Water retention requires attention

Water can easily fluctuate by 1-3% of total body weight, particularly with increased physical activity or decreased carbohydrate intake.

In the early stages of weight loss, it’s important not to get too caught up in the early 1-2kg weight loss that occurs for many people they move more and tighten up the diet.

This weight loss is primarily water. 

Most people are aware of this - if we set up a 500kcal deficit to lose 500g per week, any weight loss above that is unlikely to be body fat.

But it’s easy to think of this loss as a ‘kickstart’ and extra bit of motivation.

The problem is that weight will be regained at some point.

If it’s not, carbohydrate availability and hydration will limit performance and potential energy expenditure from physical activity.

So you might lose 1kg of fat and 3kg of water/carbs over a two week period, for a total loss of 4kg.

Then a treat meal leads to the regain of the 3kg and ruins the fun.

Overall, you’re still in a great place: you’ve lost 1kg of fat in two weeks AND the carbs ensure you can train hard.

At this point, it’s important not to get demotivated and stop adhering to the plan.

But if you celebrated the water loss, you’ll feel the pain when it’s regained.

Tom Fitzgerald