If I've heard it once, I've heard it a hundred times: Read the labels on what you put in your mouth. But, for some reason, we all seem to think that nutrition, calories, and fat are logical enough that we don't need to do that. WRONG.
I am finding in this journey that one of the most important things that I can do is to READ THE LABELS. I'm obnoxious about nutrition, specifically calories, these days. However, it's an important key to my success.
How obnoxious, you ask? Well, I'm keeping up with my caloric intake throughout the day. I know precisely how many calories I've consumed, how many I approximately need for each meal, and by the end of the day, there are no surprises or freak outs. What makes me able to do this? You've got it - labels and nutritional information on the foods I'm eating.
A perfect example of this in action and things not always being as they seem, I had an extremely busy day recently, and absolutely had to run through a drive-thru for lunch. Burger King was on the way, so that is where we chose to go. I starting thinking and made the "obvious decision" to have the grilled chicken sandwich. I pulled out my blackberry and did the research on the nutritional information - 400 calories with no sauces. I decided to check one other option before ordering, and looked up the Whopper Jr. with no mayo and lo and behold - 290 calories. Who knew?
There are many websites that provide the nutritional data from chain restaurants. I have found that looking at the menu online at home, and researching nutritional information before ever getting to a restaurant makes my success at that meal significantly easier. Planning everything out ahead of time allows me to not be quite as tempted by the things that I'm choosing not to eat, as well as helping me make sure that I'm making the best choices.
Reading the labels and nutritional data does take a little extra time, but the extra few minutes that I put into researching what I'm eating in addition to my working out is definitely paying off in big ways. I'd say that I am more than worth the extra efforts.