As everyone knows, it's commonly asserted that during a course of weight loss, an initial spike in weight lost is explained by reduction of water retention. Do you think there is any quality evidence in support of this?
It seems plausible, but also suspiciously like a just-so story made up to find an explanation of rapid weight loss that is consistent with a strong version of the calories in/out model that predicts slow weight loss due to modest caloric deficits over a long period of time.
I looked around a little for quality evidence for or against and could not find much, but I am bad at this.
asked byNot_James (156)
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on November 25, 2011
at 10:16 PM
Yes and no. Just because you're dieting doesn't mean you're necessarily going to see a large amount of water weight loss. You really see that more radically on the low carb diets. The water weight is bound up in glycogen.
heh, Not James answered by James...
on November 26, 2011
at 03:30 PM
Yes and no, that part depends mostly on your salt/potassium balance and how many carbs you have running around your system.
But as you let go of fat, fat tissue seems to get less dense and in the place where there was a thick layer of fat, it hangs on to water, then at some tipping point it just lets it go, and you have this weird effect of having no weight loss at all for a few days, then overnight you drop 3-4 lbs. So using a scale for fat loss monitoring doesn't work too well.
on November 26, 2011
at 12:07 PM
It certainly depends on the diet. As James indicated, low carb diets tend to have a diuretic properly. Other diets that don't concentrate on low carbs will have less less affect on water retention.
I suspect that it is more to deal with exercise where water retention can be more easily manipulated. Lots of exercise and lost of water intake with low sodium means that all access water will be flushed from the system.
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