How are your New Year goals coming along? We are in week 3 of 2017. By now you are doing great and sailing towards your goals or maybe searching for some extra guidance and help. Either way, don’t give up and keep working towards that goal(s)!
As I have mentioned in previous blogs and posts nutrition is 75-80% of your success if you are looking to lose weight. You can go to the gym 6-7x/ week…but if your nutrition habits are poor your chances of actually losing the weight and keeping it off are really slim.
Understanding what you are putting into your body is important. Taking the time to learn how to properly read labels is the first step.
1. (Green) Check the serving size and number of servings: the nutrition facts label information is based on ONE serving, but many packages contain more. Look at the serving size and how many servings you are actually consuming. If you double the servings you eat, you double the calories and nutrients, including the % daily value (DV). When you compare calories and nutrients between brands, check to see if the serving size is the same.
2. (Red) Check calories: this is where you’ll find the number of calories per serving and the calories from fat in each serving. Fat-free doesn’t mean calorie-free. Lower fat items may have as many calories as full-fat versions. If the label lists that 1 serving equals 3 cookies and 100 calories, and you eat 6 cookies, you’ve eaten 2 servings, or 2x the number of calories and fat.
3. (Orange) Limit these nutrients: know your fats and reduce sodium for your health. Use the label to select foods that are lowest in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. Trans fat, doesn’t have a %DV, but consume as little as possible because it increases your risk for CVD. The % DV for total fat includes all different kinds of fats. To help lower cholesterol, replace saturated and trans fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in fish, nuts, and liquid vegetable oils. And limit sodium to help reduce your risk of high blood pressure.
4. (Light Blue) Get Enough of these nutrients and look for foods that are rich in these nutrients: Understand how to read labels not only to limit fat and sodium intake, but also to increase nutrients that promote good health and may protect you from disease. Some Americans don’t get enough vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium, and iron, so choose the brand with the higher % DV for these nutrients. Get the most nutrition for your calories – compare the calories to the nutrients you would be getting to make a healthier food choice.
5. (Blue) Quick Guide to % DV: 5% of less is low and 20% or more is high
6. (White) Look at your Total Carbohydrates and Protein: Fiber and sugars are types of carbs. Healthy sources, like fruits, veggies, beans, and whole grains can reduce the risk of heart disease and improve digestive functioning. Whole grain foods can’t always be identified by color or name, such as multi-grain or wheat. Look for the “whole” grain listed first in the ingredient list, such as whole wheat, brown rice or whole oats. There isn’t a % DV for sugar, but you can compare the sugar content in grams among products. Limit foods with added sugars (sucrose, glucose, fructose, corn or maple syrup), which add calories but not other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Make sure that added sugars are not one of the first few items in the ingredients list. For protein choose foods that are lower in fat.
7. (Purple) The % DV is a general guide to help you link nutrients in a serving of food to their contribution to your total daily diet. It can help you determine if a food is high or low in a nutrient. You can use the % DV to make dietary trade offs with other foods throughout the day. The * is a reminder that the % DV is based on a 2,000 calorie diet. You may need more ore less but the % DV is still a helpful gauge.
Once you have learned how to read labels and find your stable items to go to every week, eating healthier becomes easier. You will fuel your body properly to give you the energy you need and improve your metabolism for your weight loss goals.
Hope this helps you stay on track ~ Let me know if you have any questions.
Happy 2017 – YOU GOT THIS!
Never Give up ~ Believe in Yourself ~ The choice is Yours!