How to Read the Nutrition Label

How to Read the Nutrition Label

Tuning into your body will empower you to take control of your weight. This requires awareness. Learning to be aware is vital to losing extra weight and keeping it off for good. It is necessary to learn about the foods we put into our bodies. One easy way to learn about the foods we consume is to take a close look at the nutrition label on the food’s packaging. This simple step can mean the difference between gaining a few pounds this year or losing a few pounds.

At first glance, the label has little meaning and can appear random, but by taking a closer look you will be keyed in to some very important information. Serving size, calories per serving, fat, carbohydrates, sugar, protein, and ingredient information is all relevant and it would be wise to take note of those details. Even better, this information will help you make smarter choices and help you keep an accurate food diary.

For weight loss, calorie and serving size information is most important. The nutrition label typically has serving size measurements in easily readable and measurable terms like cups, grams, or ounces. Generally speaking, the serving size directly correlates to the calories listed on the food you are consuming. So, if the cup you are using for orange juice in the morning holds 12 ounces and you fill it up, you may be consuming more calories than you think. Suppose the orange juice is 140 calories per eight ounces. By fill up your 12 ounce cup, you are actually consuming 210 calories (that’s 70 extra calories or 7 extra pounds each year).

If you wish to eat more than one serving of a particular food and want to know how many calories you are eating, just multiply the number of servings you want to eat by the number of calories per serving (as detailed on the nutrition label).

For Example:

Food: Crackers

Calories per serving: 50 calories

Number of servings consumed: 3 servings

Total calories consumed: 50 x 3 = 150 calories

As mentioned before, reading the nutritional label will help you make certain that you are staying within your daily calorie budget. It is a fantastic way to know how much to eat and what impact the foods you consume will have on your waistline. For more information on reading nutrition labels and how doing so can impact your weight, look online. There are so many great resources that you can tap into. Also, ask questions. Doctors, nutritionists, and dietitians can help you better understand what you see on the nutrition label.