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Low carb and water weight loss?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 17, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Has anyone here been thinking they are dehydrated? Or that the initial weight loss was just water weight?

This seems to be a claim made pretty often. I just read that the reason for losing weight on low carb is because carbs help store water and help to keep you hydrated and essentially going low carb is just a way of dehydrating yourself.

Well, this is interesting! I have one of those scales that reads fat, hydration & muscle %. I know they are not completely accurate, but im going by what it has been telling me over the last 3 years, so my averages. Before on a SAD i was a steady 49-51% hydrated, which the booklet says is normal. Since primal/paleo (with days of ketosis and obviously low carbs) i have lost 5 lbs in 6 weeks. Here's the cool part: my muscle % went up, my fat % went down and my hydration has stayed at 53 % (so higher than on SAD). I feel like this debunks the myth that low carbing initial weight loss is all water weight! But What do you guys make of this?

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 17, 2012
at 10:15 PM

Yep...when I eat more tha 50g of carbs, I have sausage fingers for days.

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on September 17, 2012
at 09:57 PM

Well, if having all kinds of junk in the trunk is where it is I guess I can live with that :). Once upon a time I was over 30% bodyfat, but the scale definitely isn't telling the truth in that regard.

D7f404b29047b12e2c2f528934b7b80b

(133)

on September 17, 2012
at 08:24 PM

Haha!! Or coating his intestines. Or the pic isnt even him! Lol!

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 17, 2012
at 05:24 PM

Yeah Matt, your icon looks good, but it's only the waist up. that 30% must be in the legs!

D7f404b29047b12e2c2f528934b7b80b

(133)

on September 17, 2012
at 04:28 PM

Ps maybe you are 30% body fat?

D7f404b29047b12e2c2f528934b7b80b

(133)

on September 17, 2012
at 04:28 PM

Huh? No. Then why would my muscle mass be going up and my fat mass be going down? I know it's not totally accurate but my % has been pretty much the same for 2 years consistently! It only changed recently as i started low carbs higher protein.

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3 Answers

1
63479974b34930b7bedb12afa19083d3

on September 17, 2012
at 05:16 PM

I can only speak for my own bodily experiences, but when I have a day of SAD foods or have lots of booze, I absolutely retain water. I'm LC daily, no more than 50g, and I'm peeing like a champ ALL THE TIME, but for a few days after adding a lot of carbs it's not nearly as often. Out of nowhere within two days or so, it comes rushing back. It's pretty clear to me that I've burned off carbs, alcohol, sugars, whatever junk and that I'm starting to lose the water weight and burn the fat.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 17, 2012
at 10:15 PM

Yep...when I eat more tha 50g of carbs, I have sausage fingers for days.

1
06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on September 17, 2012
at 04:09 PM

The initial weight loss is excess water weight. The wouldn't trust anything on the scale except the weight. I have one as well that continually tells me I'm 30% bodyfat. Also remember that muscle glycogen is 1 part glucose plus 4 parts water. This is why I'm a fan of consuming any carbohydrates in the evening post workout.

-Matt
PhysiqueRescue.com

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on September 17, 2012
at 09:57 PM

Well, if having all kinds of junk in the trunk is where it is I guess I can live with that :). Once upon a time I was over 30% bodyfat, but the scale definitely isn't telling the truth in that regard.

D7f404b29047b12e2c2f528934b7b80b

(133)

on September 17, 2012
at 04:28 PM

Ps maybe you are 30% body fat?

D7f404b29047b12e2c2f528934b7b80b

(133)

on September 17, 2012
at 04:28 PM

Huh? No. Then why would my muscle mass be going up and my fat mass be going down? I know it's not totally accurate but my % has been pretty much the same for 2 years consistently! It only changed recently as i started low carbs higher protein.

D7f404b29047b12e2c2f528934b7b80b

(133)

on September 17, 2012
at 08:24 PM

Haha!! Or coating his intestines. Or the pic isnt even him! Lol!

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 17, 2012
at 05:24 PM

Yeah Matt, your icon looks good, but it's only the waist up. that 30% must be in the legs!

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 17, 2012
at 05:22 PM

Those scales are not accurate. But the higher end ones are precise. What that means is that you can continuously track your progress as a function of change but not as a function of magnitude. The lower end scales are total crap and fluctuate wildly.

If you have a good scale then your stats show that you have dropped body fat at a higher rate than you have dropped lean mass (how much and to what degree is unattainable by those scales). Maintaining lean mass, while dropping body fat, will cause you body fat to go down and the lean mass to go up (even though the magnitude of lean mass did not change).

The hydration measure is really a measure of impedance. All that tells you is that your impedance on the two tests were similar (this is good, again if it's a higher end scale). It does not tell you how hydrated you are, nor does it tell you if the majority of the loss was water weight or body mass.

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