You know sodium best as table salt, but salt and sodium are hidden in all kinds of products, including packaged, frozen, canned, and fast foods, condiments, and many others. Excess sodium can raise your blood pressure and slow your metabolism.
Your body needs a steady flow of water in and out to effectively metabolize your fat. If the water gets dammed up in your cells, it will slow your metabolism and, therefore, your ability to burn fat. As if that wasn't the worst of it, it'll also leave you puffy and bloated!
Now, don't make yourself crazy over this, because there is sodium in everything — you can't avoid it. Just be conscious of it and minimize it where you can. Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Read labels to check the sodium content of the food you are eating.
2. Replace processed foods with fresh foods.
3. Avoid prepackaged and canned foods.
4. Be wary of sodium-laden condiments (soy sauce, mustard, and table salt).
5. Go easy on the dairy.
6. Cut down on processed meats (hot dogs, jerky, bologna, corned beef).
7. Watch out for miso, tofu, and canned or smoked seafood.
8. Steer clear of anything pickled (including capers, sauerkraut, and relish).
9. Consider salt-free flavoring alternatives, like garlic, lemon, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pepper, and spices.
JILLIAN'S TIP OF THE DAY
Chow TimeHas anyone ever told you that you need to eat dinner early in order to lose weight? Well, guess what? They were wrong. It doesn't matter when you eat your calories — it matters how many calories you eat. Look at the Europeans. They eat dinner at something like 10 p.m., and they're much skinnier than us Yanks. The idea that you should refrain from eating late at night is an old dieting myth. Eat when you want — just keep track of your calories.
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