Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Just a walk…

Just a walk… 🚶🏼‍♀️

I shared this back in the summer but as this second lockdown progresses I’ve noticed a lot of my clients are beating themselves up over not doing “enough exercise”. In many cases they’ve been trying to work from home again, and run the household etc. Some days they’re managing to fit in a workout, others they’re not and they’re feeling guilty about it, and worrying about the loss of those activity calories they “should” be burning.

During this time one thing most people are can manage is to walk more, making the most of the allowed outdoor exercise. This is often not viewed as something which contributes to those activity calories, but it’s actually doing more good.

It’s natural to associate cardio workouts with burning loads of calories; you feel sweaty and breathless so you feel like you’re working hard. A 45 min HIIT for example is very tough and regardless how hard you’re working you’re going to be feeling it. However, it may be hard to motivate yourself to commit to a 45 min session at home when there are so many other things shouting for your attention (children (literally!), work, house chores etc). In contrast an hour’s walk doesn’t feel particularly strenuous, it may be something you do anyway to walk the dog, get the shopping or get out the house for bit, and it in fact burns more calories than the workouts.

I did this experiment on myself back in the summer so the numbers will vary according to your age, height, weight and fitness levels but the principal is the same (independent studies show this too). A one hour walk a day will burn significantly more calories than a 45 min HIIT workout. So if you’re not managing a workout every day – don’t stress, especially if you’re managing to go for a walk. In addition 7 days of HIIT workouts is actually NOT a good idea – studies have shown these workouts impact negatively on sleep if you’re doing too many a week. Obviously there are cardiovascular and health benefits to the HIIT workouts which are equally as important as calories burnt so don’t ditch them completely but my point is that you shouldn’t feel guilty if all you manage is a walk on some days.



Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Healthy alternative.. or what you actually wanted?

Healthy alternative.. or what you actually wanted? 🍫 🥜

When trying to lose weight people will often go out of their way to force themselves to choose a “healthy” alternative. If you really fancy a snickers bar you may think you’re better off choosing chocolate covered peanuts instead (nuts are healthy right)? There are nutritional differences between the two options – the chocolate peanuts have higher protein and lower sugar levels, but also higher fat and overall calories.

Both these snacks contain relatively high levels of sugar and significant amounts of fat. The peanuts may have more “good” fats but when it comes down to it the source of that fat 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 a snickers and instead force yourself to have the chocolate peanuts you’re taking in more calories. Now that’s fine if that’s where it ends, but often that craving will still be there. Also the peanuts come in a larger bag so you may not stop at the 50g portion, and end up with the whole bag which is 578 calories! The snickers on the other hand may also give you an emotional boost, as well as an energy one.

So if you’re choosing the chocolate nuts 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 a snickers then have it!

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.



Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Boost your B Vits

Tuesday Tip: Boost your B vits 🥦🥚🍗

As the nights get darker and the temperatures drop here it’s easy for our energy levels to take a nose dive. Couple this with the stress many will experience with the new lockdown and it’s easy for our health to suffer. Many studies have shown how important B vitamins are in helping to boost and maintain energy levels, and manage stress. All the B vitamins including B1, B3, B6 and B12 are involved to some degree in helping the body release energy from the food we eat and keeping the nervous system functioning. Many are also water soluble and excreted by the body which means you have to consume them regularly to say healthy. So when energy is low and stress levels are high adding some extra B to your diet will help to give you a lift.

Great sources of B vitamins include dark leafy greens, poultry, salmon, eggs, almonds, whole grains, soya beans, fresh fruit etc So grab a handful of greens and whack them in your morning smoothie, or snack on some almonds, or have an omelette for brekkie. Or you could consider taking a good B-complex supplement. This is going to help support you and get you feeling full of beans again! ✨👯

Happy Tuesday! 🤗



Shakshuka – Tomato based stew with poached eggs

This is a quick and easy light brunch or lunch. You can have it as it is, or serve with toasted pitta, crusty bread, new potatoes or just some green veg.

This serves 2 and it’s around 230 cals per portion. You can prepare the tomato base in advance and either store in the fridge or freezer and then just add the spinach and eggs when you want to eat it. And for those who can’t eat peppers – just leave them out and double the cherry tomatoes.

I was kindly given some home grown chilli peppers so I used a fresh one but you can use chilli powder if not.

You will need:

4 eggs

100-200g Spinach

1 large onion

1 garlic clove

2 peppers (red, yellow, orange – your choice)

400g Chopped tomatoes

200g Cherry tomatoes (or 400g if not using peppers)

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp chilli powder or 1 fresh chilli (to taste)

1/2 tsp paprika

Pinch of sugar

Juice of half a small lemon

Salt and Pepper to taste


Slice the onion, peppers and tomatoes. Add a little oil spray to a large frying pan and throw in the onion, garlic and peppers (including the chilli pepper if using fresh chilli).

Sauté over a medium heat until they start to soften and cook through for 8 – 10 minutes.

Add the spices and cherry tomatoes and cook through for 2 mins or so.

Then add the chopped tomato, pinch of sugar and lemon juice. Mix well. Cook gently for 5 – 10 mins until it starts to thicken.

At this point you can stop and pop in the fridge or freezer for another day (or as I did, take half the portion away as it was just me having it for dinner). When ready to eat continue.

Add the spinach and cook through on low heat for 5 mins or so. Season to taste.

Using a large spoon create 4 wells in the mixture (or 2 if using a half portion) and crack an egg into each. Season the eggs and then pop a lid over the pan and simmer over a low heat for 6 – 8 mins (or until the eggs are as you like them).

Remove and serve with toasted pitta, a crusty loaf or veg of your choice!


🙂 xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Protein drink vs “just a” drink….

Protein drink vs “just a” drink…. 🥛

There are lots of brands out that that are using the marketing power of “protein” to sell their products. The unspoken idea is that protein = better or healthier etc. The reasoning behind this is the fact that increased protein can help with improved satiety (feelings of fullness) so CAN help to prevent overeating. Also those working out may want to focus on protein to help with muscle building. For most people a balanced diet will contain enough protein so you don’t need to go out of your way to take in extra protein unless you’re a bodybuilder or professional athlete. However you may still wish to focus on higher protein foods and snacks to help keep you feeling full.

So you may well see this protein fruit drink and think it’s a good option. However, it isn’t actually particularly high in protein, with only 2.2g per 100ml and it also has a significant amount of sugar (9.4g).

In contrast the strawberry milk probably wouldn’t be perceived as “healthy” nor a high protein drink. Yet the strawberry milk contains more protein (3.6g) for very similar calories, and contains less sugar. In addition the strawberry milk is over 3 times cheaper!

Neither are particularly “healthy” and neither would be classed as high protein. In terms of weight loss both will probably do the same basic job – they are very similar calorie wise and that’s what matters most. So don’t be swayed by the “protein” label – actually check the nutritional info and then choose the drink you want!