We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Effective are Diuretics for Weight Loss?

By Bethany Keene
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Diuretics are not particularly effective for weight loss. These "water pills" act as a temporary solution, eliminating bloating and "water weight" from the body, but they don't actually cause a person to lose fat. Using diuretics for weight loss is not only an ineffective solution in the long term, but it can also be potentially dangerous, and it is not recommended by medical professionals.

These medications simply encourage urination, often by increasing the flow of urine from the kidneys or by preventing sodium absorption, so the excess sodium in the body is then removed in the urine. When sodium is absorbed into the body, it causes a person to retain water, which causes bloating and water weight gain. Diuretics help to prevent and alleviate this.

People use diuretics for weight loss when they want to lose weight quickly, because they can rapidly reduce the appearance of bloating. This should not be considered true weight loss, however, because as soon as the person stops taking diuretics and resumes eating and drinking normally, the weight will come right back on. Rather than using diuretics, experts recommend making healthy changes to the diet and incorporating regular exercise into daily life. To reduce bloating, individuals can cut back on salt and increase the amount of water they are drinking, both of which can be effective in the relatively short term.

Using diuretics for weight loss can be dangerous; it can cause potassium levels in the body to drop and can even lead to dehydration. Dehydration leading to an electrolyte imbalance in the body has the potential to be fatal or to cause permanent damage to the kidneys. It is often preceded by muscle weakness, nausea, or fatigue, and can lead to an irregular heartbeat. In general, diuretics should be taken if they are recommended by a medical professional, such as for people suffering from high blood pressure or for women who find they are retaining water prior to menstruation.

Rather than taking diuretic pills to prevent bloating and water retention, many people use natural diuretics instead. Caffeinated drinks such as coffee and tea act as natural diuretics, as does cranberry juice. Eating fruits and vegetables can also increase the frequency of urination. It is important for people to replace any fluids lost with water. Individuals should remember that rapid weight loss of any type is unhealthy and can be potentially very dangerous for the body.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By candyquilt — On May 08, 2013

@MikeMason-- I guess you had a lot of water retention because it's not possible to lose weight (fat) on diuretics. I'm sure you have been urinating more frequently since you started the medication right?

If you were to stop taking it, you would start retaining water again and eventually return to your prior weight. I'm also guessing that at some point, after all the retained water is gone, you will not lose any more weight on the diuretics.

I understand you have to take these medications for health reasons. But for those of us who don't need to take it, following a water retention diet which reduces salt intake or having a few cups of green tea is enough to reduce water weight.

By stoneMason — On May 07, 2013

I have to take diuretic medication for water retention, so I'm not using it to lose weight. But I have been losing weight on it and I'm sure it's not just water weight because it has been steady.

By serenesurface — On May 07, 2013

I tried diuretic medications for weight loss but realized soon enough that it only works for a short time. As soon as I drank water, I gained all the lost weight back, which of course, isn't really weight. And since diuretics cause the body to flush out water, it cause a lot of thirst.

I don't take diuretics anymore but I do drink tea and coffee everyday for detoxification and to reduce bloating. These have the same effect as diuretics like the article said, but they're more beneficial because they also contain antioxidants. Coffee also has an appetite reducing effect on me, which is great.

The other good part about is that I can only drink so much tea and coffee, so it kind of regulates the dose on its own. With diuretics, it's easy to take too much and which causes dangerous dehydration.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.