Preparing Americans to Serve in the Military, Special Ops, Law Enforcement, & Fire Fighting

Meet Stew Testimonials  | YouTube Videos  | List of Articles  | Favorite APP Workouts  | FREE Workouts | Contact /Newsletter

 Losing Weight or Water Weight?



This week, I received an email from a future military enlistee who is preparing to serve his country in the Marine Corps.  He writes, I need to lose ten more pounds before I can join the military.  I was wondering if taking a diuretic and laxative and working out in a plastic suit will help me lose this last ten pounds? 

You must have been talking to a wrestler from the 1970-80s.  Depleting your body of water will create a loss of weight, but it is ONLY water weight.  Of course the exercise you are doing to sweat is helpful BUT losing too much water too fast can KILL you.  This weight will come back as soon as you drink or eat again.  We used to do this when I was on the wrestling team, and it worked for a few pounds to cut to competing weight, BUT I would never recommend anyone to do this type of desperate weight loss.

Here is what happens when you start sweating out all the water in your body.  Dehydration in your body results in several ways sweating profusely, excessive excretion from diuretics and laxatives are the few you named.  Your body is over 75% water and needs this percentage to remain close to that amount in order to function properly. 

Sweat is not only water, but salt and electrolytes.  These compounds help regulate nerve and muscular function.  Without them entire systems start to break down and this can be fatal.  Also, once you stop sweating, there is no mechanism in your body to regulate body temperature and you could overheat and die from heat stroke.

Removing additional water from your digestive system by diuretics and laxatives causes the kidneys to overwork and eventually stop functioning.  When this occurs the liver assists the body in excretion waste products (if it can) and it stops with its primary mission of metabolizing fat as an energy source.  So in a nutshell, you shut down your entire metabolism and your body tries desperately to cling onto any remaining water and fat.  This actually can cause the opposite desired affect your body now is retaining water and fat just to survive.

This process is a vicious cycle.  The true way to burn fat and lose weight for the long term is to actually drink water plus exercise.  I usually drink over a gallon of water a day but I exercise for more than two hours a day usually.  I would recommend 2-3 quarts for women and 3-4 quarts for men per day of water to see huge results in weight loss.  The equation looks like this:


Fat loss = water + oxygen (from cardio vascular exercise)


Typical and safe weight loss amounts range from 2-3 pounds per week from using this formula.  Any weight loss more than that and you are losing water weight which will come back as quickly as it left. 


For fast weight loss read Drop The Sugar


Related article - ABDs of Nutrition


Here is a great email from a 100+lb weight loss story!!!



 I'm not sure you remember me I emailed you last year about losing over a 100 lbs!  I wanted to join the army but the only way to do that was to lose 100 lbs.....I did a lot of what you said.  I first emailed you when i was 350 as of now I'm 240.....I just want to let you know and to also thank you I will be taking the asvab and joining in Feburary 2009..


Get some more ideas on nutrition and fitness programs by checking out the Fitness Article Archive

These articles link to the Stew Smith PT Club eBook store which can give you immediate access to programs to help you on your way to losing weight.  And, of course, feel free to email any fitness or military fitness questions you may have at


Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at



flag.gif - 12306 Bytessealpin.jpg - 3244 Bytessfjpg.jpg - 5513 Bytes1ranger.jpg - 3266 Bytes aflogo.jpg - 8052 Bytes1swcc.jpg - 3028 Bytes FBI

Published Books / DVDs
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness (Book / DVD)
Maximum Fitness

The Special Operations Workout

The SWAT Workout - From Recruit to SWAT Team Member
The Combat Swimmer Stroke DVD

The Pre-Habit Workout DVD
Clinic DVD for Navy SEAL PST
The FBI Special Agent Test Clinic DVD

The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks:

Fitness for All Levels of Fitness

The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness
The Advanced Maintenance and Recovery Program

Reclaim Your Life - The Erin O'Neill Program

Veteran's Fitness - Baby Boomer and a Flat Stomach

The Busy Executive Workout Routine
The Advanced Weights / PT Workout (Fall / Winter Weight Gain Cycle)
The Perfect Pushup Workout

The TRX Workout
- Circuit Training 101 ebook

NEW Obstacle Course Race Ebook

The Special Forces Physical Fitness Workouts
 Combat Conditioning Workout

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1  Beginner Weeks 1-9
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3 - Intermediate Weeks 1-12
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4  Grinder PT -  Four weeks before Hell Week

Navy SWCC Workout

The Army Special Forces / Ranger Workout 

The Army Air Assault School Workout

The Army Airborne Workout

Air Force PJ / CCT Workout

The Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Workout

The OCS, ROTC, Service Academy, & Bootcamp Workouts

New - Army PRT and CRT
Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard OCS Workout

The USMC IST and PFT Workout
USMC OCS / TBS Workout
The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Bootcamp Workout

The Army OCS and PFT Workout
The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT


The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts

The FBI Academy / PFT Prep Workout

The DEA Prep Workout

The FLETC Prep Workout - Ace the PEB

The State / Local Police Academy Workout

The Fire Fighter Workout

Seal Multi Men's Multi-Vitamin Multi-Mineral

TRX Train Like the Pros


Some Titles Above available in Print Softcover Format