Newish Paleo - Bad Water Retention

by 10 · March 19, 2014 at 7:49 PM

I have been transitioning into paleo over the past six weeks or so and I am experiencing pretty bad water retention. As in, if I lie or lean on something too long, it leaves a mark on my skin. I must have like 5 pounds of excess water on me. I am a woman. I'm 5'11" and probably in my mid to upper 140s. For breakfast I eat a small handful of berries, a handful of nuts about a tablespoon and a half of coconut oil, and a few tablespoons of grassfed yogurt. Throughout the day I'll eat a fillet of fish cooked in coconut oil, probably some uncured sausage cooked in pastured lard, two servings of fresh greens, and maybe an egg. I also usually eat some snacks such as almond butter on flax crackers or maybe some jerky. I might have half a grapefruit at some point. I supplement with vitamin C, vitamin K, and fish oil.

I feel like I'm eating a lot and I'm hungry a lot. I'm deathly afraid of gaining weight. I don't necessarily feel like I need to lose weight, as long as I can get my cellulite to go away. I am not actually working out at this point, but I am active. I ride my bike anywhere from .5 to 1.5 hours a day, sometimes carrying significant weight. I also wait tables in a restaurant that has me carrying cases of wine and going up and down stairs all shift long. Should I be eating more carbs? Should I be eating more calories?

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5 Replies

11251 · June 11, 2013 at 8:21 PM

More food, probably. More salt even more likely.

Read the labels on your salt (and on your fish) to make sure it is just natural salt. They put a lot of weird stuff in regular salt- pickling salt is just salt. You might be able to find other salts that are basically just salt- sea salt, kosher, etc...

Now, in the fish, there might be that sodium trypolyphosphate. I have notice that these industrial forms of salt will bloat me up. So, you might want to check that. Regular salt is a good and necessary part of our diet, and once you get away from the faux stuff, you can more or less trust your inclinations and salt to taste.

24412 · June 12, 2013 at 1:21 AM

Malnutrition from not eating enough can cause a magnesium deficiency, and that can throw all your electrolytes out of whack causing edema. I know you say you are retaining water, but both cellulite and that denting in your skin indicate dehydration to me. I would recommend eating quite a bit more especially organ meats, soups from home made broth, and leafy greens, taking Epsom salt baths after your bike rides at least a few times per week, and drinking mineral water. You can also supplement with something like Natural Calm.

All that heavy lifting you do at work can cause swelling too. There is a certain amount of inflammation that happens after exercising, and it can take almost a week for the body to work through it.



110 · June 11, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Water retention means your body is trying to dilute something toxic. I agree with everything said above.... drinking more water will flush whatever it is out of your system.

It could be that your body is trying to release the toxins and you don't have enough fluid to flush it out, or it could be re-acting badly to something you are eating..... Eggs, nightshades, coffee all cause inflammation. Stop eating them for a few days, flush your system out and then slowly add that stuff back in and see if you react.

0 · June 11, 2013 at 1:31 PM

I know this sounds kind of counter productive, but drinking tons of water will help flush out your retained water weight (or at least this is what I've learned from personal experience.)

When I was a senior in high school, I competed in weightlifting and would have problems with competitions that fell at the same time as my menstrual cycle because I would gain so much water weight and was afraid I wouldn't make my weight class.

My coach told me to drink three or four bottles of water a few hours before bed (yes, you will wake up in the middle of the night and pee a lot) and doing that for two nights I lost about 5lbs I needed to cut for my meet.

So, I believe if you up your water intake throughout the day, it will help flush out any retained water weight :) good luck!

72 · June 11, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Hey Exercise play an important role in losing weight. Eat healthy like fruits and vegetables. Eat such type of food which are low in carb, calorie. Say no to fatty, spicy food. Drink lots of water.

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