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Water Weight: 8 Habits Which Are Making You Gain Water Weight

Water weight is the weight present in the body in the form of fluids, which are ideally supposed to pass through urination. Read below to know why you gain water weight.

Water Weight: 8 Habits Which Are Making You Gain Water Weight

Water weight: Excessive salt and carbs in your diet can make you gain water weight


  1. Gaining water weight is different from gaining actual weight
  2. Amount of water weight in the body can be determined by intake of carbs
  3. Regular physical activity can help in preventing gain of water weight
Water weight is the weight which is on your body because of fluids which collect in your tissues. This fluid results in unnecessary swelling and can also make you feel uneasy. Water weight occurs when body retains the fluid which is ideally supposed to go to the kidneys. Instead of losing that fluid in the form of peeing, the body goes on to store in between organs and skin. Water weight is usually temporary. Gaining water weight isn't necessarily gaining actual weight. It is often said that when you lose weight fast, you are probably losing on water weight. Water weight is also blamed whenever you feel bloated. In this article, we will talk about possible causes of water weight and how you can prevent gaining water weight.
water weight

Water weight is a result of fluid retention in the body
Photo Credit: iStock

Read below to know the common habits which are making you gain water weight:

1. Menstruation

Water weight is gained among many women just before their period. This is because of the fluctuating hormones in the body before periods. Fluid retention is highest on the first day of period. Fluid retention also results in breasts getting tender and women experiencing belly fullness. There is also swelling face, arms, legs and pubic area before days you are due to get your period.

Also read: Premenstrual Symptoms: 5 Reasons Why You Get Premenstrual Symptoms But No Periods

2. Birth control pills

Hormonal birth control pills can cause water weight gain. Birth control pills contain progestin and oestrogen. However, the water weight isn't that major and doesn't last for long.

birth control pills

Birth control pills can cause water weight gain
Photo Credit: iStock

3. Pregnancy

Pregnancy can make you gain water weight, especially at the time when you are expected for delivery. Swelling in ankles, hands and feet are also common during pregnancy because of water weight. Apart from the baby straining your blood vessels, hormones are also to be blamed for water weight during pregnancy.

Also read: This Is How Much Weight You Should Gain During Pregnancy

4. Cortisol

Cortisol, which is usually known as stress hormone, performs several functions in the body. These include stabilising blood sugar levels, balancing metabolism, forming memories and reducing inflammation. While it is quite rare, excessive production of cortisol can contribute to water retention and water weight gain.

5. Medications

There are some medications which can contribute to gain in water weight. These include medicines meant for high blood pressure, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and medicines as part of treatment of diabetes, etc. Talk to your doctor if you feel that any medicines are causing gain in water weight.

Also read: What Happens When You Take Expired Medicines?

6. Salt and carbs

If you are including too much salt in your diet, it may contribute to you gaining water weight. Sodium in salt contributes to water being trapped in the body. Your fluid retention will be higher in case you are sodium intake is high.

Also, the amount of water weight you gain is determined by your intake of carbs. Carbs can add to fluid retention, especially if you increase their intake after cutting back on them for a while. Carbs which are not used in the right way for energy are stored in the form of glycogen. Glycogen results in fluid retention.

This is the reason why we lose weight quickly when we are on low carb diets. The lost weight can simply be water weight because of stored glycogen in muscles.


Reduce intake of salt and carbs in order to prevent water weight gain
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: 6 Miraculous Health Benefits Of Epsom Salt You Didn't Know About

7. Sitting for long periods of time

People who regularly take cross-country flights or go regularly on road trips can experience water retention. Sitting for long periods of time result in contraction of muscles and swelling of feet and hands. Thus, regular physical activity is required prevent gain in water weight.

Also read: Sitting For Longer Hours May Lead To Early Death, Says Study

8. Poor blood circulation

Our circulatory system tends to weaken as we grow older. At times, the valves in veins of our legs might collapse. These valves perform the function of regulating blood flow to the heart. Any damage to these valves can result in lesser blood flow to the heart and fluid retention.

Gain in water weight can be prevented by limiting intake of salty foods and exercising regularly. Eat more hydrating foods and drink lots of water to prevent fluid retention in the body.

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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