Friday, December 30, 2011

How to Beat the Bloat & lose a few pounds

This is going to redirect you to my new blog!

One of the first things you hear when you want to lose weight is to drink more water. Which completely makes sense, our bodies are about 75% water, so then the question is. Why then do they say, 'oh the first five or ten pounds is all water weight?' I thought I'd finally use my Bachelors of Science degree to explain it to you in super simple terms.

It all has to do with salt. Salt really likes water, it freaking loves water. In fact, the more salt you have in your body, the more water your body will retain. Do you remember that dreaded word osmosis? It's basically the key. You could think of salt like the Brawny paper towel of your body. It will hold it till you put so much water in your body that it can't hold it anymore. In order to overcome all of the salt, you need to drink a lot of water, probably a little more than you think.

The sad fact is, there is SOOOO much salt in all the food and beverages we consume these days, that it's hard to even measure how much salt we are actually consuming, but overall, we are getting too much. Our bodies are fabulous machines that constantly adjust and modify to deal with the foods and beverages we are putting in, but your body cannot make water. You have to supply it. They say the average person, roughly 150 lbs, needs 8, 8 oz glasses of water per day. If you weigh more, exercise more, breathe harder, drink a lot of caffiene (a natural diuretic... it makes you shed water), you need to drink even more water.

Getting back to the first 5 or 10 lbs of weight loss. It is basically the body shedding the extra water it holds on to, because you are finally overcoming the amount of salt or over saturating the paper towel and it can shed that extra water.

If you want to beat that bloat a little quicker, Jillian Michaels came up with a recipe that she says can help you loose 5 lbs in 5 days. This is just the water weight. However, it can help you with a good kick start to loose more and you'll just feel better.

I've made this drink many times. I drink it on the days that I'm not working, mostly because I don't want to carry a HUGE bottle of water, on the subway to work. I have modified it slightly the last few times I've made it, but not much. Years ago I tried a diet called "Fat Flush" it basically is an elimination diet, she also suggests using cranwater to help eliminate extra bloat also. So this is not a new idea, but it's a good one.

I'll pose the entire recipe at the end.

Step 1: Dandelion Root

Buy a tea that has dandelion root. I personally buy plain ol' dandelion root. The tea I posted here is by Traditional Medicinals . I buy this stuff at Target, give a shout out to Target! It's the cheapest place to purchase, usually a little less than $4 a box. You could also buy a mixed detox tea, Yogi teas have a few good ones that are pretty tasty, but make sure it has dandelion root.

Why Dandelion root? It is a gentle diuretic. Dandelion is awesome, if you want to read about all the things it can do for you, check the link here.

There are directions on how to use the tea on the box. I believe it says you can have up to 3 tea bags a day (a good idea when using any herb is to make sure it works with any meds you are taking and please follow suggested usage.)

Step 2: Brew the tea.... This is where I deviate from the plan just a bit. I use 8 tea bags for 4 cups of water. Basically somewhat following the suggested guidelines on the box. I put them in this large pyrex container and let them brew for 15 minutes. Make sure you squeeze out the tea bags at the end, to get all the nutrients!

This is what it looks like when it's done. Kinda gross, but I'm making a concentrate here, so it's okay.

3. Add Lemons! Yeah lemons are sooo pretty and fresh! I love them. Lemons are also a natural diuretic. Again, I'll put Jillians recipe at the end, but I use the juice of 5 lemons in my concentrate.

4. Add Cranberry juice. The cranberry juice has to be 100% cranberry juice, not from ocean spray or any of that stuff. You would not want to drink it on it's own, it's very, very tart. You can buy it at trader joes, probably the health food section of the grocery store or at a health food store. It does last a while in the fridge, so don't worry. It is also a natural diuretic. You can read more about the benefits of cranberry's here.

I use about 3/4 of a cup of cranberry juice for the concentrate, mostly because I just kinda like it. The concentrate will stain and the jars they put it in are terrible. So make sure you have a few paper towels handy. I usually put one near the lip of the jar where I'm pouring to catch the spills. I also store it in glass containers.

5. I then put the mixture in the fridge. I usually just leave it in the large pyrex measuring cup, but sometimes I'll pour it into a glass jar. I like the measuring cup, because it prevents spills. You could make this daily and it probably wouldn't be as much of an issue. I usually take about 1/4 of the container and add it to a large bottle of water 1.5L and then carry it around with me.

I know you can add Stevia, a natural sweetener if you'd like, but I don't add anything, as I'm really trying to cut out sugar. Just make sure you drink a LOT of water with it, because you are trying to shed the extra water your body holds on to, but you don't want to dehydrate yourself!

If you try it, let me know what you think.

Jillian Michael's Recipe

60 oz water
1 Tbsp Cranberry Juice
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Dandelion Root Tea Bag



  1. I'm definitely going to try this! Thanks! P.S. It should be lose not loose ;)

  2. You lose weight and then your clothes will be loose. Two different words there, not interchangeable.

    1. Wish I was better at editing than you are! Not my best quality. Oh well. :)

  3. I have a question. I made the mixture you mapped out, but tweeked it a bit. I have a 48 oz bottle that I take to work so I used four of the tea bags to 3 cups of water, added 1/2 cup of cranberry juice and used the juice from 3 lemons. Do you put 1/4 cup of the mixture into 6 cups of water? It's just taste like lemon water, which is great, but did I do it right?

    1. It should be a light flavor, you can adjust it to taste with the cranberry and lemon, the tea not so much. I kinda just play around until I like it. Good luck.

  4. I saw Jillian's recipe on another site and it said to use 16 oz of water

    1. Hey Alma,

      Yeah, really the point is here is to use a little of each ingredient and drink a bunch of water, just watch out for how much Dandelion Root you actually consume. 160z of water isn't enough water to flush all that stuff out. Best wishes!

  5. How long does the recipe you posted usually last? I see that you mix 1/4 of it with 1.5L of water. Do you do this once or twice a day for 5 days? I've done a variation of this before but just cant remember the dilution. And im interested in trying your recipe! Thanks

  6. I usually drink the concentrated version over 2 or 3 days. :)