You’re counting your calories, you know how many carbs, fats and proteins you’re taking every day and you’re working out pretty much all the time. However, there’s still some weight that doesn’t seem to budge. The reason for this may be your salt intake.
You’re probably consuming too much salt.
But here’s the deal…
Your body needs sodium to function. Sodium can be obtained through salt. Your body doesn’t need too much salt though – just the right amount of it. Too little to zero may cause health complications and too much may cause water retention. Water retention can increase your weight and even negatively affect your weight loss efforts.
Why water retention is bad?
Salt retains water in the body and this is often one of the major causes of weight gain. Furthermore, it can also lead to dehydration.
When you’re working hard to lose weight and your sodium levels are high, the salt you consume will inhibit water from performing its vital functions in the body. Therefore, it will not work on your metabolism and burn calories; it will only remain stagnant in your body thus, taking a toll on your weight loss goals.
There’s also another connection between sodium and your weight. When you consume salty foods, you begin to feel thirsty because your body gets dehydrated. Some people tend to quench their thirst with high-calorie beverages such as soft drinks, energy drinks and other store-bought fatty and sugary drinks.
Salt also amplifies the taste of certain food items. This may result in overeating.
How much is enough?
You cannot survive without sodium, but modern day research shows that the average American consumes more than 3000 mg of salt per day – that’s double the recommended amount!
The American Heart Association recommends consuming 1500 mg of sodium (salt) per day. Processed food and snacks consist of heaps of salt so be sure to check the packaging and find out how much salt a serving contains before having something.
How you can reduce salt from your diet?
Your best bet would be to prepare your meals at home. This gives you complete control of all the ingredients you add into your meals.
Additionally, consider making the following changes in your lifestyle:
Throw away all store bought cookies, chips, crackers and other salty snacks -
Processed junk is always packed with sodium. There are many cleaner alternatives for processed junk food. For example, instead of having packaged chips, try oven baked sweet potato fries. Season with a pinch of sea salt; add some herbs and this could make a healthy and delicious snack!
Get rid of store-bought salted nuts -
The obvious alternative for this is consuming raw and unsalted nuts as snacks. Nuts can be used to prepare a variety of healthy snacks as well.
Ease into a low-salt lifestyle -
If you are used to having a lot of salt in your food, first focus on getting rid of all the junk food in your pantry. Switch to a light salt or try adding your favorite spices to your food to add flavor. Avoid making drastic changes as this may make your new health choices less sustainable.
Let's face it, there's a stigma attached to being overweight. Whether it's the waif-like Miley Cyrus who is in her 20s or the emaciated looking Demi Moore who is well into her 50s, pictures of skinny celebrities are thrust in our faces every day. We are constantly reminded that thin is equivalent to rich, successful, famous, and beautiful. Our culture makes it hard for overweight people to have good self-esteem and confidence. Naturally thin people may not realize this, but overweight people struggle with body image issues all their lives. This lack of confidence and feeling of inferiority makes it all the more difficult to stay motivated about pursuing weight loss.
Weight loss is much more complicated than just eating less and moving more. Many people oscillate between weight loss and weight gain all their lives, and in essence, end up losing and gaining the same pounds over and over again. The battle is often in the mind. The good news is that weight loss can have a domino effect on confidence. As you lose weight and start looking and feeling healthier, you are more energetic, your clothes fit better, you start getting compliments, and your confidence is at an all-time high. A confident person is more likely to stay motivated about a diet and exercise regimen.
Low self-esteem and lack of confidence leads to stress, and stress is known to increase the level of the cortisol hormone in the body. Cortisol is directly related to abdominal obesity. Break out of this vicious circle. Use these tips and tricks to boost your confidence and stay committed to your weight loss plan:
1. Don’t wait for the perfect weight:
Invest in yourself now. Wear nice clothes and makeup to look good and keep your spirits high.
2. Perfect that posture:
Slouching shoulders do nothing for your figure. Stand straight and tall to look your thinnest and feel more confident.
3. Trim those tresses:
Take the advice of an expert hairstylist. Some styles instantly make your face look leaner, and a trendy new look may be just the lift your confidence needs.
4. Go shoe shopping:
Buy a pair of heels that will give you extra height to enhance your silhouette as well as your confidence.
5. Fake it till you make it:
Well-tailored clothes that fit well can make you look skinnier than you are.
6. Ditch the tight clothes:
Ill-fitted clothes are uncomfortable and a constant reminder of your weight. Wear clothes of the correct size for comfort and confidence.
7. Experiment with your look:
What are the styles and colors that hide your bulges? Perhaps layering makes you look slender? Maybe black makes you look lean?
8. Invest in accessories:
A nice handbag, a great pair of shoes, or an elegant set of earrings can instantly lift your mood and do wonders for your self-esteem, and unlike clothes, they'll still be usable when you've reached your goal weight.
Weight loss and confidence are deeply intertwined. Confidence can help accelerate weight loss and losing weight increases confidence. Don't let your confidence take a beating because you're not at your ideal weight. Embark on a healthy weight loss plan with confidence. Going from overweight to a normal weight will not only result in better physical health but also a more confident you!