What is water weight?
When people refer to water weight, they are referring to water that your body is retaining in its tissues rather than sending it to the kidneys. Water retention typically occurs when the body is dehydrated. Your body will hold onto any water it gets rather than sending it to the kidneys to be flushed out of your system. Sometimes water retention occurs because your salt/water ratio is off and the kidneys have to wait until the balance is restored. This will lead to bloating.
Between 50 and 60 percent of your total body weight is made up of water. Any extra water is because of bloating. If your body weight tends to fluctuate by a few pounds every day, it is probably due to water retention.
The good news about the water retention – and the extra pounds it adds – is that it is relatively easy to lose. Some people turn to saunas or steam houses as a quick and easy way to melt the pounds away.
How much weight can you lose in a sauna?
Steam houses heat the body up, which causes you to sweat out the water retained in your tissues and clear out your lymphatic system. It is suggested that you can lose up to 5 pounds in a 20 minute session. Beware that this weight loss is only temporary and you may gain back the weight as you eat or drink.
Even though losing water retention is not a permanent way to keep pounds off, there are other ways in which steam houses can lead to weight loss.
Speed up metabolism
As your body heat increases, so does your metabolism. Your body burns more calories regulating its temperature. A study showed that the heat from a steam house can raise a person’s metabolic rate by 20% and lead to a decrease in body mass.
If you are new to working out, you will feel the inevitable pain that is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness the day following a brand-new workout routine. Many experts believe that heat aids in recovery and muscle soreness relief. A 2015 study showed that the use of spas after exercise aided in the improvement of muscle functions. After a particularly intense workout, you may be sore for days and unable to get back to the gym. But if you use heat from steam houses to help you recover faster, you will be able to keep on track with your workout routine, contributing to faster weight loss in the long run.
When you are stressed, your body produces the hormone cortisol. Excessive amounts of cortisol can contribute to weight gain. It will be easier to lose weight if you keep your stress levels down. Steam houses are known stress-relievers. They are often placed in spas to relax and soothe clients. Research shows that steam houses do in fact lower blood pressure.
Other ways to lose water weight
Not everybody has everyday access to a spa house. Fortunately, there are other ways to regulate water retention. Drink water.
It may sound counterproductive, but the reason why your body is holding onto so much water is because you are dehydrated. When you are dehydrated, water becomes a sacred source to your body and it will hoard whatever little amounts it gets. Once you start replenishing your body with enough water, your body can afford to let it go. Most of the time, 8 cups of water a day is recommended, However, if you work out, drink coffee, or live in a humid environment, you may have to drink more than just 8 glasses.
Cut back on salty foods
The kidneys work to maintain a salt/water balance. When you consume too many salty snacks – like chips, fries, or processed deli meats – this will throw the balance out of whack and cause bloating. Stay away from the packaged food. Substitute with fruits and veggies instead.
Many women experience bloating the week before and of their period. Understand that is just something that might happen to you for a couple of days a month. This does not necessarily mean that you are fat or unhealthy. The bloating will naturally go away after a few days.
How to keep off extra weight – forever!
To reiterate, the bloating loss from spending time in a steam house is not a permanent weight loss solution. The pounds lost from spas are from water and not from unhealthy fat. It is also very easy to gain this weight back quickly.
It’s the answer no one wants to hear, but it’s the truth: the only way to effectively lose weight and keep it off is with diet and exercise. And this process will not happen overnight, either. Being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a periodic phase. That means eating balanced meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables and getting regular exercise. And exercise does not have to be traditional weight-lifting gym workouts. It can be something simple like walking the dog or something fun like playing tennis with friends. Do not calorie restrict in unhealthy ways. Do not give into fad crash diets or waste your money on gimmicky products. Just stick to the tried and true method of properly fueling and using your body.
This method is slow. You may not see results for a couple of weeks. But it is more effective and lasts longer than other weight loss methods.
A last word
Water retention is a valid reason for weight gain. Water retention can occur at any point in life due to multiple factors such as diet or medication. Of course if you have chronic bloating, this could indicate a serious problem with your kidneys and you should see a doctor.
Steam houses will help you shed pounds quickly and easily, but it is not the most effective way to do so. Steam houses do have plenty of other benefits and may be a useful tool in maintaining a healthy life.
Khamwong, P., Paungmali, A., Pirunsan, U., & Joseph, L. (2015). Prophylactic effects of suana on delayed-onset muscle soreness of the wrist extensors. Asian journal of sports medicine, 6(2). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4592767/
Podstawski, R., Boraczyński, T., Boraczyński, M., Choszcz, D., Mańkowski, S., & Markowski, P. (2014). Sauna-induced body mass loss in young sedentary women and men. The Scientific World Journal, 2014. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25614882
Zaccardi, F., Laukkanen, T., Willeit, P., Kunutsor, S. K., Kauhanen, J., & Laukkanen, J. A. (2017). Sauna bathing and incident hypertension: a prospective cohort study. American journal of hypertension, 30(11), 1120-1125.
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