So, are you losing water weight or burning body fat and losing weight? When you gain weight without exercise, the weight gain is usually fat and water retention. One big cause of water retention is too much salt consumption (sodium). If you eat many processed foods and not many whole, natural foods, your sodium consumption is too high---and you will take on more water weight.
When you have rapid weight loss through severe calorie restriction, much of that weight loss will be water weight. So, you find yourself regaining this weight quickly when you begin to eat the carbohydrates, proteins and fats that your body needs. Why? Because you will also replenish water stores in your body's cells.
You need to lose your weight the right way to avoid the "yo-yo effect" of rapid weight loss and even more weight gain. You must maintain a caloric deficit to lose weight. This does not mean that you need severe calorie restriction to reach your fat loss and weight loss goals. Severe calorie restriction for too long will lead to health problems.
So, what are you to do? Lose as little water weight as possible so your body is forced to burn more body fat. To limit losing water weight:
1. Eat small meals of whole, natural foods every 3-4 hours. Also, eat protein with every meal. Protein will help you feel full for a longer period and help repair and rebuild your muscles.
2. Exercise regularly with strength training and short interval cardio sessions. Too many long, slow cardio sessions will eat away at your muscles.
3. Never do crash diets or severe calorie restriction! This will usually lead to yo-yo dieting and even more weight gain!
4. Don't lose any more than 2 pounds per week (on average). At the beginning of a new exercise program, you will probably lose 6-8 pounds the first week (especially if you are obese). The weight loss will even out over time.
Don't become frustrated when one week you lose 5 pounds and the next week you lose no pounds. Growing your muscles increases lean body weight. More lean body weight increases your metabolism which helps you burn fat!
Be patient and eat right, build muscle, burn the fat and lose the weight! This process will keep the weight off and you will keep your lean body!