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You made the decision to lose weight. Do you know where to start? Before you walk down the often misled path of starving yourself and exercising against your will, think about the first culprit for false weight gain: Fluid.
That’s right. Your weight fluctuates throughout the day, and it all depends on two things: How much fluid you take in and how much fluid you let out. Therefore, before you start your journey, your first area of focus should be how to lose water weight, in order to get a better idea about where you really are weight-wise.
Fluid In, Fluid Out
According to Medical News Today, one of the best ways to flush out excess fluid from your muscle tissue is by drinking more water. Doesn’t sound logical? Think about what happens to a pool of water when it rains. The water that is already in the pool will combine with the incoming rainwater, causing all extra water to push out.
If you already have excess fluid retained under the layers of your skin, and deep within your muscle tissue, adding more water will help expel all excess. This is called “fluid balance.”
Fluid balance can be achieved with other things, not just through water. This includes:
- Juicy fruits,
- Foods with high water content,
- Soups, and
- Freshly-squeezed juice.
Therefore, you can start your weight loss journey by simply consuming one to two liters of water a day, or by following the "8 by 8 rule," which means, eight glasses of eight ounces each. Not everyone needs the same water requirements, however, the 8 by 8 rule is very beneficial to go on the safe side.
The Mayo Clinic defines “eating clean” as eating whole, fresh, foods that includes vegetables, fruits, and lean meats. It also entails avoiding processed, pre-packaged, frozen, or preservative-filled foods.
The benefit of eating clean is that the food that will be used for energy in your body will be used in full. Your body won’t have to figure out how to digest and utilize the artificial products that come in processed meals. This includes excess seasonings, preservatives, sugars, and blanched wheat products.
Eating clean helps you lose both fat and fluid weight because the foods that are part of the traditional “eating clean” menu are foods with high content of water, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. It is a win-win situation for any consumer. You add the energy that you need, the hydration that you want, and you get to lose weight in the process. It sounds like cliché, but there is a lot of truth in that the first step for weight loss is a proper diet plan.
Ditch the salt.
If you go low-sodium for just three days, you will see yourself dropping inches almost immediately. That kind of weight loss is entirely based on excess fluid flushing, and not in fat burning. Keep in mind that sodium is the primary culprit of water retention, whether in the form of foods or drinks.
Always look for hidden sodium in foods. There are diet drinks that define themselves as “low sodium” when, in fact, they could pack up to two grams of sodium per two servings. That’s four grams of salt coming out of a drink!
Another thing to focus on, sodium-wise, is to look into the sodium content of frozen diet meals. Often, diet meals are nothing but regular meals in smaller portions. To make them more appetizing, additional seasoning items are added, increasing the amount of sodium in the product.
The best bet is to make an educated research on how sodium affects your body, and how quickly you start flushing out extra fluid as soon as you decrease your consumption of salt.
Water consumption, clean eating, and sodium control are the best ways to shed excess fluid in your muscle issue, when caused by water retention. The moment you focus on these small details in your weight loss journey, you will start noticing the changes almost immediately.
Your eyes and face will no longer look “puffy.” Your stomach will start flattening out, and perhaps your digestion will take a turn for the best. Finally, decreasing sodium is a life-long best practice that will prevent diseases associated to excess sodium, such as heart disease and hypertension.
Focus on what really matters in your weight loss journey! Good luck!