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How To Start A Low Sodium Diet For Weight Loss

How To Start A Low Sodium Diet For Weight Loss

Are you interested in improving your heart health and losing weight?

Then one lifestyle change you might want to consider is a low sodium diet. This eating program is easy and inexpensive to follow and although it might take a little getting used to, the benefits you reap are more than worth it.

Why the Low Sodium Diet is Important

There are several reasons why the low sodium diet is considered to be so helpful, both for general health and weight loss. One of the most important reasons is that it is good for your heart. Why? When you eat a diet with a lot of sodium, this can raise your blood pressure — and blood pressure, also called hypertension, is one of the main risk factors not only for heart attacks but for strokes. Since heart disease is the number one killer in America for both men and women, a low sodium diet is an important part of preventing the onset of this disease.

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Weight Loss

A low sodium diet can also help with weight loss.

Why? Quite simply, water follows salt. If you have a lot of salt in your diet, your body will be more likely to retain water. The result is bloating, discomfort and increased overall water weight. The good news is, though, that a low sodium diet will correct this problem naturally and allow you to drop these excess fluids.

If you want to know more about weight loss, you can’t miss the following article that provides all useful tips you need:

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Weight Loss Plan And Program: Create Your Own One

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    Foods to Include in a Low Sodium Diet

    Another attractive thing about this diet is that it does not require you to cut out whole food groups like some eating plans do. The best foods to enjoy for a low sodium diet include:

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    • Fresh fruits and vegetables
    • Fresh meats
    • Most dairy products
    • Whole grains like whole wheat pasta and bread or brown rice
    • Unsalted nuts and seeds of all kinds
    • Dry beans, peas and lentils (in other words, not from a can)
    • Eggs
    • Fresh or dry herbs to add flavor to favorite dishes
    • Olive oil or other oils like safflower or sunflower oil

    These foods will allow you to follow a healthy, balanced diet while still watching your sodium intake.

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      Foods You Should Avoid

      One of the drawbacks of a low sodium diet, however, is the number of foods that you have to cut out from your daily routine. These include:

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      • Most processed foods (such as microwaves dinners or boxed foods like macaroni and cheese)
      • Canned foods, especially canned soups
      • Pre-packaged foods like sauces, creams, gravies or dressings
      • Table salt
      • Salted butter
      • Some high-sodium cheeses
      • Processed meats (this includes deli meats, ham, bacon, sausage or cured meats).

      General Tips for Following a Low Sodium Diet

      Here are some general rules that will make it easier for you to follow a low sodium diet:

      • Keep track of your sodium intake at each meal. Aim for no more than 2,000mg in a single day.
      • Read labels carefully so that you know exactly how much sodium is in each serving of what you are eating.
      • Do not be fooled by products which claim to be “low sodium” or “reduced sodium” until you have confirmed just how much salt they contain.
      • To make sure you still have a flavorful diet, use fresh or dried herbs and spices, lemon or lime juice, olive oil and other similar ingredients to make sure your dishes still taste good even with less salt.
      • Salt substitutes such as those based on potassium are also available in most grocery stores (usually, you will find them right next to the bottles of table salt!). However, let your doctor know if you are using this kind of substitute as it can interfere with certain medications.

      In short, a low sodium diet is generally easy to follow and while it does take a little extra time to read labels and avoid processed foods, the benefits to your heart health and your ability to lose water weight make this a very attractive proposition for anyone interested in leading a more health-conscious life.

      Featured photo credit: Ashley Kirk via stocksnap.io

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      Brian Wu

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      Last Updated on September 20, 2018

      How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

      How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

      Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

      If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

      1. Breathe

      The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

      • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
      • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
      • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

      Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

      2. Loosen up

      After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

      Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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      3. Chew slowly

      Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

      Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

      Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

      4. Let go

      Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

      The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

      It’s not. Promise.

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      Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

      Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

      21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

      5. Enjoy the journey

      Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

      Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

      6. Look at the big picture

      The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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      Will this matter to me…

      • Next week?
      • Next month?
      • Next year?
      • In 10 years?

      Hint: No, it won’t.

      I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

      Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

      7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

      You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

      Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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      8. Practice patience every day

      Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

      • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
      • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
      • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

      Final thoughts

      Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

      Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

      Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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