Over-do it last Thursday? If Thanksgiving left your pants feeling a little snug and your rings feeling a little tighter, you may be carrying extra extra water weight in addition to extra calories. Get back to feeling your best in no time at all.
Flush excess fluid with water
Alcohol and added salt at the holiday table can lead to an electrolyte imbalance that results in water retention. It sounds counter-intuitive, but drinking more water helps rid the body of excess water weight and bloat. Flush excess fluid from your body by drinking 8 (or more!) cups of water daily. If pure H2O doesn’t appeal to you, add lemon or orange slices or fresh mint to naturally flavor water and help you meet your fluid goal.
Increase probiotic consumption
Bacteria in our gut break down food to improve digestion and reduce bloat. Help friendly gut bacteria do their job by feeding them probiotic-rich foods. The most efficient probiotics are in food rather than a supplement. Examples include kefir, a fermented, drinkable yogurt with live cultures, kombucha and sauerkraut.
Sip on herbal tea
Need a mid-afternoon boost? Don’t reach for the soda, which can have bloat-inducing carbonation and artificial sweeteners. Opt for herbal tea. Tea not only contributes to your fluid intake, it may provide a diuretic effect. Look for varieties like green tea, dandelion leaf tea and stinging nettle tea, which are all proven to rid the body of unnecessary fluid.
Choose carbs wisely
Avoid processed grains and starches like bagels, white pasta and sugary foods. These foods are typically low in nutrients and hold on to water after digestion, which increases water retention. Choose high-fiber crackers, vegetable noodles or for a sweet treat, have one serving of berries, a small banana or an orange. All of these foods contain fiber to fill you up and help reduce water retention.
Start your day with fiber and protein!
Every meal and snack, particularly breakfast, should include a combination of filling fiber and lean protein. These two key nutrients keep you satiated, provide sustained energy and guarantee the lowest caloric intake with the most nutrients.
For more tips on healthy eating, drinking and losing weight, and for delicious high fiber meal plans and recipes, check out my latest book, The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The F-Factor Diet and The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber.