Water retention but cutting calories - help?

Hello community

I’m really noticing a plateau in my progress - primarily that I seem to be really retaining water suddenly (like 5+ pounds). I noticed this in conjunction with increasing my running intensity (training for speed + distance) so not sure if my nutrition is off? I feel hungry a lot and struggle to keep from snacking all day to stay in a slight deficit.
Has anyone else experienced this? Definitely feeling disappointed in this result as I feel like I’m doing all the right things.

Replies

  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,464 Member
    Pretty much everyone experiences water retention. There are many causes. A good solution is to use a trending app like Happy Scales or Libra. It will even out your daily fluctuations so you can follow your overall trend rather than daily fluctuations.
  • kjo1713
    kjo1713 Posts: 33 Member
    Thank you very much! Do you feel up to 5 lbs in one day is typical though? I will check out the app!
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 31,377 Member
    kjo1713 wrote: »
    Thank you very much! Do you feel up to 5 lbs in one day is typical though? I will check out the app!

    FWIW, I've gained as much as 5 pounds overnight (it wasn't fat, because I didn't eat 17,500 calories above maintenance!), and I don't even have the female hormone thing going on (I'm female, but in menopause, at age 64).

    Some of the big sources of water retention are increased exercise (need water in the muscles for repair), hormonal cycles in women, a little extra salt or carbs eaten (even if a perfectly healthy amount) . . . and there are many more.

    If you didn't eat that 17,500 calories above maintenance (cumulatively), you didn't gain 5 pounds of fat, period. You'd notice if you'd eaten that much all at once :lol: , and if you ate little bits over maintenance over a long time period, the scale weight would creep up, not leap up.

    So: It's water weight, not fat, so not worth stressing about. It won't keep increasing and increasing. Eventually, if your calories are on point, it will level off and stop masking fat loss on the scale. You shouldn't try to trick it or game it, either, because water weight fluctuation is just part of how healthy bodies function. Hang in there, and wait it out.

    This is a good article to read:

    https://physiqonomics.com/the-weird-and-highly-annoying-world-of-scale-weight-and-fluctuations

    Best wishes!
  • gracetipikin
    gracetipikin Posts: 29 Member
    I've struggled with swelling in my hands,arms and legs/water retention and my dr. said if im hydrated and still swelling its from lack of protein. When protein deficient our body draws protein from our blood and it leaches throughout the body causing swelling.
    I upped my protein to 100+ grams/day and all the swelling was gone almost immediately!
    Protein is a great way to combat hunger without the carbs too.
    Sounds weird but its really helped me!
  • zackboomer
    zackboomer Posts: 68 Member
    Can you take diuretics?
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,260 Member
    Please don't recommend diuretics if you don't know this person's medical history. Only a doctor should prescribe them. Besides, many diuretics work by for example excreting quite essential things like potassium via the kidneys. Other quite essential minerals go the same way as well, which is not what you'd want. Losing essential minerals can have quite detrimental effects: potassium on the heart for example. Long-term abuse might lead to osteoporosis (not all types of course). Loss of magnesium is also rather unpleasant. loss of salt can lead to completely different problems. So just don't!

    TO, please go back to your GP and discuss this please.
  • zackboomer
    zackboomer Posts: 68 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    Please don't recommend diuretics if you don't know this person's medical history. Only a doctor should prescribe them. Besides, many diuretics work by for example excreting quite essential things like potassium via the kidneys. Other quite essential minerals go the same way as well, which is not what you'd want. Losing essential minerals can have quite detrimental effects: potassium on the heart for example. Long-term abuse might lead to osteoporosis (not all types of course). Loss of magnesium is also rather unpleasant. loss of salt can lead to completely different problems. So just don't!

    TO, please go back to your GP and discuss this please.

    It was a question, not a recommendation....
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 31,377 Member
    Can you take diuretics?

    If OP is otherwise healthy, it would be a bad plan IMO to take diuretics to try to game a normal, reasonable amount of water retention (which 5 pounds can be). Healthy bodies retain water for good reasons. Fighting that is not a good idea, health-wise.

    If OP suspects pathological water retention (i.e., a disease process), s/he should visit a doctor . . . which might result in a script for diuretics, if there's a true underlying problem.