What is sodium and how does cause weight gain? Most people do not realize that sodium is a huge culprit in weight loss as well as overall health. The food industry is always trying to find ways to bring people back to their product and create "fat-free", "low-fat" and "no sugar" products to hang on to their more health conscious fans. What the food industry has done has found that if they reduce the fat and sugar, they can raise the sodium in order to make their product taste good. So how does this cause weight gain? Sodium causes water retention. If you consume more sodium than water, the sodium is not released and retains in your body causing weight gain. Sodium is hidden in foods that we eat, and we do not even realize it. Some drinks high in sodium that you may not be aware of are sports drinks, lemonade, iced teas and other types of drinks. Some of the foods where sodium is often hidden include canned soups, pickled foods, processed and deli meats, cheeses, frozen meals, and bottled sauces such as BBQ, soy, teriyaki and steak sauce. Many times we have consumed high levels of sodium without realizing it and stand on the scale in shock!
How do I lower my sodium?
First, I would recommend keeping an online food diary at a free site such as www.livestrong.com Input your food and see which foods you are eating that are causing you to go too high. This will help you stay within the RDA suggestion of 2400mg or less per day. If you are trying to lose weight, I would recommend even lower since the 2400 is based on a 2000 calorie diet. People over the age of 50 should consider keeping their sodium 1500mg or less.
Second, take processed, canned and bottled foods out of your diet. Eat foods in their wholest form and make your food yourself so you can control how much salt is in it. Canned foods, frozen dinners, packaged meats and cheeses, they have to contain a lot of sodium so they will preserve longer. Learn to cook! You can always purchase one of our Fit By Faith Cookbooks to get ideas on what to make! www.fitbyfaith.net/cookbook.html
Third, rarely or never eat out. Eating out is the worst when it comes to sodium. Even "healthy" choices are loaded with sodium. For example, a popular chain restaurant in Brownwood offers a Cobb Salad and it contains a whopping 2600mg of sodium as well as 71g of fat and way over 1000 calories. Your whole day is shot in that one salad and here you thought you were making a good choice! The average dish at most restaurants, regular and fast food is about 2000-4000 a plate. So you opt for a sandwich shoppe instead in hopes of making a healthier choice, check out the nutrition and be amazed at how high the sodium is. Remember, lunch meats are loaded with sodium. You may be able to get a slice of turkey for 1g of fat and 20 calories, but add 600-800mg of sodium to that X 3-5 pieces and you have overdosed! I guarantee you if you stop eating out, the pounds will drop quickly!
Lastly, DRINK MORE WATER. Drinking water is the key to so many things in good health. It is best to drink HALF your body weight in ounces each day and more if you are exercising. If you don't flush it out, it will retain, enough said.
Good health is more than just searching for healthy choices and exercise, you have to educate yourself, research labels and don't trust what the product is called or how it is advertised. Let's work together to make our world a much less bloated place! :o)
This week as you face obstacles in your life whether it be in health and fitness or another area, remember this quote by Rocky Balboa...
"It isn't how hard you can hit, it is how hard you can take a hit and still keep moving forward."
Lord knows I get pelted and pounded at least once a week, but I hold my head up and keep going and I pray you will too!
Krista Johnson is the owner of Fit By Faith Fitness Center which was established in October of 2006.
She is the mother of 4 children ages 18, 13, 10 and 6 and has a passion for helping others get in shape from the inside out. Krista is a walking testimony having lost over 100lbs and has successfully kept it off .
During her weight loss, she had a vision of creating Fit By Faith.
She believed she was to change the atmosphere of the gym and create a different environment for people to work out in. Krista is a former High School Theater Arts teacher and is currently attending college to obtain her B.A in Sports Medicine.
She holds certifications as Personal Trainer with the International Sports Science Association Tae Bo® fitness instructor (Certified by the creator Billy Blanks) Group Fitness Instructor for Adults, Children and Seniors SilverSneakers® Muscle Strength & Range of Motion for Seniors Black Belt 1st Dan in the art of Tae Bo Kwon.
She maintains her certifications annually through continuing education classes and training camps and requires all her instructors at Fit By Faith to do the same. She also competes in races and other competitions regularly.
Krista has appeared in 3 Tae Bo® infomercials on national TV Shape, Collage Video, Looking Good Now and Christian Living Magazines Several times in the Brownwood Bulletin Newspaper.
She has also been featured on several websites such as The Fitness Zone, The Biggest Loser, ivillage as well as the Billy Blanks Website. Krista has been a motivational speaker at many churches and radio stations.
Krista and her husband John, who is co-owner of Fit By Faith, both have hearts to help others to feel good, to be healthy and strive everyday to serve more people in this manner.