Here’s 1 Trick to Drop 5 Pounds in a Week

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Here’s a hint: You can do it at the spa
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The secret to quickly dropping five pounds of water weight in a week doesn’t involve eating, or avoiding, certain foods

“Do you want to effortlessly drop five pounds in one week without any exercise?” sounds like a poorly scripted 1990s infomercial rather than reliable diet advice. At The Daily Meal we tend to avoid “miracle cures” and subscribe to the philosophy that extreme weight loss measures are counterproductive, and that a long-term diet strategy incorporating a wide variety of lightly processed fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins is the key to a healthy lifestyle. That being said, we acknowledge that there are some dramatic actions that can drop pounds off your next scale reading quickly and efficiently.

Click here to view the Eat as Much as You Want of These 12 Foods and Still Lose Weight Slideshow

Athletes, especially wrestlers or mixed martial artists, are often required to quickly and drastically cut weight in order to qualify to fight under a certain weight class. Rapid weight loss isn’t about burning through pounds of fat, however; these athletes accomplish this seemingly impossible feat by dropping water weight.

But what is water weight, and how can the average person get rid of it?

Water plays a crucial role in daily bodily functions: It transports molecules through the blood, balances body temperature, assists in waste removal, and protects cell tissue. Around 50 to 60 percent of our total body weight is water, but this figure can fluctuate based on daily eating habits. For example, a meal of super-salty French fries can quickly tack on an extra pound or two because the sodium forces your cells to absorb and retain more water. Simple carbohydrates, like those in baked potatoes or pasta, have a similar effect, because three or four grams of fluid are required to process and store one gram of carbohydrates. However, not all eating habits result in water retention; the caffeine in a cup of coffee or tea makes them natural diuretics by increasing short-term urine output.

The secret to quickly dropping five pounds of water weight in a week doesn’t involve eating, or avoiding, certain foods — it turns out it’s as easy as a brief session in the sauna. The intense, dry heat causes the weight to literally drip off of you. According to Harvard Medical Center, a 15- to 20-minute sauna session can result in a pint of water loss (or around one pound of body weight) and can burn up to 500 calories. It’s important to note that temporarily dropping five pounds of water weight is not the equivalent of losing five pounds of fat — the latter is more difficult because the human body is especially efficient at storing fat.

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However, if you think you can avoid water weight altogether by pushing yourself to dehydration, you are mistaken. Paradoxically, when the body is dehydrated it tends to retain more water to compensate for its absence. And while the sauna might lead to instantaneous weight loss, eating a diet rich in protein and water-rich foods and avoiding simple carbohydrates and extra sodium will allow you to sustain a lasting reduction in water weight. Just make sure to check with your physician before considering any serious sauna time.