Gaining weight is a fairly common (and annoying) side effect of some methods of birth control. If you find yourself packing on the pounds after starting a new birth control routine, you might need to take some action. You can try exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet to help minimize the water weight your body may be retaining. You can also try talking to your doctor about your symptoms, or even switching to another form of birth control with fewer hormonal side effects.
Making Dietary Changes
1 Eat a balanced diet. One of the most common causes of added weight after beginning a birth control regimen is water weight, especially during the initial period when your body is still adjusting to the new medication. Eating a balanced diet can help you lose this water weight and lead a more healthy life in general.
- Eat a healthy mix of vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and low-fat dairy every day.
2 Eat foods that are high in fiber and lean protein. A diet that’s high in fiber and lean protein may help you lose weight or increase your current weight loss. The diet may also help lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health. Aim to eat 5.5 ounces (160 g) of protein and 0.7–1 ounce (20–28 g) of fiber every day.
- High-fiber foods include raspberries, pears, apples, whole wheat grains, and broccoli.
- Lean protein foods include salmon and chicken breasts.
3 Steer clear of high-sodium foods. Sodium can increase your fluid retention and water weight, which leads to weight gain. In addition to drinking water to flush your system, avoid foods that are especially high in sodium like:
- Salted nuts
- Canned food
- Smoked or salted meat (such as bacon or ham)
- Cold cuts
- Soy sauce
- Fast food items like chips or french fries
4 Increase your water intake. Though it may seem counterintuitive, one of the best ways to reduce water weight is by staying hydrated. Drinking plenty of water can help you shed water weight by keeping your fluid levels in balance.
- Women should drink at least 2.7 L (0.71 US gal) of water every day.
- Avoid drinks that can dehydrate you, like alcohol.
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