Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Weekdays vs Weekends

Weekdays vs Weekends 😇

This is an extremely common pattern I see in my clients, and myself. Weekdays are often “ok” calorie wise or even good, and then weekends it goes a bit off track.

You may think that if you stick to your fat-loss calorie target for most of the time (5 days a week) that it’s ok to just relax at the weekend. Now sometimes this can work, but it rather depends how much you relax lol! In this example I’ve assumed a daily calorie goal of 1,800 cals for fat loss, or 12,600 calories per week. So Monday to Friday you hit those calories, or perhaps are even a little under (8,555 cals during the week in this example). Then on Saturday and Sunday you “relax” and have a few “treats”, because it’s the weekend right? You’ve been good all week so it’s fine… In this example I’ve included two weekend breakfasts, a pizza one night, a couple of glasses of wine, some crisps in front of a movie, sunday evening ice cream and chocolate etc. That’s 5,241 calories and doesn’t even include a full weekend of eating and drinking (especially if you start on Friday evening.. or even Thursday). Just those treats on top of the weekday calories take you to 13,796 calories for the week. So you’re already over by nearly 1,200 cals.

That extra 1,200 cals (or more) is why you won’t be losing fat. It’s very easy for that to happen. The things I’ve described for weekend treats aren’t crazy or particularly over indulgent. I’m sure we’ve all had weekends like that right? Now I’m definitely not suggesting you don’t enjoy some of these foods from time to time, but if you really want to lose fat then its worth getting away from the idea of weekends being focused on food and drink “treats”. Have the things you enjoy but in moderation and within your overall weekly calorie target.

Ways to do this include, reducing your weekday calories a little to give you a buffer for the weekend (be cautious with this though as if you take them too low you will find you tend to binge at the weekend which is counter productive so only aim to save 100-150 cals per day max). Also try going for smaller options of the weekend treats, a small bar of chocolate, a single portion bag of crisps, low cal ice cream etc. Pick one meal you want to let your hair down with rather than the entire weekend and keep tracking over the weekend so you can see where the extra cals are creeping in.

OR decide that life’s too short and you don’t want to restrict your calories over the weekend but then accept that you won’t be able to lose fat (which is absolutely fine too! You don’t need to lose fat – no one does).

🤗

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Unhealthy or Healthy Mashed potato?

Unhealthy or Healthy Mashed potato? … 🥔 🍠

I often have clients telling me they’re having mashed potato, but it’s sweet potato, so that’s ok. The common perception is that white potatoes are “unhealthy” and a bad choice, whilst sweet potatoes are inherently healthier and therefore a good choice to go for.

Sweet potatoes are good – they have a lower glycaemix index than white potatoes (though it’s not actually ‘low’) which means it has a lesser impact on blood sugar levels. It’s also a great source of vitamin A, C, B6 and Potassium and also fibre.

In contrast white potatoes have a higher glycaemic index, slightly less fibre and less vitamin A but are also good sources of Vitamin C and B6. But they aren’t unhealthy.

Despite the higher glycaemic index it’s not the individual foods that matter in that context but rather the glycaemic index of the whole meal so it will depend what you’re eating with the potatoes. Combined with other low GI foods, protein and fats the overall GI of the meal will be lowered.

In addition, as you can see, when made with exactly the same recipe the mashed sweet potatoes actually contain more calories, carbs and fat than white potatoes. So from a fat/weight loss perspective – when it comes down to calories you’d be marginally better off having white potatoes.

So if you’ve been tucking in to sweet potatoes thinking they’re better for weight loss then perhaps think again. In reality the difference is pretty small, and the calorie impact is fairly similar.If you prefer the taste then definitely go for the sweet potatoes – just have the potatoes you actually enjoy!

🤗

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Just a Coffee …and a snack’

‘Just a Coffee …and a snack’ ☕️

Perception is everything! Many of us would probably have a coffee and a snack without giving it a huge amount of thought – a latte and a granola slice (healthy right?) is fine for an afternoon snack. Yet if you’d wolfed down 2 jam doughnuts you might be feeling guilty, like you’d over down it and you may even refer to it as a binge.

To be honest neither is an ideal snack – they’re both a decent number of calories and probably more than most can afford as a daily snack. However, as you can see, the coffee and granola slice is considerably more calories than the two doughnuts. They also contain significantly more fat and sugar. So whilst you might be beating yourself up over the doughnuts, in reality it’s not as bad as the coffee and snack.

It’s all about perception – the coffee and granola slice are not only viewed as being an acceptable snack, there is also a positive perception around the granola slice as it contains nuts (good fats, protein etc) and dried fruit (nutrient rich). Whereas the doughnuts are universally recognised as “junk” food.

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 latte and granola slice- have it and enjoy it. If you want to eat your way through two jam doughnuts then go for it. Just be aware of the calories so you’re making an educated choice!

🤗

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

OMG I’ve blown it!…..

OMG I’ve blown it!….. 😱

I hear this sort of thing so often… a client has ended up having a Mcdonald’s for lunch and thinks they’re blown everything, they’re disappointed and angry with themselves and feeling guilty. On another day they’re feeling virtuous because they went to Pret and had the Falafel an Hummous Rice bowl – which is full of “healthy” food so it must be good.

Now before anyone reacts – I’m not suggesting a Mcdonalds is a “healthy” option, nor am I suggesting it’s got more health benefits than the falafel and hummus bowl. They’re both very different nutritionally, and they both taste very different too. But for many people trying to lose fat or weight they might naturally assume that the McDonald’s is a terrible option and that by having it they’ve ruined their day (diet -wise). Whereas if they chose the falafel bowl they would be feeling guilt-free and virtuous and like they were on track. However in actual fact that “healthy” bowl has more calories and fat, and less protein than the 6 nuggets and small fries. The McDonald’s also has over 50% less salt too. The bowl also doesn’t include any dressing which can add another 200+ calories (and extra fat and salt).

So if you had to grab a McDonald’s (or just fancied one) you’d be far better off just having one. I’m certainly not suggesting your whole diet be made up of “junk food”, but it’s important to be aware of the facts to avoid unnecessary guilt. And to remember that lots of the foods we perceive as being “healthy” may in fact be higher calorie and therefore unhelpful for weight loss if you’re consuming them without realising the calories. 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. So don’t sweat it if you end up with a McDonald’s now and then if you want it, but then have a dinner with a range of whole foods and vegetables etc.

Be curious about what you’re putting in your body, look at the nutritional labels on food and don’t always assume the “health” food is the best choice.

🤗

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Milk it!

Milk it! 🥛

With so many different milks on the markets nowadays there is often a little confusion over which type is “best”. Now obviously if you are vegan or lactose intolerant (a medically diagnosed intolerance) then clearly cow’s milk will be off the menu. Some people also have to avoid soya products for medical reasons. But on the assumption you’re able to have all of these milks then which is the “healthiest” for weight loss?

Well it won’t surprise you to know that it comes down to calories when we’re talking weight/fat loss. There is an assumption that because plant based milks are promoted as “healthy” that they must therefore be the lowest calorie option. In reality there’s a fair bit of variation so it’s worth exploring the options.

When it comes to cow’s milk whole milk is 68 cals per 100ml, semi-skimmed 47 cals and skimmed 35 cals. The lactose free varieties are 56, 38 and 29 cals respectively. Coconut milk is 53 cals per 100 ml, whilst normal soya milk is 39 cals (there are also various sweetened/flavoured options which are obviously more) ,and the light soya milk is 22 cals. Rice milk comes in at 47 cals with oat milk quite similar at 44 cals. Normal almond milk is 22 cals but the lowest out there is the sugar-free almond milk at 13 cals per 100 ml!

These differences are quite small overall. However if you’re a heavy coffee/tea drinker or use large quantities in smoothies or with cereal then making a swap to a lower calorie milk can actually make some easy savings for you. If it’s only about calories then the sugar free almond milk is a good option. But every one of these milks tastes slightly different, and reacts differently in different drinks so it’s worth experimenting. There are also other blends out there – coconut and rice combined, quinoa milk etc. You can now also get many of these options in cafes too – but do we aware that the cafe milks are often the sweetened or full fat versions.

🤗

Xx