Fast food consumption is on the rise, and sitting in a chair for work for long periods of time leads to inevitable weight gain. While shifting to a healthy lifestyle may seem easy, most people don’t have the time or energy to incorporate regular exercise or a nutritious diet into their schedule.
In recent years, the fitness industry has seen a variety of weight loss pills and supplements, but water pills have been a consistent preference for most.
Although these pills might only help you lose a few pounds, even that is enough if you do it without much effort.
But here’s the million-dollar question: How much weight can you lose with water pills? We’ll get to that, but first, let’s go back to the science behind water pills.
What Are Water Pills?
You might know water pills by their scientific name, “diuretics.” These pills simply work by removing extra salt and water from your body. Some water pills are also helpful in treating fluid retention and swelling.
Choosing the right water pill for yourself requires considering the results it offers and selecting one that fits your requirements. There is a possibility that you may suffer some unintended side effects if you choose the wrong supplement.
The primary purpose of these pills is to help lose water weight. But a few extra ingredients can help burn calories and curb your hunger and cravings, which aids in weight loss.
How Do Water Pills Work?
Most supplements that help you lose weight work by burning fat, making you less hungry, or lowering nutrient absorption.
If you don’t want to change your lifestyle long-term, you’ll need to continue using these supplements to avoid weight gain. However, note that water pills will not provide long-term results. This is because your body needs water to survive, and you will eventually gain the weight back.
Here are some of the most common water pills on the market and how much weight they can help you lose.
1. Garcinia Cambogia
This supplement became famous in 2012 when it was featured on “The Dr. Oz Show.”
It is derived from a fruit called Garcinia gummi-gutta, or Malabar tamarind, whose peel contains high amounts of hydroxycitric acid. HCA is an active ingredient that is responsible for most of its weight-loss benefits.
Garcinia cambogia looks like a small, green fruit shaped like a pumpkin and contains hydroxycitric acid, the active ingredient in Garcinia cambogia extract.
It works by hindering a fat-producing enzyme and increasing serotonin levels, reducing cravings. One study conducted in 2020 stated that this water pill could help reduce up to 3 pounds (1.34 kg).
Hydroxycut has been on the market for over a decade and is still one of the best weight-loss supplements. It is available in pill and liquid form. The main ingredients of Hydroxycut are caffeine and green coffee extract, which are also found in many supplements for weight loss.
One study has shown that taking Hydroxycut for more than two months can reduce weight by up to five pounds (2 kg).
The only problem is that caffeine can cause jitteriness and irritability and might raise blood pressure.
Remember, Hydroxycut is among the prescription water pills for weight loss, so you must not use it without your doctor’s consent.
3. Orlistat (Alli)
Orlistat is a prescription drug sold over the counter under a different name, Xenical. It breaks down your stomach fat, giving your body fewer calories than usual. A study was conducted to test Orlistat, and the results showed that this supplement offered better weight reduction.
Patients lose up to 10% of their body weight, indicating that this supplement can help reduce up to 17 pounds (8 kg).
Orlistat can help you lose weight, but it can also lower your blood pressure and make it less likely that you’ll get type 2 diabetes.
Meratrim is a relatively new water pill on the market, containing Sphaeranthus indicus and Garcinia mangostana to change cell metabolism. It stops the fat cells from multiplying, decreasing the amount of fat they pick up from the bloodstream and burning stored fat.
Meratrim can help reduce up to 11 pounds (5.2 kg) of weight within eight weeks and also works as an incredible hunger suppressant.
The best part of this supplement is that the recipients experienced no side effects during that study, making this water-weight pill the safest among others. However, it reduces the weight a little too fast. Remember to stop if you experience excessive weakness or low blood pressure while taking these pills.
6. Conjugated Linoleic Acid
CLA has been a famous weight loss supplement for years, delivering promising results. Since it is naturally found in fatty foods derived from animal sources, it can help you lose weight without feeling ill. Moreover, you can eat cheese or butter to get the same results on a relatively low scale.
CLA reduces your appetite, improves metabolism, and helps break down fat. This led to a weight loss of 1.1 pounds (0.52 kg) in people below 40,and the numbers increased to 2.3 pounds (1.05 kg) in people over 44. Another study showed that CLA could help some individuals reduce 1.5 pounds (0.7 kg).
Lose Water Weight With Water Pills
These pills will help you shed excess water weight, but don’t get too excited to see quick results. Despite having fat-burning ingredients, these water pills will only remove water weight from your body, not fat. These supplements also help you lose weight by burning fat and lowering water absorption. Regardless, water weight returns at the same speed as you lose it.
Since our bodies crave water on a much larger scale, they retain water and salt from anything we consume. On the other hand, if you stop eating, your body will produce fluids to keep up with the necessary intake, which also means more water.
Many athletes or models take these pills before a weigh-in or ramp walk because they cause the numbers to drop on the scale. However, the weight from fat remains the same, so the weighing scale goes back to the original number a day or two after taking these pills.
How Much Weight Should You Expect to Lose With Water Pills
Two factors can help you understand how much weight you can lose with water pills. First is your age, and second is the pill dosage.
Potent water pills with multiple weight-loss ingredients can help you lose water weight quickly, and the older you are, the more weight you’ll lose.
On average, you can expect to lose 1–5 pounds using standard water pills. This might not feel like a significant weight loss, but you’ll see the results within a week. Keep using the pills for up to two months to lose up to 11 pounds.
Following a strict schedule, you must take water pills once or twice a day to quickly counter the pee that keeps coming after taking these pills.
You must remember that your body will fight back to gain that lost fluid at some point. If a person loses 800 grams of weight in one night, they’ll lose less than 800 g the next night and even less the night after.
If your body develops a strong immunity against these water pills, you’ll need to stop taking them after two or three weeks and try them again after two months.
This is why most professionals don’t support the extra use of supplements; instead, they recommend relying on natural remedies. While supplements can help, you should also start exercising or adopting a healthy diet so your body can gradually and naturally adapt to changes.
Facts About Water Pills
Although water pills are helpful for rapid weight loss, more research is needed to determine their long-term effects.
Here’s what we know about water pills so far:
Most Commonly Prescribed Medications
Water pills or diuretics are often given for several other problems besides weight loss. They can help cure common problems like high blood pressure, reduce swelling, and prevent fluid buildup. You might already be using one, but you never knew because many of these pills don’t have “water pills” written on the label.
Water pills are non-addictive, and you can quit using them whenever you want. Plus, you’ll eventually quit them anyway because they can’t help you lose weight beyond a certain point. These pills are not dangerous as long as you follow the recommended dosage.
Since they force the water out of your body, they can quickly cause dehydration and affect kidney function. With consistent use, you might experience weakness and dizziness.
Not Useful for Long-Term Results
Most weight loss supplements show permanent effects after prolonged use, though they work slowly and help your body build itself. Water pills are different from supplements with rapid results, as these aren’t suitable in the long run.
The faster a supplement works on your body, the quicker its effects wear off. If you have an event where you want to look slimmer, you’ll need to start taking these pills at least a week in advance. That way, you’ll have better results to show and can quit using them once the event is over.
The idea behind losing weight is to reduce fat and retain muscle mass. These water pills reduce the water in your muscles, making you look slimmer, but the effects won’t last long since you only lose water weight.
They Might Make You Gain Weight (Temporarily)
If you keep using diuretics for a long time, your kidneys will have to compensate for the water you’re losing. When you stop taking the pills, your body will hold on to more water than usual, which might temporarily cause you to gain weight.
Your body might appear bigger as your kidneys retain more sodium and water.
Helpful for Periods
Water pills are presumed to help with period bloating and swelling. However, we recommend talking to your doctor before using these pills during menstruation. If you find that it does help you, though, there shouldn’t be any long-term side effects.
Precautions and Safety Concerns
Water pills aid rapid, temporary weight loss, but there are some precautions you must keep in mind. Since these pills aim for immediate results, you might notice some short-term side effects. Some of these include a fast heartbeat, excessive fatigue and weariness, frequent headaches, and low blood pressure.
Not to mention, rapid weight loss can also lead to mood swings and depression.
Side Effects of Water Pills
Diuretics are safe to use, but every medication has its side effects. Since water is removed from your body via urine, it is obvious you might visit the restroom more often after taking these pills. It is recommended to take one pill, keep track of how frequently you need to use the restroom, and adjust your schedule so your bladder is not full while you sleep.
Because of their nature, water pills are commonly prescribed medications. Taking a thiazide diuretic can cause your potassium levels to drop significantly, which can be dangerous. On the other hand, if you take a potassium-sparing diuretic, the potassium levels in your body can rise drastically.
Dizziness is also expected because you lose weight, water, and energy. With dehydration and high or low blood pressure come headaches, which might last as long as the medication is effective.
You might experience muscle cramps, but they are rare; many people won’t reach the stage to experience such pain.
Overdosing on water pills for months can lead to joint pain, and the worst-case scenario is impotence.
Use Natural Diuretics for Better Results
You don’t have to rely on water pills to reduce your water weight, as many natural diuretics do it better. The results will be slow, but they’ll last without causing adverse side effects.
The first thing you can do is reduce your salt intake to stop your body from retaining water. Foods with excess salt can increase your fluid intake without increasing urine production. This is why you may suddenly crave water after eating a salty snack.
Green tea extract and caffeine are two helpful ingredients present in many diuretic supplements. Plus, caffeine can give you an energy boost and help you shed a couple of extra pounds.
If you have hibiscus tea, use it daily for the best water weight loss results. Switch your snacks to fruits with mild diuretic properties, like watermelon or pineapples.
Exercise is the best way to reduce weight; you can burn fat, lose water weight, and retain muscle mass. There is no need to engage in heavy exercise sessions; instead, you can go for a walk or jog daily and sweat. The sweat will remove the extra water from your body, and you won’t have to rely on water pills.
Combine a low-fat diet with regular exercise to get better results, and watch as your body changes for the better every day. Exercise is good for weight loss and can also improve your mood, keep you active, and improve your testosterone levels, which can spice up your romantic life.
Final Words – Take Water Pills or Not
If you simply want quick, temporary weight loss, like dropping a few pounds for a special occasion, opting for water pills is not a bad idea. However, once the event is over, you must only use water pills when you need them again. For the long term, regular exercise and a healthy diet provide much better, more consistent results.