Summer is the time, during which even the most exotic ideas how to lose weight seem to be attractive. Therefore, apart from conventional dietary and workout solutions directed at fat reduction, “alternative” methods also are gaining more and more popularity, which definitely encompass various actions aiming at “getting rid of the excess of water”. Promotors of such practices say that thanks to them, we may lose 3-4 kg during a few days – without any effort. It is worth considering if it is possible at all and if yes – how it may influence health and metabolic condition of the organism.
An undeniable fact is that our organism consists mainly of water. We carry a lot of water in our organisms, as in practice it constitutes 60 – 75% of body mass. Theoretically it may seem that we have a “large supply” of water and we may manipulate it according to our needs. In practice, however, the situation is different, as the level of water in the organism influences the functioning of all systems and organs and dehydration is a factor disturbing the organism’s balance and may entail a range of negative consequences.
Can we have “too much water”?
We often encounter a statement that water stored in the organism is responsible to a large extent for excessive body mass. Interestingly, such a diagnosis is often made by dieticians, who offer their clients preparations that allow to get rid of the excess of water from the organism. Before we reach for such products, it is worth realizing that the level of water in the organism is dependent on many factors. One of them is body composition – the more muscle tissue and the less adipose tissue we have – the higher level of liquids in our organism (analogously, the more spare fat, the less water in the organism). Importantly, there is nothing wrong with that, as this is the nature of our muscles that they are composed mainly of water. Taking steps to get rid of liquids is in this case nonsensical. Sometimes the situation is different – water is stored in the area of other tissues than muscle tissue, which in extreme cases leads to edemas. In such a case, it is good to take proper steps which aim at eliminating the problem, but we should first think what is the cause of the problem. If edema is the case here – it is worth consulting a physician. Applying symptomatic treatment, such as popular, plant diuretics will only constitute a temporary solution.
Weight loss by dehydration
Some people treat “getting rid of water” as the form of weight loss. This practice is reinforced by theories put around by some specialists dealing with nutrition and supplementation. We need to admit that by introducing proper manipulations in a diet (eliminating salt, decreasing carbohydrates), we may lead to decreasing the amount of liquids in a body. This effect may be intensified by supplements containing extracts from such plants as:
and many more.
The problem is that eliminating water from the organism has nothing to do with weight loss. Weight loss is the fight with the excess of fat and not water. Moreover, it is rarely the case that the excess of water is responsible for disturbing body esthetics. “What hangs from my waist is subcutaneous water” – some say, but in practice, this is far from the truth. The most important is that even when we get rid of 2-3 kg of water from the organism, this effect will be only temporary and the more drastic methods we use, the larger the problem of the “bounce” effect, which will result in even higher water retention. Permanent application of diuretics, even the most gentle ones, is not recommended, as it is hard to say, what consequences it will entail.
“Weight loss by dehydration” is not a reasonable way to decrease body mass. Decreasing the excess of water in the organism (as long as what we deal with is the excess of water) should be natural after introducing reasonable eating and training strategies, directed at improving body composition. Taking gentle diuretics may be justified in case of competitors of bodybuilding disciplines in the period preceding the contest. In case of obese people or those with excess weight, such practices are most often completely unfounded.