Importance of reading ingredient lists and nutrition labels – Part I

It never ceases to amaze me how many people still don’t pay any attention whatsoever to what they eat, despite the fact that even the most stubborn medical minds acknowledge that our diets control pretty much everything that happens in our body – diseases, performance, longevity, mood – you name it.  This is even more discouraging, given that a lot of that information is available to consumers – you just have to put two and two together (and, perhaps, know what to look for).  This article will discuss the caveats of nutrition labels and ingredient lists – what to look for, what to avoid, and how not to fall prey to sneaky marketing tactics used by some food manufacturers. This knowledge should be your governing principle when buying any packaged food.

You already know that to achieve an Alpha-level performance, what you eat matters more than anything else – mess this component up and you will never achieve any meaningful long-term goals in anything else.  The ground rules are simple – most of the time, your best choice is mono-ingredient food.  You know, the stuff that is not pre-packaged, the stuff that only has one ingredient in it – fresh produce, fresh meat, fish, etc.  Once you start venturing into packaged foods, chances are you are going to end up with less of a food, but more of a food substitute – a cocktail of processed offcuts or rejected produce and added chemicals, stripped of most nutrients and cooked using highly inflammatory oils.  Not a very appetizing picture, regardless of the pretty colors and ridiculous claims made on those boxes.

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The non-conventional approach to ripped abs and all the proper curves

“I just need to get rid of stomach fat – what is the best ab exercise?”

“I exercise a lot, but can’t get six-pack abs!”

“I look fit, but could trim my thighs a bit – should I focus on leg exercises?”

“I look fine from the waist up, but my butt looks too big – I guess it is just my genetics?..”

These questions and statements pop up all the time and reflect the fundamental misunderstanding about the mechanism of fat loss and exercise. What is worse – you get constantly misled by ads and “specialized” exercise programs (“buy that awesome targeted workout DVD and get the abs as ripped as the guy on the cover has!” – yeah, I wish…).

So, can we do something about those pesky muffin tops, love handles and beer bellies? With all the misinformation out there, can we pinpoint the real solution to trimming down problem areas? You bet! But not the way you would expect…

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