Maintain: #8 - Get Cozy With Labels!

September 16, 2014

Maintain: #8 - Get Cozy With Labels!

Photo Credit:

There’s one big thing you’re going to need to know to maintain a large weight loss, and that is WHAT’S IN YOUR FOOD.

Get comfortable reading labels because if you don’t know what you’re putting in your mouth, you shouldn’t be eating it.

No matter what system you’re using, you’re going to need to start reading labels.

Your days of blithely popping random new foods in your mouth are over, because if you don’t know what’s in it, you can’t control your weight.

Fortunately, most foods tend to fall into two categories, labeled or non-processed.

It’s true – if the food is processed, it needs to have a label from which you can determine calorie, protein, carb, sodium, etc., content.

If it doesn’t have a label it’s probably a fruit or vegetable.

Meats at the butcher shop don’t have labels either, so you’ll need to have a good idea of which cuts are good for your program - lean protein is safe for most maintenance systems...

but you might want to avoid the ribs and bacon.

If you’re not sure, you can always look up the info online for just about anything – head to the internet!

I use a pretty simple calories in/calories out system, so the first thing I look for on a food, is total calories.

But be careful because some labels can be sneaky about how many servings are in the package.

For example, a small bag of chips or jerky may list a surprisingly low-calorie count until you see that the manufacturer considers the clearly-single-serving package to be 3 servings!

Once I’ve tripled that calorie count suddenly that treat isn’t looking so appealing anymore.

In general, foods that aren’t labeled tend to be the healthiest and least processed – get your fruits and veggies in!

tomato label

Less processing means more natural. That is a good thing in most systems. However, the rest of the ingredients we all use have labels so we can know what we’re getting out of it. If I’m making a dish from many ingredients I can do some simple arithmetic to come to a total calorie count.

Even if your program is simply to avoid one category – for example, you’re avoiding carb-heavy foods – you’d still need to know which foods those were.

The food label is your friend! So grab a label and get educated! 

Leave a comment