Is it really possible for the body to go from feeling fabulous to bloated and uncomfortable overnight? Annoyingly, you’re not imagining things – you’re probably experiencing water retention.
Water retention is a build-up of excess fluids that can manifest as a bloated face, swollen fingers and puffy-looking legs. Beating the bloat can be tricky as there are many causes, including being dehydrated, hormones (whether it be due to your period, pregnancy, menopause or the pill), prolonged periods of sitting and eating certain foods. Some medications like antidepressants and painkillers like ibuprofen are also to blame.
Whatever the reason behind your body’s bloat, there are several ways to help alleviate it:
Start with your diet
Salt is a fast track to fluid retention as it’s well absorbed by cells but brings water along with it. If you eat lots of salt, the body retains water, remaining that way until the cellular fluid levels balance.
Reduce your salt intake and avoid refined carbs that spike insulin levels, causing the body to hang onto more salt. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Add a few supplements
Potassium pumps water out of the body’s cells. Food like bananas, sweet potatoes, beets, Swiss chard and white beans are potassium-rich and should be consumed regularly. Take a good quality supplement to ensure you’re hitting your potassium RDA (100 mg per day).
Benefit from plant power
Certain plants have diuretic effects (the ability to increase urine production so you can excrete excess fluid). These include parsley, garlic, cranberry, nettle and dandelion. You can add most of these into your diet as is or drink the nettle and dandelion as a tea.
Book a massage
A lymphatic massage involves an ‘upwards’ technique that encourages the circulation of fluid throughout the body. The massage starts at the feet and ankles and moves up towards the knees, assisting a sluggish lymph towards the nodes in the groin that can drain them.
If your job requires sitting for long periods of time, make an effort to move whenever possible. Don’t eat lunch at your desk, go for ‘walk breaks’ and do airplane seat-style exercises like ankle rolling. Invest in a fitness device like a Fitbit that vibrates for every hour you’ve been stationary as a reminder to get up and move.
Try a wrap
Magic Touch Hot Anti-Cellulite Body Wrap is a body gel that generates heat on contact to boost microcirculation as well as cellular metabolism. It also contains a lymph-draining complex called Actigym. While it doesn’t replace a good workout, it encourages a sleeker-looking physique thanks to its diuretic effect.
Get a good night’s sleep
A good night’s sleep has a positive effect on all your body’s functions including your kidneys’ renal nerves. They help manage your balance of fluid and sodium. If you’re consistently not getting enough sleep, it’s time for a sleep study. Make an appointment with one of the specialist doctors at Sleep Renewal who can help you improve your pillow time and get the most out of your daily eight hours.
This post was sponsored by Skin Renewal.