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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

      Health Writer, Author

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      Last Updated on January 21, 2020

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

      your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

        Why You Need a Vision

        Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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        How to Create Your Life Vision

        Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

        What Do You Want?

        The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

        It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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        Some tips to guide you:

        • Remember to ask why you want certain things
        • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
        • Give yourself permission to dream.
        • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
        • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

        Some questions to start your exploration:

        • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
        • What would you like to have more of in your life?
        • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
        • What are your secret passions and dreams?
        • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
        • What do you want your relationships to be like?
        • What qualities would you like to develop?
        • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
        • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
        • What would you most like to accomplish?
        • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

        It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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        What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

        Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

        A few prompts to get you started:

        • What will you have accomplished already?
        • How will you feel about yourself?
        • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
        • What does your ideal day look like?
        • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
        • What would you be doing?
        • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
        • How are you dressed?
        • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
        • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
        • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

        It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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        Plan Backwards

        It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

        • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
        • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
        • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
        • What important actions would you have had to take?
        • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
        • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
        • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
        • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
        • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

        Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

        It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

        Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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