want to see. Finally, abstaining from water won’t help you lose weight — the opposite is true. Good hydration aids your weight-loss efforts by curbing hunger and enhancing fat burn.