Important Update: Calorie Count will be shutting down on March 15th. Please click here to read the announcement. Data export is available.
Weight Loss
Moderators: spoiled_candy, Mollybygolly, devilish_patsy, nycgirl

Too much sodium...

Quote  |  Reply

I have been extremely hungry today and I happened to go way over my recommended sodium intake, which I do't usually do. (Had Subway for lunch, ate the footlong instead of the 6 inch....eek). I am planning on having a VERY light dinner and make sure that I work out so that I keep my calories/deficit in check, but I'm wondering how much this sodium increase will hinder my progress? I feel awful because I am already losing very slowly as it is and I wish I would have been able to practice more self control. Live and learn, I suppose.

13 Replies (last)

One meal of getting a bit too much sodium will be of no matter; it will not hinder your progress at all, unless you mentally let it.

Sodium won't actually effect your weight loss.  But it can easily lead you to retain a few pounds of water when your body hangs onto more of it to dilute the excess sodium, and that'll show up on the scale.  Eating Chinese Buffet for lunch will add somewhere between 1 and 4 pounds to me the next day, depending on what I eat, even though I stay in my calorie limit.

Drink lots of water the next couple days to flush out the excess sodium, stay off the scale if seeing the sodium-induced fake-weight-spike will bother you, and it'll be gone in a couple days to a week.  Potassium is said to flush it out faster, so I'll typically add a banana or two to my intake when I've got a sodium weight spike.

I second the potassium and extra water suggestion. It helps ease the effects of extra sodium (I have a high blood pressure and I need to monitore it, sodium shoots it through the roof, bananas, potatoes and beets help).

I agree with most of the above in that weighing yourself the next day after consuming an excessive amount of sodium might give you the impression of weight gain but in actuality it's water retention.  Just as "jp5074139" stated, it can take several days for your body to readjust and flush away the excess sodium.  Just be patient and drink plenty of water.  Just remember this fluctuation is temporary.

If it is just one meal, don't worry about it. When I eat something I'm not supposed to, I just don't get on the scale the next day or else I might be setting myself up for a huge disappointment. Just go back to your program instead of letting this misstep ruin the whole thing.

Thank you so much for your responses! Feeling much better after hearing like I didn't sabotage everything with that one salty sandwich. :)

I never really knew what "sodium" was. I would only look at calories. Today was the first time that I counted calories etc and found that my sodium hit 4002mg. And I have been careful of what I have been eating. Most came from my breakfast. Now I have to adjust my meals so that I lower that. All other areas are fine, few low ones but mostly right on. It's all very frustrating.  Cry

It is frustrating! Especially since I don't really add salt to anything, but so many things have added salt! (eg canned diced tomatoes, eek!) I like to cook and prepare my own food as often as possible, but it is really discouraging when I need to grab something quick for convenience-sake and it is chocked full of sodium. I know it is smart to prepare meals in advance etc, but sometimes you can't plan things out and  then even grabbing a Lean Cuisine or something is going to make me retain water. Grrr. I guess it's just something to get used to though.

I have to watch sodium content closely due to high blood pressure and there are a growing number of low sodium options in packaged foods such as diced tomatoes - I've found a couple brands that offer no sodium added.  You sometimes just have to watch for them.  Soup was one that even the low sodium versions were too high but I recently found a blue menu option that is really low and actually tastes good.  Agree the best way to keep your sodium levels down is to eat fresh as much as possible and is far healthier than processed but for those times when you are short on time there are options.

When I first started CC, my sodium was through the roof. I slowly began to make more time to cook my own foods, from scratch. I stopped buying canned soup (which accounts for like 30% daily values of sodium in one serving) and started making my own soup with plenty of herbs and no added salt (tastier than you'd think!). I stopped buying canned tomatoes, and cooked all my sauces from fresh tomatoes. I even stopped buying cocktail shrimp, and bought the shrimp with shell on, and deveined it myself. My taste for things have changed. You'd be surprised how easy it is to transition into less sodium.

For example, in your eggs, if you add cheese which already has salt, there's really no need for an extra sprinkle of salt. It was easy for me to get used to.

I've found that I feel less bloated, but more importantly, I'm sure my body is much healthier than when I had a high sodium diet.

I agree it does take more time, but if you don't have time, you gotta make time! :-)

I agree - finding low sodium options is not easy, but so worth it. I don´t know where you live, but here (Spain) most supermarkets stock canned tomatos without added salt, and more and more other products (including deli meats). I´ve always loved salt and thought that I can´t eat without it until I discovered that I have a blood pressure problem. Doctor gave me the choice - lose weight and clean up your diet or start taking meds for it. I really didn´t like the idea of popping pills so young (I was 27), so I started to make changes. At first, non salty food tasted awful - bland, tasteless. But then I discovered herbs and spices, plus your taste buds get used to it after a while and you really don´t miss it anymore. I cook all my food at home and don´t add salt to almost anything. Now, the food in the restaurants tastes too salty to eat. My blood pressure is more or less in check (I still have some weight to lose) and am pill-free. Don´t miss the bloat either.

When looking for a quick and easy way to season home cooked food without any added sodium Mrs. Dash products are a lifesaver. There are 8 - 9 spice blends and 3 - 4 marinades and none of them have any sodium.



The best way to keep sodium intake low is to prepare your own food but when that isn't possible just be aware of what you consume and drink plenty of water to help flush your kidneys.

I enjoy a good tuna sandwich but the sodium in tuna can be high.  I recently learned that if I rinse the tuna in water most of the sodium will be removed.  It's mainly used as a preservative to keep the tuna as fresh as possible.

I was sharing the details of my "cheat meal" in another thread and informed people that a burger restaurant that I visit for some "cheat meals" has menu items that contain more than 4000mg of sodium in a single food item.  OMG!  You have to educate yourself about restaurant food so that you understand fluctuations on the scale.

13 Replies