You may be taking in a lot more calories, sodium and fat than you bargained for when you choose that can or carton of soup (or lasagna or cooking spray). That's because product labels for many foods suggest unrealistically small serving sizes. For instance, most people eat an entire can of soup in one sitting - double the one cup "portion". That's 1,975mg of sodium, more than half the recommended daily allowance. Here, the surprising reality behind four common grocery-store staples.

Chicken noodle soup

Serving Size on Label: l cup (120 calories, 3g fat)

Typical Serving Size: 1 can (300 calories, 7.5g fat)

Cooking spray

Serving Size on Label: Y-second spritz (0 calories, 0g fat)

Typical Serving Size: 6-second spritz (50 calories, 6g fat)

Ice cream

Serving Size on label: 1/2 cup (270 calories, 18g fat)

Typical Serving Size: 1 cup (540 calories, 36g fat)

Family-size prozen lasagna

Serving Size on label: l cup (290 calories, 9g fat)

Typical Serving Size: 1 package (1,450 calories, 45g fat)

Number crunch

That's the percentage of people who read labels and look at the info long enough to process it.

Why being tired makes you fat

If you're not getting enough sleep it's likely you'll snack more throughout the day, says a recent study from the University Of Chicago Medical Center.

Description: Why being tired makes you fat

Why being tired makes you fat

Adults who got five and a half hours of sleep ate 221 more calories from snack foods than those who managed eight and a half hours. And more of those calories came from refined carbs. "If you're exhausted, your body will crave carbs to replenish its energy reserves," says nutritionist Stephanie Clark. Keep low-cal snacks on hand to eat on days you're feeling sleepy. For more tips on a better sleep, see page 80.

Drunken Noodles in Cashew-Shiitake Broth

Skip the delivery - and the high fat and salt counts - with this quick and satisfying Asian-inspired soup by Chloe Coscarelli, author of Chloe'sKitchen: 125Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way.

Description: Drunken Noodles in Cashew-Shiitake Broth

Drunken Noodles in Cashew-Shiitake Broth

Serves 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

·         200g dried udon noodles  

·         ¼ cup cashews

·         2 tablespoons olive oil

·         500g shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced 

·         3 spring onions, ends trimmed and sliced thin     

·         4 garlic cloves, minced

·         1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger 

·         1/4 jalapeno pepper, seeded fresh coriander and finely chopped

·         Pinch ground cayenne pepper

·         5 cups low-salt vegetable stock

·         1 tablespoon rice vinegar

·         1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

·         Sea salt 4 teaspoons, chopped fresh coriander

Cook udon noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside. Toast cashews in a dry pan over medium heat for 3 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from heat and chop roughly.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot over medium-high . Add mushrooms and spring onions; cook for five minutes or until mushrooms are soft. Mix in garlic, ginger, jalapeno and cayenne pepper and cook for two minutes.

Add stock to the mushroom mixture and bring to a boil. Add noodles, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in vinegar and sesame oil. Season to taste with salt. Ladle into four bowls and garnish each with one tablespoon of cashews and one teaspoon of coriander serve.

Nutrition score per serving (1 bowl): 339 calories, 15g fat (2g saturated), 40g carbs, l0g protein, 3g fibre, 43mg calcium, 3mg iron, 647mg sodium

Sugar High

File it under "too sweet to be true". Researchers from the E. Wolfson Medical Center in Israel have found that starting your day with a taste of dessert can help you shed kilos. Study participants who added a decadent treat - say, cookies, cake, chocolate or ice-cream - to their well-balanced breakfast lost 77 percent more weight overall than those who went without "Your metabolism is at its peak in the morning," explains lean researcher Dr Daniela Jakubowicz.

Description: sugar high

If you eat indulgent foods early on along with some protein you have more time to work off the extra calories

"If you eat indulgent foods early on along with some protein you have more time to work off the extra calories." Plus, having that tempting fare first thing may make ioi l less likely to crave it later in the day.

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