Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Consider your snacks…

Consider your snacks…

I think we’ve all experienced that mid-afternoon snack attack. You might be tempted to grab a muffin with your coffee. Now I’m not suggesting that a muffin is a great choice for a snack, nor are the items on the other side either as both are probably far more calories than you need for a snack, but I think the comparison is really useful.

I think most people realise muffins are quite high calorie and sometimes you may just want to spend those calories on one, and that’s fine! But whilst the muffin might taste good, in terms of keeping you full it’s not going to be that effective. It’s a calorie dense option – high cals, high sugar, in a relatively small package.

If you are trying to lose weight/fat and tracking your calories then it’s worth considering the volume of the food you’re having as well as the absolute calories. Higher volume foods will help to keep you fuller for longer. For fewer calories than a blueberry muffin you could have a bag of popcorn, a yoghurt, two squares of dark choc and a skinny flat white! Now that will definitely keep you full! And it has the added bonus of more fibre and protein which also help keep you fuller.

So if you’re looking for a snack – try to consider volume as well as absolute calories. If you really want a muffin, then have it, be aware of the calories it contains though.

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

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

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

‘I’m going out for a curry, so I may as well just forget the diet’….

‘I’m going out for a curry, so I may as well just forget the diet’….🥘

You’re trying to lose weight/fat, you’ve been ‘good’ (ie within your calories) all week, but you’ve got that curry with your friends on Friday night. Well there’s nothing you can do to control that right? It’s going to be a write off, so you may as well just switch off and go full out – I mean the diet is ruined anyway right? So what’s a few more beers and that extra naan?

It doesn’t have to be! You don’t need to avoid social situations, and you don’t need to just totally switch off and go mad either. If weight loss is going to be sustainable for the long term then you need to find ways to manage social events and inevitable take aways and meals out without throwing the towel in every time.

As you can see from above the difference between the two curry options are massive. For most people that 1,301 dinner is still going to take them over their calories for the day BUT it’s a lot more manageable within the context of the week overall. You can easily offset some of those cals with a lighter breakfast and lunch that day, and reducing calories by 100-150 a day for a few days either side (that’s just cutting a snack or a coffee or two out!). Switching from a creamy based curry to a dry, tandoori option, going for plain rice, having one poppadom instead of 4, and switching to a lighter beer means you can still have a really nice meal. You can still drink with your friends if you want to, and you can still have a fab night out without blowing weeks of effort in one fell swoop. And of course you’re probably less likely to want to eat rubbish the next day if you’ve had a few less beers…

Sustainable, long term weight management is about working out ways to compromise and manage social events without them always been all or nothing! So you can still have fun, still eat out, still have delicious food, but still stay on track!

Enjoy 🤗

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Convenient, comforting desserts for150 cals or less!

Convenient, comforting desserts for150 cals or less!🍨

If you are trying to lose weight/fat then things like desserts are often one of the ‘easier’ things to cut down on to save calories. When I say easier I mean it’s an easily identifiable part of your diet which you can choose to either consume or avoid, not that it’s necessary an easy habit to change.

But there’s no reason you have to give up dessert to lose weight as it ultimately comes down to whether you’re in a calorie deficit. However as many desserts are 400 cals or more and will be on top of whatever your main meal is it’s very easy to rack up extra, unwanted calories.

However sometimes we just need or want a dessert and we may also not have the time to put together something from scratch. So if you do fancy a pud, but want to stay within your calories then here are a selection of lower calorie options. I can vouch for all of these being delicious too (especially the oppo cheesecake!). They’re also all very convenient – which helps when we’re all busy rushing around!

This list is by no means exhaustive – but it’s just a range of sow of the options out there.

Muller chocolate fix – Mint choc – 97 cals

Ambrosia rice pudding – 147 cals

Coconut collaborative choc pots – 100 cals

Muller corner – 105 cals (varies with flavour)

Oppo Sicilian lemon cheesecake – 150 cals

Alpro dessert moments chocolate hazelnut – 100cals

Coconut collaborative double chocolate paradise pots – 150 cals

Pots & co mango and passion fruit pot – 150 cals

So you can still have your pud and enjoy it without worrying it’s going to derail your progress!

Enjoy 🤗

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Being ‘good’ and having the weight watchers digestive biscuit instead of the ‘bad’ normal version…

Being ‘good’ and having the weight watchers digestive biscuit instead of the ‘bad’ normal version…🍪

Most people would assume that the weight watchers (or other weight loss brand foods) are automatically a more virtuous choice of biscuit. Whilst tucking in to a couple of normal chocolate digestives would be considered ‘bad’. In reality they’re almost the same in terms of overall calories per 100g and have similar sugar levels. The main difference is the price and the actual serving size itself. The weight watcher’s biscuits are much smaller – so you get less calories per biscuit BUT it’s so noticeable that you’re likely to end up having more biscuits to compensate. So it’s just a way to trick you in to thinking they’re better. The other major difference is price – over twice the price for the weight watchers biscuits!

So if you really love a chocolate digestive you’re probably better off getting the real ones, enjoying one or two, within your calories and feeling like you’ve had what you actually want. If you actually like the weight watchers ones then obviously go for it, but don’t automatically assume these weight loss branded foods are always the better option. Sometimes they’re the same or worse than other brands. If you enjoy them then definitely have them, but if you’re only having them because you think they’re ‘good’ then think again.

Read the labels and look at the calories and then make your choice.

No foods are good or bad, enjoy the ones you actually want to eat, and just be aware of the calories! 🤗xx