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NIRERIN Posts: 14,249
11/23/13 12:53 P

if you're not hitting cals but already way over on sodium, start evaluating the foods that you are buying and using. and what i mean by that is to start looking at the biggest sodium numbers on the days you're finding yourself in this situation. look to see if there are any alternatives that you can easily swap in. so let's say you're making a dish that uses salsa, black beans and chicken and those are the three biggest sodium numbers in the recipe. so look at the number in the tracker for the sodium in the salsa. first, make sure it matches the salsa that's in the fridge. if it does, and it's more than about 100 per 2 Tablespoons plan on shopping around the next time you buy a jar of salsa. because just by buying a different brand, you may be able to save some sodium. making your own is a much more intensive way to achieve the same results. then look at your chicken. if you are using canned, switch to a fresh or frozen. for black beans, rinsing them really well can rinse out up to 40% of the sodium in them. so if your beans had 340 sodium before, you can get rid of 136 just by doing that. and just like salsa, shop around. not only does sodium vary from brand to brand but a lot of companies are coming out with low to no sodium canned veggies. if you're really ambitious, cook some black beans from dried. when i switched from canned to dried i cut out 90% of the sodium i was eating from black beans. it's also quite easy to cook up a large batch and portion in one or two cup containers and freeze so that they are as easy to use as canned.

DKAY0923 Posts: 27
11/23/13 12:39 P

Hello I'm Deb. I have this issue with how much I eat in a day because it seems I'm never full. I have Diabetes and a Hypothyroid. I eat a good dinner within my range within an hour I could eat another meal. My calories are through the roof and there goes my plan/ I exercise daily but not enough to keep up with this. What do I do?

HHUGHES71 SparkPoints: (104,324)
Fitness Minutes: (51,729)
Posts: 5,100
11/23/13 11:25 A

Thank you. I am doing my best to make changes in the way we eat in our home. My kids are all tiny and fall w/ in the 25th- 30th percentile in weight, so I have to balance what my husband and I eat and what they eat. The one thing that works in my favor w/ my kids is that they absolutely love fruit. Last night we ended up at CFA for dinner b/c it was just one of those nights and the kids polished off their fruit cups and then started in on mine. My youngest would eat nothing but fruit if I let him and my oldest could eat her weight in strawberries and mandarin oranges. My middle son, isn't too picky when it comes to his fruit, but he will only eat cooked carrots when it comes to veggies. When I make something that has carrots in it, I always put extra carrots in just for him and I know that he will be asking me and my hubby for carrots off of our plates.

My ultimate goal is to have us eating healthy and getting active as a family. The kids have started "working out" w/ me. They will get on the floor and do crunches, leg lifts and attempt planks w/ me. They also get a kick out of doing squats. If I can instill a love a fitness and activity in them now, I hope it will prevent them from getting on the roller coaster that I have been on for the past several years.

SAILOR64 SparkPoints: (20,017)
Fitness Minutes: (6,854)
Posts: 519
11/23/13 10:05 A


I just wanted to add a couple of notes to what Coach Becky said. One thing to remember is as your husband loses weight his blood pressure may come down naturally which could make a 1500 mg sodium restriction less necessary. Also, as his overall fitness improves (while you didn't mention it, I hope he is exercising) his blood pressure may also come down.

I'm in the same boat your husband is in. Sodium intake is one of the things I track daily and can't seem to get under control. Unless you make everything you eat from scratch and measure the amount of salt you add to food during the preparation of meals, you can only do the best that you can do.

Good luck in your journey and keep us posted on your progress.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,760
11/22/13 9:34 P

In the meanwhile, you should eat something if you're hungry

HHUGHES71 SparkPoints: (104,324)
Fitness Minutes: (51,729)
Posts: 5,100
11/22/13 5:02 P

Thank you!!! I will try to keep all of that in mind when planning our meals.

TONKA14 Posts: 4,947
11/22/13 4:47 P

Sounds like you are doing a great job managing everything to help you and your husband reach your goals! In 2009, the American Society of Hypertension adopted prior American Heart Association guidelines that called for an upper limit of sodium intake of 2,300 mg per day as a means to prevent hypertension in non-hypertensive people. In early 2010, the American Heart Association lowered its recommended goal to no more than 1,500 mg/day in adults. Since the average American diet tends to be over 4,000 mg of sodium a day, you can see that 2,300 mg encourages dietary restrictions and 1,500 mg a day becomes even more restrictive.

When trying to reach healthy living goals, it is important to decide what is most important since the more components you add leads to more restrictions which can make compliance difficult. If weight loss is a higher goal than blood pressure control then keeping your sodium intake below 2,500 or 2,300 mg a day might be totally realistic. If your husbands low sodium needs requires staying below 1,500 mg of sodium and you are having trouble meeting all your other needs, you may need to get with a Registered Dietitian to help you with meal planning to make everything work. Being too restrictive on sodium can keep you from reaching other goals that can be discouraging when you are doing so many things right. Staying below 1,500 mg of sodium is a very restrictive sodium diet and can be very hard to do while also meeting other nutrient needs. Although 860 mg for a meal seems high for a total of 1,500 mg, it really is a pretty low sodium meal in today's society. If your husband can still maintain his health at 2,000 - 2,300 mg, that might make things easier when trying to meet all your nutrient needs.

Coach Tanya

HHUGHES71 SparkPoints: (104,324)
Fitness Minutes: (51,729)
Posts: 5,100
11/22/13 3:31 P

I do not have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, but my husband does and I am trying like crazy to stick w/in the spark people guide lines. We have both been told to lose weight. Right now I am just 4 oz shy of having lost 20 lbs. My husband still has a ways to go. A while back I ordered the spark people cook book and then I look through the recipes here on the website. Many of them are not bad when it comes to calories, fat and carbs, but the sodium tends to be high. For example, last night I made a meal from the "Fit to Feast" menu and the sodium for the meal was 860. Even though I am eat many meals straight from here, I find that I am pushing the limits on sodium several days a week. If I manage to only hit 1500 mg a day then I am thrilled, but it seems like even cooking healthy, there is a lot of salt. Given that there are medical issues related to sodium w/ my husband I would really like to cook meals that are much lower in sodium.


TONKA14 Posts: 4,947
11/22/13 1:47 P

Do you have a medical condition that causes sodium to be the driving force in your diet or are you just trying to stay within the Spark guidelines and find that you would go over and are trying not to do that? If you provide more info about your goals, we can help you find the right balance. Without a medical condition, going over on sodium isn't usually a problem but monitoring intake is still important.

Coach Tanya

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
11/22/13 12:08 P

Okay, if you know you're under on calories and you're also hungry, yet you refuse to eat because you're over on sodium for a single day -- that might actually be a problem you'd want to talk to a doctor about. I can relate to people getting so low on calories for so long that they are truly not hungry anymore (it's a physiological thing), but that's easily enough rectified by simply increasing calories slowly to a healthy level once you become aware of the problem. You're aware there is a problem, and you're hungry, yet you're still coming up with reasons why you should eat even less than you have been.

Better see someone. You need to eat more, sodium or no sodium.

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,145)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,765
11/22/13 11:34 A

Do you want to make your tracker public for more detailed feedback?

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (247,274)
Fitness Minutes: (41,424)
Posts: 26,811
11/22/13 1:03 A

Have you always been like this? I think that you would be best to make an appointment with your Dr and explain what is going on. It may be something medical that is causing this. He/she may refer you to a Therapist who is specialized to help with this sort of thing, and/or a Registered Dietitian. Then you can be sure that you are getting the correct balance and amount of nutrients. Just take some printouts of your Nutrition Tracker to make it easier. Make sure that you weigh all of your food for increased accuracy. You mention not wanting to eat because you have gone over your sodium allowance. EAT!!!

In the meantime, here is a link that you may find helpful:

While your calorie intake is so low, I wouldn't be inclined to exercise, other than MAYBE some gentle walks, otherwise it will rob your body even more of essential nutrients.

Good luck,

HHUGHES71 SparkPoints: (104,324)
Fitness Minutes: (51,729)
Posts: 5,100
11/21/13 11:55 P

I am struggling to get my calories in every day. Most days I average around 950 calories and don't feel hungry. Today I am still under 800, but b/c both lunch and dinner were high in sodium, I went over my sodium allowance for the day by a great deal. Most of the time this is not an issue, but I am hungry and would like to eat something else, but everything has salt in it, so I won't. When I wake up in the morning my stomach will be growling.

Am I the only one who struggles to get in all of my calories? I know the dangers in not eating all of my calories, but I feel full, in a good way, when I eat and as of last Fri I have lost 18 lbs and still have another 18 to go before I hit my goal weight.


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