Nothing in this world is created equal, especially Food. It's important to focus on improving the quality of everything you are eating.

When starting any nutrition program it's important to focus on the quality of your foods versus the quantity of your foods. Of course calories are important, but we know that not all calories are created equal. When we improve the quality of the foods we are eating, the less likely we are to overeat or have to worry about counting calories or anything for that matter.

Did you know that our On Target Living name comes from the Food Target?

The Food Target was developed in 1996 and was designed to teach quality over quantity since we know that calories are not created equal. The body needs carbs, proteins, and fats but it just depends on the quality of these things that we are choosing. The body needs calories, carbs, proteins, and fats. These are our macronutrients. Without macronutrients we have macro-problems. When we restrict our carbs we struggle with energy and have a difficult time focusing. Did you know that the brain needs 400 calories from carbs a day just to function? Proteins are needed to repair and build muscle and fats are essential for healing the body. 

Focus on the majority of your food choices coming from the center two green circles of the target.

Whatever it is you eat the most of, improve the quality.

Here's how:

1. Read the Ingredient List

Rather than reading the nutrition facts panel which really doesn't tell us the quality of a product--look at the ingredient list. Ingredients are information for the body. It's the number one indicator of quality.

  • Less ingredients are best
  • Choose real ingredients you can actually pronounce
  • Avoid GMOs (if buying these foods choose Organic sources)
    • Alfalfa
    • Canola
    • Corn
    • Soy
    • Sugar beets
  • Common ingredients derived from GMOs:
    • Amino acids, aspartame, ascorbic acid, vitamin C, citric acid
    • Sodium citrate, ethanol, flavorings, high fructose corn syrup
    • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, lactic acid, maltodextrin, MSG
    • Sucrose, beet sugar, whey protein, textured vegetables protein, xanthan gum, vitamins, and yeast products
  • Avoid artificial colors, flavors and preservatives
  • Avoid high fructose corn syrup or other processed sugars
  • Avoid natural flavors (if it is indeed natural, why label it?)
  • Avoid hidden sources of MSG (yeast extract, spice, glutamate)

Here our Dietitian shows you how to read the ingredient list to choose a better food bar.

2. Choose Foods Closer To The Source

Food closer to the source will be foods in their most natural state. Think of one ingredient foods or foods that have been "untouched" or "unprocessed."

Most foods in their original source will not contain a nutrient facts panel or ingredient list. Why? Because we know these things are healthy for the body. They are nature's perfect food, beautifully wrapped and loaded in nutrients.

The coolest part is that when we eat foods closer to the source, we are less likely to overeat or have to worry about counting calories. Think about it. If you eat an apple, how many apples do you eat? One right? How often do you overeat broccoli or spaghetti squash with your favorite sauce? Not very often right? And if you do, who cares?

Ingredients are information for the body. When you give your body the right ingredients, it knows what to do. The right ingredients will keep you feeling satisfied, nourished, and will naturally prevent you from overeating. Plus they will be the most flavorful and affordable.

Learn more here.

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Use The Food Target To Upgrade Everything