It would be irresponsible of me to not start this post by saying that water is supremely important to your ongoing health and that you should strive to drink at least half of your weight in ounces each day. Every system in your body depends on water and it carries out important roles such as flushing toxins and carrying nutrients to your cells. Indeed about 60% of body weight lies in water.
This post isn't for everyone. It has little to do with long term nutrition, and a lot more to do with short term looks. But if you're really into fitness, then I'm willing to guess that part of that interest lies in the appearance of your body. This is just a little advice on how you can maximize your look in preparation for a particular occasion.
Water weight may be the principle erasure of those toned abs you've worked and so hard for when it comes time to show them off. Many of us have been in a situation where a photo shoot, beach outing or some other skin baring event is upcoming and we want to make sure our bodies look their best. Below I will take you through a quick guide on how to reduce water weight in reverse order. You can pick up the regimen at any time you see fit depending on your level of commitment.
2 Days Before Showtime
You will want to cut your water intake significantly 48 hours before show time by keeping your water intake under a half gallon while also not taking in any sodium (read those labels!). One day before showtime, you will want to limit your water to under 20 ounces. On the day of, you will want to limit the water you drink and when you drink, sip slowly. If you're really serious, this would be the time for you to take natural diuretics which will help your body shed water, but I wouldn't recommend it if you plan to spend the day in the sun! Caution: Dehydration can be extremely dangerous. If ever you feel dizzy, nausea, cramps, or acute loss of energy start drinking water immediately.
Continue to restrict your sodium intake as directed below.
If you're also looking to bulk up while maintaining definition before a fitness shoot for example, you will also want to start carb loading 24 hours before showtime. Go for carbs that are dry like sweet potatoes, yams, popcorn, and white potatoes. So long as you have been working out, these carbs will be converted to glycogen and stored around your muscles, helping you with size and definition.
7 Days Before Showtime
One week before showtime, drink LOTS of water. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but drinking a lot of water this far out will actually flush the excess sodium (salt) from your body, hampering its ability to retain water. Shoot for 1.5 to 2 gallons of water per day.
Eat as little sodium as possible. Seven days before you should hold it under 2000mg, and try cutting that intake in half each day until you get to showtime. The less the better. Cooked restaurant food, spices, protein powders, and marinades are all examples of foods higher in sodium. You will still need your protein (meat) throughout this time, so limit your consumption of the rest to ensure decreased sodium intake.
If you're a reader of my blog (and I hope you are), I should have already convinced you to live a low carb lifestyle. On day 7, 6, and 5 prior to showtime, you should take special care to drop your carb intake. Try to limit your meals to a serving of protein and vegetables. The only time you should be taking in a significant source of carbs is during your post workout meal/shake and even that should go away in the 4 days leading up to showtime. During this last week you will also want to make sure you keep up with, and maybe even intensify, your workout routine. You'll want to get your muscles good and spent, preparing them for the carb loading you will do 24 hours before showtime.
14 Days Before Showtime
Load up on the sodium (salt). This is going to increase the amount of water weight your body holds. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but doing this two weeks before showtime will only maximize your efforts one week before showtime as you begin to cut water and sodium to get that shredded look. During this period, your body will adapt to having all of this excess sodium in the body and will end up retaining the same amount of water as when your sodium intake was low. There's no precise number of milligrams to shoot for, Protein sources like deli meats, marinated foods, canned vegetables, and obviously salted nuts are all good sources of sodium.
Continue to drink your optimum amount of water, which should be about half of your body weight in ounces. No need to start water restricting yet.
And there you have it. Your step by step guide on how to rid your body of water weight and prime yourself for that next occasion. Whether you have a photoshoot coming up, a pool party, or you're getting ready for that beach vacation, these steps are sure to have you looking your best before showtime. Give it a try and leave a comment. How did the system work for you?