Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Sometimes the “bad” option isn’t so bad…

Sometimes the “bad” option isn’t so bad… 🍔

So before anyone reacts – I’m not suggesting a McDonald’s is a healthy meal choice – it’s clearly not. It is however something you can have now and then as part of a balanced diet if you want to. There may also be times when, for whatever reason, you have no option but to grab a Mcdonald’s for lunch/dinner and in that case it’s worth considering the options.

Most people would assume the cheeseburger is a “bad” choice, whilst the grilled chicken wrap must be a better option – because it’s grilled chicken right? It’s grilled chicken, it doesn’t have cheese, it’s in a wrap – it must be a better choice ….

However when you actually look at the calories you may be surprised. Neither are particularly high in calories and both provide a range of fats, carbs and protein which will help to keep you fuller for longer. However the cheeseburger is actually lower in calories than the grilled chicken wrap. Now I don’t know about you but that surprised me.

Mcdonalds are one of the many restaurants that have all their calories on their website so it’s very easy to check before you order. But this does go to show that we need to consider our preconceptions about certain foods and whether the are “bad” or “good” and remember that ultimately it’s the calories that count.

Enjoy 🤗

xxx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Don’t Detox

Tuesday Tip: Don’t Detox 🥗

Across social media people are peddling “detoxes” and “cleanses”. We’re told our bodies are full of toxins, and if you follow plan X / buy the pill/tea/shake you’ll get rid of them and feel/look amazing. You don’t need it, your liver and kidneys do a great job of “detoxing” you, and these products can make your health worse. But they sell them because WE want them; why?

# Post holiday detox

Over holidays we eat and drink more, so we crave simple, nutrient dense food – like salads. Physically it feels good, and psychologically it feels good too; drawing a line under all the junk. This sort of “detox” isn’t silly, it’s just a word we use to say “lets get back to eating well”

# Bloated

Over-indulging, or eating certain foods makes you bloated; rich foods, alcohol, beans, fizzy drinks, or foods high in salt, certain starches and sugars. If it’s a chronic issue see a Dr. If you’ve been eating lots of salt you will retain water, making you look and feel bloated, reduce the salt for a few days and you’ll be fine. Overdo the food and drink? You don’t need to do anything just eat normally for a few days.

# Bunged up

If you’ve been eating badly you may be constipated. Most detoxes /cleanses are laxatives, which can permanently damage your intestines. So first of all, increase water and fibre intake, then increase fruits, veg, and whole grains, but do it gradually; a sudden fibre increase can make you feel worse. If that doesn’t help, see a Dr, not a Facebook detox salesman.

# Fatloss detox

No, just no. A pill/shake won’t do that! Sometimes just buying something special is a powerful psychological message that you’re making a change and acts as a kickstart; which is why we fall for it. Sadly it won’t last, and you’re left out of pocket and likely to rebound. The more radical approach to losing weight, the more likely it is to fail. Slow and steady wins the race; make small, sustainable habit changes and you’ll reap the rewards.

It’s normal to want to reset, feel better and make changes, but you don’t need a “detox”. Just try to get some sleep, drink more water, eat veg and get moving. You’ll look and feel far better for it!

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Consider your snacks…

Consider your snacks…

I think we’ve all experienced that mid-afternoon snack attack. You might be tempted to grab a muffin with your coffee. Now I’m not suggesting that a muffin is a great choice for a snack, nor are the items on the other side either as both are probably far more calories than you need for a snack, but I think the comparison is really useful.

I think most people realise muffins are quite high calorie and sometimes you may just want to spend those calories on one, and that’s fine! But whilst the muffin might taste good, in terms of keeping you full it’s not going to be that effective. It’s a calorie dense option – high cals, high sugar, in a relatively small package.

If you are trying to lose weight/fat and tracking your calories then it’s worth considering the volume of the food you’re having as well as the absolute calories. Higher volume foods will help to keep you fuller for longer. For fewer calories than a blueberry muffin you could have a bag of popcorn, a yoghurt, two squares of dark choc and a skinny flat white! Now that will definitely keep you full! And it has the added bonus of more fibre and protein which also help keep you fuller.

So if you’re looking for a snack – try to consider volume as well as absolute calories. If you really want a muffin, then have it, be aware of the calories it contains though.

Enjoy 🤗

xxx

Uncategorized

Craving chocolate…. just have chocolate!

Craving chocolate…. just have chocolate!🍫

At this time of year it’s quite common for people to try complete bans on certain foods in an attempt to lose weight or fat. Usually these foods are those they deem to be “bad” – often the more calorie dense or triggering food such as chocolate for example. Labelling foods as good or bad is never a great idea – no food is good or bad and all can be included within a balanced diet. The key is being aware of the calories in those foods and consuming them in moderation.

The problem with completely banning certain foods is that it isn’t sustainable long term. If you’re using it as a kick start – then fab, if you find it works for you and you need it to get you into the right mindset then brill, if you’re doing it because you find those foods trigger binge eating or other behaviours you want to avoid, then go for it! However if you’re arbitrarily banning them because they’re “bad” then think again. One of the biggest issues is that when we ban certain foods as “bad” we often consume “good” foods instead without being aware of their quantities or calories.

This is example is a classic one – and one I’ve fallen foul of numerous times myself. You’re avoiding chocolate because you’re trying to be “good” but you are desperately craving it. So instead you try a cocoa naked bar – cos that’s kinda chocolatey right? But it doesn’t really cut it, so you reach for the chocolate brazil nuts – ok so they do have some chocolate, but they’re “good” because Brazil nuts are great for you, and they’re not a proper chocolate bar so thats ok…. but that still doesn’t cut it…So you reach for the Superfood protein balls – cos protein and superfoods must be good eh? By now you’re probably too full to have more, but you still haven’t suppressed that chocolate craving.

However you’ve consumed over 700 cals in that little exercise… Instead you could have had a 45g sized bar of actual chocolate – enjoyed it, fed the craving and got on with your day for a mere 240 cals. In fact you could have had 2 bars and still have consumed fewer calories!

So sometimes you’re better off just having the damn chocolate!

Enjoy 🤗

xxx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Perfectly acceptable Christmas Day Breakfast

It’s Christmaaaaaaaaaas!

So short and sweet today, no calorie comparisons! And because it’s Christmas chocolate is definitely a perfectly acceptable breakfast food this morning!

Enjoy! Merry Christmas 🎄🍊🍫xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

‘Just a quick festive drink…’

‘Just a quick festive drink…’ 🥤

At this time of year all the coffee shops bring out their range of festive coffees and hot chocolates. You’re out Christmas shopping, or meeting up with friends and family, so you just grab a quick festive drink to enjoy and get you in the festive spirit. You’ll drink it in minutes, and possibly have a snack with it, without really thinking or noticing. But that’s ok, because it’s just a festive hot choc, and it’s Christmas….

These drinks do vary but are all pretty high calorie. This particular example is a Cafe Nero hot grande salted caramel hot chocolate – with skimmed milk (not even semi or whole milk) and comes in at over 500 cals and almost 60g sugar.

On the other hand that selection box contains 5 chocolate bars, with less calories and sugar. Now whilst I’m sure you could eat a selection box 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 and certainly wouldn’t have it with a snack (unlike the hot choc).

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 – have it and enjoy it. If you want to eat your way through a selection box in one go then go for it. Just be aware of the calories so you’re making an educated choice!

Merry Christmas 🎄

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

‘I’m going out for a curry, so I may as well just forget the diet’….

‘I’m going out for a curry, so I may as well just forget the diet’….🥘

You’re trying to lose weight/fat, you’ve been ‘good’ (ie within your calories) all week, but you’ve got that curry with your friends on Friday night. Well there’s nothing you can do to control that right? It’s going to be a write off, so you may as well just switch off and go full out – I mean the diet is ruined anyway right? So what’s a few more beers and that extra naan?

It doesn’t have to be! You don’t need to avoid social situations, and you don’t need to just totally switch off and go mad either. If weight loss is going to be sustainable for the long term then you need to find ways to manage social events and inevitable take aways and meals out without throwing the towel in every time.

As you can see from above the difference between the two curry options are massive. For most people that 1,301 dinner is still going to take them over their calories for the day BUT it’s a lot more manageable within the context of the week overall. You can easily offset some of those cals with a lighter breakfast and lunch that day, and reducing calories by 100-150 a day for a few days either side (that’s just cutting a snack or a coffee or two out!). Switching from a creamy based curry to a dry, tandoori option, going for plain rice, having one poppadom instead of 4, and switching to a lighter beer means you can still have a really nice meal. You can still drink with your friends if you want to, and you can still have a fab night out without blowing weeks of effort in one fell swoop. And of course you’re probably less likely to want to eat rubbish the next day if you’ve had a few less beers…

Sustainable, long term weight management is about working out ways to compromise and manage social events without them always been all or nothing! So you can still have fun, still eat out, still have delicious food, but still stay on track!

Enjoy 🤗

Xx