I talk to hundreds of people every month about their problems with losing weight and getting lean. A common trend in food production is associated with injecting high levels of sodium in foods. The sodium, or salt, causes your body to hold onto large amounts of water and it is in more of the foods than you realize.
Surprisingly, even some of the organic range chicken is injected with sodium, saline fluid, chicken broth that has a high salt content. Most of your common brand store chicken is injected with chicken broth, which not only gives you too much sodium, but also cost you more money since you pay for the weight of the extra liquid in the poultry.
Sodium in most cases is responsible for causing significant amounts of water retention, which makes you look soft and also stops you from losing the amount of weight you so dearly want to shed.
Several factors affect your salt to water ratio. Other factors are indirectly associated with water retention as well.
- Eating too much salt and/or sugar
- Not eating enough fresh vegetables or fruit
- High levels of toxins or waste in your body
- Taking various commonly prescribed medications, including NSAIDs
- Long term use of very low calorie or low carb diets
- Known or unknown food intolerances or allergies
- Lack of exercise
- Excessive exercise
- High stress
- Inadequate amounts of sleep
- Genetic factors
Lots Of Salt In Your Foods
I picked up a prepackaged noodle product the other day that someone had offered to me as their normal low calorie lunch meal. As I examined the nutritional label it had 120 calories, but the sodium contents was 1330g.
They were amazed that their calorie intake for the day was less than 1500 calories, but they still seen to continue to gain weight. The answer was very simple and is related to the fact that salt forces your body to hold onto more water. One salt molecule requires four molecules of water in your body to remain stable.
The body naturally works on a system that has a slightly acidic pH. Salt acts as a buffer and raises the pH, thus forcing your body to hold onto more water. Water is very heavy and if you have ever tried to lift a 5-gallon bucket filled with water, you will quickly find out how heavy liquids really are.
Fats are 80% water and if you remove the excessive water from your body, you will actually lose unwanted lipids faster. To naturally lower your body's pH once again, add some fresh squeezed lemon to your water or eat some fresh asparagus.
Both of these will help your body to lower its pH therefore allowing your body to get rid of excess fluid. Make sure you are around a rest room when you start to drop water.
Reasons For Holding Water
Insulin Levels ///
If you eat too much sugar it raises the levels of your hormone called insulin. High levels of insulin make it hard for your body to excrete sodium. Eating too much gluten or if your body has a high sensitivity to gluten, will also result in high insulin levels.
It is important to greatly reduce the amount of white flower, white rice, and other whole-grain items from your diet if you have problems with water retention.
Most medications will offer a long-term side effect of water retention. A common example of this is prednisone. If you take it over a short period of time it has very little affect on your water retention; however, if you take it for a period longer than two weeks you are likely to look like a "marshmallow man."
What Is Prednisone?
Prednisone is a synthetic corticosteroid drug that is usually taken orally but can be delivered by intramuscular injection and can be used for a number of different conditions. It has a mainly glucocorticoid effect. Prednisone is a prodrug that is converted by the liver into prednisolone, which is the active drug and also a steroid.
Most of these medications work against your body's water removal by affecting the way that your body handles sodium and insulin. Antidepressants, birth control pills, antibiotics, anti-histamines, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, high cholesterol medications, and others are just some of the common medications that will cause your body to hold onto water.
A common problem with low-calorie diets are the uses of low-calorie sweeteners. These artificial sweeteners can often have products in them that result in a pseudo-allergic reaction and may cause some individuals to hold onto water. Typically foods that are low in calories, may have higher fat content or may have high levels of sodium to make up for taste. It is important to always check to label.
Overloading the stomach, drinking alcohol, taking medications, long-term use of antibiotics, too much sugar, not getting enough daily fiber all have a detrimental effect on your digestive tract. Some of the foods that you eat may result in a hyper allergic reaction and cause some of your body's immune cells to produce histamine. Histamine results in a large amount of water retention by your body.
What Is Histamine?
Histamine is a biogenic amine involved in local immune responses as well as regulating physiological function in the gut and acting as a neurotransmitter. It is found in virtually all animal body cells.
Lack Of Exercise ///
Lack of exercise will result in individuals who have poor venous return and have clogged up lymphatic systems, which leads to excessive amounts of water weight. If you are performing cardio longer than one hour per day, your body will increase its cortisol levels and you will definitely begin to hold onto more water. It is very important to try and limit your exercise to sessions that are less than 50 minutes.
Stress & Sleep ///
High amounts of stress also result in your body producing excessive amounts of cortisol and insulin. Both of these have an extremely detrimental effect on your body's ability to remove water from your system. Improper sleep will also trigger high amounts of cortisol and insulin and cause L-dopa to remain in your system and affect your body's ability to remove water.
Genetically some of us are better at removing water from our systems, but a large majority of Americans are having more and more troubles associated with high starch and high sodium diets.
Cellulite is a form of fat that is complexed with retained water. Sometimes that particular type of fat holds so much water that it may become painful to the touch. Various toxins produced by your body and pesticides are often stored in this type of fat. High sodium content foods enable your body to maintain this type of fat. Detoxification may be necessary to remove this type of body fat from your system.
Fixing Your Problems Naturally
Correcting the problem starts with reducing the sodium content that goes into your body. The next time that you are at the store, you must start reading the labels. Look at the chicken that you buy and you will be amazed at the differences in sodium content.
Always buy the canned tuna that has no salt added. Always look for the proteins supplements that have the lowest sodium content if you are trying to lose weight. It is not as important to by low-sodium protein if you are trying to gain weight.
Certain vegetables and fruits will reduce your bodies overall sodium content naturally. Foods that are high in sulfur such as onions and garlic can offer a reduction of the body's sodium content. Other vegetables such as asparagus and other leafy greens are very good at reducing your body's sodium content.
Every athlete should make an attempt to eat approximately 8 asparagus spears a day. The change in the smell of your urine is normal and is associated with the aspartate acid that is in the asparagus plant.
Keep your eyes open and realize that today's commercial industrial food producers are looking for foods that taste better. They are adding high amounts of salt to make up for the stabilization of the food, increased shelf life, and the overall taste.
Don't be fooled and just eat things without knowing what you are eating. Be aware of the damage that sodium can do to your body. There are large amounts of sodium hiding in that next diet soda you are drinking for lunch.
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