January 9, 2008

Biggest Loser: Water Weight and Real Losses/Gains

I have to say I really didn’t like last night’s Biggest Loser. I know I just posted two days ago about it being my favorite show, but I just thought that the focus of last night’s show really sent the wrong message. Losing/gaining weight is not about eating too much once, at a meal or at a temptation. It’s about a lifestyle. Eating one corn dog is not going to hurt you in the long run; it’s when you eat a corn dog every day that it becomes a problem.

In one of the trainer tips, I was happy to see Bob’s advice. He said exactly what I’m saying above: if you eat healthy, and you exercise, you can eat dessert… once a week. Make it something to look forward to, but stick to that once a week limit. Chances are, you’ll choose better treats rather than empty calories, which hurt your weight loss but aren’t necessarily something you love so much that the calories are worth it.

I felt better when I saw the trainers discussing how it was the night before a weigh in and might make them retain fluids. That’s a legitimate reason, and it’s why you should try extra hard to eat healthy just before a special event. In the long run, by eating lightly for a day or two, you’re not causing permanent weight loss, but you may be losing a bit of water that will keep you from looking your best at a special occasion.

Some foods, like salty snacks, will really make you retain water. If you use a logging program like DailyPlate, you can look at your sodium intake and monitor it. My weight was WAY up for my weekly weigh-in this Monday, but I realized that I had eaten a ridiculous amount of salt late night on Saturday, so I’m going to blame that. In general, I always make sure my sodium level is less than 100% of the RDA, though of course, the lower, the better. Drinking a lot of water can help flush excess sodium from your system, but it still isn’t a substitute for eating a low-sodium diet, so don’t go nuts. You don’t want to end up with hyponatremia.

If you do experience water retention, there are some natural diuretics that you could try incorporating into your diet. According to Every Diet Encyclopedia, celery, parsley, asparagus, artichoke, and melon are all healthy foods that have diuretic properties. If you haven’t switched over to drinking only water, coffee, tea, and coke (the beverage!) are also known to be diuretics. These foods won’t keep your weight down, so you should expect the water weight to come back, but they can help you for a day or so when you want to look your thinnest.

Just remember, losing weight is not something that you can screw up with one meal, one day, one week, or even (most appropriately) one holiday season. Every day gives you a new chance to get on track, so don’t get discouraged and keep up the hard work!


2 thoughts on “Biggest Loser: Water Weight and Real Losses/Gains”

  1. we’re usually gone on Tuesday nights, and realized that we forgot to set the VCR (seriously, we’re still in the dark ages). So bummed, but good to hear it was disappointing so we didn’t miss much. I think Loser is the best “workout video” ever! I get totally motivated seeing them hustle.

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