One of these problems with losing weight is portion control. Doctors and nutritionists alike will tell you that it’s important to focus on the portion of the food as well as the total nutritional level. If you learn to start reading the food labels and checking on various details, it will be easier to make sure that the food is healthy and that you are following proper portion control.
The serving size is generally located at the very top of the “Nutrition Facts” label. This is where you will be able to find out what the serving size is for whatever it is that you’re looking to eat and how many servings you are going to get out of the entire container. Often, we eat an entire container because we make the assumption that it is a single serving. However, this is often inaccurate.
Bags of potato chips, bottles of soda, candy bars, and more are all guilty of making you think that there is a single serving within the package. However, if you take the time to read food labels, you will learn that there may be two or even three servings – which means that if you eat the whole package, you have consumed double or triple what you should have.
Your doctor should be able to tell you how many calories you should be consuming on a daily basis in order to meet your weight loss goals. This could be somewhere in the ballpark of 1200 calories. As such, you want to read the number of calories per serving on the food label. If the number is extremely high, such as many frozen meals where it may be 800 calories, you risk consuming almost all of your daily allocation in a single meal.
Obviously, you want to try and space out your calories throughout the day. If you take the time to read through the food labels on everything that you eat, you will be able to make smarter decisions, starting with what you put into the shopping cart at the grocery store.
Fats, Carbohydrates, and Sodium
There are all sorts of other numbers on the food labels as well. You should be taking the time to look at these numbers as well. Total fat is broken down by saturated fat and trans fat. You will also see a percentage of daily value. If the total fat is a large number, it may be too high of a percentage of your daily value, which means you may want to leave it on the shelf and choose something better for you.
The same should be done with carbohydrates and sodium. Sodium in particular can work against you because the high content will make it easier for you to hold water – and it can have a negative effect on your cholesterol, too.
Now that you know more about what to look at on food labels, you can choose more effectively.