Nutrition and Calorie Tips

What you track vs what you actually eat…

What you track vs what you actually eat… 🥜 🥄

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. So you have your calorie goal, and you’re tracking your calories and weighing your portions. You diligently weigh your peanut butter for your slice of toast … 30g – that’s 169 cals – all tracked, all good. But what about the little bit you just scrape off the side of the jar as you’re getting that spoonful… or that bit that dropped on the plate that you wiped off with your finger.. or the bit you lick from the lid….

All that can add up to another 15g – that’s an extra 84 cals.

84 cals in itself isn’t going to ruin your progress, but if you’re having a couple of slices of toast a day that’s 168 extra calories a day or 1,176 cals a week! And that’s assuming that’s the only “extras” you have. That can easily stop you progressing or slow it down. And to be honest you probably don’t even realise you’re doing it.

So if you’re tracking cals and hoping to lose fat then perhaps double check you’re actually tracking what you’re eating, especially with calorie dense foods like nut butters etc.

🤗 xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Half an Avocado….

Half an Avocado…. 🥑

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. If you’re using an app like myfitnesspal you might assume that the calorie value for half an avocado is a generic measurement for all avocados. Of course in reality avocados vary quite a lot in size – is that half an avocado a small one? A medium one? Or a large one? Obviously the nutritional value, and calories, will vary significantly with size. In this example one half is a pretty small avocado (150g), which means half will be around 149 cals. However, if you’re lucky enough to get a large avocado (350g) then you’d be looking at 347 cals for half!

So if you were just logging a generic half

an avocado at 149 cals but actually eating a large avocado then you’d be underestimating your calorie intake by 200 cals. If you’re an avocado fan and having some most days that could be an underestimate of 1000 calories or more a week – which is significant enough to prevent or slow fat loss.

If you’re having something low calorie then it won’t matter but with something calorie dense like avocado it really is important to know how much you’re having – assuming your goal is to lose weight/fat.

This is why I encourage my clients to weigh, in grams, rather than using generic, subjective measures like ‘half an avocado’. So if you’re trying to lose fat and tracking your calories have a go at weighing your avocado next time. You may be surprised! 😬



Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Rice cake or Crumpet?…..

Rice cake or Crumpet?….. 🥯

As I often say, the key to managing your dietary intake and weight or fat loss is about understanding that there is no such thing as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ food. There are just different foods that serve different needs.

The nutritional breakdown and mirconutrients in food are important of course. So in that context you may feel that a rice cake, with peanut butter and banana is a ‘good’ snack. It’s full of good fats, protein and some carbs too. It will certainly keep you satisfied, but it is also perhaps higher calorie than you’d expect for a ‘good’ snack – averaging around 244 cals per rice cake (and let’s be honest I’d certainly have two!). Given the perception that this is a ‘good’ snack it would be easy to assume it was lower calorie or ‘better’ than the ‘bad’ snack – a crumpet with butter.

In fact the crumpet and butter is only

135 cals. Nutritionally it’s still good – with carbs and fats, but does contain less protein. That doesn’t make it ‘bad’. If your goal is weight or fat loss then it may be a better snack for you, that day, depending on your calorie target.

Most importantly you may actually just fancy a crumpet – and if so you should have it! Remember food also provides enjoyment too! And having things you enjoy will increase the likelihood of long term adherence and sustainability.

Personally I like both these snacks – and I’d happily have either! But being aware of the calories helps me make an educated choice.



Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Feeling down, need ice cream…

Feeling down, need ice cream… 🍦

It’s normal to feel emotional from time to time and many of us eat our way through it when it happens. At the moment chances are you may be feeling anything from stress, feeling low, bored, fed up, to anxious and worried etc or it may just be yet another ‘lockdown movie night’. So you may feel the need to work your way through an entire tub of ice cream – it’s natural, it’s human and it’s also damn tasty!

So how about making a simple swap? Rather than working your way through 1,300 calories of Ben and Jerry’s (or other standard ice cream equivalent) , you could instead have 620 calories of Ben and Jerry’s… just their lighter version! (or one of the any other equivalent low cal ice creams – I’m also an Oppo and Halo top fan).

But isn’t low calorie stuff loaded with sugar? No – it’s not actually, it’s lower sugar and fat than the ‘real stuff’ and it tastes amazing! 🍦

It’s ok to want to treat yourself when you’re feeling rubbish (or anytime

I’m fact!) and we don’t need to deny ourselves nice tasting stuff just because we’re watching our calories – try making some swaps instead. Check out the wide range of lower calorie options available now.

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

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Skipping to Fitness

Tuesday tip: Skipping to Fitness 🏃🏼‍♀️

With gyms closed we’re all having to workout at home (or outside) but as the weeks go on motivation can wane. Having just had Easter too you may, like me, be feeling like you need to do some exercise. If you can’t face long home workouts or don’t have time with home schooling/ work etc then I have the perfect solution!

This is one of my favourite cardio exercises (as many of my PT clients will already know!) – skipping! It’s cheap, easy to do and can be done almost anywhere – and it’s really effective too! As well as being great for improving cardiovascular fitness, it is also great for helping to recruit and increase fast twitch muscle fibres to keep you agile, and improves balance and coordination . Studies have shown it is as effective as a 45 minute run in improving fitness and fat burning. And contrary to what you might think If done properly, skipping is lower impact on the joints than jogging or running. However, it does require the correct technique – light 2 footed jumps on the balls of your feet, only a couple of cms off the floor. This amount of impact is enough to support healthy bone density and prevent osteoporosis but not enough to stress the knees, ankles and hips too much.

And even better, a recent study by the Waseda University in Japan discovered that participants who took part in ten mins of skipping a day experienced a drop in appetite (compared to those who did nothing or did other cardio exercises such as cycling and running). It turns out that the up and down movements from skipping actually cause less ghrelin (the hunger stimulating hormone) to be produced by the gut. So you end up feeling less hungry – which means you will tend to eat less! Ideal for lockdown eh?

Try 2 min blasts now and then through your day.

Happy Tuesday 🤗