As I mentioned last week, it’s often the little things that can make a big difference when you’re trying to lose weight/ fat. Condiments often add more calories than we realise and because they’re not really seen as ‘food’ we generally overlook them when it comes to tracking calories. So swapping them to a lower calorie option is a great way to save some calories without impacting too much on the overall taste of the meal. It’s also a brilliant way to make sustainable long term changes to your diet.
In this example I’ve chosen Mayonnaise. The standard Mayo that you might put in your sandwich or dip your chips in will cost you around 202 calories. You’ve got a couple of options for swaps – both a light and a lighter than light option. The latter is almost a tenth of the calories! And if you don’t fancy the lighter than light option then the light option is still over half the calories of the original version.
So if you enjoy a bit of Mayo then perhaps it’s worth checking out these options for some easy calorie savings. Obviously if you enjoy the original version then have it! Just be aware of those calories and include them in your tracking. 🤗 Xx
When you’re trying to lose weight/fat it’s often the little things that can make a big difference. I’ve posted before about how things like condiments and oil can add sneaky extra calories without you realising it, so really it’s a no brainer to consider swapping to a lower calorie option.
People often baulk at the idea of using the oil sprays and usually the reason is that they’re not as ‘healthy’ as olive oil/ coconut oil etc .However it’s important we put it in to perspective.
Olive, coconut or avocado oils are definitely sourced of ‘good’ fats, and we need them in our diet. However the one cal Oil sprays are available in all of those varieties. And whilst they often contain some sunflower oil that doesn’t make them automatically less healthy as it contains more polyunsaturated fats and also some saturated fat. However it actually contains 20-30 percent monounsaturated fats and only 11 percent saturated fats making it an overall heart-healthy option. Sunflower oil is also a good all-purpose oil because it can withstand high cooking temperatures.
These other oils also contain higher levels of saturated fat than sunflower oil. Recent studies have also shown that high levels of monounsaturated fats can be as damaging to heart health (specifically coronary artery atherosclerosis) as saturated fats. Olive oil for example also has a lower smoke point so isn’t as stable for cooking.
So with these sprays you can get the best of both worlds. You’re instantly saving yourself over 200 calories without impacting much on taste. Even if you need to use 20 or 30 sprays you are still making a massive calorie saving.
So if you want to save some calories (and protect your heart health) consider swapping the oil for a spray oil for cooking, and save the other oil for salad dressings etc – as part of a balanced diet! 🤗
What’s better for a summer dessert than some ice cream (despite the rather unsummery weather!). I don’t know about you but once I start on a tub it’s gone before I even realise it!
Whilst there’s no problem with including any ice cream you like in your diet, if you are trying to lose weight/fat you may find that fitting a whole tub into your calories quite tricky. So you have two options – either limit the amount you have, or swap from a calorie dense type of ice cream to something that’s similar tasting, but lower calorie. There are the obvious swaps to the low calorie brands like oppo or halo top etc but another option is to switch to something else entirely.
In this example switching from the Häagen-Dazs mango and raspberry ice cream to twisters makes a massive calorie saving. You could have 4 twisters for almost a third of the calories of the Häagen-Dazs. As an added bonus the chances of you eating 4 twisters in a row is considerably less than working your way through a tub anyway. Psychologically it’s much easier to work your way through an open tub than help yourself to 4 lollies in a row.
So if you do want to enjoy some Ice cream but save some cals try going for the lower cal, higher volume option if you
Carbs are often demonised in the media. Like any nutrient they can indeed cause weight gain, if over consumed. But as I mentioned in my article last week, they don’t inherently cause weight gain – unless you’re eating over your daily calorie allowance. In fact a recent review of studies show no significant differences in fat loss in a low carb vs normal carb diet (with protein and calories controlled for).
The foods most people associate with “carbs” are high sugar, often also high fat, foods. These are often very easy to over eat so often diets high in these foods result in less weight/fat loss or even weight gain. However it’s the surplus calories, not the carbs themselves causing the gain.
People will often avoid carbs because they’ve been led to believe that insulin will lead to increased fat storage. As carbs are the main driver of insulin elevation they are often blamed for weight gain/ lack of weight loss. However the studies simply don’t support this. In the studies mentioned above high carb diets do not cause more weight gain than any other diet (when protein and calories are consistent), despite having higher insulin levels. So diets low in sugar /carbs or a keto diet (low carb) don’t automatically result in weight loss UNLESS overall calories are lower and you are in a deficit.
Having said that for some people reducing carbs helps them achieve the calorie deficit. I would never recommend going very low carb, as usually it is unsustainable. But if you find that focusing on higher protein/fat options and reducing some carbs helps to hit your calories then that’s fine – IF that’s your preference. If most of your calories come from high carb junk food then removing some of the will definitely help! If you find your snacks are generally high carb/sugar based and that they don’t fill you up, leading to more chance of over eating later, then it’s worth considering swapping these out. Obviously if you don’t like carbs or have been medically advised to reduce them then go for it!
Appetite is complicated! It’s controlled by the hypothalamus, in the brain, which processes neural, metabolic and endocrine signals that indicate whether we need to eat more or less to maintain our energy balance. Physical activity, dietary composition and eating behaviours all affect these signals and are important factors we can use to regulate appetite.
Short term appetite regulation relates to hormone levels – orexigenic (appetite stimulating) and anorectic (appetite inhibiting) hormones from the gut influence satiation (i.e. the signal to stop eating) and post meal suppression or generation of hunger (satiety). There are also long-term
impacts on appetite regulation. Both leptin (related to bodyfat levels) and insulin act directly to reduce appetite and energy intake. However, increased bodyfat is linked to disruption of the action of leptin and insulin on appetite making over eating easier.
Non-homeostatic mechanisms that control appetite include food hedonics (desires), activity and behaviour. The availability of highly palatable energy-dense foods impacts the control of food intake. The signals we get when eating these foods can override our hormone-related satiety signals leading to over-consumption. Alcohol consumption and social pressure can alter decision making and an increased desire for energy dense foods. Physical activity helps enhance appetite control and improves insulin and leptin sensitivity, metabolism, and body composition, which help appetite regulation.
So whilst some things are out of your control, what can you do to help manage appetite?
⁃ Get active – exercise (even if only walking).
⁃ Aim for structure to eating, and having a more regular meal schedule
⁃ Be present when eating! Avoid technology and chew your food very well. Take your time.
⁃ Protein helps to keep you full so can help – especially with snacks.
⁃ Don’t restrict carbs
⁃ Limit alcohol consumption
⁃ Increase fibre content (lots of veggies – broccoli, peppers, mushrooms etc. This will also increase food volume.
⁃ If you like them include foods that rank high on the satiety index such as poultry, meats, eggs, potatoes, fruits and legumes.
⁃ Whilst there’s nothing wrong with including high sugar/fat ‘junk’ food in your diet as they’re not inherently bad, they are easy to overeat so be mindful.
⁃ Be careful not to over restrict cals in the week as this can lead to overeating at the weekend.
Remember , if trying to lose weight, a little hunger is good (and needed at times) but you don’t want to be starving!