Have you ever woken up 5 lbs. heavier than you were the night before, panicked, and went on a huge diet- cutting out everything except kale and celery, in hopes that you will return back to your normal weight?
I’m sure we have all been there, but trust me, the sudden increase on the scale is not due to an increase in body fat.
Weight tends to fluctuate throughout the day due to several factors, such as eating, drinking, urinating, even exercising can have an impact on your body’s water composition, which affects your body weight and consequently the number on the scale too. But don’t worry, weight fluctuations throughout the day are perfectly normal, although there are certain steps you can take to help decrease the intensity or frequency of ‘the bloat’.
Diet and lifestyle are two factors that are directly linked to the cause of bloating, but you cannot consider these factors without first mentioning the importance of the kidneys.
The kidneys play a vital role in combating ‘the bloat’; they are responsible for extracting waste from your blood, balancing body fluids, and they also aid in other important functions of the body. For the cells of your body to work properly, it is important that their water content is maintained at the correct level. This means our body must maintain a balance between the water we take in and the water we lose, which is done by the kidneys. This basically means that your kidneys decide whether your body should hold on to water or not.
When you are bloated your first thought may be to avoid water altogether, because this is what caused the problem in the first place right? Unfortunately this isn’t true, avoiding water may actually be what caused the bloating in the first place. When you’re not drinking enough fluids, your body retains water to prevent dehydration. So you need to make sure you are drinking plenty of water because a well-hydrated body is less likely to bloat.
Eating too much salt is a major culprit when it comes to placing blame on the cause of bloating. Ingesting too much salt throughout the day can cause bloating, this is because your kidneys will hold onto water to help dilute the salt imbalance, which will lead to a perceived weight gain. So try to avoid the scales if you’ve recently been pigging out on high sodium food items such as chips, fast food, frozen dinners or snack foods.
If you want to avoid ‘the bloat’ you need to try limiting your salt intake and start eating more potassium-rich fruits and veggies like bananas, oranges, spinach and tomatoes. This is because potassium helps your body get rid of excess sodium, which can help you shed some water weight.
Although working out is probably the last thing on your mind when you are feeling heavy and bloated, keeping active is a great way to ditch the excess water weight that your body is holding onto. In the short term, as long as you are working up a sweat you will be losing water. In the long-term however, exercise helps to prevent water retention by stimulating the flow of blood and lymphatic fluids that help remove water from the extremities. So even if you don’t feel like going for a jog when you are bloated, think of the benefits it will give to your body, and get up and run!
Having that bloated feeling can definitely ruin your mood because it makes you feel ugly, heavy and fat. But as long as you don’t have any underlying health conditions, you can certainly lose ‘the bloat’ quite easily by simply making a few changes to your diet or lifestyle. Start by limiting foods high in salt; eat more potassium, make sure you are keeping sufficiently hydrated, and workout regularly.
Become the face of fitness you’ve always wanted, and make a few lifestyle adjustments to get rid of ‘the bloat.’