Published Feb 10, 2014

The Psychological Approach to Rapid Fat Loss #16: Serving Size, Tricky Manufacturers Label.

Rapid fat loss is not only about eating the right foods and the right amounts of it. It is also about the way you have to look and understand some tricky food labels in order to make the right choice; and making eating a pleasant experience. Not a five time per day struggle against yourself!

Nutritional labels are obligatory on all packaged foods available in the US. The nutritional information on these labels is always based on FDA regulations that try to define “serving size”. But there are no strict rules that apply to what manufacturers define as a serving size. This can influence consumer behavior!

For example, presenting a small serving size will let manufacturers reduce the reported amounts of fat, sugar, calories and carbohydrates for each serving, which can make you perceive the product as lower in calorie content and make you purchase it.

More people struggling for a rapid fat loss focus on calorie content instead of on serving size, leading them to a wrong understanding of the overall calorie content.

Let´s take a pizza, for example.

Never mind if it is an individual package, or a family package, it can show that its content is a single serving providing 400 calories. However, if a different brand would consider two servings providing 200 calories each, the calorie count would be the same in both cases. But, you would have the feeling you are eating too much when you need two servings instead of one (considered as anticipated guilt of consumption).

Even though the FDA has a set of rules defining “reference amounts customarily consumed per eating occasion” based food consumption surveys; labels may be confusing.

What should you do then? When comparing two similar products, you must compare the information, BOTH calories AND serving size. After that you must try them out and understand what serving size really satisfies you, without overeating! From that information you can use the calorie information to control and limit what you eat and how much you are allowed to depending on your goals. 

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