Low-Sodium Diet

posted by : Jon Kroupa on 04/15/2012

The Diet:

To consume 1000 miligrams (or 1 gram) of sodium or less each day.

A friend of mine recently lost 50 pounds by switching to this low-sodium diet. He is a vegan, and has been for many years, but he was gained weight in recent years. 6 months ago or so he switched to this diet and has lost quite a bit of weight. I thought it sounded great.

The Experience:

Most mornings I would have a single hard boiled egg (65mg sodium) for breakfast. For lunch I would have two tacos, which ground beef (75ml sodium) I would cook myself, one ounce of swiss cheese (65mg sodium), and sodium-free corn tortillas. To say they were bland is a severe understatement. Most evenings I would have mixed vegetables (30mg sodium) with steak (75-100mg sodium) or tacos similar to the ones I had for lunch.

When I was feeling peckish I would have low-sodium rice cakes (15mg per cake) with honey. I would alternatively have puffed wheat cereal (0mg sodium) with honey in a bowl. I also ate fresh bananas, apples, and oranges. One evening I made a cup of lentils and had those with dinner and again later when I was still hungry.

I would also have candy. Candy isn't exactly a diet food, but it can be very low in sodium. On Monday I bought some jelly beans which were 0mg of sodium per serving. I eat them all. I then had terrible headaches and tiredness for the rest of the day. I also bought some sugar-free 0-sodium fruit flavored hard candies, which I would occasionally have throughout the week. I ate white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips in abundance (0mg of sodium). I also had low-sodium sorbert ice cream in the evenings.

Wednesday morning, despite being 1 pound heavier overall I woke up feeling very thin. I felt as if my skin had shrunk and tightened up around my body. Thursday morning I woke up an additional pound heavier and felt extremely fat. The only thing I remember doing differently is that I didn't exercise Wednesday evening as I normally would.

Other than Friday and Saturday I kept my sodium levels below 1000mg.

To say that sugar was my downfall is an understatement. Probably I would have been better off not consuming all the candy. I was also eating a lot of carbs in the form of corn, wheat, and rice.

The Result:

Throughout the week I saw my weight slowly climbing up. By Friday morning I was 2 pounds up. Sunday morning I was 5 pounds up. What happened from Friday morning to Sunday morning? Well Friday was my birthday, and Saturday I had a triathlon. Friday evening I had a pasta dinner and a molten chocolate cake from Chili's. There was quite a bit of sodium in it. The next morning I was 3 pounds up, and I then performed a triathlon. Afterwards I drank quite a bit of water. I suspect I ended up retaining a lot of that water because of the sudden influx of sodium. If the circumstances had been different I would expect to have been around 2-2.5 pounds heavier by Sunday.