Serious About Weight Loss? Stop Reading Food Labels!

I might be contradicting myself here but it’s got to be done.

‘How so?’ you might be saying to yourself.

Well for a while I was encouraging you to do something nutritionally that I believed was in your best interests. That would give you better results related to weight loss and performance.

But maybe I was wrong. (said in a whisper so no one can hear me)

What it is that I had you doing was reading food labels. So how can this be a bad thing? Why would I suggest you stop doing so? Well for three reasons.

Reason #1 to Stop Reading Food Labels – You are being misled

I wouldn’t go so far as to saw you are being lied to but consider the following titles on food packages:

‘made with real sugar’

‘all natural’

‘organic’

‘95% fat free’

So how are these titles on packaging misleading? Well there really is no benefit to eating real sugar. It still causes an insulin spike and puts the break on your fat burning.

What about ‘all-natural’ and ‘organic’? Well just because something occurs naturally doesn’t mean it’s healthy and a good idea to put it in your mouth. Heck, in the case of arsenic, it can kill you.

And organic, well often times this is marketing-hype imo. If you eat organic for environmental reasons, do organic bananas leave a smaller organic footprint to ship to Canada than regular bananas?

Reason #2 To Stop Reading Food Labels – It’s less about the calories

Ask most people what they check when they read a food label and what is the most common answer? Calories. We still believe, incorrectly, that a calorie is a calorie and we simply need to create a deficit or surplus in order to have the best results.

The truth is that it’s probably more important to consider the quality and timing of your food selections rather than the calorie count. Knowing this, and the fact most people don’t check the sugar, protein or fibre content on labels means they could probably save themselves the effort.

Reason #3 To Stop Reading Food Labels – If it has one it’s 2nd rate food

Question? While doing research for this blog post I couldn’t seem to find the label on the following food items. Maybe you can help me out. I was looking for labels on:

* some fresh salmon

* some broccoli

* an egg

* an apple

If the majority of the foods you eat don’t have a label, good for you. This means you are probably preparing most of your meals yourself and eating better quality nutrition than the masses.

Because it really is a contradiction to be trying to have the healthiest life possible when we’re comparing the labels on ice cream at the super market. Or when we buy 100 calorie size samples of chocolate bars to manage our cravings.

We’re fooling ourselves if we read labels for any of the above three reasons.

However if you read labels to seek out essential nutrients or if you read labels to ensure the absence of gluten, HFCS or some other ingredient than carry on.

Otherwise quit reading food labels and enjoy the benefits of optimum health, fitness and performance.

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

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12 Responses to Serious About Weight Loss? Stop Reading Food Labels!

  1. Mary says:

    Thanks Chris. Im also finding it helpful to determine what I am cooking before I go to the store and make a list so I dont wander through the danger areas that make me want to grab things with labels!

    • Chris says:

      Hi Mary: Absolutely! You definitely have to have a plan before you go grocery shopping. Another strategy is to try and add a new vegetable to the list each week.

      All the best,

      Chris
      okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

  2. Lorraine Munro says:

    Because I have edema I read labels especially to check on the sodium content and also the amount of fiber. One of my favourite snacks is an apple … but alas, I always have to eat some cheese with it!

    • Chris says:

      Hi Lorraine: Good for you for taking control on your health. I would agree with trying to seek out more fibre in the diet.

      Best in health to you.

      Chris
      okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

  3. Mike Sanborn says:

    Chris:

    Do you some other posts on Gluten that you’ve done? I’d be interested in some additional explanation on avoiding it, negative effects, etc., if so. Thanks for the great info!

    • Chris says:

      Mike: Have you been reading my notebook? I’ve just finished a couple of interviews with a leading gluten/celiac disease expert which are coming soon.

      Thanks for reading and asking for this.

      Chris
      okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

  4. Leanne S says:

    Wow, you had me worried there for a minute Chris! Food labels are a Diabetics best friend (counting Carbs for insulin dosing).
    Lately for the things that don’t have a label (and you made me smile when you said there should be lots, there are!), I’ve been using a scale to get my carb numbers to more accurately dose my insulin. Another side of using the scale is that I can now get more than my usual guesstimate on the protein, calories and fat that I’m getting as well (pro and fat contents effect the CHO absorption and thus insulin dosing has to be timed accordingly).
    Two good things have come from this scale: 1) it’s forcing me to write down everything I put into my mouth, talk about accountability, plus it’s making me think even more about what I’m eating due to the time required to do the weighing/recording. 2) my blood sugars have never been this good and stable!
    Keep the good info coming, love your blogs!

    • Chris says:

      Leanne: Haha! Gotcha. Yeah, there are definitely exceptions to the rule. And type 1 D is one of those. Glad to hear how well you are managing your health and blood sugar.

      All the best.

      Chris
      okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

  5. Wonder Woman says:

    Love the blog! I really enjoyed this article. I also feel there is so much misleading information on food labels.
    I do make a point to read labels though and will continue to do so. I like to check the amount of Pro/Cho/Fat content and ratios. I also like to know the amount of sugar and if there is sugar in the ingredients list. I look at the fibre content as well as what type of fats are used (hydrogenated, saturated, unsaturated)
    I prefer to choose items with the fewest ingredient when I can.

    Right now I am making a point to choose ‘single ingredient’ items at the store; eggs, apples, etc… Next I want to work toward reducing added sugars.

    Thanks for the great info to help me dispel so many conflicting and innacurate claims and to help me achieve a healthier me.

    • Chris says:

      WW: Glad you love the blog. This encourages me to keep doing this. Better informed always results in better choices.

      Keep reading and more importantly, keep commenting.

      Chris
      okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

  6. Jessica says:

    Hey Chris –
    I’m the opposite. Now having to eat Gluten Free I read labels WAY MORE. And now I am mildly freaking out because GF food seems to be really high in carbs,calories,fat. Plus reading in lot’s of forums about the weight gain Celiac’s can encounter. Mildly concerned. Suggestions?

    • Chris says:

      Hi Jessica: Follow along the meal plan I sent you. And contact Dr. Osbourne in the video. He’s an excellent resource and specializes in gluten and celiac disease.

      Don’t be concerned. You can do this.

      Chris
      okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

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