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.”
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!!
Do you consider and monitor your sodium intake when attempting to lose weight?
This was a informative read! I love your blog!! & losing weight has been an ultimate goal of mine. Well losing these last 20 lbs of weight Ive gained since the birth of my son and finishing my collegiate basketball career. 😦 But I am transitioning natural (Im 3months post) & trying to care for my hair and workout on a daily base! I SWEAT like no woman’s buisness (lol) so keeping a style is a little tricky..Somedays when I do have styles, I will skip working out so I dont mess it up! smh! Well that all is about to change! Now I will have to rock buns cause I need to get my workouts in!! Abd burn these calories! I just DL the Lose IT app!! I never heard of it before today, but its a great tool so far!!
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