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The Safe Way to Lose Weight

The Lucky People

If you are not overweight, do not have high blood pressure, are not 'slimming' and are not in one of the vulnerable groups, then reducing your salt intake would improve your health only slightly and you may prefer not to make great changes to what you eat. - But check on the Associated Health Problems page first. - There may be another problem you have that could be helped by eating less salt.

Lose weight by eating less salt! - Go on! - Try it!

Low sodium in foods?

If you're unsure about which foods contain a lot of salt/sodium then click on the 'Sodium in Foods' link in the list of links on the left of each page.

Vulnerable Groups

The groups of people vulnerable to salt are babies and children, people who take or who have taken certain prescribed steroids, including prednisone and prednisolone, or certain other prescribed drugs, women who take or have taken HRT or other oestrogen-containing drugs such as some contraceptive medications, people who take or have taken amitriptyline or other tricyclic antidepressants or some other psychotropic/psychoactive drugs, pregnant mothers, PMT sufferers and people who ate salt as children. These groups need to minimise their salt intake. They will lose weight easily if they eat less salt and salty food.

Salt Can Cause Obesity

If you fall into one of the vulnerable groups I have listed or if you ate a high salt diet as a child you will be sensitive to salt. People without this problem can eat salty foods without doing a lot of harm to themselves, because their kidneys will excrete the sodium which is excess to their requirements. But for people sensitive to salt, some of the excess sodium, along with the water it attracts, will enter their blood stream and not be excreted. So they carry extra weight - as water - around with them all the time. They also lose more heat from their bodies because the surface area of their body has increased with the added water, and the rate at which a body loses heat is proportional to its surface area. - They therefore need extra calories to do the extra work and to provide the extra heat. - So their appetite increases in order to obtain these extra calories. - So they may very well eat more to satisfy their genuine need for calories. - If what they eat is salty, then the cycle will repeat itself and they are likely to become obese.

To break the cycle and put the process into reverse, all that is necessary for them to do is to eat less salt. And eating extra potassium by way of fresh fruit and vegetables will accelerate the excretion of the sodium and water and speed up the weight loss.

In my opinion, people who remain slim are slim not because they have strong will-power to resist extra calories, but because they have strong-walled healthy veins which can resist the incursion of extra salt water.

See also my Fat Retention page.

And please read my Disclaimer.

If you want to lose weight, eat less salt!


I have modified my original belief that the excess fluid is all in the blood vessels. I now believe that most is in the blood vessels, while some may be in the abdominal cavity (ascites), and a small amount in the body tissues.

Forget about calories! - Cut down on salt! - You'll lose weight fast - as if by magic!

Obesity - Vulnerable Groups

People taking steroids or HRT

If you are gaining or have gained a lot of weight and become obese because of taking prescribed steroids or HRT then I have very good news for you! read more


When children become fat it is essentially because they are eating salty food. Children are especially vulnerable to salt because of their small size and small blood volume, and because their blood vessels are weaker than those of adults. read more

Pregnant Mothers

During pregnancy a woman's hormone levels alter. The hormone most relevant to undesirable weight gain is oestrogen... read more

People taking amitriptyline

Patients may sometimes find it helps with the problem for which it has been prescribed, but be that as it may, it frequently produces a host of adverse side-effects, including weight gain... read more

PMT Sufferers

...most or possibly all of these symptoms are the result of fluid retention and will be lessened or avoided by reducing salt intake... read more