Another Reason Why Reading Labels May Not Really Help You Lose Weight…
Believe it or not, even if you’re watching your calories in/calories out and logging them in some app (MyFitnessPal, etc), you may not even really be coming close to your actual consumption. You could be way under. Or, you could be way over. This is another reason why labels may not really help in your weight loss. Below are some of the things you need to take into consideration when figuring out the actual value of the food you’re eating.
This list of items come from Precision Nutrition, and is worthy of note the next time you pull out your food app!
1. Resistant Starch/Fibers
They show up as carbs on the label, but don’t yield the same energy
2. Outdated Data
You’re relying on up to date information on the food, but the manufacturer is not required to update their data. Could be grossly inaccurate
3. Imprecise Analytical Methods
Do you know how they got the nutrient value figures? They aren’t required to use any particular method (i.e. a bomb calorimeter)
4. Product Variety
Every batch of a product comes out slightly differently, in spite of attempts to regulate consistency. No two batches of any food product are identical
5. Soil and Growing Conditions
Anything you eat that comes from plants (fruits/vegetables/grains/etc) can be dramatically affected by the soil and conditions under which it was grown
6. Ripeness at the time of Harvest
Imagine going to a farmer’s market and picking your vegetables from the vine. Now, imagine your veggies were picked in South America, put on a plane, traveled into the USA where they were inspected, put onto a truck, stocked on the shelves of your supermarket, where they’ve been for a couple of days. All of that matters!
7. Animals’ Diets
If you eat animal products, pay attention. You are not only what you eat, you are also what you eat ate. If it’s a grass fed organic cow, there’s a big difference over a cow that was raised in a pen and ate feed its entire life! Same is true for diary.
8. Length of Storage
Food loses nutritional value the longer it sits on a shelf. Do you know exactly when it was picked/packaged/put into the store?
9. Preparation/Method and Cooking Time
With fruits and veggies, very often the nutrient content is more accessible through cooking. On the other hand, some proteins denature with extensive cooking.
The bottom line is, know that it isn’t as easy as using an app. There are many variables involved in the quality of the food we eat, so simply focus on consistency and good habits.
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