If you want flat abs, you’ve got to know how to get rid of water weight. Nothing’s worse than that waking up with that monthly bloated feeling when you were all set to show off your new bikini or slip into a sexy little number for date night. And it’s not your imagination, gynecologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, Raquel Dardik tells Self, “Pre-period water weight can range from half of a pound to 10 pounds, usually averaging around five for most women.” It can take two months of strict dieting and exercise to safely lose 10 pounds of fat!
But don’t start stocking up on diuretics just yet. Water weight loss (and gain) is quick but fleeting and losing too much leads to dehydration, which is definitely not a good look. When it comes to PMS or the occasional puffy day, there are some simple tips for how to get rid of water weight as quickly as you gained it.
There are a number of reasons why your body sometimes holds on to excess water. It may sound counterintuitive but drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways to flush everything out and restore balance.
Read Related: 18 Reasons Why You Always Feel Bloated
This one is particularly hard for PMS sufferers with all those sweet/savory cravings and mood swings, but salt, sugar and alcohol are all major contributors to water retention. Most of us eat way more sugar and salt than we realize in packaged foods and things like condiments or dressing. Then head to the gym and work up a sweat. Exercise is always good for you and sweating is one of the best and quickest ways to get rid of sodium and excess water.
How to get rid of water weight isn’t all about avoiding foods, there are plenty of natural diuretics to choose from. Coffee, green tea, ginger, cranberry juice, asparagus, cabbage, beets, eggplant all have a diuretic effect. Eating plenty of fiber also helps to keep things flowing so you eliminate waste more efficiently. If you maintain a healthy diet in general and make sure to get plenty of fruits and veggies, you’ll also be less likely to retain water in the first place.
Many women don’t get enough potassium and magnesium in their diets — both help your body function more efficiently and cut down on water retention. Coconut water, bananas, raisins and avocados are great sources of potassium. For magnesium go for leafy greens, nuts and beans.