"It jsut water weight........"

  1. Why is it that when someone loses weight or a goodly amount in their first week they invariably say "it's just water weight.....".

    Is there a fluid balance shift when someone restricts their calories? I always thought the weight loss was adipose.

    Anyone know?
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    About Tweety, BSN

    Joined: Oct '02; Posts: 60,588; Likes: 17,378


  3. by   CHATSDALE
    adipose tissue does have a higher percentage of water than muscle but weight loss is weight loss
  4. by   EmmaG
    It's been many years since I took nutrition and chemistry... but from what I can remember, the body burns carbs, then proteins for fuel and water is a byproduct of that metabolism. The body will hold onto fat stores longer (protective mechanism to guard against starvation). So the initial loss isn't fat loss. Low carb diets force the body to burn more fat for fuel and put it into a state of ketosis.

    I think.

  5. by   sirI
    Good question, Tweety.

    Yes, you will lose fat, but when reducing carbohydrates in the diet, the body starts breaking down the stored carbohydrate reserves, or glycogen, to use as energy. Then, the body reacts to excrete water, often in large amounts, during the breakdown of carbs. This is especially true with those on high protein-low carb diets.
  6. by   AprilRNhere
    I think it's also because so many people tend to drink alot of water when they're dieting...and low carb diets (which are popular) tend to be big on fresh foods...thus low on sodium. So...for MANY people...the initial loss...that can be high by numbers...really is a fluid loss. I think it's just become commonplace for people to think EVERYONE looses fluids first. It really depends on the diet though.
  7. by   VivaLasViejas
    Exactly, Siri.

    Up until I started getting kidney stones, I was a big fan of the Atkins diet, which remains the only diet I've ever been able to stick with longer than a few weeks. There's just something about never being hungry that I really liked......~sigh~.........

    Anyway, I'd go on this diet and unfailingly drop 10 pounds or even more in the first week, and as much as 25 pounds in the first month. I also had to pee like the proverbial racehorse during the early weeks, resulting in the disappearance of the edema my body likes to carry around for some reason. In fact, just last week I started a new effort to curb my carb consumption---in the fall and winter, I tend to crave carbs like crazy, and since I'm less active in the cooler months, I figured I'd better get things under control so I don't gain weight this year.

    I lost around 40 pounds last winter, and I REALLY don't want to regain them......I'm still dangerously overweight as it is, and I've been eating like a horse all summer because I've been so physically active. (I wish I'd figured out how to do this 150 pounds ago......now I stay in the same 5-pound area with little effort.) So I started restricting my carbs to around 100 g/day or less, and voila!---my edema is totally gone. And yes, I've been spending a lot of time in the bathroom.

    Water weight? Yeah, probably.........but as someone already stated, weight loss is weight loss, and I'll take it!
  8. by   Tweety
    Thanks to those for taking the time to answer. It's still a difficult concept to grasp.

    I need to lose 15 lbs........again.:angryfire So the question popped into my head.

    I definately will not being doing low carb this time. I'm not a big fan of all that meat and am leaning more towards a vegetarian approach like McDougall. I like fruit and grain too much.

    So I guess my water weight loss won't be as much?
  9. by   sirI
    As I understand the physiological response, Tweety; you will not have the same effect like you would if you were seriously cutting out carbs.
  10. by   Tweety
    Guess, I'll have to settle for slow and steady weight loss. Thanks Siri.
  11. by   woody62
    Tweety, a gallon of water weighs 2.2 pounds. Any 'water' you lose by restricting fluid intake is at best temporary, since most cannot restrict their fluid intake long term. The fifteen pounds you need to lose, can be lost be restricting the number of calories you eat. Or if you want, severely restricting the number of grams of carbohydrates you eat each day, like to 32 gms per day. Of course once you resume eating your normal intake of calories or carbohydrates, you will regain unless you increase your level of activity. Isn't life fun?

  12. by   Spidey's mom
    I lost 10 pounds in Vietnam . . all that sweating . . it was water loss.

    But I gained it all back.

    It seems like my body likes this weight . . even though I hate it. I hate the roll around my middle. Even my 6 year old said yesterday "Mommy, you are putting on weight". I said "Where?". And he said "Here, around your middle". And patted my abdomen.

  13. by   VivaLasViejas
    I really wish I could do a veggies and grains diet. Trouble is, I dislike most of the super healthy vegetables because of bitterness and/or texture issues, and grains only make me feel bloated and tired. By contrast, I LOVE meat and eggs and dairy products---they give me all sorts of "zip", and when I add a lettuce and tomato salad I feel great!!

    Makes me wonder why those foods make me feel my best, when they're not as good for health as broccoli and cauliflower and grain products. I love breads and cereals, especially the hearty whole-grain varieties, but they're not worth all the abdominal distress and the enervation they bring on shortly after I consume them. Weird.
  14. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from stevielynn
    I lost 10 pounds in Vietnam . . all that sweating . . it was water loss.

    But I gained it all back.

    It seems like my body likes this weight . . even though I hate it. I hate the roll around my middle. Even my 6 year old said yesterday "Mommy, you are putting on weight". I said "Where?". And he said "Here, around your middle". And patted my abdomen.

    You just said it: "My body likes this weight". That's the key here. Your body is not the same as it was when you were 25, and you can't expect it to be. Midlife does that to us. Biology, in this case, IS destiny, for women tend to put on a few pounds around menopause no matter what we do to keep them away. It's not realistic to try to maintain the body of a young woman when we are no longer young. It doesn't mean giving up and eating everything in sight, or letting ourselves go completely to seed; it just means accepting our bodies as they are, and celebrating the fullness of our midlife selves. In every sense of the word.