Nutrition and Calorie Tips

‘Just a banana…’

‘Just a banana…’ 🍌

Bananas make a fab snack option or addition to your breakfast or lunch. They’re full of carbs for energy and a reasonable amount of fibre and are a great source of potassium. They’re also easily portable and have their own in build packaging so are handy for when you’re on the go.

However, if you are trying to lose fat/weight and watching those cals then it’s worth just being aware that bananas can pack a punch when it comes to calories and they also vary wildly. If you’re using a calorie tracking app you’ll often find entries like ‘one small banana’ or ‘one medium banana’ with the associated calories. You’d probably just enter that and assume you were pretty much right. But how small is small? What exactly is ‘medium’? Small to me may be medium to someone else and the calorie differences are pretty large!

The difference between these two bananas is nearly 100g and both are sold as ‘bananas’ – not small or large. So if you were regularly snacking on the larger one you’d be taking in almost 80 extra calories every time. That may not sound like much but over the course of a week or month that will add up. I’m not suggesting you stop having bananas – they’re fab! But just have a go at weighing the next banana you have and see exactly how many calories it does contain.

Knowledge is power right? And if you’re trying to lower that bodyfat then every calorie counts! The more aware you are of what goes in to your mouth the better!

Enjoy 🤗

Xx

Recipes

Courgette, leek and spinach soup

The clocks have gone back and it’s chilly out there today, so it’s definitely soup season!

This is a quick, easy, light soup for these cooler days. It is ridiculously low calorie – at around 100 cals a bowl (less if you leave the goats cheese out)! I made a massive batch as we had an over-grown courgette (basically a marrow) that I wanted to use up so it made over ten servings but the amounts below will make at least 5-6 portions.

You will need:

500g Courgettes

250g Leeks

400g Spinach

75g Soft Goat’s cheese (optional)

500ml strong vegetable stock

Mixed herbs, salt and pepper to taste

Slice the leeks thinly and pop in a large pan over a low heat and allow to soften.

Chop the courgettes thinly too and then add them to the pan and allow to cook through for around 5 mins with the lid on.

Add the stock and herbs and cook for a further 5-10 mins. If your vegetable stock isn’t very strong it’s worth adding an extra stock cube too.

Add the spinach and stir thoroughly, and then cook through for 3-5 mins.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 mins and then blend thoroughly.

Add salt and pepper to taste and then, if you’re using it, add the goat’s cheese and blend again to combine.

Serve immediately or you can keep it in the fridge or freezer for handy lunches or dinners in the week!

Enjoy 🙂

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Lower Calorie Ice Cream Option

Saturday night – movie, sofa and some ice cream – perfect right? We all feel the need to work our way through an entire tub of ice cream now and then – it’s natural, it’s human and it’s also damn tasty! But how about making a simple swap. Rather than working your way through 1,200 calories of Ben and Jerry’s (or other standard ice cream equivalent) , you could instead have 320 calories of Halo top (or one of the any other equivalent low cal ice cream brands available). But isn’t low calorie stuff loaded with sugar? No – it’s not actually! And it tastes amazing! 🍦

We don’t need to deny ourselves treats and nice tasting stuff just because we’re watching our calories – try making some swaps instead. If you’re an ice cream fan check out the Halo Top range of tubs and sticks (there are also supermarket own brand versions and other companies doing the same – in fact even Ben and Jerry’s do their own low cal flavours now!).

So you really can have your cake (*ice cream) and eat it! 🤗 xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

‘About a teaspoon…..’ 🥄

‘About a teaspoon…..’ 🥄

If you’re trying to lose fat and tracking your calories it’s really important to be as accurate as you can and this is why. You could easily record the peanut butter that you have on your toast as a teaspoon’s worth… but how much is a teaspoon? Is it a level teaspoon? Is it a slightly heaped one? Is it a very heaped one (I can get A LOT of peanut butter on a teaspoon I assure you! 😋), is it the small spoon you have for stirring your coffee? Is it a baking measure?….etc etc

The problem with volumetric measures is they’re not very accurate. Now if you’re having something low calorie it probably won’t matter too much but something calorie dense like peanut butter really does matter, especially if you’re trying to maintain a moderate calorie deficit. Two teaspoons of peanut butter could be 158 cals or as much as 474 cals! That’s nearly 296 cals difference… you only need a 200-300 calorie daily deficit to see fat loss so you could wipe it out in one small spoonful! 😬

This is why I encourage my clients to weigh, in grams, rather than using measures like teaspoon or tablespoons. So if you’re trying to lose fat and tracking your calories have a go at weighing some of the foods you’ve been logging by tsp/tbsp and see how accurate you’ve actually been with those calories? You may be surprised! 😬

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

‘Clean eating’… not so clean?

‘I’m clean eating’… 🍓

‘Clean’ eating is a relatively recent trend but I often hear people telling me they are ‘eating clean’ in order to lose weight/fat. ‘Eating clean’ is essentially the idea that you’re eating foods which are perceived to be better for one reason or another (that might be based on properties the food supposedly has, or nutrients it contains etc).

There is nothing wrong with that at all – I’m not a fan of demonising foods but if you want to eat certain foods for whatever reason then that’s fine. The problem is that the common misconception is that because a food is ‘clean’ or promoted as healthy, that it is automatically going to help you lose weight/fat and that it must be a ‘better’ option than other foods you may also love.

The breakfast smoothie bowl is a great example of this. They’re very photogenic and found all over Instagram. It’s essentially a smoothie in a bowl topped with fruit, seeds, nuts etc. They’re delicious and full of great nutritious foods, but they’re also rather high in calories and sugar (mostly from the large amount of fruit used).

In comparison jam on white toast, which is often perceived as a ‘bad’ choice is approximately a quarter of the calories and sugar.

So if you’re trying to lose weight/fat, and you really enjoy jam on toast for breakfast then go for it! As long as it’s part of a balanced diet which contains fruit and veg etc it’s fine! Don’t be swayed by beautiful Instagram photos and Instagram experts telling you that you need to eat clean to be lean. You don’t.

Enjoy a range of foods and be mindful of the calories and you’ll be fine! 🤗xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

‘I don’t eat much but I can’t lose weight…’

‘I don’t eat much but I can’t lose weight…’ A piece of toast for brekkie, bit of fruit for a snack with coffee, healthy snack bar and a sandwich for lunch with a ‘healthy’ drink, and a ‘healthy’ dinner of fish and salad….. that’s not really much for a day?…right…… 🤔

Often we think we’re not eating much and can’t understand why we don’t lose weight. It’s not until you actually add it all up that you realise you’re probably eating a lot more than you realise. The coffees, the couple of biscuits you forget about, the dried fruit snack (it’s fruit – it’s fine right?), a ‘healthy’ dinner of fish and salad … it must be ok?

It is ok and there is nothing wrong with any of that, but when you actually add it all up you’re looking at over 2,700 calories… for a ‘good’ day! Now for most people trying to lose weight or fat that is going to be far too many calories to be in a deficit which would let you lose fat.

So if you feel you aren’t eating much but you’re not losing weight/fat then maybe it’s time to just write down everything you’re eating on those days and see how much you really are consuming 🤗. Remember – calories count! Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Chocolate vs Strawberries…

A 100 calorie snack is a perfect option to keep those hunger pangs at bay.

You could choose to have 100 cals of chocolate – about half a bar of dairy milk. Or you could have an entire punnet of strawberries.

Now I appreciate strawberries are a poor substitute for chocolate but they’re a brilliant option if you are trying to lose fat and cut calories. For 100 calories you get a large volume of strawberries, which will help to keep you full and prevent you snacking on other things. They’re naturally sweet and can help to prevent or reduce sweet cravings. You’re unlikely to eat too many of them (it’s quite hard to eat more than a couple of punnets in one sitting! 🤗).

Chocolate on the other hand won’t be as filling as it’s calorie dense so the volume of food is less. There’s a pretty good chance that half a bar won’t cut it – are you really going to leave the other half (I wouldn’t 😬) and it’s extremely easy to over consume. You could easily demolish 500 cals of chocolate without much trouble!

So if you’re looking for snack options consider fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries etc instead of the chocolate.

Of course sometimes only chocolate will do and in that case have it – just be aware of how much you’re having 🍓🍫xx