Water Retention Equals Weight Gain

Water Retention Equals Weight Gain

Weight gain due to water retention can be very frustrating. Water retention or edema is fluids that tend to collect in the tissue and outside of the blood vessels. It’s most common in the legs, feet, and ankles but it can affect pretty much any area of the body. There are so many causes of water retention like a problem with one or more of the body’s mechanisms for maintaining fluid levels, lifestyle, and medication, but water retention due to high-salt diet is another thing.

Water Retention during the HCG diet

Water retention during weight loss can sometimes be hard to prevent. It’s a common and specific phenomenon that happens when you are on low-calorie restriction. Many HCG dieters seem to retain a large amount of water, particularly women, which lead to a real weight gain of several pounds over a day. Generally, this water retention has something to do with eating high salt-laden foods.  Too much salt in your diet can cause your body to retain more water, which can show up on the scale as extra pounds. Not only that, but a high-salt diet also appears to be linked to higher body fat that usually accumulates around your waist, hips, and abdomen. Sodium, the main component of salt, is relatively high in calories, which the body dilutes with water if there’s too much.

The relationship between water retention and weight gain

Here’s how sodium causes water retention during the HCG Diet and makes you gain weight.

  • Sodium binds with water and keeps it trapped in the body. It makes you thirsty and your body will hold onto water.
  • Sodium increases your appetite and hunger level and these may lead to overeating and weight gain. 
  • The higher the sodium, the more fluids your body will retain.

More about sodium and weight gain:

  • The normal daily salt intake is 2300 mg or less and that’s equal to 1 teaspoon of table salt.
  • 1/5 tablespoon of salt is the same as 1 gram of salt and contains around 400 mg of sodium.
  • Consuming around 1/5 tablespoon of salt will cause your body to retain at least 4 cups of water.
  • 4 cups of water are equal to 2 pounds of weight gain.
  • Your body retains approximately 1.5 liters of water when you eat too much salt. This continues as long as you continue with your high-salt diet.

Too much sodium can also lead to the following:

  • Increase in the blood pressure as your body holds excess body fluids
  • Creates an added burden to your heart health
  • Increases your risk of having kidney diseases, osteoporosis and cancer

Further causes of water retention

Aside from too much salt intake during the diet, further causes of water retention noticeable even after the diet includes:

  1. Water retention due to menstrual cycle

It’s very common and it’s due to hormonal changes that happen inside your body. Weight gain during the menstrual cycle is temporary so there’s no need to worry. Just avoid eating the wrong foods and drinks as this can cause your body to retain more water.

  • Eating less than 1200 calories a day

If you are on the very low-calorie diet then its fine since you have the HCG hormone to help you lose weight including water weight. However, once you’re off the diet, avoid consuming only 1200 calories or less in a day as this isn’t normal and it’s not good for your body and your health. When you restrict your body from the required calories in a day, your body will break down the stored protein and carbs that holds water. Now when you return to normal eating, your body will start to store carbs and protein again including water weight.

  • Hormones and medications

High levels of insulin, cortisol, estrogen, and progesterone hormone can make your body hold on to water. Medication such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, and blood pressure-lowering medications can cause water retention too.

  • Poor blood circulation in the legs

This is one of the most common causes of water retention. For proper blood circulation during the diet, exercise regularly. Ideal exercise includes walking for at least 20 to 30-minutes a day, gentle swimming, jogging, and yoga. Avoid intense cardio exercises such as vigorous weight lifting, cycling, and running.

Ways to lose water weight

Weight gain of about 2 to 3 pounds a day due to water retention is temporary. The weight gain usually corrects itself when you return your sodium intake to a normal level and that’s less than 2300 mg a day. Other ways to help you reduce water weight during the HCG Diet includes:

  1. Replacing salt and salty sauces and dressings with HCG diet approved spices and herbs, low sodium marinades, citrus juices, and many others.
  2. Make it a habit of reading product labels and look for lower sodium or no-salt-added brands.
  3. When eating out, ask servers not to add to much salt on your order. If you can, look online for nutritional information before eating out.
  4. Have a good night’s sleep as sleep can help your body manage its fluid and sodium balance.
  5. Be stress-free. Stress can increase the cortisol and antidiuretic hormones which directly affect your body’s water balance.
  6. Take a magnesium supplement during the diet. Magnesium intake plays a vital role in the hydration level and body water content. It helps reduce water weight and premenstrual symptoms.
  7. Drink more water as water can actually reduce water retention. Sounds interesting, right? Just remember this, over-hydration or dehydration can lead to water retention. So make sure that you drink enough water. Drink when you are thirsty and stop when you feel hydrated.
  8. Drink tea or coffee. The caffeine in teas and coffee has diuretic effects and may help reduce water weight.
  9. Take electrolytes as electrolytes help control cell hydration and water balance.
  10.  Take vitamin B6 supplements. Vitamin B6 has been shown to reduce water retention in women especially during premenstrual syndrome.

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  • Nadine

    Do soda cause water retention too? I’m done with the protocol. Just craving for a can of cola now.

  • Jan Marie Luna

    Yes, soda can also cause water retention. It has caffeine and sodium which makes your body hold on to water. If you really do crave for cola go for the regular one instead of the diet variant. The diet variant contains more caffeine. Also, between a diet and a sugar-free soda, the latter contains more sodium.

  • Nadine

    Thanks for the info. I had been on a sugar-free soda most of the time thinking it was the less evil option among the unhealthy drinks since there is no sugar. Err.. I have been making a mistake these past months. These sugar-free drinks are deceiving. I think I better create a habit of just drinking plain water so I could maintain the weight I was at after the protocol.

  • Jan Marie Luna

    Yes, plain water would always be the cleanest option. Zero calories, zero sugar, and no high sodium content unlike sugar-free sodas. If drinking plain water is boring for you, you could add a slice of fresh lemon to add some flavor to it.

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