145.8 Ritz vs Banana

I was shocked to find out 5 Ritz crackers is a full serving with 80 calories -- about the same as a small banana! Who can eat just 5 Ritz crackers? Well, I did last night. We didn't have any cookies, so I had these for dessert after dinner. They tasted heavenly! They melt in my mouth.

What am I doing eating Ritz crackers anyway? Well, I have reached my weight-loss goal of 145. Now, I am experimenting to see just how many calories I can eat while still keeping the weight off. Exercise plays into it, too. I walked 30 minutes and I gained .6 pounds yesterday, so obviously I can't eat this much every day:

Two small bowls of Special K with organic soy milk (500 calories) (600 mg sodium)
3 cans Diet Coke (0 calories) (120 mg sodium)
One El Monterey bean and cheese burrito with salsa (400 calories) (640 mg sodium)
Handful of raw carrot sticks (35 calories) (65 mg sodium)
One Trident Seafoods Alaskan Salmon Burger (170 calories) (330 mg sodium)
Steamed Kirkland Normandy-Style Vegetable Blend (40 calories) (40 mg sodium)
5 Ritz crackers (80 calories) (105 mg sodium)
Total Calories = 1225 Total Sodium = 1900 milligrams = 1.9 grams

1225 calories is totally doable. I should not have gained weight eating only 1225 calories. It was all that sodium that did me in!

I was told all my life to watch how much sodium (salt) I ate. I even learned in biology about the sodium/potassium pump that keeps our nerves electrified, and how eating more salt makes our bodies need more water. That's right. I will say this again because you and I both need to hear it, believe it, and act on it:

Eating more salt makes our bodies need more water.

That means our bodies retain water. Our bodies do this to dilute the salt we have eaten so that it is in the correct concentration to allow our nerves to fire electronically, which is how our nerves function. Unfortunately, this means:

1) We are bloated and our clothes don't fit as well, and
2) Our hearts have to work harder because of higher blood pressure caused by sodium bloating.

So, it's really not just about the Ritz crackers.

The Ritz crackers in my picture with the banana are the symbol of a much larger problem. We need to watch not only how many calories we eat, but how much sodium we eat in a day. Clearly, the 1900 mg of sodium I ate yesterday were too many mg of sodium. I think 1000 mg of sodium would be about the maximum I could eat in a day and not gain water weight. Your mileage may vary.

When I first started my diet, my mom told me cooking from scratch would help. My mom-in-law told me to use fresh or frozen vegetables and not canned. They both told me I could eat convenient frozen or canned meals sometimes, but to shop around for frozen or canned meals that were low in sodium. They both said to eat less baked goods and more fresh fruit.

I heard them and I said, "Yeah, yeah." I really thought I had adjusted what I ate, but yesterday proves I still need to change the way I eat. Old habits die hard! I am starting to realize the lifestyle change I need to make in order to keep the weight off is bigger than watching calories and making sure I exercise every day. It is worth it, though!

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