Sodium

Note: This information does not in any way constitute medical advice, an attempt to diagnose a medical condition, or substitute for medical treatment. OPTAVIA recommends that you contact your healthcare provider before starting and throughout your weight loss journey.

When following a reduced-calorie meal plan, your sodium intake will likely be lower since you are eating less than before; this is especially true if you are making healthy food/beverage choices and sticking with proper portion sizes as outlined in your OPTAVIA Guide.

As your body enters into a fat-burning state, you may lose more water and sodium through urine (a diuretic effect). Therefore, some people may benefit from additional sodium, particularly during the first few weeks of the program. For those without a sodium restriction, having one cup of broth (1 condiment) or 2 dill pickle spears (1 optional snack) per day may help replenish sodium and maintain electrolyte balance. 

Consult with your healthcare provider about the program and your individual sodium needs, especially if you are taking prescription medications (e.g. Lithium, high blood pressure medications, etc.) and/or have any medical conditions (e.g. high blood pressure, kidney disease, etc.).

If you are trying to reduce your sodium intake, here are some suggestions as it relates to the program. Discuss these suggestions with your healthcare provider for personalized guidance.

  1. Follow the OPTAVIA meal plan as outlined in your program guide. Weigh and measure portions for the Lean & Green meal.
  2. Choose lower-sodium OPTAVIA Fuelings. OPTAVIA Fuelings contain 55 to 450 mg of sodium per Fueling. The sodium content of the Lean & Green meal will vary based on personal choices. 
    • OPTAVIA smoothies, shakes, hot cereals, oatmeals, bars, soft-serve treats, and pudding are lower in sodium.
    • OPTAVIA hearty choices, soups, crunchers, poppers, and sticks are higher in sodium.
  3. Choose lower-sodium foods for your Lean & Green meal.
  4. Lean Options
    • Look for fresh, frozen, or canned meat and fish that have no salt added. Avoid processed meats, like hot dogs and sausage that are high in sodium.
    • Some meatless foods, like veggie burgers and cheese, may be high in sodium. Compare labels, and choose lower sodium options.
  • Green Options
    • Stick with fresh, frozen (plain; no sauce), or no salt added canned vegetables.
  • Healthy Fats & Condiments
    • Limit condiments to 3 per Lean & Green meal, and stick to the serving sizes outlined on the Condiment List
    • Look for low sodium, reduced sodium, or no salt added condimenst and healthy fat options.
    • Use fresh or dried herbs and spices to add flavor to meals. Avoid seasoning blends with added salt.
    • Make your own salad dressing and sauces as store-bought versions are often high in sodium. 
  1. Dine out less, and cook more at home to control how much salt is added to your food. When dining out, check online for nutritional information before you go and request that no salt be added to your food. Refer to our Dining Out Guide for more information. Cook your meals at home, as many pre-packaged frozen meals are high in sodium.
  2. Check the sodium content on nutrition facts labels, and use the 5/20 rule to guide your choices. If a food or beverage has less than 5% of the daily value for sodium (per serving), it is considered low in sodium; if a food or beverage has 20% or more of the daily value for sodium, it is considered high in sodium. Compare labels, and opt for lower sodium options.
  3. Use an online food tracker to monitor your daily sodium intake.