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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 November 19, 2019

      20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

      20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

      Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

      If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

      1. Create a Daily Plan

      Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

      2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

      Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

      3. Use a Calendar

      Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

      I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

      Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

      4. Use an Organizer

      An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

      These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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      5. Know Your Deadlines

      When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

      But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

      6. Learn to Say “No”

      Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

      Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

      7. Target to Be Early

      When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

      For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

      Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

      8. Time Box Your Activities

      This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

      You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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      9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

      Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

      10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

      Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

      You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

      11. Focus

      Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

      Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

      Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

      12. Block out Distractions

      What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

      I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

      When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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      Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

      13. Track Your Time Spent

      When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

      You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

      14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

      You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

      Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

      15. Prioritize

      Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

      Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

      16. Delegate

      If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

      When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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      17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

      For related work, batch them together.

      For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

      1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
      2. coaching
      3. workshop development
      4. business development
      5. administrative

      I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

      18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

      What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

      One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

      While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

      19. Cut off When You Need To

      The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

      Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

      20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

      Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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