A Big Reason Calorie Counting For Weight Loss Does Not Work: Sodium

As Mr. EET ate his Philly Cheesesteak “wit Whiz” and Garlic Fries from Jake’s Steaks in SF GUILT and STRESS FREE, he realized others EETers might struggle with such a great meal even if they don’t count calories.  They might stress about weight gain from sodium that is easily managed as part of their EET Plan.

The EET Fitness Plan is all about “EETing what you love” while losing weight and improving your health and fitness.  We manage our proteins, carbs, fiber and fats for optimal nutrition (how else can you lose weight eating the most decadent foods at the right times?), but EET also keeps an eye on sodium.  There are a lot of good health reasons to do this, but an equally important reason is that sodium can cause weight gain.  Okay it’s not FAT gain, but it’s still not what we want to see when we get on the scale.

Sodium in foods and salt you add to your foods can cause your body to retain water.  This “water weight gain” will show up on the scale as additional pounds and could easily explain why you gained weight on a day you were sure you “outexercised” your calories.

The recommended allowance for sodium per day is now at 1500 mg or less.   Let’s review some random foods and see how much we might eat to reach that allowance:

  • 1 tsp of table salt                                                                                                          2325 mg

  • 1 Kentucky Fried Chicken Breast Original Recipe w/skin                                  1080

  • 1 CUP Homemade Beef Chili (estimated using canned chili beans)              1000

  • 1 Cup Campbells Chicken Noodle Soup                                                                    1780

  • Weight Watchers Chicken Enchaladas Frozen Meal                                             730

  • Subway 6 inch Turkey Sandwich                                                                             1010

And here’s a good slide show that covers a whole bunch more:

WEB MD – SODIUM SHOCKERS

WHAT’S THE MESSAGE?

SOME DAYS YOU’LL HAVE WEIGHT GAIN DUE TO SODIUM

How can you know?  You can’t for sure so DON’T STRESS ABOUT IT!  Just be aware of it.

Even the most strict dieters can easily exceed 1500 mg of sodium in a day, and EETers are far from the most strict dieters :-).  But it’s worth the time to be aware of what foods you love are high in sodium so you can MANAGE them as part of your EET plan and reach your weight loss and fitness goals.

OTHER WAYS TO DEAL WITH SODIUM

Another option for managing sodium is to put some of that excess sodium to use with exercise and EET activities.  This will help reduce waterweight gain and improve your health (lower blood pressure for example).

And finally, sodium can be processed more efficiently in your body with additional water.  This is one reason EET reminds you about water with blog posts like this one:

EET: Blue In The Face Over Water And Brownies

So it’s worth your TIME to become aware of the amount of sodium in your food, and learn how your body reacts to it.  This can help your EET Planning and improve your results.

And it’s another reason to think LONG TERM about your weight loss and fitness plan.  Let the calorie counters of the world stress over why their perfectly counted calories eaten vs used didn’t work out for them.    There are many reasons calorie counting does not work and has been proven NOT to be the path to permanent weight loss.  You can definitely add sodium to that list.

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