April 15, 2024 1:40 pm

You may have heard the term water weight used to describe fluid collecting in the tissues, causing them to swell, and you have likely also heard that this is not the same as body fat. This is true, but how do you tell the difference between these two very different types of weight? We will go over the differences between water weight and body fat, how to tell which you are looking at, and what considerations you should take in light of this information.

Water Weight

This phenomenon is when fluid, or water, collects in your body’s tissues, creating the illusion of additional body fat and even impacting the scale’s weight. However, water weight is temporary and does not have the deleterious biological effects of body fat. This can still be frustrating, particularly if you are on a fat loss journey, as the water weight can negatively impact your scale weight and create the impression that you are not losing body fat or have even gained some! Fortunately, water weight is temporary, and it can be influenced by various factors that act on your physique throughout the day.

Water makes up 50-60% of an adult’s total body weight, meaning that water weight can have a significant influence on your body weight. In fact, athletes in sports that have weight classes often lose up to 25 pounds of water weight, or more, before a competition to make weight. This involves dehydration and is a dangerous practice, but even so, an ordinary person can easily hold onto an extra five to ten pounds worth of water weight at a given time, depending on what they ate and some other factors.

What Affects Water Weight

Water weight is affected by a variety of dietary and hormonal factors, some of which you have control over. We’ll be going over some of the things you can do to reduce water weight. For example, avoiding foods high in sodium (salty foods) can help reduce bloat and water weight. Sodium and potassium cause higher water retention in the body, and you will often be your heaviest in terms of water weight after a salty meal.

Another factor that affects your water weight is your hormonal state. This means that menstruation and hormonal birth control can cause an accumulation of water weight, and though you cannot do much about your menstrual cycle, you can know that it causes water retention and account for it when weighing yourself.

Additionally, dehydration can cause greater fluid retention! This may seem odd, but it is paradoxically true that drinking more water can reduce water weight, to a certain point. When your body is dehydrated, it will hold onto fluids in your body even more tightly. So, make sure to drink plenty of water to reduce water weight.

What Affects Body Fat

Here are some methods to affect the amount of body fat you have. These range from simple behavioral changes to more complex medical interventions, but all of them have been proven to lower the amount of body fat a person has.

Diet & Exercise

The most reliable fat-loss solution that exists is proper diet and exercise. You need to intake fewer calories (a calorie is a unit of energy) than you are expending daily in order to be in a caloric deficit. A caloric deficit causes you to be in what is called a negative energy balance, which is when you are intaking fewer calories than you are expending. If you are in a negative energy balance/caloric deficit, you will inevitably lose body fat. The best way to lose body fat with regard to diet and exercise is to track your daily caloric intake. You would typically use your height and weight to calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR), then multiply that by a constant representing activity level to get your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).

Your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is how much energy in calories you spend each day, and if you eat fewer calories than this, you will lose body fat. There are plenty of online calculators that can calculate your BMR and TDEE for you, so all that remains for you to do is track your daily food intake to make sure it is below your TDEE. There are many apps and online resources that will track your daily food intake for you.

GLP-1 Agonists

These are a type of medications that can cause increased satiety and fullness when eating. GLP-1 agonist medications imitate a hormone called incretin, which is responsible for the feeling of satiety, thereby increasing fullness and decreasing hunger. This results in weight loss through caloric restriction being far easier, as the person is not as hungry and feels significantly fuller from the same quantity of food. Individuals will be less hungry and remain full for longer while on this medication, though they will still have to adjust their eating habits in order to lose body fat. However, unless the eating issue is purely psychological, this will be far easier to do, as the cravings for food and general hunger will be significantly diminished.

Laser Fat Reduction

Laser lipolysis, also referred to as “laser lipo,” involves the application of a low-intensity laser. Lasers can generate singular-directional light and heat to a minimal area. In a laser lipo procedure, the technician will target your fat cells with the laser. The laser penetrates the skin, targets the fat cells, and then bores a hole into the cellular membrane of the adipocytes (fat cells). The laser not only bores a hole in the fat cell, but it also melts and emulsifies the lipids within the cell, allowing them to seep out of the hole made.

The body’s lymphatic system then naturally disposes of the lipids. Emerald Laser by Erchonia works differently from other laser lipolysis methods. Emerald’s system uses ten 532 nanometer lasers to target fat cells. This allows the fat cells to drain lipids but remains intact and alive otherwise. Other laser systems will totally destroy the fat cell, often leading to fatty deposits accumulating in new, undesirable spots.

Additionally, Emerald Laser is relatively painless when compared to other laser systems. Most patients don’t feel anything at all. Laser lipolysis is not nearly as invasive as a surgical procedure, yet it targets body fat exclusively. This is a new, cutting-edge treatment that has been thoroughly tested and developed. Laser lipolysis by Emerald Laser is the first FDA-approved laser lipolysis process.

Frequently Asked Questions About Water Weight

Here we will go over some of the most commonly asked questions about water weight, reducing water weight, and how it affects you.

Should I Worry About Water Weight While Losing Weight?

Not particularly. Water weight is a relatively insignificant phenomenon for weight loss overall, as long as the trend is downward overall. This means that if you weigh yourself every day, you may have a day in which you weigh in 5 pounds heavier due to water weight. However, since your level of water weight is generally consistent day to day, it doesn’t particularly matter how much of your overall weight is water weight as long as your weight overall is going down.

The best way to ensure this is to weigh yourself first thing in the morning every single day. If the overall 7-day average of your weight is trending downward week over week, then a day or two in which you weigh more overall due to excess water weight is inconsequential. This may not appeal to some people, as the changes in the scale day to day may be frustrating and slow, but it is the best way to track overall progress, as human weight naturally fluctuates day to day, and it is the long term average that ultimately matters for weight loss success.

Does Water Weight Affect My Health?

Fortunately, normal quantities of water weight do not have a major impact on your body’s function. It is not like adipose (fat) tissue in that it is not hormonally active. Moreover, it does not place nearly the same strain on your circulatory and respiratory system that body fat does. Fluid retention, in the extreme, can have some negative consequences, but it is rare for someone to have this issue without some other exacerbating medical problem. Overall, water weight is a total non-concern as far as your health goes.

How Can I Get Rid of Water Retention?

You can temporarily reduce your level of water retention by decreasing the amount of salty food you eat, as well as drinking adequate amounts of water. Additionally, sweating and exercising can reduce the amount of fluid you are retaining, so running a couple of laps can help you lose that water weight. There are several medication/supplement-based interventions that can reduce water weight, but we do not recommend the use of these.

What About Diuretics?

Diuretics can reduce the amount of water weight your body is holding onto, and though these are typically prescribed drugs with serious potential consequences, there are several natural diuretics that are much safer to use. Cranberry juice, for example, is a natural diuretic. Additionally, dandelion root is a natural diuretic. Always consult with your physician before taking any sort of medication, as diuretics can be very dangerous.

How Do I Account for Water Weight While Weighing Myself During My Menstrual Cycle?

There are a number of ways in which you can deal with this problem. You can simply not track your weight for a week during your menstrual cycle without many issues for overall progress, as long as you are consistent in your diet and exercise routine. You can also estimate, by observing your weight daily right before and over the course of your cycle, how much water weight you gain during your menstrual cycle and simply subtract it.

Why Choose Emerald Laser by Erchonia

Even if you’re sold on laser lipolysis, it’s important to recognize that all laser lipolysis processes are different. The Emerald Laser method has several significant features that other laser lipo processes don’t:

  • Emerald Laser is quite painless when compared to its competitors.
  • Emerald is not only approved to treat individuals who have a BMI of under 30, it is the only laser lipolysis system that has FDA approval for patients with BMIs between 30 and 40.
  • Erchonia is a pioneer in the medical fat reduction industry. They received the first FDA market clearance for a body fat reduction laser. Since that time, Erchonia has received multiple FDA market clearances.
  • With packages ranging from $1,500 to $2,500, Emerald is one of the most cost-effective weight loss systems on the market.

Emerald Laser

If you’re interested in the cutting-edge fat loss solution that is laser lipolysis, contact us to find a provider near you!