A few words about water weight, and what causes it.
The first day of my cut was textbook perfect. I enjoyed my usual clean diet a great deal, and really pounded back the water. This morning I can already feel the difference.
I consumed about 2,600 calories yesterday (this will be reduced slowly over the next week or two) and drank almost 2 gallons of water. My body is still holding water right now, but it will begin to release it as my sodium levels normalize.
Water retention is a subject that comes up quite a bit, especially with people who are new to healthy fat loss.
If you’re wondering why our bodies store excess water after consuming junk food, there’s a pretty simple explanation. Junk food is typically very high in sodium, and when you consume all that salt your body stores extra water to maintain its preferred sodium balance. That’s why after a heavy splurge meal you’ll often notice a 3-5 pound (or more) weight gain the next morning. Some people think the best way to deal with water weight is to drink less water, but that’s actually completely wrong and will prolong the bloating. The way to get rid of extra water weight is to eat healthy and drink lots and lots of water; doing so will flush the extra sodium from your system, and your body will shed the excess water along with it.
I think it’s important to understand the reasons for water retention. I often hear from beginners who, after losing 5-6 pounds the first week of dieting, become frustrated because their scale weight is no longer dropping at that rate. Once the initial water weight is gone, losing 1-2 pounds per week is normal, healthy fat loss. Again, this really underscores why the scale alone is not enough. For much more information on this subject, read my Fat Loss 101 article, “The scale is not nearly as important as you may think.”
I can tell that I’m still holding water right now. I’m down a little over a half pound over my starting (yesterday’s) weight, but I only got up to urinate once last night. Tonight, unfortunately, I will probably be up 4 or 5 times overnight. It usually takes my body a few days to flush out all the sodium and excess water, and so I go to bed extra early the first couple nights of dieting because I know I’ll be waking up several times.