Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Just a Coffee on the way to work …

Just a Coffee on the way to work … ☕️

Perception is everything! Grabbing a coffee on the way to work, or in a break, is something many of us do without giving it a huge amount of thought. Yet if you’d grabbed a doughnut as a ‘naughty’ breakfast you might be feeling guilty, like you’d over done it and blown your ‘diet’.

Well to be honest neither is an ideal breakfast; the coffee is a mocha and is 300 calories, whilst the jam doughnut is 245 cals. Neither is a huge amount of calories for breakfast but neither will keep you full for long. The coffee, however, is more likely to be ‘forgotten’ about when it comes keeping track of your calories. You’ll probably feel like it’s just a coffee so not worth tracking. The doughnut however is often perceived as an awful thing to have eaten and more likely to derail you from your fitness goals. We often forget liquid calories – and if you were having one every day on the way to work that’s 1500 extra calories you might forget about.

It’s all about perception – the coffee is viewed as an acceptable thing to have in the morning on the way to work, whereas the other doughnut is universally recognised as “junk” food and labelled as “naughty”, despite it being fewer calories and you being less likely to have it every day.

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 coffee then have it and enjoy it. If you want to have a doughnut for breakfast then go for it. Just be aware of the calories in both so you’re making an educated choice and remember to be mindful of those liquid calories



Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: When a calorie deficit is no longer a deficit!

Tuesday Tip: When a calorie deficit is no longer a deficit! 📉

To lose weight/fat you need to be in a calorie deficit, and to be in a deficit you need to be consuming fewer calories than you’re expending. You may notice that as you progress your weight loss slows or stalls – which means your deficit is no longer a deficit. Why might this be?

#1 Metabolic Adaptation

As you reduce calories over time your body makes efforts to conserve energy through subconsciously down regulating. For example you burn fewer calories through incidental movements (NEAT – non-exercise activity thermogenesis), your heart rate may slow, body temperature may change, and hormones such as leptin, T3 and T4 adjust to reduce energy expenditure. As a result your BMR may decrease. Whilst metabolic adaptation alone won’t make a massive difference it does still play a part.

#2 Body weight reductions

When you weigh less you typically burn fewer calories at rest, and you’ll also burn fewer calories for daily activity and exercise e.g. 10,000 steps at 85kg burns more than 10,000 steps at 75kg.

#3 Habit changes

Often we are stricter with the calories earlier on in the weight loss phase and less strict layer on. Habits change as time progresses and as a result you may be consuming more calories than you realise or being less active than before. As weight loss progresses hunger and desire to eat increases so this can lead to you eating more without even realising you’re doing it. Studies have shown that portion sizes increase subconsciously as time goes on. In addition activity decreases slightly. These changes may be small but they contribute to the loss of the calorie deficit.

So if you find that weight loss is stalling just consider these reasons. Solutions may include reducing calories further, or going back to basics with tracking and checking portion sizes etc, but equally sometimes it may be time to focus on maintenance for a while. The option you choose may change over time and will depend on you and your goals.

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

What happens when we restrict foods…

What happens when we restrict foods… 🍕

We all have cravings for certain foods or drinks at certain times. It may be for chocolate, biscuits, cheese, fries, Pizza – etc, whatever it is it’s usually perceived as a “bad” food. If you’re trying to lose fat/weight and on a diet then you may cut out or avoid foods like this, so if a craving hits you may avoid it at all costs. Why? because it’s “bad”. This can come from fear that it will

make you gain weight or “ruin” your performance.

This mindset that you have to eat “perfectly” all the time or that certain food are off limits can lead to serious issues, including; disordered behaviors around food, constant thoughts about food, uncontrollable cravings, restriction, bingeing, missing out on fun experiences, negatively impacting your social life, feelings of shame, guilt and anxiety, fear of food, under eating.

What tends to happen when we demonise foods and restrict them is that we can’t stop thinking about them, and that obsession leads to uncontrollable cravings. This often man’s that when you eventually do have that food you over-consume them because you feel like you can ‘never’ have them e.g. I can’t have pizza again so I better eat as much as possible right now! This then leads to feelings of guilt and shame, and impacts weight loss progress. A better approach is to accept that all foods can fit into our diets. It just means we need to have some in moderation. This is easier said than done i know, but it starts from reframing how we think about food. So if you have certain foods or drinks you feel you can’t have when trying to lose weight, instead remind yourself that you can always have any food if you really want it. It’s always available to

you and always will be. When you want it, have it as part of a balanced meal. So if you want pizza – have a few slices, have some

salad or veg with it, enjoy it and factor it into your calories.




Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Snackcidents!

Tuesday Tip: Snackcidents! 😱

I’m sure we’ve all been there – you’re doing well sticking to your ‘diet’ and then all of a sudden you have a snackcident … a snack appears in your hand and before you know it it’s been inhaled! Disaster!! You may as well throw in the towel eh? But instead of giving up here are some tips to stay on track.

First off – you haven’t ‘ruined everything’, ‘binged’ or ‘gone off the rails’ – you’ve just had more calories than you planned today. Shaming yourself and making yourself feel guilty isn’t going to help. All it will do is cause a downward spiral.

So what can you do?

Borrow from other days. If you’re calorie target for the day was 1600, but you actually ate 1900 then just reduce your calories for the next 3 days by 100 cals. Then you’ll still be hitting and average of 1600 per day for the week.

Reflect on it but don’t berate yourself or dwell on it. Just try to think about what the trigger may have been. Was it boredom? Was it lack of planning? Was it because actually your plan wasn’t realistic in the first place? Was it peer pressure? Was it emotional? Identifying the triggers can help to prevent it in future – it may be you were being too restrictive so factor some snacks in future. If it was peer pressure then try to think of ways to avoid that – speak to your friends and family and get them on board, or prepare some ‘excuses’ if you need them etc.

You may see people suggesting you should exercise to get back the calories. As you know I always caution against trying to out-exercise diet (mainly because it’s really hard to burn enough to combat it but more importantly because it creates a really bad association between eating and then ‘punishing’ yourself with exercise). So whilst you definitely can’t and shouldn’t try to out exercise food it doesn’t hurt to be active and it also helps to release stress and emotions. So if you’re feeling pants about over eating – go and get active! Not to ‘burn it off’ of rather to make you feel good – endorphins and activity will make you feel better!

Remember snackcidents happen – and they’re not the end of the world!

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Protein snack…

Protein snack… 🤔

I’ve talked before about the marketing power of “protein” and how snacks (and other products) are often promoted as “healthy” or better because they contain X amount of protein. 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. Unless you’re a bodybuilder or athlete you probably don’t need to go out of your way to take in extra protein as most balanced diets contain far more protein than the average person needs. 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 snickers bar and think it would be a good snack option – it’s something that feels like a treat (a chocolate bar) and it’s high in protein – win win! It’s 192 cals which is actually not bad for a snack at all and contains 10.8g protein – also not bad.

Oh but this is awkward… you could instead have a 150g pot of Skyr stracciatella yoghurt (yoghurt with chocolate pieces in it), a fun size snickers and 50g raspberries, for a similar 188 cals and it will actually provide you with even more protein – 17.3g in fact! And aside from the fact it’s a marginally lower calorie combo, and has more protein, it’s also far greater volume – which also helps to keep you full. It will

take longer to eat, and has a higher amount of fibre too which will aid with the feelings of fullness. You also get the bonus of added micronutrients from the raspberries and yoghurt for overall health. And it will probably help keep you on track as it allows you to have a snickers and extra protein without detailing you from your goals.