Have you heard? The word on the street is our First Lady Of The United States, Michelle Obama, is making an impact by challenging food labels and forcing companies to make updates they are more realistic and fair. Ms. Obama has an initiative called “Let’s Move” where it combines better nutrition with activity to help make a positive impact on childhood obesity.
It appears to be impactful and working because the latest numbers show childhood obesity is down 43% in recent years. That is a BIG NUMBER!!! Read more about her program here: http://www.letsmove.gov/.
Now on to reading these labels. I hope this initiative continues to remain diligent to make food manufacturers readdress how they label food and its nutrition and caloric content. Today they are so misleading. We all know food is 80% of our fitness meaning if you workout hard yet your diet is nothing but junk food you will not see the results and reductions you are looking for by way of body inches. You might even gain.
I believe part of that reason is even when we think we are eating right our portion sizes are off. With these manufactured foods, typically there is more than a single serving in the pack yet we consume the entire pack thinking it is a single serving. I tested this out. I went and looked at the box of Pop Tarts which my children eat (don’t judge). The label reads the nutrition in a single serving. Well, you would think a single serving is the 2 pop tarts in a single pack because well there’s 2 in there. Actually a single serving is 1 pop tart in the pack. Weird because there is no way to close the pack if you open it to get one. It is almost as if they “trick” you into eating 2 therefore you must DOUBLE the calories on the nutrition label of what you actually consumed since you actually ate 2 servings vs. 1.
That is a very elementary example yet effective – READ THOSE LABELS. Your eating habits may be sabotaging your fitness progress. I believe the manufacturers do it on purpose too. This is a business and a capitalistic society so they need to keep us coming back for more. Meanwhile we consumers are stuck in the middle clueless as to what is really going on.
I have some suggestions to avoid this trickery though:
1. Eat fresh often. Fresh fruit and veggies don’t come with manufacturing labels. They are good for your body and you don’t have to worry about the caloric content.
2. Drink lots of water to curb your hunger and to keep you hydrated so you aren’t feeling “snacky”.
3. If you are feeling snacky refer to #1 – go for fresh fruit and vegetables.
4. Get educated on how to read food labels. Here is a great article on the topic – http://www.nutritionandmedia.org/page16/page4/page4.html.
Since we are responsible for our health, we must make sure we understand what and how much we are putting in our body.