Thursday, November 2, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds and manage stress by cutting sodium: Low salt recipes and tips

Hello friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or weight loss drugs! Today I'm looking at one enormous but often overlooked way to lose weight and also manage stress and that is by cutting sodium. I'm not advocating no-salt but rather a low salt and this works well with the 1200 calorie diet that was part of how I lost 100 pounds. The famous DASH diet that won diet of the year about a decade ago, was helpful in exploring low salt alternatives. 

Sodium is one of the four electrolytes (along with calcium, potassium and magnesium) necessary for cell functioning. Electrolytes as prevent dehydration as husband and I learned the hard way during Covid 19 when we drank plain water without electrolytes and experience severe dehydration. However sodium is the easiest to get  not only enough but too much of. And that causes problems with circulation and hypertension (high blood pressure). Coupled with cholesterol issues from overconsumption of transfat and saturated fats that the "western" junk food diet is so overfull of, it's a recipe for obesity and misery as "My 600-lb Life" shows. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to cut sodium and eat it in healthier sources than table salt. I use vegetables like tomatoes, lemon and lime juice, herbs and spices, Bragg's Liquid Amino (good for you sodium) and Himalayan pink salt to hit that salty taste. Dr. Now of "My 600-lb Life" recommends these tips for his patients with obesity, awaiting gastric bypass surgery. 

Since I've lost weight, however, I notice that I'm less strict about the 1200 calorie diet and monitoring sodium intake. I still use the alternative sources but I'm not watching the hidden sources or counting the total salt quantity in recipes. And I need to do that because I'm notice hand-swelling due in part to overeating salt. I also notice more issues with pounding heart. 

So I'm going back to counting total salt intake, just like I monitor sugar and saturated and transfats. I'm also working on reducing my taste for salty foods. My kryptonite is salty snacks like tortilla and potato chips which I mindlessly snack on while watching TV at night. So I'm cutting up fresh vegetables (crudites) like colored peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, pea pods, celery, turnips, etc. I'm eating those with hummus instead of creamy dairy dips. 

To lose weight and reduce inflammation, I'm cooking with Bragg's Liquid Amino, Umami and herbs and spices to give a salt taste without the sodium overload. I'm drinking more water to flush the excess salt I may consume. Most importantly, I'm doing what Dr. Now is always exhorting his "My 600-lb Life" patients to do: read the signs (obesity, weight gain, swollen hands) and do something about it. It's all too easy to ignore them, sit back and wait for some miracle to happen that allows us to keep eating the way we want yet get different results. Or make excuses and expect someone else to fix it for us. 

I realize that this has always been the core of this blog. That although there are reasons why I got overweight, only I can fix it, with the help of my Higher Power. I also realize that needs a lot more unpacking which I plan to do especially during this month of November in my Attitude of Gratitude Diet Weight Loss challenge. 

Love, Mar! 

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