This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Never underestimate the weight of water

Weighing yourself after workouts may give false numbers

Lately I've been noticing a woman at they gym running for the scale after workout class.  One day she triumphantly crowed "I lost 2 pounds since this morning!" as her friend high-fived her and they wandered off into the locker room still chattering about her victory.  I felt really bad for that woman knowing that when she got on the scale the next morning that 2 pounds may indeed be back.  It's pretty unlikely that she burned 2 pounds of fat during a single 50 minute aerobic class, but she easily lost that much in water.  It's how the Biggest Loser candidates "throw" a weigh-in, they load up on water right before they get weighed.

Water weight, or the body retaining water due to a medical condition, medications,  or diet, can really add pounds to the scale and a bloated or swollen appearance to the body.  Now you all know how pro-drinking-lots-of-water-every-day I am so the answer clearly is not to drink less water, but to look carefully at what foods may be causing water retention.

I had no idea that foods could cause water retention until a friend of mine mentioned several years ago that she couldn't fit her wedding rings on the day after eating pizza.  I had to know more about that but didn't want to question her (that much nosy-ness was too much, even for me) so I Googled 'foods that make you retain water' and was presented with list after list of foods that cause water retention all with one thing in common: sodium.

I have a tendency toward very low blood pressure so I wasn't paying very close attention to the sodium in my diet but when I started reading labels I was appalled!  All the "healthy" substitutes I was eating like veggie burgers, boca burgers, tofu this and dairy-free that were loaded with sodium to make them taste good.  In fact many things that say "low fat" "low sugar" or are canned and processed are going to be high in sodium.  All that salt was weighing me down and I didn't even know it.  I had to dump most of the convenience foods from my diet and really scan labels to find veggie burgers that weren't high in sodium.  I noticed that my never-have-actually-found-a-stomach-muscle abdomen looked flatter within just a few days.

My advice: let the water flow.  Drink it, but don't retain it.

1 comment:

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