Well water retention isn’t exactly the enemy of muscle tone, but it will tend to cover it up a bit. If you are pretty lean and only have a “4 pack” showing instead of a “6 pack” it is possible that you are a victim of water retention. A word of warning before we discuss this in more detail…don’t use the excuse that you are “holding water” when you still have plenty of fat to burn. Water retention typically only matters once you get somewhat lean.
[Meghan Does a Unique Exercise Called “Tight Jean Crunches”]
So What Causes Water Retention?
Well without going into too much detail, your body stores water (just like your body stores fat). Obviously it is important to have water in your body, just like it is important to have fat…basic stuff. The water retention that you want to target to look lean is called “subcutaneous fluid”. This is fluid that is located under your skin and is caused by water molecules bonding onto to sodium ions. So in a nutshell, water retention is caused by excess sodium.
What is The Best Way to Limit Subcutaneous Fluid?
It would make sense to drink less water…right? Well believe it or not, you want to drink MORE water. Remember water is vitally important to your health. The only water that you are really concerned with limiting is the water under your skin that is covering up your nicely toned muscles. Drinking a lot of water actually causes your body to release more water…it will begin to release a lot of this subcutaneous water in the process.
Sweating is Another Great Way to Eliminate Water Retention
If you think about it, this totally makes sense! The water you are trying to limit is under you skin and sweating can help do the trick. The great thing about sweating is that you aren’t just eliminating water through your skin, but also that sodium trapped under your skin (that is why sweat tastes salty). Minimizing the sodium ions under your skin is the key to limiting water retention.
Don’t Include a Ton of Salt in Your Diet
You don’t have to go crazy here, but don’t eat a ton of excess sodium in your diet. If you want to look good for the beach, you don’t want to eat a bunch of potato chips or fries for instance. Instead of becoming sodium crazed and reading every label, just try to slowly replace salt with other alternatives. I use a lot of ginger, garlic, cilantro, hot peppers, black pepper, etc…to flavor my foods.
Eating Fiber Can Help Eliminate Excess Water
Fruit got a bit of a bad rap for a short period of time when low carb diets were pushed hard. Almost everything about fruit is amazing for your body. In addition to vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients (can’t get in pills), etc. The fiber in fruit helps the body eliminate excess fluid. Eat your fruits and veggies, just like mom recommended! Berries in particular are extremely rich in antioxidants and a great source of fiber.
Get a Little Sun!
I have some seriously light skin. I wear SPF 15 any time I go out in the sun for long periods of time…but even with that SPF I still get a light tan. The sun really tightens up the skin and gives it a nice glow. In addition to that, it really helps eliminate excess water through sweating…but in a slightly different way that just exercising. Everybody looks better after being out in the sun during the day as long as they don’t get burned. I actually think the sun is an aphrodisiac…the clubs are way more fun at night, when it was sunny earlier in the day.
A Bonus For Fitness Black Book Readers!
A “Zoolander” Water Retention Tip
“Hey guys…Rusty wanted me to tell you how I got so ridiculously good looking for my “Merman” (not mermaid damn it!) commercial. This tip is going to be kind of icky, but I think it will help people even if they aren’t unbelievably good looking like me and Hansel (I hate Hansel)!”
“Here is my Merman Commercial…”
“Wow I Have an Amazing Bone Structure!”
“Here is Where it Gets Icky”
“First of all you have to find a sauna. The bad thing is that almost everybody there is very average and not incredibly good looking…I wish Saunas had mirrors! Bring a bottle of water and sit in the sauna and sweat like a pig. It is important to look sexy the whole time…it is easy for me because I’m incredibly attractive, but since you are not this may take some work.”
“Here is where it gets really really icky. You have to taste your sweat. EEEEW! I know that isn’t an attractive thing to do. I hope nobody reads this (Rusty promised me that only his best readers would get this tip). It will taste salty at first, but then less icky and salty as you sweat. Keep drinking bottled water and sweat until your sweat no longer tastes all icky and salty. This is how you know that your body won’t hold on to all that water, because there won’t be any icky salt to hold it any more.”
“This tip is only to be used for occasions like the day before making an appearance on the Red Carpet, or the Day Before surfing with Hansel, or a Runway show…you know…basically before your average weekend when you need to look especially extra incredibly attractive”!
Moisture is the Essence of Wetness…
…and Wetness is the Essence of Beauty!