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Dieting & exercise

Calorific values on labels

(24 Posts)
kalinka Wed 20-Feb-13 15:10:49

I don't know if anyone else saw this story yesterday

I spend half my life making decisions about what to eat based on these labels and if they are wrong it's no wonder I am not losing weight (it surely can't be anything to do with the two chocolate eclairs I polished off on Monday)

I am clinging to the hope that some of the foods they might have overestimated include chocolate, cake, butter, cheese...

feetlebaum Wed 20-Feb-13 16:07:35

You read those labels? Wow... I didn't think anybody did that...

kalinka Wed 20-Feb-13 16:09:55

I do. I didn't...but then I found I had a stone to lose and suddenly they seemed a bit more relevant. I don't read them in great detail - just how many calories - and occasionally fat and sugar (but not if it's something I really want to eat in case it puts me off)

Galen Wed 20-Feb-13 16:11:41

I do!

Ella46 Wed 20-Feb-13 16:20:22

I do too!

kalinka Wed 20-Feb-13 16:27:47

Phew - not just me then - I was panicking

JessM Wed 20-Feb-13 17:11:17

I agree kalinka - I think that calories are a useful guideline to educate ourselves but cannot ever be precise science. Everyone's metabolism and activity level is individual after all.
My DH had an epiphany in a motorway service station when he was buying "lunch" - added up the calories in an average sandwich and a packet of crisps - already making inroads into daily allowance - add to that something sweet and a sweet drink - way-hay half your allowance gone and it is not very filling and feels like a "snack" (if you're him). He also noticed that some foods pretend to be "healthy" like peanut brittle - but shockingly high in calories.
Useful numbers to give a rough idea what we are eating.
DH wants to lose weight. He has started eating porridge (a bucketful - but better than eating chocolate mid morning) and is giving up everything sweet. Sounds like a sensible plan to me.

Anne58 Wed 20-Feb-13 18:05:16

Oh heck, another member who's name gets me singing!

Galen Wed 20-Feb-13 18:25:07

Red army choir!

FlicketyB Thu 21-Feb-13 06:11:45

You must all have excellent eye sight. I do not read the labels on food packets because the print is so small, it is indecipherable.

Ariadne Thu 21-Feb-13 06:44:03

I always read them! (Well certainly the calorie count.) It can be horrifying, and I will often put a product back.

FlicketyB Thu 21-Feb-13 07:26:41

Surely it is not the calorie value of any individual food that matters but ones overall consumption. When I eat crumpets I am lavish with the butter, which is as high in calories as they come but as I don't eat crumpets often I couldnt care less.

I find this obsession with calories, fat, 'good' foods, 'bad' foods incredibly irritating and I am sure does more to encourage eating disorders and obesity than anything else.

A food writer in the US has come up with a very simple mantra 'Eat well, not too much, most of it plants'. What more does one need to know?

glassortwo Thu 21-Feb-13 07:45:07

I never look at those labels I am on Slimming World and try to cook everything from scratch, so no calorie counting to do. Couldn't see those labels anyway.

Orca Thu 21-Feb-13 08:21:56

FlicketyB never heard that quote before, but it makes good sense.

kalinka Thu 21-Feb-13 08:34:48

Glass - I'm not talking about processed foods - things like veg, chicken and fish mainly (and I think that's what they are talking about in the article because it's saying they have underestimated calories in dietary fibre - so it will be mainly fruit and veg that are affected)

kalinka Thu 21-Feb-13 08:38:22

flickety - yes good point - but plants is what they are talking about! I hasten to add I can't be doing with all this faddy nonsense either but have found that eating less is more effective if you have a rough idea of calories consumed. I couldn't agree more that it's important to have a but of what you fancy - how dull life would be otherwise - but if you really want to lose weight (and I do) then keeping tabs on how much you are eating across a day (or a week or whatever) is useful - as many have said on here sometimes the things that we think are healthy are loaded with calories and you can have a really decent meal of other stuff (fish, beg etc) rather than a large helping of peanut butter

Galen Thu 21-Feb-13 08:51:16

Reminds me.smoked salmon tonight. Rushes to get it out of the freezer before work!

Nelliemoser Thu 21-Feb-13 09:04:29

I do try to read lables. I don't generally eat too unhealthily but I think portion control is my problem I seem to eat bigger portions than normally mentioned in recipes or on the back of the bags of frozen peas etc. I am sure the effect of that is cumulative.

FlicketyB Thu 21-Feb-13 09:52:05

Orca the man who said it is Michael Pollan. He is worth googling, he has brought out a list of other rules. some very tongue in cheek, like: It isnt food if it comes from a Drive-thru. But the one I quoted is the main one and the one I feel is the best guide to eating.

Bags Thu 21-Feb-13 11:25:26

I never look at the calorific content of foods. I always read ingredients. I know, more or less, which kinds of foods are high in calories and which aren't, so that's a good enough guide for me, but my main guide is my own appetite. It has always worked so far. DH, who wants to lose some weight (but isn't doing), looks at calories, but does not seem to have the same internal signals that I have. I wonder sometimes if that is what goes wrong when people put on weight they don't want and can't seem to lose it? The subject certainly seems very complex.

Orca Thu 21-Feb-13 13:59:04

Very interesting FlicketyB. I've had a quick google and I agree with you.

Deedaa Thu 21-Feb-13 18:07:25

I have lately started to read labels to try and keep my diabetic hiusband's carb intake under control. How can a reasonably intelligent man reach the age of 65 and not know what carbohydrates are or where to find them????

JessM Thu 21-Feb-13 18:13:58

Surprisingly common deeda to have no interest at all in the scientific aspects of food. MY BIL was diagosed as Type 2. Went to "the talk" for a morning. Came out and bought a packet of oatcakes with syrup and ate quite a few. I gather he has got the hang of it now.
I also had a member of staff once who was diagnosed as Type 2. Clueless. Was not aware that fruit contained sugar for instance. confused

janeainsworth Thu 21-Feb-13 18:22:12

Bags It certainly is. Google 'ghrelin' if you want some interesting bedtime reading smile