Is It Water Weight or True Weight Gain?

If you keep close track of your weight, you might notice fluctuations of a few pounds every day. This experience is totally normal, and the weight you see disappearing and coming back is most likely water weight.

Erica Zellner, MS, LDN and a health coach at Parsley Health in California explains that “our bodies on average are around 50 to 65 percent water, and that is a pretty big range because it fluctuates day to day.” 

Your body naturally wants to keep a balance of water, sodium and electrolytes. “When you are dehydrated, however, the body’s going to want to conserve as much water as possible,” Zellner explains.

What Are the Causes of Water Weight? 

Your body stores water in your tissues and joints to maintain balance. “This water retention and recycling of water through urine can cause puffiness and bloating,” Zellner says.

There are three most common causes of water retention:

Is It Water Weight or True Weight Gain? 

Your weight can fluctuate by up to five or six pounds per day, depending on how much water you’re retaining. “If it’s true weight loss, it’s going to be slower and more sustained, whereas the water weight is going to be much more variable—one pound down one day, two pounds up the next day, up three pounds a day after that. It’s going to fluctuate a lot,” Zellner explains.

How Can I Reduce Water Weight?

Water weight isn’t entirely avoidable, but there are steps you can take to reduce water retention. 

5 ways to reduce water weight gain are:

While water weight is not uncommon, it can be uncomfortable. Knowing why water weight occurs and how to reduce it can help make the experience less unpleasant. 

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