Do you know how many calories you’re consuming throughout the day? Most people think they do, but underestimate how much they really consume. Do you think you’re eating or drinking an actual serving size? Chances are, you’re probably not and you’re actually consuming more calories than you think you are. This is one of the reasons many people can’t understand why they’re not losing weight.
I have mentioned in the past the importance of reading food labels. When you read a food label, do you read how much of that product is an actual serving size? Many products actually contain more than 1 serving, yet, many people consume the entire package of that product consuming more than 1 serving, which means, consuming more calories than you realize.
Empty Liquid Calories
Most soft drinks come in bottles or cans that contain more than 8 fluid oz. which means, it’s going to have more than one serving, yet, most people end up drinking the entire can or bottle.
Arizona Tea just came out with an organic line of teas. Automatically you think, Green Tea, Organic, Healthy, low in calories, sugar, etc. This product comes in a 16 oz bottle, but if you read the label, it says that there are 2.5 servings in the container. If you were to drink the entire bottle, you would actually be consuming 125 calories (not 50 calories), a whopping 32.5 grams of sugar (not 13 grams) and 32.5 grams of simple carbohydrates (not 13 grams). So even though you’re drinking an organic tea, you’re still consuming a lot of calories and sugar if you were to drink the entire bottle, which, most people will do.
How much is a single serving?
When you have a bowl of cereal, do you know how much is actually a serving size? Do you look at the label, read how much is a serving size, measure it, and then put it in your bowl? Chances are you probably don’t and fill the bowl up with probably double or triple the serving size. What about the milk? Do you know how much milk is listed on the label?
Looking at a box of cereal, (Barbara’s Multigrain Shredded Spoonfuls in this example) a serving size is ¾ cup of cereal with ½ cup Skim Milk. If you follow what a serving size is, you would be consuming 160 calories. Most people having a bowl of cereal would probably end up consuming more than 160 calories simply because they don’t measure the milk and cereal.
I don’t eat pretzels, or chips and when I do want something crunchy to snack on, I snack on Back to Nature Multigrain Flax Flatbread Crackers. Most people end up snacking on more than a serving size of their favorite cracker. Looking at the nutrition label of this particular product, a serving size is 3 pieces or 3 flatbread crackers. One serving size is 130 Calories for 3 crackers.
Your typical can of tuna comes in a 6 oz. can, however, if you look at the label, there are actually 2 servings in a can and let’s be real, who is going to measure out 2.5 oz of tuna to have a serving of it.
According to Boar’s Head Nutrition Guide, 1 serving size of any of their deli meats is 2 oz. When you look at what 2 oz. of deli meat looks like, depending on how thick or thin the meat is sliced, you’re looking at three slices on average. Most people who make a sandwich will pile on more than the recommend 2 oz. serving size to double or triple the recommended serving size on average.
Food for Thought
Yes, it is important to read the ingredient labels on the foods you eat, and it is equally important to know how much of that product actually makes up one serving size so that you’re not consuming too many calories. Even if you are eating something that’s good for you, the calories still add up.
Remember, one of the keys to weight loss is to burn more calories than you consume and if you’re consuming more calories than you realize, you’re probably not burning more calories than you take in.