Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Cooked vs uncooked weight..

Cooked vs uncooked weight… 🍝

Just a short tip today. This is a simple thing that can make a big difference. If you’re tracking calories then do be careful when tracking things like pasta, rice and other dry grains. Depending on the brand and type you may find the calorie info relates to cooked rather than uncooked weight.

The difference is very significant! If you’re logging the calories as 151 but you’re actually eating 351 cals that could have a significant impact on your progress. So be sure to look carefully at the label – usually they will state uncooked weight or cooked/ ‘as prepared’ weight – so be sure to track accordingly!



Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Plant-based doesn’t always equal the best option for fat loss…..

Plant-based doesn’t always equal the best option for fat loss….. 🍕

There is a perception that certain foods are better for you than others due to their perceived health benefits. Usually terms like “plant based” or Vegan / Vegetarian are promoted as is they are a healthier option and there’s an assumption that this means they’re the best choice.

Now this is not about whether or not a plant-based diet is more healthy or less healthy than a diet including meat (there’s a variety of studies about this and it’s not clear cut and it’s beyond the scope of this comparison). I’m not suggesting that either of these options is actually a “healthy” option, nor am I suggesting you will get more health benefits from one option versus the other. At the end of the day they are both Pizza’s and they both contain a large amount of fat and calories. But for many people trying to lose fat or weight they might naturally assume that instead of having a “normal” pepperoni Pizza for dinner, that they’d be better off having the plant-based option with a jackfruit alternative. However in actual fact that “healthy” pizza has more calories and fat than the Pepperoni one.

So if you are out for a Pizza and wanting to go for a lower calorie option then don’t automatically assume plant-based equals lower calorie. I’m certainly not suggesting your whole diet be made up of “junk food”, but it’s important to be wary of these marketing ploys which make you perceive things as being “healthy” and therefore lower calorie and helpful for weight loss. At the end of the day, as always, it comes down to calories. If you want to lose fat or weight, then you need to be at a calorie deficit. And it’s important to still have foods you enjoy as part of an overall balanced diet. I love Jackfruit so for me I’d chose that every time but I’d do so in the knowledge it wasn’t a lower calorie option.

Be curious about what you’re putting in your body, and check out the nutritional info (most restaurants have the info online nowadays) on food and don’t always assume the current trendy “plant-based” food is automatically lower calorie.



Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Healthy alternative….

Healthy alternative…. 🍇 🍬

When trying to lose weight people will often go out of their way to force themselves to choose a “healthy” alternative. So if you’re craving a sweet snack, and really just want some haribo you may instead think you’re better of choosing dried fruit instead.

The key to being in control of your weight management is really understanding that there is no such thing as a “bad” or “good” snack – they’re just different. There are nutritional differences between the two options of course. The dried fruit has increased fibre and micronutrients than the haribo, but we don’t just choose food on the basis of its nutritional breakdown.

Both these snacks contain high levels of sugar and when it comes down to it the source of those sugars makes very little difference to how your body processes it – especially in the context of this example. Both taste good, but if you are really craving sweets and instead force yourself to have the dried fruit you’re still taking in almost identical calories. Now that’s fine if that’s where it ends, but often that craving will still be there. The sweets may also give you an emotional boost as well as an energy one.

Overall the calorie difference between the two is pretty marginal. So if you’re choosing the dried fruit in an effort to lose weight, then think again. If you’re choosing them because you like them then brilliant – keep having them. If you fancy some sweets then have them!

There are no good or bad foods – all foods can be accommodated within a balanced diet. Being aware of the calories in different foods empowers you to make that choice.



Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Why diets work…

Why diets work… 🥗

There are lots of diets out there that claim to be better than any other. But what do ALL these diets have in common? And why do they work?

It’s nothing to do with any special properties of specific diets. For ANY diet to work it has to result in a calorie deficit. For some people certain diets will enable them to achieve this more easily and therefore that diet will work for them. But behind these diets are the simple maths of calories in vs out. However the issue with many diets is that they don’t educate you on the mechanism behind them and are therefore short term fixes.

Keto / low carb : omits or reduces carbs, which may reduce calories.

5:2 : limits calorie intake for 2 days a week, which may create a calorie deficit on average.

Intermittent fasting/ 16:8 : restricts the window of time you can eat in, which MAY reduce calories.

Diet clubs : assign points or values to certain foods and restrict food types, so MAY reduce calories

Shakes / Supplements : replaces meals or promotes excessive bowel movements etc which result in water loss, and a possible calorie deficit from meal replacement.

Juice cleanse/ detox : replaces whole foods with juices, resulting in fewer calories and rapid initial water loss.

Body type/blood type diet : restricts foods based on blood or body type, which may result in a calorie deficit

Spot the similarities? Many involve omitting food groups which will result in a calorie deficit. Calories can’t tell the time so methods involving not eating on certain days/times only work if you don’t overeat on others. Diet clubs help with accountability (regular weigh ins and rewards) but hide calories behind points or labels which lock you in to their method.

All of these diets can result in fat loss, but how many of them are sustainable long term, educate you on managing energy intake or build new habits? Some are actually damaging; laxative supplements and fasting can cause bowel damage, kidney damage and development of silent acid reflux etc, as well as promoting disordered eating.

So it doesn’t matter which ‘diet’ you choose, as long as it works for you – but make sure you understand WHY it works 🙂


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

‘Just a savoury snack…’ 😬

‘Just a savoury snack…’ 😬

Sometimes you just can’t beat a savoury snack and crisps often fit the bill. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. People often wrongly assume that to lose weight they need to stop snacking completely. Trying to completely cut out snacks is usually totally counter productive and unsustainable long term.

Snacks are no different to your main meals – they’re just a label for smaller portions of food. It doesn’t matter if you have 3 meals and no snacks, 4 meals and 3 snacks, 1 meal and 6 snacks a day… as long as the total calories are below your daily expenditure (and therefore you are in a calorie deficit). The problem arises though when those snacks aren’t smaller portions at all.

Crisps are a great example of a savoury snack that often becomes more than a snack. It’s very easy to eat well over 700 cals in one sitting without even realising it. However a smaller portion of 40g which is still a decent amount of crisps is much more manageable within your daily calories.

So rather than trying to ‘cut all snacks’ instead work on moderation – try to keep those ‘snacks’ as actual snack-sized portions and most importantly be aware of the actual quantities you’re eating and fit them into your diet accordingly.

Enjoy 🤗 xx