The common American presently consumes 3440 mg of sodium every day, about 150 % of the 2300 mg guideline. Before I began this challenge, I averaged 3654 mg per day, above that nationwide common. This is clearly not a matter of me figuring out a handful of meals to higher handle, however a considerable overhaul of my consuming habits — consuming habits I had already overhauled simply two months prior.
I went daily via my food log on the MyFitnessPal app to discover the culprits.
- No extra deli meats. Instead, I cooked batches of boneless, skinless hen breast for sandwiches.
- No extra prepackaged brown rice and quinoa (and I had been so pleased with myself for consuming that in the first place!). I began making a number of days’ value of brown rice at a time.
- No extra prepackaged spice mixes or sauces. And no extra soy sauce, even the so-called low-sodium model. I began cooking Asian meals with recent ginger, minced garlic and Sriracha. Instead of utilizing “taco seasoning,” I began cooking with chili powder and consuming extra salsa.
I’ll admit that discovering methods to reduce sodium has been an incredible and ongoing problem. What I’ve discovered is that chopping sodium from my food regimen means chopping as many prepackaged meals as attainable, and in search of low-sodium choices each time attainable. Once factor I observed was that my caloric consumption dropped a bit as I addressed my sodium consumption. I noticed that I used to eat sure meals as a result of I might. For instance, earlier than tackling the sodium guidelines I used to be consuming a bag of baked sea salt potato chips with lunch most days. I might simply match the 100-calorie package deal inside my calorie limits with out altering my macronutrient ratios. Now that I’m extra conscious of the 150 mg of sodium in every bag, I’ve stopped consuming them and — importantly — haven’t changed them with one other snack or aspect dish. It’s merely one much less factor I’m consuming every day.
Focusing on Fitness: The Other Half of the Equation
The change in my food regimen is, in fact, solely half of this venture. I even have to adhere to the Physical Activity Guidelines, which current a unique set of struggles.
In addition to two full-body resistance-training periods every week, the tips name for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercise every week. My plan at the outset was to full 4, 40-minute cardio periods weekly.
Moving ahead, I needed to construct up the period of my gym-based cardio periods from 40 to 50 minutes, which might allow me to attain the 150-minute threshold in solely three periods as an alternative of 4. That means, I’d give you the chance to do three cardio periods interspersed with two power training periods, giving me two days off every week.
To put this in perspective, once I first joined the health club about 18 months earlier than starting this undertaking, I might solely carry out eight minutes of exercise on the elliptical machine at a time, so 50 minutes can be a considerable achievement.