Daily Archives: August 22, 2012

Sodium and Weight Loss

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As some of you may know, I am not a fan of cooking and rely on Lean Cuisines and Healthy Choice frozen meals for lunch and dinner when I am “counting calories” in order to lose or maintain weight. I’ve posted this in the past, but as a refresher, my “Lazy Woman’s Diet” typically looks like this:

  • Breakfast: 1/2 oatmeal or 1/2 cup cooked Grapenuts with 1/2 cup blueberries (Dole frozen/thawed) and 1/2 c. plain almond milk; cup of instant coffee w/2 packs of Truvia, 1 tsp Agave and a little powdered skim milk.
  • Snack: Fage yogurt (fruit variety/2% or 0% fat)
  • Lunch: Lean Cuisine (chicken turkey or fish with rice, potatoes, whole wheat or orzo pasta) and added vegetables (spinach, broccoli or sugar snap snow peas) and a piece of fruit
  • Snack: Organic baby food
  • Dinner: Lean Cuisine (chicken turkey or fish w/rice, potatoes, whole wheat or orzo pasta) w/added vegetables (spinach, broccoli or sugar snap snow peas); fruit (apple, navel orange, cherries, banana) on occasion.
  • Post work-out: Whey Protein Shake (Nectar Strawberry Mousse); w/banana if after hot yoga

Now, I often hear healthcare professionals like Dr. Oz indicate that “light” frozen meals aren’t good choices because of the high sodium levels. In fact, everyone has heard this so much, I’m often questioned about it.

However, I’ve never been concerned about it as the other food in my diet has little to no sodium and provides a decent amount of fiber. Regardless, back in Jan/Feb, when I was tracking my calories and nutrients with the app, Lose It! (which I posted about here), I decided to do a little research about sodium and weight loss. I then compared the recommendations to my average daily sodium intake following the above “diet plan.”

via Livestrong.com

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that individuals younger than 51 consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. On average, Americans consume about 3,400 mg of sodium per day. In order to lose weight, it is recommended that you consume less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day.

How Sodium Affects Weight Loss
Excess sodium in the body leads to sodium buildup and water retention. A high level of sodium in the body causes the kidneys to work harder and hold onto extra water in order to excrete the sodium. Those who reduce the amount of sodium in their diet will notice weight loss because the kidneys are able to process sodium without the help from extra water.

When I reviewed my average daily sodium intake for the three weeks that I tracked my meals on the Lose It! app. It was as follows:

Week 1: 1547.2 mg
Week 2: 1576.2 mg
Week 3: 1994.9 mg

And, that week three? I believe I had a Greek salad at a diner and only tracked my meals for a few days that week. So, that caused my average sodium intake to increase to an average of almost 2000 mg. However, in general, it seems that with my sodium intake is pretty well-controlled and close enough to the recommended 1500 mg or less a day that is needed to support weight loss.

So, if you were wondering about incorporating frozen meals into your diet in order to lose weight and wondered how sodium affected weight loss, there you go! Hope that you found it helpful!!

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Do you consider and monitor your sodium intake when attempting to lose weight?

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Styling My Individual Braids

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I don’t believe I mentioned this here, but I’m going to the Curly Nikki Meet-Up in NYC this Thursday *Whoop-Whoop*!!! So, I decided to leave the braids I set on Sunday for a braid-out in until Thursday. I’m hopeful that I’ll get a defined set that holds through the night *fingers crossed*.

That being said, I had to figure out how to style my braids for work until then. As they are very scalpy and I set two braids at my crown to fall towards my face (for lift/volume when released and reversed) instead of directing them towards the back of my head, I didn’t feel comfortable wearing them down.

So, on Monday, I styled them in a French twists of sorts with the ends that were curled on perm rods “cascading” at my crown. I left the front two braids out to frame my face and accessorized the look with a black satin wire headband.

On Tuesday, I used synthetic braiding hair to make a long braid and form a big bun that I adorned with one of my DIY flower hair clips.

I was a little manipulation happy last week, so I’m glad to give my hair a break for a few days. So, I will leave this bun in for today too. This evening, I’ll release the bun to lightly mist my braids (which were very soft and moisturized by the way!) with some leave-in conditioner and seal with an oil. This should help eliminate any irregular bends from the braided bun. It should also help enhance the definition of the set and, hopefully, encourage a little shrinkage that will “pump up the volume.”

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So first, who else is going to the Curly Nikki NYC Meet-Up?!?! I’d love to meet some of you in person!!

Second, do you wear your natural or transitioning hair in individual braids? If so, how do you style them?