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

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

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

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

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Merry Christmas!

Tuesday tip: Merry Christmas! 🎄

It’s Christmas Eve! So my only tip today – is to enjoy your Christmas tomorrow! However you are spending the day – have a lie in, spend time with friends, family, (or animals) that you love, maybe take a gentle walk, enjoy yummy food, watch Christmas tv etc.

If you’re working then take some time out when you can to do something that you enjoy. Don’t stress about what you’ve eaten, or how little exercise you’ve done, just enjoy the tastes and yummy food, a day or two won’t kill you! Get back to your normal eating and training pattern afterwards and you’ll be back on track in no time.

Hope you have a lovely 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