Does Your Salt Intake Affect Weight Loss?
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.
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