Question: I have trouble with my legs swelling and retaining lots of water. I’ve checked with my doc, there’s nothing crazy medically going on. Is there anything exercise or diet wise that you’d recommend?
Answer: If you’ve checked with your Doctor, and there is nothing crazy going on medically, my opinion is that you have a sensitivity to certain foods. This sensitivity makes your body retain water because it is trying to protect itself from this “foreign” object. One of the main causes of this is gluten, and no, you don’t have to have celiac to have a sensitivity to it. If you wake up in the morning feeling tighter and bloat-free, it is likely you have something 90% of the population has….a sensitivity to foods. I am one of them, and when I stopped eating all the heavy gluten foods, I lost weight effortlessly. Meaning I still ate the same amount of food, if not more, my activity level remained the same, and boom….it came off. This is because my body was not running in toxic mode anymore, and was able to release the fat cells and water weight my body was hanging onto to protect myself from this thing it didn’t understand how to metabolize and use. Other big culprits of bloating and water retention are High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), and aspartame. Here are some of the ways you can avoid these:
|High Gluten Foods||Low Gluten to No-Gluten Food Options|
|Whole wheat breads
Whole grain breads
Other breads that can sit on the shelf for days/weeks at a time
|*Ezekiel Breads found in the organic frozen food section. They are sprouted grains, and are VERY low in gluten. They are also so natural and pure that they need to be kept in the freezer to preserve their freshness
*Brown rice breads. Also found in the same section at the grocery store, but do not hold their form as well…meaning the crumble
|Whole wheat pastas
|*Brown Rice pasta
|Crackers – any found on the shelf of your grocery store that is not in the organic section. These are also high in preservatives and other questionable ingredients. Just not good!||*Nut thin crackers – gluten free and very tasty!
*Suzie spelt crackers – low in gluten and also very tasty!
|Salad dressings – Kraft can be one of the worst for this.||Make your own! Homemade dressings are delicious, easy to make, and are void of any gluten filled, preservative heavy, and toxic ingredients you can find in most generic brands.|
Exercise and sweat: Exercising and sweating releases water, gets the blood flowing, and your lymph nodes moving. All of these are a result of working out, and help to release the water and bloat you may hang on to. There is no one specific workout that does a better job than another – just do what you enjoy!
Read Labels: Be conscientious of the food you’re putting in your body. Eat for health, not weight loss. Read the labels to your foods, and be sure it doesn’t have any high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, or other ingredients you’re just unsure about. Ideally, you want to eat things close to nature. So stalk up on veggies with hummus, fruit with cottage cheese and peanut butter, nuts, seeds, root vegetables, and lots and lots of quinoa! It’s like a miracle food. Especially for a vegetarian.
Water water water: Drink loads of water….I’m talking loads. Ensure that you’re pissing like a race horse every hour, and try to get any where between 1-3 liters of water in you a day. Drinking water helps to release water! It’s watermelon season – eat it all summer long to increase your water intake!
Apple Cider Vinegar: This is one of my beat the bloat secrets! Grab some Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, and have a couple tablespoons when you’re feeling extra puffy. I like to take mine by the spoonful, and then chug water after. Some people add it to their water and drink it throughout the day. Do what works for you. You can also add this to salads, and cook with it, so experiment, and get it in ya whenever you can. It has many health benefits.