Read Labels, Lose Weight

Read Labels, Lose Weight

We go to extreme lengths to lose weight. We hit the gym with ferocity; we open up our wallets and buy the best healthy foods money can buy. We do everything we need to do to shed a few measly pounds, yet we constantly fail. But losing weight shouldn’t be that difficult, should it? With all that we know about losing weight and reaching our ideal figure, why is it so tough to reach our goals?

There are solutions to your weight crisis that doesn’t require a lot of work, time or money. The simple solution was taught to us when we were in elementary school: reading. I don’t mean pick up a book and start reading; I mean reading labels. When you go to the grocery store, pick up an item that you want and take a look at the label to find the nutritional value and ingredients. It’s that simple, isn’t it? Well, no it isn’t; but with a little training, you can decipher the ingenious coding on the back of every product you purchase, saving you time, money and most of all, calories.

Know what to look for

If you look at the front of many products, you will notice that the company has put a little label stating that their product is “heart friendly” or “low-fat” but are they really? They just want you to buy their product; they don’t care about your health, they just want you to eat more. But the government has put into place guidelines that forces companies to list all of their ingredients and nutritional value. Keep an eye on calories, added sugar, saturated fats and sodium. These are the biggies. Each of these should also be accompanied by a percentage representing how much of your daily intake of each that product represents. All information should be large enough and noticeable to any shopper, making it easy for you to determine the nutritional value of each product.

Know product buzzwords

As I said, companies just want you to buy their product, but they also know that you are health conscious. As a result, you will see plenty of buzzwords on labels, such as “all natural”. Sure, it sounds healthy, but all natural is not synonymous with healthy. Keep in mind that these companies are trying to trick you, so pick up a product, disregard the flashy “low sodium” star on the front and flip the package over for the real details. Don’t get sucked in by buzzwords and focus on what really matters.

Know what you need

Reading labels won’t help if you don’t know what you need. When you start a diet, it is important to be a mathematician: know how many calories you want for a day, how sodium and sugar you should have and then shop with these numbers in your head; this is the only way to make label reading work for you: let’s face it; if you just pick up any old package, notice the calorie count, but don’t adjust your purchase quantity, it is all for naught.

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