How can you maximize your weight loss in the Biggest Loser competition? Eliminate as much processed and salty foods as you can out of your diet. Americans typically consume about 4,000 to 6,000 mg of sodium (salt) per day. You should aim for less than 2,300 mg per day, and 1,500 is the ultimate goal. Cutting out the excess salt and processed foods will help you shed weight water, feel less bloated, and give you more energy. Read below for a quick list of foods to cut out and foods to increase!
Processed/High salt foods:
- Fast foods (it doesn’t matter that you get the grilled chicken salad, it’s still high in sodium!)
- Chips/salty snack foods
- Crackers/pretzels/100 calorie packs
- Colas/energy drinks
- Salty meats such as hotdogs, sausages, ham, and bacon
- Prepackaged frozen, canned or boxed meals (Hamburger Helper, ramen noodles, Banquet frozen meals, etc.)
Fresh/ hydrating foods:
- Fresh/frozen fruits and vegetables
- Yogurt, milk, or Greek yogurts
- Unsalted nuts/peanut butter
- 100% whole grains
- Fresh lean proteins such as chicken, lean beef, turkey, and fish
- Water, water, and more water!
- Green tea with no added sugar
Old Lunch: frozen meal; 100 calorie pack; and Diet Coke.
New Lunch: low sodium turkey breast on whole grain bread with lettuce, onion, and tomato; piece of fruit or yogurt; and water.
Old Snack: bag of pretzels or trail mix.
New Snack: apple and 1 tbsp peanut butter combined with Greek yogurt, or homemade trail mix (Cheerios, unsalted nuts, and 2 tbsp dried fruit).
*Keep in mind athletes may need higher sodium requirements!
For nutrition or exercise questions, contact:
Kelly Devine Rickert, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, CPT
Shannon Center Nutritionist
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