03 Oct Sodium and Weight Loss
Salt also causes you to retain water, which tips the scales upward. By reducing your sodium intake, you may lose weight and also reap other health benefits. Your body needs sodium to control blood pressure and blood volume and maintain proper functioning of your nerves and muscles. Sodium is a natural component of a variety of foods, but it’s added to many high-calorie, processed foods, too.
- Adults 9 to 50 years: 1,500 mg per day
- Younger children: 1,000 to 1,200 mg per day
- Older adults: 1,200 mg per day
- African-Americans and individuals with high blood pressure, kidney disease and diabetes: 1,500 mg per day
- Highest safe sodium intake unlikely to cause health problems: 2,300 milligrams or 1 teaspoon of table salt, a day.
Many intake 3 times the recommendations per day! 1,500 mg is quite difficult to achieve. This is super clean eating. I recommend 2,000 mg for most of my clients.
Sodium’s Effect on Weight
- Sodium does not contain any calories or fat, but it will cause you to retain water.
- After eating salty foods or drinks, your body removes water from your cells into your bloodstream.
- Your blood volume increases, your cells become dehydrated, and you feel thirsty.
- Fluid intake restores the balance between sodium and water in your body.
- 1 gram of salt, which contains 400 milligrams of sodium, may cause a temporary weight gain of 2 pounds.
- Over a seven-day period, you can theoretically lose about 3 pounds if you cut your sodium intake to recommended amounts weight
IMPORTANT: Sodium restriction is NOT a practical, recommended or lasting strategy for losing body weight.
Risks of a High Sodium Diet
- Kidney Disease/Failure
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Heart Disease
Common offenders that Increase Sodium Intake
- Check the Nutrition Facts Label for these products and opt for the ones with the least amount of sodium
- Prepackaged, processed and prepared foods
- Bread, pizza, soup, poultry, cold cuts, and sandwiches (especially in restaurants!)
- Cheese, salty nuts, salted snacks, frozen dinners, condiments, pickles and olives and seasoned salts
Tips for Reducing Sodium Intake
- EAT OUT LESS!!!! (Back in the day this was a luxury. Today it’s the norm!)
- When cooking, season your meals with herbs and spices rather than salt.
- Opt for fresh, lean meats and fresh fruits and vegetables
- Choose low-salt or no-salt nuts, canned foods and broths.
- Rinse canned vegetables and beans in water and opt for dried beans whenever possible