How to keep sodium from ruining your weight loss goal

One of the largest obstacles in the majority of people not hitting their weight loss goals is due to sodium, not just calories. Sodium does not add fat or calories. However, sodium does cause your body to retain water. Most people are very conscious of calories and the accompanying affect these days on weight gain, though few understand how much the sodium hidden in their food and beverages is weighing them down. Literally! Here are a few tips to help you overcome this unnecessary road block on your way to your weight loss goal and a healthier body.

1. Read EVERY Label

Most manufacturers add sodium to most processed and prepared foods and beverages not only for taste, but to preserve them. Sodium is an essential electrolyte the body needs, but in small doses. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day — or 1,500 mg if you’re age 51 or older, or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. One tablespoon (15 milliliters) of soy sauce, for example, has approximately 1,000 mg of sodium. Click HERE to view the Center for Disease’s Dietary Guidelines for Sodium.

2. Prep Your Own Food

The best way to ensure you don’t fall victim to sodium, prepare your own meals everyday and week. Even though a lot of restaurants post their calories on the menu, few have sodium added on their menu. According to the CDC, 75% of sodium Americans consume is in processed foods and restaurant meals. Also, most processed foods typically have salt or other additives containing salt. Processed foods include bread, prepared dinners like pasta, meat and egg dishes, pizza, cold cuts, bacon, cheese, soups, and fast foods. If you are looking to start making major cuts at home, I would recommend starting with cutting or reducing some of these foods from your diet first.

3. Don’t Add More Salt

While some recipes call for adding salt, many foods already have sodium in the naturally.  Some foods naturally containing sodium include all vegetables and dairy products, meat, and shellfish to name a few. Condiments also contain salt, so be sure to read the labels and add in moderation.