If you do not read your nutrition facts you may end up unwittingly eating food that could make you gain weight or worse still turn out to be very dangerous to your health. This will include breakfast cereals, fruit juices or even some pre-packaged meals. The key to eating smart is to read your nutrition facts whenever you have to eat food that comes in a box, container or package.
Reading your nutritional facts will give you an idea of the quantity, food types and ingredients in the food you eat everyday. This will help you know the amount of calories, carbohydrate, fat, protein and sodium in the food you eat. Physiologically sodium which is the main component of salt draws in water wherever it is found in the body. This means that if you do not watch your total sodium intake, you may unwittingly expose yourself to daily fluctuations in your weight, depending on how much water you retain.
The problem is that without taking the time to read your nutritional labels you could end up eating more fluid-retaining-food or food high in calories without knowing it. Do you know how much salt is contained in pre-cooked burrito? On average one burrito has 470mg to 1200mg of sodium. These are significant numbers especially, if you are trying to keep your daily sodium intake to 1500mg of sodium or less. If you do not watch your sodium intake by taking time to read your nutrition facts, you could end up eating much more sodium than you planned.
Generally, when you look at your nutrition facts, you look at your sodium, potassium, fiber, sugar, calories and fat content per serving size. When comparing a loaf of bread with a can of soda, you will find that on average a single serving size of bread contains 150 milligrams of sodium, while the can of soda contains 65 milligrams of sodium per serving size. Surprise! Surprise! This means you will actually get more sodium from bread than from soda! In the end it will depend on total quantity that you eat or drink!
The other important fact you will learn about the food you eat is determine the calories per serving. This is important because you need to cut down you calorie intake to lose weight. Studies have shown that it is easier to lose weight by reducing energy intake, than by trying to use exercise and physical activity to burn off excess energy intake after eating too much. Unless you get this principle clear and apply it daily to your weight loss strategies, you will fail. This is the principle of calories in, calories out.
Here is an example:
If you enjoy eating bread because of its fibers you may unwittingly be eating too much sodium or eating sugar. A serving of bread, which is usually one or two slices, also contains on average 3g of sugar. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the recommended sugar intake for men is 37.5g and for women 25g. This means that if you eat 8 servings of bread, you would have eaten 24g of sugar. The increase in sugar in your body can lead to an increase in your triglycerides and lead to a reduction in the level of high density lipoproteins (HDL) in your body.
By reading your food facts you will know how much sodium or sugar each choice you make will add to your daily energy intake. All you need is a broad idea, you do not need to count calories or know the percentage daily value of everything you eat. This type of knowledge will ultimately help you to control or reduce your total calories without putting too much effort into it. This is part of the process of using your nutritional facts to eat smart and lose weight.
The more you know about the daily factors that can affect your weight, and take action, the more you will be able to eat healthy in a smart way that works for you, without getting on torture diets. This is part of the process of relentless self-mastery.
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