Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Cereal offenders…

Cereal offenders… 🥣

We are often told that higher protein is a better option when it comes to healthy food choice. Recently brands have been capitalising on this by marketing their products and releasing new products as high in protein or as a ‘protein’ version.

There is evidence that higher protein can help with weight management – but only because it helps to make you feel fuller, which therefore makes you less likely to consume more calories later. The end result is hopefully that you stick to your calories and are able to maintain or lose weight. Total calories are however the most important factor.

Cereals are one of the latest foods to fall victim to this. There are several brands out there now producing ‘protein’ cereals – Special K, Weetabix, Shreddies etc. You’d be forgiven for assuming the protein enhanced cereals were better for your health and to help you achieve your fat loss goals.

In reality the ‘normal’ cereal contains only 145 calories and 4.4g of protein. The protein enhanced cereal contains more calories at 182 per portion and 6g protein. So yes you are getting more protein of course, but the marginal gain in protein really isn’t worth the added calories and cost. That 1.4g of protein is not going to make a significant difference. You’d be better off having the cereal you want, and if you’re keen to increase protein levels then either add some Greek yoghurt instead milk, or have a snack of something that’s higher in protein later on (e.g a light mini babybel for 42 cals with 5g protein). The bonus of having the babybel or adding Greek yoghurt is that you’ll also get more fat which helps to keep you fuller for longer when combined with protein.

So if you’re a cereal lover then I wouldn’t waste your money or calories on these protein enhanced cereals (unless you actually enjoy the taste of them more of course). Either way read the labels rather than being swayed by the ‘protein’ label and make an informed choice 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! 😬


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

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

It’s only a little sauce on the side, and a bit of oil for cooking – I don’t need to track that…’

‘It’s only a little sauce on the side, and a bit of oil for cooking – I don’t need to track that…’ 🤔

If you’re hoping to lose fat in a sustainable way you need to be aiming for a deficit of around 200-300 cals a day. Most people are pretty good at tracking the big stuff – the sandwich, the packet of crisps, the porridge for breakfast etc but how often do we overlook the little stuff. That little bit of ketchup on the side, that chilli sauce on your rice, that dash of oil in the pan….

And how often when you’re trying to lose fat do you deny yourself something you really want simply because you’re ‘on a diet’. A cheeseburger comes in at around 805 cals – this is something you may not feel you can have whilst on your ‘diet’ and yet you probably don’t even think twice about the 1,284 cals you might rack up in sauces and oil (and tbh that’s a conservative estimate on the oil!). In one week that’s your whole deficit gone and you may not even realise it.

I always tell my clients to track everything – right down to the oil they’re cooking with as that can be the difference. So if you’re tracking cals and hoping to lose fat make sure you include these, and if you’re just trying to cut some cals maybe they’re a good place to start being more mindful too?

Oh and if you fancy a cheeseburger – just factor it in to your calories and have it! 🤗xx

Remember – calories count! 🤗xx