by Lexi Petronis
photo by Romulo A Yanes
There are those mornings when you wake up and the pants happen to feel a little more snug than they did yesterday. Maybe the boots don't zip up over your ankles quite as easily, or you feel like you have sausage fingers when your rings don't slide on as quickly as usual. This...is the dreaded bloat. And, as someone who likes salty foods, I have periodically found myself feeling just like this puffer fish...only wearing too-tight jeans.
While you sleep, you actually lose about a pound during the night--through sweat, exhaling water vapor, and, interestingly, carbon atoms.
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Still, bloat can sneak up on you, leaving you with extra water weight (when water is stored around your body in the tissue or between blood vessels). But, because bloat usually happens due to something in your diet (like salt) or lifestyle (like not exercising), it's not too hard to fix:
Drink water: When you're dehydrated, your body actually tries to hold onto all the water it's got in order to maintain its proper salt-to-water ratio--which can lead to water weight. (Weird, right?) Aim for two to three liters of water a day, or snack on nutritious foods with lots of water in them (such as watermelon and oranges).
Work out: Exercise makes you sweat--thereby getting out some of that excess water. (Bonus: you get to wear stretchy, comfy pants in the process.)
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Have some fiber: A working digestive system (ahem) also keeps the water in your body nice and balanced. Women typically need no more than 25 g of fiber a day, but if you're not eating that much now, don't suddenly up your intake--that'll just cause more bloating (and discomfort!). It's best to get fiber from foods instead of pills--think broccoli, spinach, and oatmeal.
Do you ever feel puffy from water weight? How do you deal with it?