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Read Food Labels To Lose Weight

I was at the grocery store the other day, doing my weekly shopping and reading food labels like I always do, when and acquaintance came up and said, "Why are you reading labels? You can eat anything you want with all of that exercise you do!" I have to say that this is probably one of the biggest misconceptions that people have.

I talk to many people who are frustrated because they are working out and not losing weight, or not seeing the results they want. The first question I always ask them is, "Have you changed your eating habits?" The answer is usually no. I have to tell you that it takes both exercise and healthy eating habits to lose weight and shape up.

Consider this - to lose one pound, you must create a 3500 calorie deficit. That means you have to burn off 3500 MORE calories than you consume just to lose one pound. How many times have you said to yourself, "I worked out today, I can have that piece of cake, candy bar, etc"? Instead of rewarding yourself with food for working out, use it as motivation to eat better. Say to yourself, "I worked out really hard today. I don't want to blow it by eating this cake, candy bar, etc." Remember that everything you eat adds up!

Some helpful tips:

1. Read food labels!!! Know what a serving size is and how many calories it contains.

2. Educate yourself on the nutrition contents of the foods you eat.

3. Be smart about portion sizes.

4. Don't reward yourself for working out with food. Find other ways to reward yourself for meeting your short-term goals.

5. If you really want something that you know you shouldn't have, allow yourself a SMALL portion. Take one bite and throw the rest away. (I know this sounds hard, but you can do it!)

Remember - exercise is NOT a license to eat anything you want! Combine your workouts with a healthy, balanced diet and you will see the results of your hard work much faster.

Kris Bierek is a fitness specialist for the health and fitness site http://www.ShapeFit.com where you can find FREE fitness tools like fitness newsletters, dieting tips, weight loss help, exercise questions and a free fitness analysis to help you get into the best shape of your life!

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