How to Lose Fat Instead of Water Weight

How to Lose Fat Instead of Water Weight

Written by Megan Ayala. Last Updated: May 20, 2022

Water constitutes 60% of your body weight. It’s also one of the first things you’ll lose. Your weight can only reduce as a change in water, fat, and muscle.

While fat mass doesn’t change fast, you can lose up to five pounds of water in one day. Our 24-hour urine loss often averages around 1.8-4.4 pounds since water is heavy. In reality, it’s virtually impossible to cut a pound of fat in one day.

When you cut carbs and calories, the first place that your body taps into for more energy is glycogen(stored carbs), which is found in the skeletal muscles and liver. Since glycogen is usually stored with plenty of water, dipping into it releases plenty of water.

Regular exercising will also make you lose water weight via sweat. Although you’re losing fat, it’s slower than water.

But that’s not the actual “weight loss” you’re looking for. Quite frankly, most people don’t really care about “weight” loss. All they care about is fat loss.

That’s right.

When most people out there say “I need to lose weight,” what they actually mean is that “I need to lose fat tissue.” Many people probably would care less about the number on their scale (“weight”) if they possessed their ideal body type.

So, what should you do?

TIPS FOR LOSING FAT VS WATER WEIGHT

a woman in a red sports bra and black leggings sits next to an exercise ball

1. Stick to a High Protein Diet

Consuming more protein-rich foods might help suppress your appetite and ultimately accelerate fat burning.

Multiple studies have linked consuming more high-quality protein to a reduced risk of excess body fat. Another research reveals that a high protein diet might help maintain metabolism and muscle mass during weight loss.

Boosting your protein intake might also promote feelings of fullness, reduce hunger, and cut calorie intake — all these factors aid in weight loss.

Always try adding a few servings of food loaded with protein to your diet every day.

Protein-rich foods may include meat, eggs, seafood, tofu, legumes, and dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese.

2. Start Strength Training

Generally, this is a form of workout in which your muscles tend to contract against resistance. It develops muscle mass and boosts strength over time. It often entails lifting weights.

a man takes part in a strength training workout using kettlebells

Research illustrates that strength training offers multiple health benefits, particularly when it comes to losing fat.

Based on a review of 58 studies, doing resistance training for a minimum of 4 weeks might help reduce body fat by an average of 1.46%.

It might also greatly decrease body fat mass and even visceral fat, which predominantly surrounds the organs in the belly.

Another study concluded that 5 months of strength training was highly effective at cutting down body fat in obese adolescents compared to aerobic exercise alone.

What’s more, resistance training might aid in preserving fat-free mass, which might increase the number of calories that your body burns while resting.

Based on a certain review, resistance training improved people’s resting metabolic rate in comparison to a control group. On the other hand, the aerobic exercise showed no effect on metabolism.

Performing bodyweight workouts, using gym equipment, and lifting weights are a few simple ways to begin strength training.

3. Get Enough Sleep

Setting your alarm clock a bit later or going to bed a little earlier is a simple strategy to assist you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Several studies have also associated sufficient sleep with long-term weight loss.

A 10-year study associated sleeping fewer than 6 hours each night with an increased risk of obesity when it comes to young women.

A different small study also discovered that having 1 less hour of sleep each night resulted in less fat loss in folks sticking to a low-calorie diet, in comparison to a control group.

Other research shows that a lack of sleep might play a huge role in alterations in hunger hormones, enhanced appetite, and an increased risk of obesity.

We all require a different amount of sleep, but most studies tie a minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night to the most advantages for weight management and general health.

To promote a healthy sleep cycle, ensure that you follow a regular sleep schedule, restrict your intake of caffeine during the evenings, and reduce your usage of electronic devices before going to bed.

4. Fill Up On Fiber – More Fiber

Did you know that soluble fiber — which is present in plant foods — usually absorbs water and travels through the digestive tract slowly? Now you know.

It primarily helps you feel full for much longer.

According to research, increasing your consumption of high fiber foods might help prevent weight gain. Some of these foods include fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts.

For instance, a study of 345 people linked eating more fiber to improved dietary adherence and enhanced weight loss. Another review discovered that increasing soluble fiber consumption significantly reduced body weight and even belly fat, i.e. independent of calorie intake.

5. Choose Whole Grains Rather Than Refined Carbs

Reducing your intake of refined carbs might help you lose excess body fat.

Refined grains are usually stripped of their germ and bran during processing, which results in a product that is low in fiber and other nutrients.

These refined carbs also consist of a high glycemic index (GI), which might cause crashes and spikes in blood sugar levels that cause increased hunger.

Furthermore, you’re most likely to see these effects when you take in refined carbs on their own – instead of as part of a balanced meal.

Several studies also link diets rich in refined carbs to increased belly fat over time. On the contrary, diets packed with whole grains are associated with a reduced body mass index and body weight, as well as a smaller waist circumference.

But bear in mind that conventional weight metrics such as BMI don’t capture the full picture of health.

Focus on replacing refined carbs from processed foods, pastries, pasta, breakfast cereals, and white bread with whole grains such as whole wheat, buckwheat, barley, oats, and quinoa.

6. Get Rid Of Fat-Producing Chemicals

You might not give much attention to the specific materials that your food is served or packaged in. However, if you’re aiming at losing fat, then you ought to check out your plastic for obesogens.

These are hidden chemicals that take control of your metabolic systems, cause an imbalance of your hormones, and even lead to fat growth in the body.

Exposure may result in unbalanced cortisol levels, enhanced resistance to insulin, and reduced growth hormone secretion.

These fat-producing chemicals typically come from compounds present in plastics, non-stick cookware, pesticides, food containers, artificial sweeteners, herbicides, and hormones that are often injected into livestock. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a common example of an obesogen you may recognize.

It’s a synthetic estrogen applied to harden plastic for various items such as plastic food containers and water bottles.

7. Up Your Cardio

One of the most popular types of exercise is cardio (a.k.a. aerobic exercise). It’s any form of workout that specifically trains the lungs and heart. Integrating cardio into your regime might be one of the most effective methods of ramping up fat burning and sustainable weight loss.

For instance, a review of 15 studies associated enhanced aerobic exercise with reduced belly fat in middle-aged women. Several other studies have discovered that aerobic exercise might also increase muscle mass and reduce waist circumference, belly fat, and body fat.

Most health experts recommend getting at least 150–300 minutes of moderate to vigorous workout every week, or about 20–40 minutes of cardio every day.

Walking, running, swimming, and cycling are a few examples of cardio exercises.

8. Consider High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

In general, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a type of workout that combines quick bursts of activity with brief recovery periods to maintain an elevated heart rate.

Research reveals that HIIT is highly effective at increasing fat burning and supporting long-term weight loss. One study found that performing HIIT 3 times per week for an average of 10 weeks substantially decreased waist circumference and body fat mass.

HIIT also needed 40% less training time commitment compared to moderate-intensity consistent training, which consists of activities such as rowing, running, or using an elliptical machine.

Based on another review, HIIT assisted people to burn as much as 30% more calories compared to other forms of workout, such as jogging or cycling, in the same amount of time.

If you’re looking for the easiest way to get started, consider alternating between walking and sprinting or jogging for 30 seconds at a time.

You could also cycle between workouts like pushups, squats, or burpees while having brief rest periods in between.

Summary

Water weight can be quite annoying. And now that you already know that water weight fluctuates day-to-day, it can even be more frustrating to realize that you’ve only lost water.

And that’s why weighing yourself weekly is undoubtedly a better option than weighing yourself daily.

Following the above tips will help achieve long-term changes in your body weight, which is what you want.

Good luck!

References

  1. https://paleoflourish.com/am-i-just-losing-water-weight
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/best-ways-to-burn-fat#TOC_TITLE_HDR_12
  3. https://paleoleap.com/lose-fat-weight/
  4. https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/a19984686/weight-loss-or-water-weight/
  5. https://www.forbes.com/health/body/how-to-reduce-body-fat/
  6. https://fhfairfax.com/how-water-weight-affects-weight-loss/
  7. https://www.clinicalnutritionopenscience.com/article/S2352-9393(18)30008-3/fulltext
  8. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/making-one-change-getting-fiber-can-help-weight-loss-201502177721