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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 September 16, 2019

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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      • (1) Research
      • (2) Deciding the topic
      • (3) Creating the outline
      • (4) Drafting the content
      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
      • (6) Revision
      • (7) etc.

      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

      2. Change Your Environment

      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

      6. Get a Buddy

      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

      Reality check:

      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

      More About Procrastination

      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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