You know those days when you wake up and just look and feel so darned puffy? Sometimes your face looks a bit swollen…other times your ankles get so round you can hardly tell where your calf begins. And, of course, there’s the belly bloat that can make it a struggle to button even your most comfy pair of pants. The good news: The cure for whatever bloat you’re struggling with could be as close as your kitchen cabinet. Here’s how to lose the water weight that’s bothering you.
To Flush Retained Water from a Double Chin
Slap on a spud! To de-puff a double chin, lie back and place thinly sliced raw potato rounds over your neck for 5 minutes. A study in Food and Agriculture Immunology credits the spuds’ anti-inflammatory compounds with instantly firming lax skin, while enzymes found in the potato’s flesh start to reverse water retention in minutes.
To De-Puff Fingers
Have a mocktail! Summertime heat and humidity can puff up fingers enough to make it impossible to slip on (or off!) your favorite rings. The fix: Sip a spritzer infused with 5 slices of fresh ginger and a generous squeeze of lemon. Citrus juice acts as a natural diuretic, while ginger’s digestive acids quickly whisk away toxins that clog the lymphatic system and cause puffiness in extremities.
To Soothe Away Belly Bloat Caused by Chronic Constipation
Many gastrointestinal complaints are caused by inflammation in the intestines—and, like inflammation anywhere in the body, this inflammation can cause bloat. Fortunately, an age-old remedy—topical castor oil packs—has proven to calm inflammation in minutes. In one study of patients in nursing homes, researchers found that castor oil packs significantly relieved the discomfort of chronic constipation—even among those who had been suffering for more than a decade! To apply your own castor oil pack, simply smooth castor oil over your abdomen and cover with a warm, damp washcloth. Then wrap your waist with plastic wrap and relax for 10 minutes or more. The result: Relief from GI discomfort and a waist that measures as much as 2 inches slimmer!
To Deflate a Puffy Midsection Caused by Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Peppermint has been used to release retained water for thousands of years, and now research published in Digestive Disease and Sciences provides additional evidence that a the tasty mint can dramatically reduce bloating. Indeed, in a meta-analysis of 121 treatment trials for IBS, peppermint was shown to be more effective than anti-spasmodics, tricyclic antidepressants and fiber in relieving unpleasant symptoms. One mode of action: compounds in the peppermint leaves boost production of bile in the gut while speeding the stomach’s ability to digest food before it can create the gasses in the belly responsible for bloat. Bonus: Research in the journal Phytotherapy Research suggests sipping peppermint tea in the evening will help offset the sleep-robbing side-effects of a big meal, and help you slumber longer and deeper. More benefits of peppermint tea here.
To Flush Water Weight Associated With Gas
Simply chewing 1/2 Tbs. of caraway seeds after each meal may help dramatically ease uncomfortable gas—and the bloat that comes with it. An overview of the existing research on caraway seeds published in 2019 concluded that ancient folk cure has extremely beneficial effects in the intestinal tract thanks to a healing array of fatty acids as well as unique essential oils. The study also revealed some evidence of caraway seeds being helpful in fat loss as well as water loss. Caraway seeds contain gentle diuretic compounds, plus they destroy gas-forming intestinal yeast and bacteria. Find caraway seeds—which have a sweet-and-spicy flavor with a hint of dill—in your grocery store spice aisle.
To Slim Swollen Ankles
Point your toes If puffy ankles make slipping on strappy sandals or enjoying a summer stroll uncomfortable, help is here! As you unwind with a book, try this: At the beginning of each chapter, point your toes, then flex your foot, repeating 5 times. A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology suggests the simple “pumping action” removes trapped fluids and slims calves by nearly half an inch—that’s better results than wearing doctor-recommended compression socks!
How to Lose the Water Weight From Head to Toe
When researchers in Brazil administered 900 mg of a wild herb known as Field Horsetail to 36 healthy subjects and measured its diuretic effect, they found that it helped flush water weight without depleting the body of healthy electrolytes. The scientists theorize that antioxidants and mineral salts in horsetail boost the speed your kidneys processing of water, and, in doing so, help release bloat from head to toe. For more ways to lose the water weight click here.
Click through for a complete guide to a lymphatic diet for weight loss from our sister publication First for Women for easy ways to unblock your lymph system so that cellulite, jiggly fat and bloat just fall off.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.