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Reading Labels -- Better Weight Loss

Can you have better weight loss and easier weight loss just from reading labels on food? Keith Seinfeld of reported on a study from Washington State University:

If you read those labels, what are you looking for? The fat content? The calories? Bidisha Mandal, a health economist at Washington State University, says the fact you're looking at all is a good sign. "Whatever it is, they want that information, and they are somehow using that information to improve their diet," she says.

So how does that help you lose weight? Isn't it just calories in and calories out?

"If you pick up the product, and you look at the food label panel and start reading it, that just shows you are curious about what's is there in this packaged food," she says. And if you're paying attention to what you're eating, you'll probably do a better job at eating fewer calories.

This is a simple study, yet the message is powerful. The more you are aware of the various aspects of weight loss, the more successful you will be.

It's not just, "eat less, exercise more." Effective weight loss is as much mental as it is physical. And the mental part is understanding what works and why it works. From there you can work to incorporate those effective techniques in your own life.

I see this often in my own patients. No matter how much they weigh they almost universally say they eat a good diet. But if you ask them what it is they eat, they really cannot face it.

Most overweight people have a hard time doing something as simple as writing down one day's food intake. Now, why would that be? It doesn't sound too difficult, does it?

It's because it's hard to face. There are a lot of emotions tied up with being overweight. And over time it becomes harder and harder to face.

This is also why fad diets have such appeal. Because they don't require you to really take a look at what you are eating and what you are doing and what you are not doing that is making you overweight.

It's easier to just not face it.

But as Mandal shows in her study, sometimes losing weight is as simple as really looking at what you are eating. And in this case, that means reading the labels.

Where to start:

There is a lot of information on this site. The links below will get you off to a good start.

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These are some of our most popular pages. They are also some of the most helpful if you are finally ready to lose weight.

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