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how do you control your sodium levels?

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I noticed someone said controlling their sodium levels was one of their keys to weight loss....

If that is the case - how do you control your sodium levels? I tend to eat frozen meals on average for 1 meal 4x a week.... and I know they are high in sodium.

Here is a snap shot of my analysis for the month of February:

Fat - 29.0% (1,242 grams)
Protein - 19.0% (1,824 grams)
Carbohydrates - 50.9% (4,900 grams)
Alcohol - 1.1% (61 grams)
Other - 0.0%

Daily Calorie Intake - 1,466 cals
Daily Sodium Intake - 2,461 mg
Daily Sugar Intake - 53 grams
Daily Cholesterol Intake - 133 mg
Daily Saturated Fat Intake - 13 grams
Daily Fiber Intake - 18 grams


I don't know if this matters: I am a female / 5'4" / SW 146.5 / CW 137.5 / GW 125. I was eating at 1200 calories a day (as recommended by CC) but took the advice of many others and upped my calories to 1300-1500/day after hitting 2 plateaus. I try to exercise for 20-30 minutes on the treadmill 3-4x/week and have been on this site since early December. It has taken me 2.5 months to lose approx. 10lbs - slow progress. I was wondering if maybe my sodium intake had anything to do with that.

Any advice/tips are much appreciated! Smile Thanks all!

12 Replies (last)
Probably just not enough exercise rather than sodium, would be my guess.  That is a lot of sodium though!  Why so many frozen dinners?  You should cook your own meals and freeze them, and use those frozen dinners instead.
I just started cutting my sodium and let me tell that in order to do it right you pretty much cannot eat anything that has been processed. I found out that my bagel and cream cheese that i was eating 3x a week had 40% of the sodium recommended by the fda which is weird b/c it doesnt taste salty. Try and cook at home as much as possible and use spices such as red pepper flakes, garlic and lemon. Also use unrefined sea salt, it has less sodium than table salt and it supposed to have minerals that are taken out when salt is processed.Make things that will last a few days like chili or soup and put them in the fridge so you won't eat frozen dinners. When you cook dinner pack a lunch for work at the same time so you don't forget. Its hard and it sucks to have to cook every meal but its for your health.
Some frozen meals have even more sodium than I get in a whole day. I'd definatley dump the frozen meals and any other processed foods you eat often. I only get about 1,200 to 1,400mg a day; it's not so hard if you try.

Your not really too far off. Daily recommendation is 2300 or less.

My sodium often comes in over 3000mg. I eat Boar's Head Oven Gold Turkey or Chicken for lunch. Good protein, low fat and low calories. BUT, 700mg of sodium for 4oz. I also like Tyson Fajita Chicken on my salads...also high in sodium. Every thing good just has to have something bad about it. Stinks.

I'm trying to get my sodium levels down too. I want to talk to my doctor about how important this really is. I actually have LOW blood pressure so that aspect is not an issue for me.

thanks everyone!!

since my life is pretty hectic, it is hard to find much more time to exercise, as it is i end up exercising usually at 8/9 pm because of when i get home... and then trying to get to sleep by 10:30/11 is tricky because i am pretty wired from exercising (reason for exercising so late - i commutte in and out of nyc for my job, and i wake up at 5:30am)

i live at home with my parents, so whenever i can, i do take leftovers from dinner for the next day. it is nice not having to worry too much about cooking (though i do love to cook, i just dont have the time). i usually have a frozen meal right before i leave work, around 5pm. that way i have eaten a substantial meal to get me through my commute home and through exercising - otherwise, i am starving when i get home and want to eat first instead of exercising - and that leaves me with no time to exercise after eating.

blood pressure isnt qn issue for me either since i do have low blood pressure. and my mom has always cooked healthy meals, even more so since my dads heart attack.

looking back at my food logs i havet had more than 2 frozen meals a week.... so i wonder where else i am getting the sodium from. i love my fruits and veggies, eat yogurt or cereal for breakfast  and tend to eat little meals.snacks every 2-3 hrs.

i will try to keep an eye on how many frozen meals i allow myself to have - and maybe my intake levels will come down. i just didnt know if it is directly linked with not being able to lose weight.

If you have low blood-pressure, then sodium isn't an issue for you unless you're having 4-5000mg a day. That extra few pounds of water weight really doesn't make a big difference to your body if it's there all the time... it's not like your body keeps adding more and more water when you take in the same amount of sodium each day - it finds the right balance and sticks to it. Since you're eating under 2,500mg sodium and you don't have a blood-pressure problem, you really don't need to try to lower your sodium any more - it's already fine.

Sodium is in EVERYTHING... and the small amounts of it that are naturally present in your food add up.  

You're sodium is not really high, just drink plenty of water.  And 10 lbs. in 2.5 months is not slow, it is right on target.
I'm cutting sodium right now, too!  Just be conscious of your lables.  I eat a lot of chicken, which is loaded with sodium, and a lot of packaged sliced deli meats are bad, too.  As far as seasoning your food goes, go pick up some Mrs. Dash salt-free seasonings.  I also use something called (I think) Uncle Tim's salt-free creole seasoning.  It's AMAZING on anything!  Eggs, chicken, potatoes, you name it!  There are tons of low-sodium options out there, you just need to hit the grocery store.

erinspepito - good idea with the Mrs. Dash seasoning - I know we have plenty of it in the house, especially since my dad has to watch his sodium because of all the post-heart attack medicines he is on!

I love salt..which is bad. When I was a kid I used to pour salt into the palm of my hand and lick it off - kinda like how you would use it in Tequila shots, except back at the age of 10 I had no idea about that use. (Luckily I stopped consuming plain ol' salt.)

and thanks trhawley -  it helps to hear "right on target" from someone else!! and trust me, I drink A LOT of water. I have a 24oz nalgene-type water bottle that on a typical day gets refilled 3-4 times.

How do I control my sodium levels mhh. I don't care, my BODY controls them, what is not needes gets out of it, I drink enough so it isn't a problem for me. And I can at least guarantee everyone here, it is totally unimportant to watch the sodium level for weight loss since I lost quite much without caring about it at all. Sodium is really overrated, be sure to drink enough water/eat enough water rich foods, and your body will take care about your sodium levels! 

The maximum amount of sodium you can take is 2,500 mg per day. You're a little below that so you're fine :). If you want to lower it, make sure you don't eat a lot of processed food. My sodium intake was really high when I started CC, now it's like 500 mg per day.

Thanks devrim! I am going to try to make an effort to watch my sodium!

I do retain water pretty badly -- just from this past weekend (I caved in and ate buffalo chicken fingers that were pretty much swimming in buffalo sauce) my water retention was horrible! The scale jumped 2.5 lbs and my fingers were so swollen even yesterday that it was hard to bend them - quite uncomfortable.

I have always known I don't do well with hi-sodium foods - but on a general basis, I don't consume a lot of overly processed foods so I don't have such severe reactions on a daily basis. I do know though when I have because my fingers even my feet are swollen and my dress heels and rings are super tight. Undecided


12 Replies