The Waterfall Diet, About Water Retention

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The Waterfall Diet

The Waterfall Diet is the title of a book describing how to remove up to seven different causes of hidden water retention. By helping you to understand what may be causing your water retention, the book can help you safely lose excess water weight and can also combat problems such as swollen legs, feet, ankles, fingers or tummy, idiopathic edema, high blood pressure and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

The procedure starts with a dietary test which you administer yourself for two weeks to discover whether your water retention is one of the types which can be improved by changing what you eat. Very frequently it is, as you can see from these testimonials. Part of the plan is to find the foods which are safe for you to eat, and part consists of balancing your diet with the right fruits and vegetables, and avoiding foods and drinks that upset your hormonal balance. Linda Lazarides’ books take you step by step through the necessary process, so that you will understand exactly what will make your condition worse or better.

The second and third stages of the plan depend on the results of your test. Some people find that their water retention improves very rapidly during the initial test, and this is an excellent sign. Others improve only a little, or sometimes their water retention does not improve but they feel less tired, their skin improves, and they experience other health benefits.

The Waterfall Diet was developed by British naturopathic nutritionist Linda Lazarides and is also the title of her book. See this book rated on

  • Look for the Waterfall Diet paperback book on Amazon
  • To order the Waterfall Diet book from a bookstore ask for ISBN 978-0749942533
  • Download the E-gu >

About Linda Lazarides

Linda Lazarides is an international expert on water retention, author of eight books and founder of the British Association for Nutritional Therapy. She has successfully treated hundreds of people referred to her by doctors. See success stories or download E-guide.

Some diseases affect your body’s ability to store or use potassium. For exampld, Crohn’s disease affects the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, causing you to have abnormally low levels of potassium. People with kidney disease or gastrointestinal illnesses may also experience potassium deficiencies. Additionally, people who take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, may have to supplement potassium to prevent a deficiency, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center website.`

Hi Linda. I’m pretty sure I have idiopathic edema. I’m 53 and recently had my physical. I’ve gained 7 lbs since last year and nothing has changed. Same exercises, maybe even eating a little less than I used to. BP up at 130/80. All tests: kidney, liver, thyroid, bloodwork normal except cholesterol high but ratio of good vs. bad lipids was excellent. Doctor said I’m post menopausal and gave me spironolactone, a mild diuretic and sent me out the door. I know I have water retention. I dance a lot so when I look in the mirror while I am dancing and notice that my thighs jiggle and see the indentations the leotards make when I take them off, I KNOW that’s what it is. I’ve done the waterfall diet in the past and it’s worked beautifully so I am back on phase 1 again. So far, it’s day 2 and I’ve lost 2 1/2 pounds. I hope to lose the rest and get my BP back to 110/60, my waist to a 25″ and get rid of this aching, tiredness and migraines which are ruining my life. Doctors have been no help. My husband thinks I am a cyberchondriac. I just want to feel better. Do you think that this sounds like idiopathic edema or is my water retention due to a hidden medical condition that the doctors missed? Such as estrogen dominance?

Gina, it’s great news the waterfall diet is helping again, but be sure to complete all the testing process, then you will know the cause of your water retention and which foods are safe for you to eat.

About a year ago my hands started to swell. They would tingle at making a fist. My weight went up by almost 15 lbs almost instantly. My face is always puffy, my legs have about 1inch pitted edema in them. I have been to the doc several times and now take massive amounts of water pills which do not seem to help. I have shortness of breath when the swelling is at its worse. This swelling is throughout my body. My hands, legs, ankles, face tummy ect. I am very frustrated and I don’t know what else to do. I have had a ton of blood work done and everything seems to come back normal. My doc doesn’t seem as concerned about this as I am. I am very uncomfortable.

If this is type 2 water retention (idiopathic oedema) it is the type most likely to benefit from reading the Waterfall Diet book. There are at least seven causes of this kind of water retention, and the book will give you the best chance of identifying what may be causing your problem.

My husband has been experiencing the same thing!! He’s lost 18lbs of water weight in a week and now it’s starting to turn back around and come back on. He’s had so many test done to try to determine that cause and all the test come back normal! His doctors are stumped and so are we. It’s so frustrating.

Hello! I i’m a little frustrated, would like to ask you.. everytime, i start doung excercise or start a diet of 1400-1500, Instead of loosing weight i start gaining and being puffy, Don’t know what to do. I just need to loose 8 pounds and seems impossible! I’m a little short so every pound counts. I run in intervals and walk… for 45 4 times a week. Please help!… Thank you Nathaly

Doing exercises and reducing calories should not make you puffy Nathaly, there must be something more going on. If you have read my book this may help to give you some clues as you may find that some of the information fits you.

After developing an unexplained PE in Dec 2011, I was commenced on clexane and warfarin. After 3 days, I had my first anaphylactic reaction, and subsequently have had a further 28 anaphylactic reactions since then. I was taken off the medications after 6 weeks. There is no pattern to any of the anaphylactic reactions I do have daily urticaria and agiodema. I developed and been diagnosed as idiopathic chronic urticaria and angiodema. I’m currently taking 6 antihistamines daily. I have been on an elimination diet, which I was only eating lamb, chicken, beef, lettuce, brown rice, potatoes, green beans, pears, rice milk and puffed rice. I drink a minimum of 3 litres of water a day. I gave gained over 15 kilo since this began. I’m so bloated, I have so much fluid all over, but my left knee has extra fluid it feels totally different to the right one. I do hope your book will help me.

I had breast cancer, reconstruction, radio, chemo, hysterectomy over 9 years ago now. My weight still continues, I have put on 30 kgs since starting my diagnosis. They say I have fibromyalgia and cannot lose weight even with diet and exercise. Naturopath says my cells are dehydrated and outside my cells are waterlogged. I have now had a shoulder operation and seem to have lymphodaemia. I just don’t know where to turn. Can you help?

Judy, I’m not sure whether I can help or not, though you are welcome to sign up for an online consultation. However before you consider the cost of this, you should know that I would probably in any case start off with the advice given in my book. Wishing you well.

hello, I put on 65lbs in a year I kept telling my doctor I was retaining water but when he pressed my shin it didn’t indent my hands didn’t swell this seemed mostly in my trunk of my body and my face finally at the end of that year my left shin swelled up he put me on bumex water pill at first I took it twice a day now im down to once a day I have lost 40lbs but that last 25 wont come off if I don’t take the pill I can feel the water accumulating under my skin in the trunk area/stomach and I will gain 2-3 lbs by the next morning also im 3 to 5 lbs heavier by betime than I am in the morning, recent after a surgery I was unable to take the water pill for 2 consecutive days and I put on seven lbs in 2 days but that came off when I started back on the water pill. I have been an avid walker for 8 years, I walked a minimum of 1.5 miles a day but through most of that 65 lb gain I was walking 2-2.5 miles a day. I do have a dx of inflamitory arthritis and fibromyalgia I believe I eat mostly healthy also with the swelling in my lower leg when I press it doesn’t indent in it never did but you can see that its swelled my doctor also has me wearing compression socks I call them my old man socks…its a real attractive look. I am a 49 yr old female thank you in advance for any advice you can give me I will be ordering your book. sincerely sue s. ps. im scared that I will have to be on this water pill for the rest of my life or worse I wont be able to be on it for the rest of my life and could end up with a nonstop weight gain.

Sue, I can understand how scary this is. Hoping the book has helped you. Beware that in the long term water pills do make water retention worse.

Hi there I just started phase 1 and I have a few questions please help me if you can. Is decaf coffee ok on Phase 1? and is eating radish as beneficial as drinking the juice? also I bought some fine oatmeal to do the muesli recipe that is in the book but then noticed it said ‘contains gluten’ and you say not to have gluten at phase one but there is a suggestion for this recipe. I am confused, can I have it then? Many thanks in advance.

Hi there I just started phase 1 and I have a few questions please help me if you can. Is decaf coffee ok on Phase 1? and is eating radish as beneficial as drinking the juice? also I bought some fine oatmeal to do the muesli recipe that is in the book but then noticed it said ‘contains gluten’ and you say not to have gluten at phase one but there is a suggestion for this recipe. I am confused, can I have it then? Many thanks in advance.

Emma, most oatmeal is contaminated with gluten grains so you have to buy oatmeal that is labelled ‘gluten free’. Just follow the diet ‘as is’. It is only for a few weeks.

Hi I have been steadily losing weight back last year in 2013 since may and dropped about almost 15 kg! I was so glad that happened! By the end of the year, my weight loss started to slow, then the year 2014, i had only seen a 0.3 kg drop since last year and that was in March. Now, I put on about 6 kg of who knows what. I was absolutely devastated and depressed. I don’t know what to do. I was eating normally as I did in the past year. Then when I went to the natura path (the doctors are totally useless) she gave me a full body examination and revealed I possibly had parasites, a magnesium and b12 deficiency and held a lot of excess water (about 15 kg of excess water to be precise). I was shocked. But at least I knew it was the water. I also had candida. Also, in the past year I wasn’t sure if i was eating enough – i was eating about 1500-1800 calories and I am a male. I liked to eat chicken, sometimes, but I wasn’t sure if i was getting enough protein though. Another thing is that my measurements last year of all body parts were dropping (especially hips, waist and chest), now my limbs and hips have gained an inch or so, my waist has dropped a few inches and I have a caliper and i am slowly losing body fat. And it can’t be muscle because I am getting less than 6.5 hours of sleep a night. I don’t know what to do and I need some advice :/ But great article there!

Peter, I’m sorry to hear of your unexplained weight gain. It may be that your metabolism slowed down too much due to your dieting, or as you say it may be water retention. The waterfall diet book will give you some avenues to start exploring in your quest to find the causes of your problem, and I wish you great success.

Linda….i feel so blessed to come across this article. I have been battling water retention now for over 9 months and I have seen my doctor have had several blood tests and it continues to cause me problems. My condition is like you described in your interview as severe…I can press my shin and leave indention its frightening. I am so glad you have a book available I am so excited to receive it in the mail so I can begin to heal. Praise God. Thank you Linda!

The past 10 years I am trying to find out why every summer time when the temperature is too high my body have been retaining a large amount of fluid. And is look like I have cellulite. at fist i thought I was just getting fat evey summer .but i have notice that I my weight can be increased over a night . Even 4 kilos. My weight normally is 48 to 49 kilos. I don’t look fat or too much swelling for the others but I feel pain on the touch of my body and this pain is most like burn and turn red and its stays for few seconds when u press the body. The pain is not so intense after summer time but is still there. The last 4 year I become a vegetarian. I cut out completely the meat and dairy products. I manage to retuce the pain but still not find the real cause of all this. I just find out about the waterfall diet and I have order the book. I am so tired trying. I hope it will help me and finally find out the real cause.

Your information reaffirms my suspicions. I am starting to think I have a water retention problem related to my current weight-loss efforts. For the first couple of weeks doing a 1,200 calorie/day eating plan, with carefully planned and balanced meals, consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, high protein dairy, nuts, beans, a little bit of whole grains, AND drinking a gallon of water day, I lost 10 lbs (in the first two weeks). BUT the scale hasn’t budged in two weeks now. I gradually started eating less than 1,200 calories a day, sometimes I’m lucky to get 700, because I’m not as hungry. I’m still drinking a gallon of water a day but going to the bathroom a lot less than I was at first, my eyes are also puffy and just don’t look healthy. I will re examine my food diary and do whatever is necessary to add healthy foods that will bring me up to 1,200/day. Thank you for the information!

You’re welcome Lisa. So many people who want to lose weight don’t understand that if their weight is due to water retention rather than fat, then they will not lose weight on a low-calorie diet. In fact it is very common to keep reducing calories to such an extent that they even make the fluid retention worse. The Waterfall Diet has the best chance of working for this type of problem.

I suffer from frequent urination and have had most of the medical tests. Many times, it seems as though water goes right through me. As a result, I feel dehydrated a lot of the time – even though I drink a decent amount of water. Salt seems to make my problem worse. Do you have any suggestions?

Alastair, please try to read the nutrition advice on this website. It isn’t possible for me to make any other suggestions without a thorough examination using my own investigative tools. If you would like me to recommend a naturopathic nutritionist who has been trained by me, you are welcome to ask.

Please, don’t listen to this “world known Lazarides”, whose only advice is to buy and read her book. Water retention massive like yours can be caused by ill heart(congestive cardiomyopathy) or ill veins with bad valves inside.

Sue, we were going to delete your comment, because it is really unhelpful to Alastair. He has already had all the medical tests, so your comment is not even relevant. There is plenty of free advice on this website, and I have directed him to it. For more specific advice my books are considered the best in the world on this topic, and are not expensive. I also suggested the option of consulting a naturopathic nutritionist. I don’t know where your animosity comes from, but I do not feel that it is deserved here.

So glad to have found your research; it’s refreshing to have actually found someone who tells it like it is about water weight. So last year, I was feeling better than normal (I suffer from clinical depression) and was moving about more as a result. I also began to lose about ten pounds of water weight by the times of each of my quarterly doctor visits. My doctor was delighted and was certain it was because I had decreased my caloric intake and increased exercise. While it is true that I was moving around a little more (I mow our ten acre, hilly lawn with a non-self-propelled push mower, but I do a little of that each day) I have a very light appetite and usually consume around 700 to 1000 calories a day, or less.Truthfully, I’m just not an “eater”. I’ve told my doctor this, but whenever I put on water weight (I’ve been tested and I’m certain it’s idiopathic; I even had facial edema and edema elsewhere all throughout my childhood, and my thyroid, kidneys, etc. always test normal); she stays focused on my “caloric intake” and “bmi” issues, because, after all, I’m on a thiazide diuretic (have been for years) and that should take care of any excess water.:/ So I just MUST be overeating or eating the wrong kinds of foods right now because my weight has been steadily climbing. But I know it’s fluid weight. My bmi is still normal, but up a couple of points. For one thing, I had broken ribs from a freak accident and wasn’t mowing, also my personal life took a bad turn and my depression got worse as a result. And so I’ve gained water weight that just won’t come off. When I fast, I lose no weight, not even water; I usually gain according to the scales. I would like to know your opinion. Does this sound like idiopathic edema? I’m seeing a different doctor next month, btw. Thanks in advance.

Norina, idiopathic edema means edema of unknown cause. That just means your doctors don’t know what is causing it, though many will prescribe diuretics. By now you will have seen other pages on this website warning that these medicines can make this problem worse. Please be assured that at such a low calorie intake you are not over-eating.

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