Fat Loss or Water Loss – The magic of “water weight”

losing weight with energy balance

Why do people always claim a low-carb diet helps in losing weight?

Did you experience weight changes (no matter loss or gain) just overnight?

Our body weight is not a fix number, it fluctuates by many factors like weighing before or after going to washroom, morning or night, exercise, medication, food intake, menstrual cycle… 

And there is one factor so called “water weight”. 

What is that? Continue reading 🙂

Water weight experience

Diet Ideas’s dietitian, Siddeq started this water weight experiment. He tried a low-carb diet for 3 weeks and see what happened. 

Siddeq weight changes

Siddeq's weight record

Carbohydrate intake and weight changes

Carbohydrate intake and weight changes

Siddeq started with a weight of 82.4 kg on day 1. He measured his weight every morning. He kept himself in calorie deficit status and limited his carbohydrate intake. As shown in the chart, his weight shows insignificant reduction until day 15. He went to a buffet. 

On that day, he ate an extra 880 kcal than his daily requirement and comparatively more carbohydrates than the other days. 

The next day, Siddeq’s weight increased to 82.6 kg.

Does it mean he gain 1.8kg within 1 night? 

No no, it is impossible to gain or lose that much in one day. The weight increase might due to the retention of “water weight”, and it is related to the carbohydrates he ate. 

When we consume carbs, the energy that we do not use will turn into glycogen, stored in our liver, muscle and fat cells. For every gram of glycogen stored, it pulls 3 gram of water along with it. [1], [2]

That is the reason why we “gain weight” overnight. 

As we continue to observe, Siddeq cut down his carbs intake on day 16. On the next day, his weight drops again to 80.7 kg, which again proves the logic. 

So, do not panic when you suddenly increase 2-3kg overnight. It is not “fat gain”, probably just water weight.

This is the reason that we are not encouraged to measure our weight everyday, as this might trigger anxiety. 

A better approach to measure progress of weight change is measure once per week or once in a fortnight, in the morning, with minimal clothing. Besides, there are many non-scale ways of measuring your success. 

If you want to reduce the water retention in your body, here’s 5 simple tips for you.

  1. 1
    Reduce carbohydrate intake
  2. 2
    Reduce salt intake
  3. 3
    Drink more water (yes, drink more water)
  4. 4
    Move around, avoid sitting for a long time
  5. 5
    Eat more potassium-rich food

A more realistic and sustainable way to lose weight is knowing it is a “long-term game”. If you want to play the game well and become the winner, work with Diet Ideas’s dietitian/nutritionist! 🙂 

Leave a Reply

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}