If you’re trying to lose weight, consider this tip

Alexei Sorokin
3 min readNov 3, 2021

Not backed by science, but worked for me.

From May to October of 2020 (the “pandemic year”), I lost close to 30 pounds (185–190 to 160, or 85kg to 72). They say that for sustainable weight loss you can expect to shed 1–2 pounds a week at most. My experience approximately matched this recommendation.

I could write a detailed note about my journey but it would be an exercise in vanity. In the end, it was all about achieving a calorie deficit. There is a gazillion of blogs and articles talking about the simple truth that a calorie deficit is needed to lose weight. I exercised a lot, focusing especially on interval running, and ate less.

There is, however, one tip I want to share. I don’t recall ever seeing it in weight-loss stories.

Remove salty meals, food, and snacks during the day. Eat salt-neutral stuff.

Let me explain. It’s not about the salt consumption per se and that salt is bad for you. There are a lot of things “bad for you” when taken in excess. It’s about the indirect effect that salt had on my pre-weight loss lifestyle.

I used to love all things salty. Processed meats, cheese, salty cashews, fried eggs covered with delicious sea salt grains. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For my snacks. My meals were not all unhealthy or heavy but most had salt.

The problem was the aftermath of eating salt. I craved something sugary to cancel out the taste. I guess that’s one reason why deserts exist. Or I wanted to grab a drink — sweet or any drink for that matter (coffee, tee, and so on). You can hydrate with water of course but I’m not sure drinking water to compensate for salt consumption is “hydration”. Eating salt necessarily induced my mouth to open for something else, within a short period of time. The quality of my exercise suffered. It’s hard to run when you are thirsty. Even with hydration, the taste of food lingered longer after consuming salt.

These days I do consume salt with my morning and evening meals but I avoid it at all costs during the day. I eat unsalted nuts. Plain yogurt with oats or cereal. By removing salt from most of my meals and snacks, I indirectly removed hundreds of unnecessary calories from my diet.

It’s a simple habit, not too restrictive, that seems easy to maintain.

Post scriptum. I originally wrote this note a year ago. It was here on Medium. I…

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Alexei Sorokin

A Russian immigrant in America, father of 4, Cambridge and Harvard Business School alum. I run and write every day. https://runningwritingliving.substack.com/