Are You What You Eat: How to Read Food Labels for Weight Loss

Working out helps you get snatched but eating right KEEPS you snatched.

That’s why reading food labels correctly is supper important. Food labels not only tell you how many calories you are taking in when you eat a particular food, but it also provides you insight into the food’s nutritional value.

Sis - once you learn to quickly scan the Nutrition Facts label for essential information, you’ll be able to shop faster, eat better, and KEEP SNATCHED.

Serving Size: Portion control and calorie counting are important for managing your weight. So make sure to check the serving size on the nutrition labels to help you to eat the right portions so you can accurately count the number of calories you eat each day. So it’s important to note that the serving size on the package is not the amount of food you should eat, but the amount of food a typical eater consumes during a single eating occasion. Instead of using this number to decide how much to eat use it to determine how many calories are in a typical serving of that food.

Calories: The calorie count on the nutrition facts panel shows how many calories are in a typical serving size. At the grocery store, it can be helpful to compare different brands and products to make the best choice for you.

Fat & Cholesterol: When you read the nutrition label, first check the total number of FAT grams are in the food. Then check the SATURATED and TRANS fat:

  • Saturated Fat: Saturated fat isn’t bad but you still want to eat less of it.  Aim for a dietary pattern that achieves 5% to 6% of calories from saturated fat. For example, if you need about 2,000 calories a day, no more than 120 of them should come from saturated fat. That's about 13 grams of saturated fat per day.
  • Trans fat (BAD): You should stay away from this at all cost. You should limit trans fat to less than 1% of your daily calories. For someone with a 2,000 calorie a day diet, this is about 20 calories or 2 grams per day

Cholesterol: Although it is OK to eat eggs and other sources of dietary cholesterol, you still want to keep this low. Limit your cholesterol intake to fewer than 200 milligrams per day.

Carbohydrates: This one is a bit controversial because there is much out there that teaches us to eat low carbs to increase weight loss. But your body needs carbs as energy – the good ones. The bad ones can spike your blood sugar levels that can cause weight gain and that’s what you want to stay away from. BUT…good carbs should make up 45% to 65% of total daily calories. So if you get 2,000 calories a day, between 900 and 1,300 calories should be from carbohydrates. That translates to between 225 and 325 grams of carbs a day.

% Daily Value: This tells you how much a particular nutrient contributes to your total daily diet if you consume 2,000 calories per day.

 So next time you go grocery shopping, read your labels and make conscious choices!