Weight Loss
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Water Retention - By drinking too much water?

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Has anyone heard of retaining water from drinking too much water?

Here‚??s the story:

I have been doing well with my fat loss, as measured by my nutritionist. However, about 2 weeks ago, I had stuck very closely to my eating plan, but had a very heavy weekend drinks wise, and when i went to the nutrionist, she said I'd lost 4lbs of fat, but was retaining 4lbs of water. She said she thought it was because of the drinks. So I said right: Liver, you are going to get so detoxed! I upped my water even more. I suppose from probably about 3 litres a day to about 4 litres a day for the week. (including herbal teas), and stuck rigidly to my plan. Result? Back at the nutrionist, she says I‚??ve lost 2 lbs of fat and I‚??m now retaining and additional 2lbs of water to the original 4lbs of water. Yes I am retaining 6lbs of water! I am away to join the circus! Ha ha. No, seriously! So she says are you drinking enough water, and I told her how much, and she has suggested reducing it to about 2 litres a day, as I might be ‚??retaining from drinking too much water‚?Ě.

I‚??ve found this difficult for a couple of reasons, mainly though because I‚??m used to drinking at least 3 litres at this stage, and also, if I was ever peckish, I could just have a pint of water and stave off the old hunger. I have found my appetite out of control since reducing the amount of water I‚??m drinking, where before I wasn‚??t getting too hungry between meals etc.

I have considered the possibility that it is due to TOTM, but then surely it should have still decreased overall, say to 4lbs overall, rather than 6lbs in total?

Has anyone heard of this phenom? Is it possible? And any tips?

Many thanks!

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wow, i've never heard of that!  but the most water i've drank in one day, i think, would be 3-3.5L.  and those are probably days where i exercise more.  i'd like to know the answer to your question too!

Exactly how is it that the nutritionist can tell how much water you are retaining?  Is there some sort of test performed?
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Are you tracking your sodium intake?


The more water I drink the less I retain. The times I'm low on my water intake the more I hold on to.


My bet is a sodium spike. 

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Hi all,

Thanks so much for all your responses.

I have been doing more exercise, and do drink more when I have been exercising, but not heaps more. People always seem to say the key to weight loss is drinking loads of water, but I was already drinking prob 1.5l a day before, so I upped it when I started my plan.

The nutritionist has a magic scales that measures the amount of fat, muscle and water in your body. So your overall weight, then that is broken down into those 3. It‚??s actually great, because on those weeks where my weight has remained the same or even gone up (!), they are able to tell me, ‚??well, look you actually lost 2lbs of fat, but gained some muscle, and are retaining a little water‚?Ě. Basically the water level should go down, not up. So when it goes up 2 weeks in a row, I‚??m bugging!

Salt did flit across my mind! They aren;t tracking my sodium intake, but I'm not a salt fiend. I don‚??t eat any ‚??ready‚?Ě meals, and on my plan it‚??s pretty much veg, fruit, beans, pulses and tofu. I did overdo it a bit on the tofu that week ‚?? maybe that contributed to giving me a higher salt level? But staying up a sustained amount over 2 weeks still seems strange. It is the first time it‚??s happened since they‚??ve been reading me, about 12 weeks now.

It may turn out to be a blip, but any other suggestions would be appreciated!
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 Hope this helps your confusion, I was confused, I was sick with kidney infections, one doctor told me I was drinking to much water, yet in same visit she said my urine test was dehydrated, I was dehydrated every time for years, yet drank loads of water, my bad was two glasses of wine a night.  I started drinking hot green tea, then all kinds of tea, then craved even hot water. Its been 4 weeks, Ive lost 12 pounds and yesturday my urine test was good for first time in years!

I'm suggesting that the warm fluids have taken BLOATING and fat and a bad kidney to better health and beauty my skin is even improved.

       &nb sp;               &nb sp;               &nb sp;               &nb sp;               

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Thanks for your info stormmey. I'm off to the nutritionist tomorrow, and will see how that goes.

A friend of mine swears by hot water as an appetite suppresant - I am fully prepared to drink hot water! I do drink hearbal teas, and also regular tea - about 2 cups a day. However, that still would not explain 2 week spike in retention.

I am delighted that you have seen an improvement on a long standing condition!
I actually think those scales are sort of bologna. That being said, I found when I was drinking 4-5L a day I also appeared to retain water (basically how can you not as you cannot keep up with what you are consuming). When I dropped my intake back to 2L a day I lost a bunch of pounds and felt soooooooooooooo much better. So now, I don't normally drink more than 2L a day (that is pure water and does not include other drinks or sources of water).

I'm going to agree with the bologna scale :) There is no scale that can tell you how much fat and water and all that your body has. If there was, they would be sold in stores. They DO sell those types of scales in stores, but they are bologna :)

You can become dehydrated from drinking too much water. Too much water flushes out your sodium and actually leaves you dehydrated. So stick to your recommended amount.

Muscle holds more water than fat. If you are gaining muscle, you are gaining water. Maybe that would explain it.

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I'm am loving this info!  Thanx... the to much water explanation makes sence.   now why cnat the doctors do educate us so we understand, it only took a simple statement.
Don't not drink water to loose weight. if you are thirsty then you are thirsty drink the water. I can't help but shake my head. If you drink a lot of water it is a sign of diabetes or can be. so you might want to have that checked. Other then that drink as much water as your body wants. If you want eight glasses of water drink them. if you need four or 12 or 20 or 3 drik what your body needs. its better to have three or four extra pounds from water then getting dehydrated and rushed to the hospital.
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Hi Angel eyes, yes i have been checked for diabetes thanks - i have always drunk a lot of water. I wasn't reducing the amount of wter to lose weight, just to see if i was drinking too much.

I was back at the nutritionist yesterday. So I am retaining an additional 2lbs of water!!!!!!!!!!!!! She actually told me that the first week it was 3lbs of water, but that is still 7lbs now, in total. I could 3 or even 4 being down to TOM but the rest is a bit of a mystery. Nutritionist says that if it is up again next week i should go to the doctor to get it checked out.

Thanks for that too Star-  advice from a real pro! The only real change in my routine in the past 3 weeks has been more exercise - 1 1/2 hours of fast walking every day (to/from new job). Nutrionist also said i have gained 3lbs of muscle in the past week. So it could be that more water/muscle thing that you were saying. Frankly, I don't want to put on that much muscle as I'm already like 112lbs of muscle. Yes, that circus idea still stands!

Anyway, i am going to try drinking about 2.5l of water a day as this is an amount that is usally right for me - don't want to be dehydrated!

I just have to remember that although my weight has stayed the same I have lost 8lbs of fat!

Thanks to everyone for very helpful comments!

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well, it turns out i was retaining water from my speed walks. I've been fast walking about an hour and a half a day. And when i was going to the nutrionist, on the way home, it was after about 30 mins very fast walking. So my heart rate was up, and i was very warm etc. All this was playing havoc, with the 'magic machine'. I'm  not going to stop walking, but i just wanted to check that it wasn't something else.

Down more fat, and a little bit of water. Yay!

Thanks to everyone for their helpful comments!


I realize this this thread is quite old, but I came across it while doing a google search and the information here was quite helpful, so thank you!

I wanted to clarify some misinformation here, though, about the ability to determine body fat, muscle, and water from a "magic" scale. This IS possible using electrical capacitance measurements and mathematical algorithms found in high-end physician's scales.

It's possible to measure: lean body mass, body fat mass, intracellular and extracellular water, total body water, and a whole list of other very useful measurements with 99%+ degree accuracy and approved by the FDA. These scales cost well over $10k which is why you don't see them sold in stores. It's possible to find less accurate home scales with similar basic body fat measurements, however I would highly recommend seeing a physician or nutritionist for a body composition analysis as this can be a VERY effective tool in monitoring and reaching your fitness goals.

I'll be getting my test done asap so I can see if my water retention issues are from similar causes.


13 Replies