Lately, I have been feeling very bloated and it appears that my body is retaining water extensively. Although I know water weight is only a couple of pounds -- I find that it is very noticeable. Is there a way to prevent water-retention or lose water weight? I know that sodium is a big culprit for water-retention so I've been cutting it out completely, but it doesn't seem to budge. Are there other ways to lose water-weight?


For a healthy individual there are 2 main ways to lose water weight:

  • To decrease sodium intake (this may take several days to become effective).
  • A low-carb diet that results in ketosis (in as little as 2 days). This means that you burn all glycogen you have in the liver and muscles. If you have 500 grams of glycogen stores and if each gram of glycogen can bind up to 4 grams of water (Wiley Online), you can lose 2,000 grams (~4 pounds) of water. I'm not saying I recommend this.

The other cause of "bloating" is abdominal fat.

The other real cause of abdominal bloating (abdominal distension) is excessive production of gas in the bowel. This usually occurs after consumption of foods high in soluble fiber (oats, legumes, fruits and some vegetables) (Cleveland Clinic) or after drinking milk (in people with lactose intolerance) or consumption of fructose (in those with fructose malabsorption). This type of bloating does not increase body weight.

  • Who can help to identify the bloating problem? Is it a gastroenterologist?
    – A B
    Oct 31 '16 at 20:18
  • @AB, yes, but before that it can be a nutritionist. And before that you can try some elimination diets to see, if is is any nutrient that makes you bloated: the main ones are lactose and fructose. You can try a low-FODMAP diet first.
    – Jan
    Oct 31 '16 at 21:57

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