Every now and then a  girl’s gotta splurge. So I did on Friday night. Not terribly, but just enough to feel a little, errrrrr…puffy the next morning. Truth be told, I thoroughly enjoyed a BBQ Chicken and Artichoke Flatbread Pizza with my husband on Friday night. We polished it off and I loved it  – along with a really nice glass of wine. Not so bad, you’d think, but every body is different, and when it comes to water retention, I am the queen bee. If you think I’m kidding, talk to anyone who saw me during the last few weeks of pregnancy with my first daughter. One word: puffalicious!

A lot of things can cause people to retain fluid, ranging from foods to medications. My first and foremost piece of advice: if you are suddenly retaining fluid that you know it is unrelated to a big meal or too much salt – contact your doctor. Period.  If you know that your rings are a little too tight and the sock lines are a little more predominant because you went overboard on a couple salt-rimmed margaritas last night, here are a few tricks that might help you feel a little better sooner.

1) Warm Lemon Water: Regardless of how I feel, I almost always start the day off with big glass (12 – 14oz) of warm lemon water. Lemon juice is a natural diuretic and helps to flush the body of toxins. Lemon juice is also full of vitamin C – an antioxidant everyone could use just about anytime.  Get rid of fluid while boosting your immune system. Nice combo! 

2) Dandelion Root Tea: What? You don’t have this in your cabinet? OK, it’s not the most common tea, but dandelion root tea has been shown to rid the liver of toxins. Since our liver is responsible for breaking down fats, producing amino acids and generally filtering the gunk out – we need to take care of it. Dandelion root tea has a fairly bitter taste. I often brew a few cups of it, let it steep for a while, add lemon juice and sip on it all day.

3) Apple Cider Vinegar: If you’re up to it, adding a shot of apple cider vinegar to a warm glass of water will help to flush toxins through your system. Or, if you prefer, drizzle with a little olive oil over your favorite salad and enjoy that way. Apple cider vinegar is a diuretic, a good source of potassium and has been shown to regulate blood pressure.

4) Don’t Carb Out: If you’re breakfast du jour is a bagel, a couple slices of toast or a big bowl of cereal – go easy. While we all need our carbohydrates, starchy carbs – like those  just mentioned – do a great job hanging onto fluid. Unless you want to retain even more fluid, shoot for a less starchy breakfast, like:

  • grapefruit + cottage cheese
  • plain yogurt + blueberries + cinnamon
  • eggs + spinach omelet

5) Do Veg Out: Just about any fresh vegetable will help eliminate fluid, but celery, parsley (actually an herb), cucumber, asparagus and carrots are great, natural diuretics. Throw any of these vegetables on a big plate of romaine with some apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, a good source of protein and you’ll be back to normal in no time!

Want more tips like this? Follow Traci on Facebook. She’d love to see you there! Interested in working with Traci? She works privately with clients specializes in nutrition coaching and weight loss as well as functional fitness and personal training. All sessions are done via Skype or telephone if outside of Chicago. For more information, contact Traci here.

Looking for a simple way to get into great shape and eat right? Try Traci’s 40-Day Shape Up!

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