How water weight affects weight loss

When working towards a weight loss goal, it can be quite motivational to see constant drops on the scales. It can also be a shock to see some increases when they are unexpected. This can be a cause for motivation loss.

Fluctuations can however be caused by water weight and not fat loss.

What is water weight?

What we see as a decrease in body weight is actually a change in the amounts of fat, muscle and water. About 60% of your body weight is made up of water, and it is one of the first things that you lose.

Your amounts of fat reserves will not be lost overnight, but you could lose upto 5 pounds of water weight in a day. You can lose 800-2000 millilitres of water in a 2 4 hour period through urination. Due to the weight of water this equates to between 1.4 – 4.4 pounds.

Even though this may sound like an excessive amount of weight to lose in such a small period of time, then remember that you are constantly replenishing it through good and drink.

It is nearly impossible to burn a single pound of fat in a day. To do so would require that you burn about 4000 calories in a single 24 period.

Water weight is lost faster than fat weight in part because of the way that we tend to cut calories when aiming for weight loss. A lower calories and Carbohydrate intake forces or bodies to dip into glycogen reserves. These are stored in the liver and skeletal muscles. Glycogen is usually stored with lots of water which is released when the glycogen is used.

Am increase in exercise also increases water loss through sweating as well.


What is a normal water weight?

The ideal percentage for an adult woman is between 45% and 60%. For an adult man it is between 50% and 65%.

How do you know if it’s water weight?

Physical signs of water retention include swollen ankles and unexplained weight gain over a short period of time.

Where does water go in the body?

A majority of water’s absorption into the bloodstream occurs after water passes through the stomach and on to the small intestine. The small intestine, at around 20 feet long, efficiently absorbs water into the cell membrane and bloodstream.

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