Have you tried intermittent fasting (IF) only to find yourself suffering from the following symptoms: headaches, sluggishness, cramps and sleeping difficulties? Well, this doesn’t mean that IF isn’t for you. It means that you may be losing a critical mineral that your body needs…SALT!
You’ll often hear me say that when you try IF, your diet also needs to change. Eating high carb foods won’t get you to your weight loss goals. Eating a balanced diet of protein/fat/non-starchy low carb veggies is a great place to start.
When you start to eat lower carb, insulin levels drop, as does the production of the hormone aldosterone. This hormone helps retain sodium, but when your diet changes to lower carb, you excrete more sodium than your body is used to through your urine. Too low sodium in your body can result in various different symptoms, as described above. Additionally, when you don’t feel at your best, are low energy, nor sleeping well, cravings and hunger will kick in, which is exactly what you are trying to avoid while fasting.
Hydrating is important when you are fasting, however you will want to incorporate electrolytes into your water to help replenish the sodium that is depleted. If you just drink water throughout the day, you will be losing even more sodium when you use the restroom, so be sure to add electrolytes into your water! Electrolytes are often made up of a mixture of sodium, magnesium, potassium, and other minerals that people are often deficient in. You can also just use plain salt in your water, but you’ll want to make sure it is high quality natural salt, but I like the idea of the electrolytes simply because you are getting those other needed minerals.
It’s important to note that the type of salt you use is just as important as the need to have salt in your diet. Table salt (salt found in restaurants for example) is not the same as mineral rich natural salt. Table salt is man made, chemically produced, and contains little to none of the minerals you actually benefit from incorporating salt into your diet. Throw this salt out, and choose your salt wisely. I’ll share my favorites below.
Dynamic Electrolytes-These electrolytes can be found in my store here and are liquid drops you add to your water. These electrolytes do not break your fast so are perfect to use while fed or fasted. I developed these electrolytes after hearing from you needing an option to use while fasted.
LMNT Electrolytes-These have become a staple in my house and are convenient because of their individual packets. The raw/unflavored are perfect for use while you are fasting and the flavored can be used once you break your fast. The orange salt has become my favorite but the chocolate salt with hot water tastes like an indulgent hot chocolate. I usually dilute 1 packet into 30 oz of water and sip/refill throughout the day.
Redmond Real Salt-I never appreciated the taste of real salt until I started using the Redmond brand. Because we limit the amount of processed food we eat, it’s important to salt our food to ensure we are reaching sodium goals. I can honestly say that I taste a difference in the flavor of my food, for the better, when using Redmond salt. All of their products are amazing. They even sell mini salt shakers you can plop into your purse for when you eat out. Use code: CYNTHIA for 15% off of your order.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments!