Nutrition and Calorie Tips

What you track vs what you actually eat…

What you track vs what you actually eat… 🥜 🥄

If you’re hoping to lose fat in a sustainable way you need to be aiming for a deficit of around 200-300 cals a day. So you have your calorie goal, and you’re tracking your calories and weighing your portions. You diligently weigh your peanut butter for your slice of toast … 30g – that’s 169 cals – all tracked, all good. But what about the little bit you just scrape off the side of the jar as you’re getting that spoonful… or that bit that dropped on the plate that you wiped off with your finger.. or the bit you lick from the lid….

All that can add up to another 15g – that’s an extra 84 cals.

84 cals in itself isn’t going to ruin your progress, but if you’re having a couple of slices of toast a day that’s 168 extra calories a day or 1,176 cals a week! And that’s assuming that’s the only “extras” you have. That can easily stop you progressing or slow it down. And to be honest you probably don’t even realise you’re doing it.

So if you’re tracking cals and hoping to lose fat then perhaps double check you’re actually tracking what you’re eating, especially with calorie dense foods like nut butters etc.

🤗 xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Bread is bad! 🍞

Bread is bad! 🍞

I’ve lost count of the number of times people tell me they need to stop eating bread, or that they’ve had a bad week with too much bread, or their main weight loss issue is their love of bread…..

There seems to be a common misconception that bread is inherently bad and that having it means you can’t lose weight. Bread in itself (white or brown) is not that high in calories – a typical slice of hovis is 88 cals, and even a small sourdough is only 120 cals or so. Bread in itself is not a problem, what you put on it is the problem. The scraping of butter that you barely notice almost doubles the calories that slice of bread/toast will give you. Butter and 30g jam nearly triples the calories, as does a serving of Nutella (without butter underneath)! If you’re a peanut butter fan then that 40g serving (without any butter underneath) brings that piece of toast up to 349 cals. A snack of a little cheese on toast (no butter) is around 255 cals whilst a brunch of toast, 75g avocado, egg and a little ketchup comes in at 324 cals ….

Technically it is of course possible for bread to derail you if you’re eating a huge amount, like any food, but it’s far more likely to be what you’re putting on the bread that’s doing the damage. Bread isn’t the devil; in fact it’s a great source of carbs, which we all need. It tastes good and it’s also a really convenient food for a snack or lunch (as a sandwich) etc and there’s no need to cut it out of your diet to lose weight, but it may pay to be aware of what you’re putting on it and consider some lower cal toppings if you are trying to watch the calories.

Enjoy bread responsibly 🤣

🤗 xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

“Oh no, you can’t have Frosties for breakfast – thats so bad…”

“Oh no, you can’t have Frosties for breakfast – thats so bad…” 🥣

I don’t think many people would think that frosties – sugar coated flakes of corn, are a particularly healthy breakfast. Most people would naturally assume it was higher in calories than other less sugary cereals and I imagine that given the choice, most people would choose the cornflakes as the “healthier” option. But is it really?

A 60g portion of frosties (because who actually has the recommend 30g?!) comes in at 225 calories (excluding the milk). Now as expected it’s high in sugar (22g) – I mean it’s coated in the stuff so that can’t be a surprise.

In contrast 60g of cornflakes are 228 cals, so they’re actually marginally more calorific. Now they obviously contain much less sugar (4.8g) which is one benefit of course but that doesn’t make them automatically better.

When it comes to fat loss it’s the calories that matter – create a calorie deficit and you will lose fat/weight. So in this scenario you’d be no better off with the cornflakes over the frosties. Now there are some additional benefits to the muesli – less sugar and a little extra protein which may help keep you a little fuller, but cornflakes aren’t high protein so it won’t make much difference. Both cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals anyway so you’re not missing out on as much as you think with the frosties.

Now personally, I am not a fan of frosties at brekkie – but not because I think they’re that much worse than cornflakes – rather I just don’t want super sweet cereal at that time in the morning lol!

However if you love frosties and you enjoy a bowl for brekkie then go for it (they’re also great sprinkled on ice cream …) ! If you love the cornflakes then have it! But if you’re eating cornflakes because you think it’s healthier, or feeling guilty for loving a bowl of frosties to start your day, then stop worrying. As long as you’re having a balanced diet you’ll get plenty of nutrients in throughout the day so if you love frosties enjoy them! 🥣 😋

Whichever you choose – read the labels, check the calories and be mindful of your portion size but most importantly enjoy it!

🤗 xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Weight loss is rarely linear….

Weight loss is rarely linear…. 📉

Most people measure their fat loss progress by stepping on scales. This can create an all or nothing mentality and can impact not only your happiness but your behaviour. If the scales don’t go down when you’ve been ‘good’ then what’s the point? You may as well throw in the towel and enjoy that cake!

Weight loss is rarely linear. It’s normal for your weight to fluctuate on a day-to-day basis. There will be days where your scale weight goes up, just like there will be days where your weight will drop, and there will also be days (maybe even weeks) where your weight will stay exactly the same. Your weight can fluctuate up to 6kg during the day depending on what you eat and drink, and how you exercise. If you drink 2-3 litres of water a day that’s up to 3kg. Then how much do you pee, sweat and breathe out over the day? It’s impossible to measure. Our bodies are mainly water so changes in hydration cause significant weight fluctuations.

In addition a bowel full of food, a big meal the night before, fibrous or salty meals, and menstrual cycle hormone changes can all influence weight and cause greater daily fluctuations so real change can be hidden. Exercise can affect the scale both ways; if, after a workout, you’ve refuelled properly your muscles will be full of glycogen and water. On the other hand if you’ve sweated loads your weight will drop due to dehydration. Alcohol does the same; it’s a diuretic so will dehydrate you initially, but can cause cravings for salty foods leading to water retention.

For many of us, seeing that weight go up, despite ‘being good’, can make us give up. It’s vital to trust the process and think long term. The graph above is real client data. Look at how the weight fluctuates and look at the overall trend. By trusting the process and not giving up when the scales went up they’ve continued their weight loss over time.

We’re conditioned to focus on weight but instead try to use other measures e.g. items of clothing and how they fit, or cm measurements etc. If you must step on the scales then look at averages over time rather than daily variations and focus on long term trends.

🤗 xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

“Calories can’t tell the time…. “

“Calories can’t tell the time…. “ ⏰

It’s really easy to fall into the trap that eating your meals/snacks etc at certain times of day (or not eating at certain times of day) will help you lose weight (fat) more quickly.

One common idea is that you should fast for a certain number of hours during the day and only eat within a certain window of time. This varies but is usually an 8hr window or so. Proponents of this method suggest that by only eating during certain hours you can forget “complicated” diets etc and lose weight without doing anything more. You’ll hear lots of people saying they’ve achieved great fat loss using this method and they undoubtedly have. So surely it works then? Well yes it works – but only because those people have ended up eating fewer calories and therefore been in a calorie deficit, and lost fat/weight.

The problem with this method is that it doesn’t account for individual’s daily caloric requirements. So if someone started this method, but was eating more than their daily calorie requirement within that 8hr window, then they wouldn’t make any progress. Studies have shown that this method ONLY results in fat /weight loss when participants eat fewer calories than they are expending, and are therefore in a calorie deficit. Meal timing is irrelevant in terms of fat loss, it’s energy in vs out that matters.

Having said that, for some people, it’s easier to eat fewer calories if they restrict the hours in which they are “allowed” to eat. So if skipping breakfast, or not allowing yourself to eat after 8pm works for you then go for it! BUT you still need to be eating in a calorie deficit. For some people though, fasting for long periods of time, or skipping meals, isn’t a sustainable strategy long term. It can result in reduced energy levels, and excessive hunger, leading to periods of “binge” eating and therefore eating more than their daily calorie target. It can also lead to less activity (and therefore fewer calories burned) due to low energy levels.

So basically – do what works for you, but remember it’s the total calories that count – not when you eat them