I got an SOS email the other day from one of my online clients who was panicked because the scale was up about six pounds after her vacation. She was upset about potentially undoing all of her hard work and being right back to where she started almost 8 weeks ago. After doing some mindset damage control, I told her that there’s no way she could have gained 6+ pounds of fat in just a week.
It’s just not possible.
What is possible though is gaining a whole bunch of water weight. During my clients’ vacation, her carb intake was up, her alcohol intake was up, her exercise level was down and she spent the majority of her trip sitting on the beach and driving in the car. All this stuff is totally fine, she was on vacation, but it’s no surprise really that her scale weight went up.
The good news is that this “weight gain” is temporary and it’s an easy fix!
First things first- if you’re not able to see a higher number on the scale without it sending you into freak out mode DON’T STEP ON THE SCALE AFTER VACATION! This is a sure fire way to send you into a negative downward spiral. Second, check yourself and remember the weight gain is temporary. Like I told my client, you’d have to eat A LOT of junk 24/7 in order to gain that much fat in a week and even then you wouldn’t gain 6 pounds of fat. These tips are for those who need a little help ASAP.
1. Drink water
Although it seems a little counterintuitive, one of the best ways to reduce water retention is to drink more water, especially if you’ve been eating a lot of sodium or have been drinking more alcohol than usual. Drinking more water will cause you to release the water which your body is holding onto through excretion (think urine and sweat) in order to maintain a sodium balance. When you’re hydrated, there’s no need for your body to hold onto water because there’s a good amount of it flowing through regularly.
Avoid excess amounts of coffee and tea during your first few days after vacation and if you do have them, be sure to pair each caffeinated drink with water because they can be dehydrating. As far as alcohol goes, just say no for the first few days after your trip.
2. Cut Back on Salt
Typically people eat out on vacation more than they would normally, so if you went out to eat a lot or ate more processed foods than usual, this could be a major reason why you’re retaining water. Our kidneys will hold onto water in order to dilute the excess sodium.
For the first few days after your trip, cut back on your sodium intake by eliminating processed foods and stick to natural foods like lean protein, veggies and fruit. Nix the salt and use spices and herbs to jazz up your meals instead of salt.
3. Increase Veggies
Veggies like cucumbers, leafy greens, asparagus, celery and zucchini all have really high water content and are chock full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Be sure to prioritize veggies during your first few days back from vacation to help flush excess water out. Instead of using chips or crackers to dip your hummus in, try peppers or carrots or make a big side of broccoli and asparagus for lunch and dinner to increase your fiber intake naturally.
4. Get your sweat on!
Make sure to get in a couple of high intensity workouts during your first few days back from vacation. Get nice and sweaty and push yourself hard. Sometimes heavy lifting can cause us to retain water naturally, so stick to sprints or another high intensity cardio activity for a couple days. If you’re just dying to get back into the weight room, no prob. Go for it and either start or end with a sweat session on the treadmill or spin bike! Keep these workouts short and intense. You should be totally spent after 20 minutes or so.
So there you have it! 4 quick ways to get rid of excess water retention! If you’re feeling sluggish after a few days away, give them a shot and let me know what you think. Nothing crazy, nothing extreme, just simple strategies to get you feeling more like you, fast!
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