How to Read Labels

I have had many of the ladies in the SLIMQUICK Community ask me about if they can eat certain things while on the SLIMQUICK plan. Our plan is based on consuming roughly between 1300 – 1400 calories a day; so you can actually have a bit of flexibility in the plan…provided that you can read the labels of some of the foods that I am being asked about. Check out the sample nutrition label below:

nutrition-facts-food-label

 

Now I know, many times on food there actually isn’t a label (which can sometimes make things tricky), but this blog post is to help ladies to understand maybe where some of those “pesky’ hidden calories are coming from. Being as this picture is nicely broken up by numbers, let’s take a look at some of the more important points to be mindful of.

1. Serving Size

Extremely important to look at. Many items of food will seem like they are lower in calories until you grasp the idea behind what that serving size actually means. Take cereal for instance, it may have what may seem like “lower calories” but if you take into consideration that many people will eat MORE than what the serving size is on the side, you have to do the appropriate math (ie. times the total calories by 2) to get what the true total calorie count is – and that throws the label and what you are eating into a whole new perspective.

2. Calories

This brings us to the calories, and as was mentioned before, you want to keep in mind that the calories and everything on the label is based on serving size. Calories are not always completely accurate (more on that in a later post, but this should be used as a framework more than anything. An excess of 3500 calories = 1 lb of fat.

3. Total Fat

Fat has gotten a bad rap, but it isn’t always warranted. That being said, it is good to check out to see how much total fat would be going into your body. Please still keep the serving size in the back of your mind when looking at the “totals” however.

4. Trans Fat

This is probably more important than looking at the total fat. You want to avoid this like the plague.

5. Sodium

Good to be mindful of, especially when you consider that every food that we eat in a package will have sodium in it – even if it doesn’t taste salty.

6, 7 and 8. Carbs, Sugar and Fiber

While the total carbs are quite important, it’s better to take a look at the amount of sugar and fiber as well. You want to ensure that you body gets enough dietary fiber to aid in digestion while keeping the sugar lower. Too much sugar and lead to a large spike in insulin which can result in a crash in energy later on in the day as well as building up insulin resistance which can lead to an increase in stored fat. Try to keep the sugar number low.

9. Protein

Try to choose food items that have higher protein quantities. Many women simply do not get enough.

10. Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Remember that all the percentages on the label are based on a 2,00 calorie diet. This would not pertain to you if you are following the SLIMQUICK Mix and Match diet plan so I would ignore this figure.

Any other questions, want me to go into depth about a particular portion of the food label? Let me know.

Until then, I am always listening!

~ SQ Coach

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