- May 14, 2018
When I have been going through the threads of the forum, a hell of a lot of people tend to lose big numbers in their first week and then of course there are some that don't. I really wanted to find out what could be behind this, and "water weight" is a term that is thrown around a lot on the threads - but I honestly didn't know what that really meant or why our bodies could hold on to it, especially in regards to nutrition.
What I did understand is that our bodies are made up of at least 70% water (thank you school!) and when our bodies retained water, it basically meant medically that we had some type of inflammation (I always thought of edema). And of course, being a woman I knew that the week leading up to menstruation where most tend to feel bloated and uncomfortable was when that extra water was hanging out between our tissues and cells.
When I looked for information directly in regards to nutrition, I received some shocks!
First I looked at what will make you retain water and the two biggest factors that were Salt & Carbohydrates. I knew about the salt, but I wasn't aware of the carbs!
Salt: The bottom line is the more saltier or higher sodium content in our food, the more our bodies retain water to keep our sodium blood levels at a healthier level. If our levels of sodium become too high, the body then raises our blood pressure, reduces the ability of the kidneys to remove the water, and of course that in turn can lead to more risks of heart disease and strokes.
I wasn't aware that the sodium attached itself to the water in your bodies, and I most definitely wasn't aware that it could take 12 hours to 5 days for your body to flush the sodium and get back to a natural balance!
It was interesting to note that;
- The recommended dietary guidelines for Americans are no more than 1 teaspoon (2,300mg) of salt per day.
- The National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia puts the guideline at 460–920 mg which is no more than 2.3 grams of salt per day. (less than half a teaspoon)
Carbohydrates: Most people are aware that when you eat carbs a certain amount is broken down and then stored in your body as glycogen. The glycogen then lives in your liver and muscles, so it can quickly turn into glucose to provide your body more energy when needed. For me personally, I didn't know that the molecules of glycogen themselves binded with the water and therefore the more glycogen you store - the more water you could also retain!!
I then found out that for every one gram of carbohydrate stored in the body (as glycogen) there is approximately 2-3 grams of water retained. Holy bat balls that is a lot!!! If you look at it like eating one medium sized potato which is around 37 grams of carbohydrates our body then would require around 110 grams of water!! Eating 2 medium potatoes = nearly a cup of water! No wonder our weight fluctuates and regularly too!
Water: Water itself can make your body retain basically because if you aren't drinking enough - your dehydrated! I also wanted to list some severe signs of dehydration and want to see if you recognise them as being familiar? Some are very similar reactions when you first start taking Duromine!
Signs of severe dehydration include:
- Not peeing or having very dark yellow pee.
- Very dry skin.
- Feeling dizzy.
- Rapid heartbeat.
- Rapid breathing.
- Sunken eyes.
- Sleepiness, lack of energy, confusion or irritability.
Protein: I knew that if I ate enough, my body would feel fuller for longer, and I was also aware that by eating protein our calorie burn went up as protein itself makes your body burn more just by digesting it. What I didnt know is that it plays a main part in maintaining the water balance of our bodies. Albumin which is a plasma protein tightly regulates the fluid balance by allowing the fluids and minerals to move in and out of cells!
When you get back to why some people are dropping big numbers in their first couple of weeks and compare it to those that don't, I think its highly probable that it relates back to what we were consuming before - how much processed foods we were also eating for convenience (which tend to be high carb) and the amount of sodium in our calorie intake and drinks. It makes a lot of sense!
You look at other people who aren't dropping the big numbers in the first couple of weeks, and it makes me wonder if they are the people whose diets were already more balanced - hence less water being retained. Again it makes a lot of sense!
Personally, when I reviewed my third week where I gained 900 grams, just by looking at the information above, and then comparing it to my food app where I could see the breakdown, I then found that my sodium was sky high, and in fact I actually consumed over the week more than 15x the amount recommended. My carb count was higher and my protein for the week was the lowest it had been. My body didnt care that I still exercised or that my calorie intake was still where it should be - the simple fact was my body retained "water weight" because of my choices.