Limiting sodium intake can have a severe, immediate effect on water weight. Reducing sodium intake can result in up to 5 pounds of water weight lost in the first few days or week of a new diet plan. Eating fewer starches can also affect water retention and weight.
Avoiding processed, prepackaged foods that are high in sodium helps drastically reduce a person's regular sodium intake. Preparing fresh foods and adding salt during cooking is a good way to control precisely how much sodium is ingested. Drinking plenty of water and eating a large amount of vegetables fight off hunger and make it easier to feel full more quickly, reducing the risk of overeating.
Canned vegetables also typically have a large amount of sodium, so they should be rinsed or replaced with a low-sodium fresh or frozen option. Sodium is present in soups, sauces and condiments in high amounts. Ketchup, teriyaki sauce and relish contain high amounts of salt in small servings. Using spices and herbs to flavor food instead of heavy sauces during cooking provides flavor while still reducing sodium levels to fight water weight. Restaurant foods are notoriously high in sodium and should be avoided or carefully considered when attempting to lose water weight overnight.