Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Weight Loss Tips...Sodium

(salt is a huge downfall for me...I love salty foods) I found this article interesting.

Daily sodium intake will always be high in the western diet

The average diet in the western world is commonly made up of fast, packaged or convenient foods. These always consist of high levels of salt and salt contains sodium. If a diet is mainly composed of high sodium foods then naturally the sodium intake also rises thus extra weight is gained quickly as the body holds onto water. It has been estimated that many people in the UK and USA may be carrying up to 5 pounds of extra weight due to the effects of a high sodium intake.

The opposite effect also happens when an individual reduces food intake in order to lose weight quickly. A percentage of the loss will be water because a reduction in high sodium foods means a reduction in daily sodium intake which results in water loss as the kidneys have a chance to finally rid the excess sodium from the body. This also helps partly explain why a dieter may experience the yo-yo effect when dieting, water weight is lost with food reduction but quickly regained when old eating habits are back to normal and daily sodium intake rises once more.

For some people with a diet high in processed or other salty foods, it’s possible that their weight may even go beyond normal range during the day. This is because high intakes of salt / sodium help us to hold more water. The result is we could gain a little more water weight than a diet made up of more natural foods and products. In fact, some experts have suggested that many overweight individuals could be carrying an extra 5 pounds just from excessive fluid gains caused from a “bad” diet of processed foods and snack products high in salt.The way to lose excess water weight gained from the diet is to start gradually reducing the amount of high salt foods from the diet. It could be a good idea to try to eliminate a single high salt food item from the diet each week until your diet contains about 80% natural or low-salt foods. Replace the eliminated food with a similar, but a more natural type from the same food group. This way you can maintain a balanced diet full of your preferred food items without completely changing to a new diet altogether. Although, you should always check with a dietician a before changing your current diet!!

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