Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Cooked vs uncooked weight..

Cooked vs uncooked weight… 🍝

Just a short tip today. This is a simple thing that can make a big difference. If you’re tracking calories then do be careful when tracking things like pasta, rice and other dry grains. Depending on the brand and type you may find the calorie info relates to cooked rather than uncooked weight.

The difference is very significant! If you’re logging the calories as 151 but you’re actually eating 351 cals that could have a significant impact on your progress. So be sure to look carefully at the label – usually they will state uncooked weight or cooked/ ‘as prepared’ weight – so be sure to track accordingly!

🤗

Xx

Recipes

Poached Cinnamon Plums

This makes a delicious autumn dessert or brekkie option – with a big dollop of greek yoghurt!

Before we sold my late Nannie’s Bungalow we harvested the last of her Damsons and so I decided to put them to good use and stew them up into a tasty pud! I used half at the time and the other half I froze to make another batch later and this works perfectly with either option.

You will need:

Plums – as many as you want!

Sugar to taste

Cinnamon to taste

If you have a glut of plums when you may prefer to freeze some for later use. Cut them in halves, remove the stone and lay on a baking tray and pop in the freezer for a couple of hours. Once they’ve firmed up you can transfer to a ziplock bag or Tupperware and store in the freezer until needed!

If using fresh then cut into halves (or quarters if you prefer), remove the stones (these can also be removed after cooking if the plums are a little on the hard size). Place in a wide pan (I used a frying pan).

Add a little water to stop them burning (couple of tbsps) and a little sugar initially – especially if using damsons (you can add more later if necessary).

Using a very low heat allow the plums to start to soften. Then add cinnamon – start with a small amount and then add more to taste later.

Then pop a lid on and allow to gentlY cook through. Keep an eye on them as they will go soft and mushy very quickly.

Allow to cook gently, checking regularly until at the desired softness (this may only take mins) and then remove the lid. Taste and add more sugar and cinnamon if you feel you need it. Then allow it to cool down a little further – you can decide how you want it. The liquid will form a slightly sticky syrup and the plums will continue to break down – so keep gently cooking until your desired consistency. As it cools the syrup will thicken a little.

Transfer to a bowl or Tupperware and store in the fridge. Or you can freeze it too. It makes a perfect base for a crumble, or is delicious served with Greek yoghurt!

Enjoy 🙂 xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Plant-based doesn’t always equal the best option for fat loss…..

Plant-based doesn’t always equal the best option for fat loss….. 🍕

There is a perception that certain foods are better for you than others due to their perceived health benefits. Usually terms like “plant based” or Vegan / Vegetarian are promoted as is they are a healthier option and there’s an assumption that this means they’re the best choice.

Now this is not about whether or not a plant-based diet is more healthy or less healthy than a diet including meat (there’s a variety of studies about this and it’s not clear cut and it’s beyond the scope of this comparison). I’m not suggesting that either of these options is actually a “healthy” option, nor am I suggesting you will get more health benefits from one option versus the other. At the end of the day they are both Pizza’s and they both contain a large amount of fat and calories. But for many people trying to lose fat or weight they might naturally assume that instead of having a “normal” pepperoni Pizza for dinner, that they’d be better off having the plant-based option with a jackfruit alternative. However in actual fact that “healthy” pizza has more calories and fat than the Pepperoni one.

So if you are out for a Pizza and wanting to go for a lower calorie option then don’t automatically assume plant-based equals lower calorie. I’m certainly not suggesting your whole diet be made up of “junk food”, but it’s important to be wary of these marketing ploys which make you perceive things as being “healthy” and therefore lower calorie and helpful for weight loss. At the end of the day, as always, it comes down to calories. If you want to lose fat or weight, then you need to be at a calorie deficit. And it’s important to still have foods you enjoy as part of an overall balanced diet. I love Jackfruit so for me I’d chose that every time but I’d do so in the knowledge it wasn’t a lower calorie option.

Be curious about what you’re putting in your body, and check out the nutritional info (most restaurants have the info online nowadays) on food and don’t always assume the current trendy “plant-based” food is automatically lower calorie.

🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Can You Turn Fat Into Muscle?

Tuesday tip: Can You Turn Fat Into Muscle? 💪🏼

There is a common misconception that fat you can turn fat into muscle. Sadly you can’t! Fat is fat, muscle is muscle; totally different types of tissue. Both can be lost or gained-that’s it. So what’s happening when people say this? Well in reality people are losing some fat, and gaining some muscle, which is why it may seem like fat has “turned into” muscle. Fat is lost when you have a calorie deficit, muscle is gained by having a calorie surplus, working out (a muscle building stimulus) and having the raw materials to do it (protein). In most cases if you’re losing weight you are mostly losing fat, though if you are also upping your exercise then there will be some increase in muscle too, which is one reason why weight loss is not linear. This works best for those with a reasonable amount of fat to lose, on a moderate calorie deficit, who also increase their activity. This is what I design for many of my clients. It means you’ll be losing fat and also gaining a little muscle too. As muscle is denser than fat you’ll also shrink (they weigh the same… muscle just takes up less space than fat).

So what about when you stop working out? Does muscle magically turn in to fat?

Nope! it can’t! What happens though is if it’s short term your muscles are just less “pumped” so you “feel” fatter. Longer term you simply lose some muscle and probably gain some fat. This is because when you remove the stimulus which tells your body to build/maintain muscle (i.e. strenuous physical activity) you will lose the muscle mass. You’ll also end up burning fewer calories both through less activity, but also less muscle mass means a lower bmr (basal metabolic rate – i.e. calories burnt at rest), and so you are more likely to end up in a calorie surplus and put on fat.

The only way to prevent muscle being lost long term is to continue to workout! But you can prevent fat being gained simply by ensuring you don’t eat more than your maintenance level of calories (easier said than done, though not impossible!)

So bottom line – fat can never be turned into muscle, and muscle is never turned into fat!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Healthy alternative….

Healthy alternative…. 🍇 🍬

When trying to lose weight people will often go out of their way to force themselves to choose a “healthy” alternative. So if you’re craving a sweet snack, and really just want some haribo you may instead think you’re better of choosing dried fruit instead.

The key to being in control of your weight management is really understanding that there is no such thing as a “bad” or “good” snack – they’re just different. There are nutritional differences between the two options of course. The dried fruit has increased fibre and micronutrients than the haribo, but we don’t just choose food on the basis of its nutritional breakdown.

Both these snacks contain high levels of sugar and when it comes down to it the source of those sugars makes very little difference to how your body processes it – especially in the context of this example. Both taste good, but if you are really craving sweets and instead force yourself to have the dried fruit you’re still taking in almost identical calories. Now that’s fine if that’s where it ends, but often that craving will still be there. The sweets may also give you an emotional boost as well as an energy one.

Overall the calorie difference between the two is pretty marginal. So if you’re choosing the dried fruit in an effort to lose weight, then think again. If you’re choosing them because you like them then brilliant – keep having them. If you fancy some sweets then have them!

There are no good or bad foods – all foods can be accommodated within a balanced diet. Being aware of the calories in different foods empowers you to make that choice.

🤗

Xx