Why You Need to Learn How to Read Nutrition Labels? By Kelsey
So its been about forever since I’ve blogged. I’ve been so swamped with work and everything lately that I couldn’t make it top priority unfortunately. Better later than never I suppose!
I competed about a month ago, didn’t do as well as I wanted to (my posing was shit and had issues with my reload), but none the less I did it and it was quite the experience!
I’m happy that I didn’t rebound too bad after the competition. I was scared to death and wanted to make sure I prevented this. I’m only up like 7 pounds, holding steady at 132.
I’m pretty pleased with that! Now its time to start adding on some more mass for next season. Because I have what I call “fat genes” (i.e I look at a cookie and gain 5 pounds) I’ve been able to maintain my weight with cardio, training 6 days a week, and sticking to a relatively clean diet still. I added in a few more carbs to promote muscle growth (dem booty gains!) But I’m still doing the carb backloading diet where I only have carbs after I lift. This works really really well for me. We have the Michigan gathering this weekend at Fenton Powerhouse, pretty excited for that and to see all the members of Team Juggernaut!
Why You Need to Learn How to Read Nutrition Labels?
Oh okay, now I remember what made me want to write this! It may be sort of rant-y, but bare with me. I just want to start by, I feel bad for the general public who don’t know how to read nutrition labels or understand what anything on those labels even mean.
If you are serious about dieting/fitness and want to improve your physique you NEED to learn this or you’re doomed to fail.
So this rant stemmed from last weekend, it was my nephews birthday party and I offered to help my sister bake some cookies and what not for that. So knowing that I would want cookies, I decided to look up some recipes for some that I could make that wouldn’t mess up my macros too bad. So I used this awesome search tool called ‘Google’ and typed in ‘Zero carb cookies’.
Naturally, the first thing that came up was a Pinterest board (go figure) FULL of “Zero carb” cookie recipes.
Of course I got excited! So as I scroll through and look at some of the recipes for these so called “zero carb” cookies, I am realizing that most of these recipes are the furthest thing from zero carb! As I’m scrolling through this whole page of “Zero carb desserts” I could only pick out 2 that were ACTUALLY the closest thing to zero carb.
So let me break this down for you a little bit. For those of you who don’t know about Macros, Macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories or energy. Nutrients are substances needed for growth, metabolism, and for other body functions. Since “macro” means large, macronutrients are nutrients needed in large amounts. There are three macronutrients: Proteins and carbs have 4 calories per gram. Fat has 9, and alcohol (although not a macronutrient) has 7 calories per gram.
What does this even mean?
Well, its just standard math.
Lets take an egg for example.
1 standard Large egg (50g) has 5 grams of fat, and 6 grams of protein.
- 5 grams of fat (9cal/gram) = 45 calories.
- 6 grams of protein (4cal/gram) = 24 calories.
So how many calories total? 69 calories.
What is my point here?
Well this leads me to another story! One of the nights earlier this week, I stopped and grabbed some sushi to eat post-workout (my FAVORITE post-workout meal!), I decided to grab a bottle of wine just to have around. I had a glass with my sushi (it took me 2 hours to drink it, haha, losing my touch!). The next day I was thinking, “I wonder what the actual caloric count and macros are in a glass of wine”. So naturally, I googled Mark West Pinot Noir Nutrition facts. Multiple links came up of course. Here’s the picture.
So I’m looking at these nutritional facts. First thought was, okay 122 calories for a 5 oz glass.. not too shabby! But because I’ve been around the block once or twice, of course I looked at the rest. BECAUSE CALORIES AREN’T EVERYTHING. So I keep looking on, it states that a 5 oz serving has 3 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of protein.
So again, lets do some math.
- 3 grams of carbs (4cal/gram) = 12cal
- 1 gram protein (4cal/gram) = 4 cal
CAN YOU TELL ME HOW IN THE HELL THEY CAME UP WITH 122 CALORIES!? It’s not even that they were off by a small margin, but they are 90% incorrect! And this is the My Fitness Pal WEBSITE.
Its because ALCOHOL has 7cal/gram. Therefore this is where the extra calories are from. Many people don’t think of this. So the next time you’re going to go out for “Girls night” or a “beer with the guys” just remember that EVERYTHING you drink is going to be caloric. It doesn’t matter if its clear liquor vs. beer. You are still getting extra calories. I used to love to party, plus you look great all dehydrated and shit the next morning. Until I learned this lol.
Moral of the Story!
I guess my moral of the story is, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE learn how to count macros and calories, and how to read nutrition labels properly. Also, make sure that you are getting accurate information, not everything you read on the internet is true as we found here. I have an awesome app on my phone, it seems to be very accurate from what I’ve found so far. This is true with so many things, for instance sucralose. I learned this one the hard way… Although it is a great alternative sweetener, it is often cut with dextrose and maltodextrin. Most of these alternative sweeteners are these days. Stick to only extracts, that’s your best bet. More on this here.