You’ve been exercising. You’ve been eating your fruits and veggies. But for some reason, your gut just won’t budge. One reason for this may be water weight, and no, this does not mean water is making you fat. Before you cut down on your liters of water, you’ve got to know how and why you’re collecting the water.

What is water weight?

Water weight happens when your body holds on to too much water. As you’ve probably experienced, it makes you look and feel bloated. Note that this doesn’t mean that the water just turns into fat. It’s pretty temporary and is released when your body feels like it’s not fighting for water anymore.

What causes water weight?

The main cause for water weight is ironically dehydration. Yes, your stomach is holding on to each drop of water because you don’t drink enough water, as this study emphasizes. 

In addition to inadequate water intake, water weight can also be caused by a diet including a lot of sodium. Salt is a form of sodium, so the more salty snacks and foods you consume, the more water you will retain. In addition, sodium also promotes obesity, according to this study.

The American Heart Association suggests not to eat any more than 2,300 milligrams a day, so anything more than this is contributing to your pooch.

How to get rid of water weight

The first step in losing water weight is to drink more water! If you’ve heard the 8 by 8 rule, kindly disregard it, because everyone’s nutrients requirements are different.

Depending on how much you weigh, where you live, and how physically active you are, along with several other factors, you’re going to need to tweak that rule a bit to fit your body’s needs.

One method to determine how much water you need to drink is with urine. Simply look at how dark your urine is compared to the water you drink. That’ll provide you with a better feeling of how much water you need.  You can also use water tracking apps and online calculators to more accurately determine the amount.

And now that you know how much you need to drink, use a large reusable water bottle to help you track how many ounces you’re downing at a time.

In addition to drinking more water, it’ll also help if you decreased your sodium intake. Here are a few ways to do this:

  • Stop eating processed foods so much:
  • Skip out on going out to eat: you’ll be faced with many unhealthy foods depending on the restaurant.
  • IF YOU DO go out, read menu beforehand: if you’re willing to fight temptation early, get a menu!
  • Avoid excess cheese.
  • Use herbs such as cayenne pepper, cumin, oregano, and even lemon peels.

In order to lose water weight, you’ve got to drink more water and eat less sodium. It may be difficult at first but it definitely isn’t impossible. By adhering to these tips, you’ll be on a slimmer and healthier version of yourself in no time.