Sodium is an essential mineral and despite its bad reputation with regards to health, you need it in order to maintain cellular function. An essential nutrient is a nutrient required for human body functions, and must be obtained from a dietary source. Sodium helps maintain fluid balance in the body, and you need sodium in order to move certain molecules, like sugar into the bloodstream. Studies have shown that sodium restriction can cause adverse effects on health. Without enough sodium in our diet, it isn’t uncommon to experience muscle cramps or spasms, fatigue, irritability or even loss of appetite.
A prime example would be the morning after a cheat meal, we weigh ourselves, hoping we weigh the same as the morning before the cheat meal. These hopes are temporary, and that scale shows you weigh even more. It is impossible for our body to put on that much fat over night! That is temporary weight gain. This weight gain, is caused by your body retaining water from the higher sodium intake. Excess sodium consumption causes you to retain more fluid in your bloodstream and in the spaces outside the cells, increasing your blood pressure.
Your temporary weight gain (water), will decrease a couple days after, as you get back to your caloric deficit, macros, diet and normal (your average) sodium levels. Low consumption of salt can result in temporary weight loss as it causes your body to expel water.
If you’re trying to lose weight, ensure you are in a caloric deficit, and avoid eating too much processed and pre-packaged foods, which are usually high in salt and sodium additives. Excess sodium in the body causes fluid retention and increases blood volume. You also want to watch your consumption of soy sauce, mustard, ketchup and salad dressings. Use herbs and spices to flavor your food.