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

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Try something new

Tuesday Tip: Try something new ! ⭐️

Ok, ok, I know.. It’s a cliche – new year, new start blah blah blah but … Bear with me… Thinking about it, what better time to try something new than the start of a new year?

So my tip today is to do just that – commit yourself to trying one new thing today, this week, or even this month! Just one thing! It might be a new workout or exercise class, it might be a new food (time to finally try that recipe you spotted the other day etc?), or try a new hobby/local club or activity, or just try a new habit – always having a healthy breakfast, or walking at least 20 mins a day for example? It doesn’t have to be physical – try something new that’s good for your mental health too – take 10 mins a day to meditate, try saying ‘no’ to a few things when you actually mean no, commit to a few hours a week doing something (whatever that is) for you…. The possibilities are endless!

So there is my challenge for you today – try something new, no matter how big or small! Let me know how you get on!

Happy New whatever you try and Happy Tuesday! 😁

Xxx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Can I eat too little to lose weight?

Tuesday Tip: Can I eat too little to lose weight? 🥗

I am often asked whether consuming too few calories causes your metabolism to slow down so that you stop losing weight, and even gain weight, as the body “hangs on to fat”. People say that to get out of this “starvation mode” you need to eat more. One small problem – starvation mode is a myth!

As long as you have a calorie deficit (eating less than you burn) you will lose weight – regardless. Calories in vs calories out is what matters. A long term calorie deficit does cause adaptive thermogenesis (metabolic rate slow down) BUT it is not significant enough to stop weight loss and can’t cause weight gain! It just slows the rate of weight loss down, but what slows it even more is the fact that you’ve already lost weight so the body isn’t burning as many calories as it did initially. That’s why you need to adjust your calorie intake as you lose weight and why plateaus are common. In one famous large scale study – the Minnesota study – 36 men were put on a 24 week low calorie diet (1560 cals) and also had to complete physical tasks. ALL the men lost approx 25% body weight and ended up at approx 5% body fat. No one stopped losing weight, no one gained weight. You can’t defy the laws of thermodynamics – you need energy to fuel your body, you can’t magic it out of thin air, if you don’t eat enough you will lose

So what’s the moral of the story? If you’re not losing any weight/fat or your shape isn’t changing over a significant period of time, it’s not because your calories are too low, or because you’re in starvation mode. It’s because there is no deficit. Even if you think there is… there isn’t. If there was, you’d be losing weight!

Happy Tuesday🤗

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Being ‘good’ and having the weight watchers digestive biscuit instead of the ‘bad’ normal version…

Being ‘good’ and having the weight watchers digestive biscuit instead of the ‘bad’ normal version…🍪

Most people would assume that the weight watchers (or other weight loss brand foods) are automatically a more virtuous choice of biscuit. Whilst tucking in to a couple of normal chocolate digestives would be considered ‘bad’. In reality they’re almost the same in terms of overall calories per 100g and have similar sugar levels. The main difference is the price and the actual serving size itself. The weight watcher’s biscuits are much smaller – so you get less calories per biscuit BUT it’s so noticeable that you’re likely to end up having more biscuits to compensate. So it’s just a way to trick you in to thinking they’re better. The other major difference is price – over twice the price for the weight watchers biscuits!

So if you really love a chocolate digestive you’re probably better off getting the real ones, enjoying one or two, within your calories and feeling like you’ve had what you actually want. If you actually like the weight watchers ones then obviously go for it, but don’t automatically assume these weight loss branded foods are always the better option. Sometimes they’re the same or worse than other brands. If you enjoy them then definitely have them, but if you’re only having them because you think they’re ‘good’ then think again.

Read the labels and look at the calories and then make your choice.

No foods are good or bad, enjoy the ones you actually want to eat, and just be aware of the calories! 🤗xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Snack Triggers

Tuesday Tip: Snack triggers 🍪

Snacking can be a real issue when trying to lose fat. Being aware of the triggers can help to keep it in check.

# 1. Social Media

A recent study showed that socialising online with friends (via Facebook, Instagram etc) causes more snacking. It temporarily raises your self esteem, which lowers your self control, leading to increased snacking afterwards.

# 2 The News

Another study showed a link between watching/reading ‘bad’ news and high calorie snacking. The survey found that contemplating economic hardship and being subconsciously primed with messages to ‘live for today’ makes us seek out higher calorie foods.

# 3 Environment

The environment can trigger food cravings. A study showed that moviegoers would eat the same quantity of popcorn regardless of whether it was fresh or very stale, simply because they were ‘at the cinema’. In the same way sofa time after dinner can trigger snacking on chocolate or crisps etc.

# 4 3.23pm

3.23pm is the most likely time we are to snack, usually due to boredom, stress, and a dip in energy levels. To combat this have a balanced lunch (with protein and fats), plan in a healthy snack and save more enjoyable tasks for after lunch if you can.

# 5 Stress

Lower levels of serotonin when stressed also lead to carb cravings. Salt inhibits the body’s responses to stress. Craving salty food is the body’s way to cope with stress, so a salty, carby snack can help.

# 6 Lack of Sleep

Lack of sleep reduces your self control and willpower, and stimulates production of the hunger hormone ghrelin and lowers leptin levels (the satiety hormone). Studies found that those who are sleep-deprived eat 300 more calories per day.

# 7 Red 

The colours red, yellow and orange are appetite stimulants, making you snack and eat more. Research shows that eating in a blue room reduced calorie consumption by 33 %. So try going for bluer hued lighting, blue crockery etc.

Being aware of the possible triggers can help you to not only recognise why you’re snacking more than you want to, but make changes to prevent it.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

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

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Is a calorie just a calorie?

Tuesday Tip: Is a calorie just a calorie? 🍫

This is a very common argument when talking about calories, calorie deficits and which foods you use to meet your daily calorie goal. Often people will say ‘ah yes but a calorie isn’t just a calorie, some calories are better than others’. People will claim 100 calories of nuts isn’t the same as 100 calories of chocolate for example…

So is that true? Are some calories different?

Well technically – no – a calorie really is just a calorie. A calorie is simply a unit of measurement – it measures energy. So yes, 100 calories of nuts are exactly the same as 100 calories of chocolate in terms of the energy they provide.

However, food is not just food and the composition of those calories is where differences can arise. Different foods do have different metabolic effects. Some foods are easier and quicker to digest, some require more energy to digest (e.g this is the thermic effect of food – but don’t get too excited – the difference is pretty small so unlikely to make a massive difference to calories burned etc).

Different foods also have different effects on satiety (how full they make you feel). The nuts for example are more likely to leave you feeling fuller as they’re higher in fat and protein than the chocolate. Foods that take longer to eat will also affect fullness levels.

Also don’t forget that foods have different emotional and psychological effects too. Humans are very much driven by emotions and whilst nuts may theoretically leave you fuller there will be times when no amount of nuts will stop you wanting that chocolate bar. In those cases you’re far better off going for the chocolate bar!

Ultimately it’s about balancing all of these things in a way that lets you stick to your calorie goals. So sometimes that will mean going for the more filling option of nuts and sometimes it will mean going for the chocolate you actually want, but being aware that you may feel more hungry later and being prepared for that.

So yes, a calorie is in fact just a calorie, but food is not just food!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx