Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Healthy Christmas brekkie….

Healthy Christmas brekkie…. 🎄

Short and sweet (literally) today as it’s nearly Christmas! And I thought it might be good to offer a little reminder that it doesn’t always have to be about the nutritional value of the food you’re eating. Food serves a purpose beyond pure fuel – it’s also an emotional activity. We enjoy eating and we enjoy food, and we enjoy the associations we make with food.

So you could wake up on Christmas morning and have a nutritious breakfast of poached eggs and avocado on toast, and a small cappuccino. It will undoubtedly taste delicious and set you up for your day. Or, because it’s Christmas, you could decide you’d rather enjoy the perfectly acceptable breakfast of a large Cinnabon cinnamon bun! It’s only a day, and unless you’re eating cinnamon buns for breakfast everyday you’ll be fine. And as you can see from the comparison – if calories are what’s important to you – there’s not much in it anyway! lol!

Enjoy! Merry Christmas 🎄xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Just a few festive nibbles…’

Just a few festive nibbles…’ 🥤

At this time of year there tend to be treats out all over the place – boxes of open chocolates at the office, at home, in shops, mini mince pies out in the tea room, crisps at home etc. It’s certainly a time when we should relax a little enjoy some of these foods we like but so often it becomes mindless snacking just for the sake of it. You grab a lindor ball as you walk through to the kitchen, where you idly shove a few crisps in your mouth, before popping a celebration in as you head back to the living room.. Sound familiar? You probably won’t even remember you’ve had them! And you almost certainly won’t attribute excess calories to these little nibbles here and there.

But as you can see – it’s quite easy to consume more than a substantial meal’s worth of calories in ‘just a few nibbles’ . The meal pictured is a Zizzi dish of ravioli – not a specifically low calorie meal. It comes in at under 500 cals. The nibbles – 5 celebrations chocolates (337 cals), 2 lindor balls (146 cals), mini mince pie (114 cals) and some crisps (30g Kettle chips) – are a hefty 751 cals – and you’d probably still go and have dinner as well….

So whilst I definitely wouldn’t suggest you avoid all the festive snacks, it might be worth just being a little bit mindful of them. If you want them – have them and actually enjoy eating them, rather than just popping them in your mouth without a thought. Be aware of the calories so you’re making an educated choice!

Merry Christmas 🎄


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Just a quick festive drink…’

Just a quick festive drink…’ 🥤

It’s that time of year when all the coffee shops have their range of festive coffees, hot chocolate and baked goods. You may be out Christmas shopping, or meeting up with friends and family, and you might decide to just grab a quick festive drink and snack to enjoy and get you into the festive spirit. You’ll drink it in minutes, and inhale the snack, without really thinking or noticing. But that’s ok, because it’s just a festive coffee and snack, and it’s Christmas… and you’ve been walking around the shops all day….

These drinks do vary but are all pretty high calorie. This particular example is a Starbucks grande gingerbread latte at 315 cals, and one of their mince pies at 401 calories , with a combined 27g of fat and over 70g sugar.

On the other hand those two Cadbury chocolate Santa’s are only 479 cals with 50g sugar and 27g fat. Now whilst I’m sure you could eat 2 of these Santa’s in one sitting (I certainly could) most people probably wouldn’t . You’d probably spread it over a few hours or possibly days, rather than eating it all in one go.

Christmas is definitely a time to relax a bit on calories and certainly a time to focus more on sharing memories and happy times with people you care about. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of the calories in some of the treats you are having.

Knowledge is power so being aware of the calorie content of things, and also of our own perceptions of the things we consume is always a good thing.

If you want the festive drink and snack – have it and enjoy it. If you want to eat your way through 2 chocolate Santa’s in one go then go for it. Just be aware of the calories so you’re making an educated choice!

Merry Christmas 🎄


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Why you think you’re struggling with weight loss ….

Why you think you’re struggling with weight loss …. 🤔

If you’re struggling to lose weight you may look to things like your metabolism, stress levels, hormones, lack of sleep, amount of water you’re drinking etc as the reasons why you can’t achieve your goals.

It’s true that all these areas can and do have an effect and some will certainly impact on things like your appetite and ability to ‘stick’ to a calorie deficit. However it’s actually rare that these are the main reasons behind stalled progress. They do however get a lot of attention – why? Because they are much easier to accept than ‘You’re eating too much’. It’s a lot easier to focus on the idea that your metabolism or stress levels are preventing your weight loss rather than a heavy social life being the issue.

Of course things like snacking, increased portion sizes and booze can be a response to lack of sleep or stress, or hormones, but it’s far better to focus on these habits instead. Why? because they’re the direct cause, they’re tangible and easily identifiable and they’re the thing that needs to change. Rather than trying for some vague notion of ‘increasing sleep’ or ‘reducing stress’.

Obviously nutrition and weight loss can be complicated but if you try focusing on things like reduced portion sizes, fewer or lower calorie snacks, less booze you will see progress. Managing meals out or reducing them (it’s extremely hard to eat out multiple times a week and maintain a calorie deficit without some proper planning), and increasing general activity (note this isn’t just exercise sessions but general activity – walking, fidgeting, moving more!) are also things which are tangible ways to help make progress. You will probably find that despite any issues with sleep, stress, hormones etc you will be able to make progress. Certainly my clients can and have done! So if they can, so can you!



Nutrition and Calorie Tips

What your weight measures…

What your weight measures… 🧐

We are obsessed with the weight on the scales, when it goes up we berate ourselves, feel guilty, feel like we’ve failed.. when it goes down we congratulate ourselves, celebrate it, think we’ve succeeded. The scale going up must mean we’re getting fatter (putting on more body fat), and therefore if it goes down we must be losing fat right? And if your goal is body fat loss then scales going up signals disaster in your mind….

We need to remember that the weight on the scale measures a lot of things, and only a small portion of that is actually your body fat. It measures the amount of lean muscle you have, the amount of water in your body (hoe hydrated you are), it measures your organs, your bone mass, amy food in your digestive system etc. It simply measures your relationship to gravity at any one time.

The thing it doesn’t measure is your entire self worth! A number on the scale doesn’t define you. Whether you’ve gone up 2kg or down 2kg you’re still the same person. You are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depending on how that scale swings. Those swings are also totally natural and often nothing to do with body fat losses or gains.

So yes, of course, if you WANT to reduce your body fat because you want to fit into a certain clothing size, or be fitter and healthier to be around to play with your grand children etc then that’s brilliant, and that’s an awesome goal! But you haven’t failed at that, and the rest of your life, just because your weight may fluctuate on the way to that goal!

It’s worth trying to focus on goals that aren’t just a number on the scale. I often talk about using body measurements (mainly because they’re a good way to see body shape change – which correlates with decreased body fat and increased lean muscle), but how about other goals – being able to piggy back your nephew, being able to play football with your mates, being able to run for the train comfortably, reducing your blood pressure, being able to lift your suitcases in and out the car boot etc etc.

These goals are just as, in fact they’re probably more important than an arbitrary number on the scale that will fluctuate depending on how much water you drink, whether your last meal was salty, your hormones etc etc.