Sodium Intake And Weight Loss

sodium intake and weight lossWhen it comes to sodium intake and weight loss, there is a lot of confusion. Mostly because everyone and their mother has some sort of opinion on the matter that isnt backed by any facts…None the less, I want to look into the issue so that YOU can have the knowledge so that YOU can reach your goals!

 

Will My Sodium Intake Effect My Weight Loss?

Salt doesn’t trigger your body to gain or lose fat. In fact, salt has no calories at all – so eat up!! Totally kidding… Excessive consumption of salt solely leads to short-term weight gain because it causes your body to retain water. In contrast, low consumption of salt can result in short-term weight reduction as it causes your body to get rid of water. This is why you see body builders jack up their salt intake and then cut it out 3 days before a show. This process actually draws excess water from the body and gives a more lean look.

It does get your attention though when all these crash diets which boast quick weight loss depend upon meals with little or no salt content. The weight loss is mostly water, and as soon as you eat meals containing salt once more you regain the weight. Its a vicious cycle, but lots of people fall for it.

 

Dont Get Me Wrong! – Sodium Intake And Weight Loss

My first few paragraphs would lead you to believe that sodium intake and weight loss shouldnt be of much concern in the long-run. Actually, a nutrition plan excessive in sodium content can not only affect your blood pressure (we will address this in a moment), however it is often associated with weight gain.

The reason being is that our diets are full of sodium and often come from calorie dense, fiber depraved, processed foods, like those found at a fast food joint or in a restaurant; and even on the grocery store shelves! When you stick to a low sodium nutrition plan, you want it to include nutrient dense foods that are as natural as possible and promote weight loss. This is why I drink Shakeology!

 

Salt vs. Sodium – There Is A Difference!

We usually add table salt (sodium chloride) to our food to enhance the flavor. Manufactures add it, usually in obscene quantities, to return taste to processed crap and help preserve them.

Though the sodium and salt are often referred to as one in he same, salt and sodium are not identical. Sodium, which is found naturally in most foods, accounts for roughly 40% of table salt. Subsequently when salt is added to food, the sodium content increases by roughly 40% of the amount of salt added. Why not just soak your food in the ocean?

 

Salt Causes Water Retention?- Sodium Intake And Weight Loss

Our bodies depend on electrolytes, <— (You HAVE to click that…Hilarious!)most importantly sodium and potassium, to carry the electrical impulses that control our bodily functions. In order for our our bodies to operate properly, it is crucial that the concentration of electrolytes in our bodies stay constant.

Too many electrolytes from all those Gatorades you drink – triggers your thirst mechanism, and basically your body wants more water to return to the correct concentration of electrolytes. This is probably why taverns and pubs give you free nuts and pretzels. The salt makes you thirsty…you buy more beer…Genius! The takeaway here in regards to sodium intake and weight loss…stop going to the bar, lol!

Once you consume enough water, our kidneys are able to keep the concentration of electrolytes in our blood stream constant by increasing or decreasing the quantity of water we retain. The result of these fluctuations in water retention may also have an effect on our blood pressure.

The water moves past our bloodstream as well. By way of the process of osmosis, water flows from a lower salinity atmosphere to a higher one in an effort to control the range of salinity. After we consume massive quantities of salt from that Whopper, it is the water transferring from our bloodstream into our pores and skin that gives you that “puffy” look. Then, when you eat less salt, the same course the same process happens in reverse and you expel water.

This should clear up any confusion about sodium intake and weight loss…

If not, just leave your comments below and I will respond promptly! Also, be sure you like this post if you found this info valuable!

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2 comments
Joe
Joe

So, what is an adequate amount of sodium to consume? And, there is a recipe I like to make that calls for four cans of beans (two cans of great northern and two cans of black beans). I have been told if you wash the beans (which I do), it greatly reduces the amount of sodium used to preserve the beans. Is this true?

Coach Todd
Coach Todd

Hey Joe! I follow the national recommendation of 2300-2500mg per day...I do rinse beans in a strainer, it does get rid of a lot of the sodium that is in the liquid. Of course, getting dried beans is always the better choice. Then you can be certain there is no added sodium.