Read Your Labels!

I was at the grocery store yesterday, trying to refill the abyss left in our fridge and pantry by the 3 boys that live with me. Our kids love cereal, and well, as a mom, it’s an easy way to get them some quick carbs and energy, as well as a little protein from the milk, especially on busy mornings. We eat pretty healthy in our house – especially compared to the general public. And I’m not ashamed to admit that my youngest, who is most definitely what you would call a picky eater, has had his share of Lucky Charms and Count Chocula (seasonal obviously) for breakfast. The kid won’t eat anything that isn’t fried, dipped in ranch or coated in sugar, and his pickiness has resulted in more than a few meltdowns. From him. Oh, yes, and from me.

So as a new years goal, we are trying to reduce the amount of added sugar our kids, and we, eat. I think sugar is the devil. It is highly addictive, is added to pretty much everything, and I truly believe the snack food and sweetened drink/soda industry is basically killing us slowly. Now, I’m not saying I don’t partake. I LOVE me some sugar. Cookies, brownies, Nutella…Nutella…Nutella. But I really think I’m quite aware of when I’m consuming sugar. It’s the sweet stuff. The stuff that’s bad for me. Right?

So, back to the grocery store –  I’m walking down the cereal aisle – overwhelmed as we all should be by the thousands of options. For many months, I’ve been picking up Cheerios with Protein for days when I can’t make eggs for breakfast. I decided to check out all the Cheerios labels, to see how the added sugar stacked up with my 2 favorite types, Multi Grain and Protein, and my least favorite, plain ‘ol regular Cheerios. Here’s what I found:


Can you guess which one is which?


Yep, 17g of sugars in one serving of Cheerios with Protein. Compared to 1g of added sugar in the original Cheerios and 6g in the Multi Grain. 17g doesn’t sound like a lot. But it’s actually 3.4 teaspoons. Of sugar. And I’m going to assume that your cereal bowl probably holds a bit more than one serving of cereal, 1.25 cups. Most people probably eat about 2-3 servings of cereal at one sitting, plus adding the milk. So you’re getting about 500 – 750 calories, plus about 10 teaspoons of sugar. Yikes.

I apologize for all the math. I hate it too. (I also apologize for the really blurry pics – my phone was dropped in the toilet last year. Never mind how that happened.) But I think these 3 Cheerios boxes are a great example of how misleading advertising is. We all know how important Protein is in our diet, right? So of course our eyes will go directly to the “11g of Protein” on the box and assume it’s the better choice. But the added sugars and calories absolutely make it the worst choice of the three.

Remember every company out there is trying to get our attention. Trying to make us believe their product is the right one for us. It’s up to us as consumers to be diligent by reading labels & ingredients. I love Cheerios, and will still continue to eat them – but now just the basic ‘ol plain kind. But with milk and almonds for some added protein.

Oh, and the Lucky Charms I’ve fed my kid in the past (and will probably do it again in the future), 17g of sugar per serving. Exactly the same as the Cheerios with Protein.

If you have more questions about nutrition labels, or how to make healthy eating choices, contact me for a Diet/Lifestyle/Nutrition Counseling Session*!

*Stacey Moseley (AKA FitFatale Training and is not a Registered Dietician or Nutritionist. She is however, very enthusiastic about living a healthy lifestyle, and an NASM Personal Trainer and NASM Certified Weight Loss Specialist. **And Stacey Moseley has no affiliation with Cheerios, Cheerios with Protein, Multi Grain Cheerios, Count Chocula or Lucky Charms. She loves them all, and has since she was a kid. She just eats them in a bit more moderation now. 



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2015 Goals

It’s almost 2 weeks into the New Year and chances are, most of you have already started to slip on your New Year’s Resolutions. Did you know that 12% of all gym memberships are bought the first week of January, and yet only 20% of those memberships are being used by the second week of February? I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, it’s just that in most cases resolutions don’t work…

…But good news, Goals DO!


If you want lasting, significant changes of any kinds (weight, fitness, financial, career, etc.) it’s really necessary to make a list of, a) what you want and b) how you’re going to get it & c) make it measurable.  So if you want to gain muscle and lose fat as your goal for 2015, you can certainly change how you eat and go to the gym more often, but it’s easier to track your progress with specifics, which in turn will help you stay on track and (yay!) actually lose fat and gain muscle.

Here’s a few tricks to accomplish your goals for 2015, whatever they may be:

  1. Be specific.  Make a target for what you want. If your trying to save $$$ – have a specific $ amount. If you’re trying to lose weight,  have a number you’d like to reach. If you’re attempting to get rid of debt, focus on one card to eliminate. You get the picture.
  2. Be Realistic. The 20 lbs. you put on didn’t happen overnight. So don’t expect it to go away in a week.  Give yourself time to reach your goals.
  3. Make it Measurable. Set a time frame for what you want and then work backwards. If your saving for a trip, do the research and know how much you’ll need. Work backwards and decide how much you’ll have to stash every month or week.  If your trying to lose weight, set a weekly time to weigh yourself. It will help you account for water fluctuations.
  4. Plan your steps and reward yourself.  Simply aiming for long-term goals way in the future can seem overwhelming. Make small proximal goals to help reach your long-term goal. To run a 10k in the spring means you need to run and strength train twice a week. Pull out your calendar and schedule for the next month. Once you’ve accomplished your first month, reward yourself with a new running hat or pedicure. And then set your next months goals.
  5. Share your Goals and Successes! Tell your family and friends what your going to accomplish this year -this helps make you accountable. Start a blog or post it on Facebook if you really want to shout it out. And ask a friend/partner/spouse to check in weekly/monthly to see how you’re doing.

And of course, if you are looking to lose 20 lbs., gain 5 lbs. of muscle or simply work out at least 3 times a week, a personal trainer is a great way to stay accountable help you reach your goals.

Good luck!

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