Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Bread is bad! 🍞

Bread is bad! 🍞

I’ve lost count of the number of times people tell me they need to stop eating bread, or that they’ve had a bad week with too much bread, or their main weight loss issue is their love of bread…..

There seems to be a common misconception that bread is inherently bad and that having it means you can’t lose weight. Bread in itself (white or brown) is not that high in calories – a typical slice of hovis is 88 cals, and even a small sourdough is only 120 cals or so. Bread in itself is not a problem, what you put on it is the problem. The scraping of butter that you barely notice almost doubles the calories that slice of bread/toast will give you. Butter and 30g jam nearly triples the calories, as does a serving of Nutella (without butter underneath)! If you’re a peanut butter fan then that 40g serving (without any butter underneath) brings that piece of toast up to 349 cals. A snack of a little cheese on toast (no butter) is around 255 cals whilst a brunch of toast, 75g avocado, egg and a little ketchup comes in at 324 cals ….

Technically it is of course possible for bread to derail you if you’re eating a huge amount, like any food, but it’s far more likely to be what you’re putting on the bread that’s doing the damage. Bread isn’t the devil; in fact it’s a great source of carbs, which we all need. It tastes good and it’s also a really convenient food for a snack or lunch (as a sandwich) etc and there’s no need to cut it out of your diet to lose weight, but it may pay to be aware of what you’re putting on it and consider some lower cal toppings if you are trying to watch the calories.

Enjoy bread responsibly 🤣

🤗 xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Are you in a Calorie deficit?

Tuesday Tip: Are you in a Calorie deficit? 📉

We know that for fat loss to occur you need to be eating at a calorie deficit – i.e. eating fewer calories than you expend. People often say they are “definitely under their cals” (i.e. at a deficit) but they’re not seeing the scales drop. So here are some ways to tell if you are at a deficit that aren’t all scale-based.

Now before I mention any of these indicators it’s important to note that you won’t see results immediately; you need to be at a deficit for several weeks (not days) so the first thing you need to ask yourself is has it been long enough?

Here are some other indicators:

• Your measurements are dropping. If you’re losing cm’s but your weight hasn’t changed, then you’re probably in a deficit.

• Your clothes fit better. You may not notice specific measurements going down but those tops which are usually tight now feel looser. That means you’re probably in a deficit.

• Others are noticing. If you’re suddenly getting compliments or people are noticing you seem to have lost weight then you probably have lost some fat and are in a deficit (even if it isn’t showing on the scales)

• You are seeing more definition in certain areas – arms, collar bones, shoulders etc. That will mean you’re losing some fat and are probably in a deficit.

• Finally – the scales are going down, consistently. Though I would add a caveat that very sudden, large, weight losses are more likely to be fluid changes than fat loss. It’s also normal for your weight to fluctuate up and down so always focus on long term trends.

Fat loss is different for everyone – everyone responds differently and at different speeds. If you’re seeing any of the changes above then you are doing ok! All it takes is consistency and you will see the results you want. Conversely though, if you’re not seeing any changes, then it’s time to double check your food intake because it means you aren’t in the deficit you thought you were.

Remember it’s not all about the scales. If you woke up tomorrow with the body you’ve always wanted would you care what the number on the scales said? No you probably wouldn’t, so focus on the other changes!

Happy Tuesday

🤗

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

“Oh no, you can’t have Frosties for breakfast – thats so bad…”

“Oh no, you can’t have Frosties for breakfast – thats so bad…” 🥣

I don’t think many people would think that frosties – sugar coated flakes of corn, are a particularly healthy breakfast. Most people would naturally assume it was higher in calories than other less sugary cereals and I imagine that given the choice, most people would choose the cornflakes as the “healthier” option. But is it really?

A 60g portion of frosties (because who actually has the recommend 30g?!) comes in at 225 calories (excluding the milk). Now as expected it’s high in sugar (22g) – I mean it’s coated in the stuff so that can’t be a surprise.

In contrast 60g of cornflakes are 228 cals, so they’re actually marginally more calorific. Now they obviously contain much less sugar (4.8g) which is one benefit of course but that doesn’t make them automatically better.

When it comes to fat loss it’s the calories that matter – create a calorie deficit and you will lose fat/weight. So in this scenario you’d be no better off with the cornflakes over the frosties. Now there are some additional benefits to the muesli – less sugar and a little extra protein which may help keep you a little fuller, but cornflakes aren’t high protein so it won’t make much difference. Both cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals anyway so you’re not missing out on as much as you think with the frosties.

Now personally, I am not a fan of frosties at brekkie – but not because I think they’re that much worse than cornflakes – rather I just don’t want super sweet cereal at that time in the morning lol!

However if you love frosties and you enjoy a bowl for brekkie then go for it (they’re also great sprinkled on ice cream …) ! If you love the cornflakes then have it! But if you’re eating cornflakes because you think it’s healthier, or feeling guilty for loving a bowl of frosties to start your day, then stop worrying. As long as you’re having a balanced diet you’ll get plenty of nutrients in throughout the day so if you love frosties enjoy them! 🥣 😋

Whichever you choose – read the labels, check the calories and be mindful of your portion size but most importantly enjoy it!

🤗 xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: isn’t tracking food a bit obsessive?

Tuesday Tip: isn’t tracking food a bit obsessive? 🤯

People often tell me they’ve tried everything but can’t reach their goal. When I ask if they track their food they respond with ‘isn’t that a bit obsessive?’ or ‘no I don’t want to do that’. Not wanting to is fine, that’s your choice, but if you’ve been struggling to reach your goals and you haven’t been tracking then why not try it?

Do you track your finances? Most people do so they have an idea of how much they’re earning, spending and saving. That’s not obsessive, so why would tracking your calories be?

Can tracking food become obsessive? Yes, like anything, of course it can. Does it have to? No! Do you have to do it forever? No! Does it have value? Yes! It’s a tool – and its value is determined by how it’s used and what you learn from it.

We don’t have an innate working knowledge of portion sizes and calorie content. In fact, studies show that people are awful at estimating how much they eat. We underestimate ALL the time, even nutrition experts do! We are surrounded by highly palatable, calorie dense foods and we have evolved to seek them out. So it’s unsurprising, when these sorts of foods are so readily available, that we need to do some tracking to keep an eye on what’s actually going in our mouths.

The main reasons we don’t track are fear, time and being unsure of how many cals to aim for. The fear is of what we’re going to find out and that we really are eating more than we thought. Time is really about priorities. Yes it can take a few days to get the hang of it, but then it takes seconds to log before you eat. Most people have time to check Instagram/Facebook/watch tv. Even the busiest person has 2 mins to log their food, if they want to. In terms of how many cals to aim for; if you’re not sure, ask! I’m happy to help!

You don’t need to track food forever. You’ll learn about portion sizes, calories in the things you eat and drink, and develop that skill. Then you can cease tracking if you want and see how it goes. You can easily go back and check if you feel that skill needs more honing.

You don’t have to count calories forever, but calories will always count!

Happy Tuesday

😁

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

“Calories can’t tell the time…. “

“Calories can’t tell the time…. “ ⏰

It’s really easy to fall into the trap that eating your meals/snacks etc at certain times of day (or not eating at certain times of day) will help you lose weight (fat) more quickly.

One common idea is that you should fast for a certain number of hours during the day and only eat within a certain window of time. This varies but is usually an 8hr window or so. Proponents of this method suggest that by only eating during certain hours you can forget “complicated” diets etc and lose weight without doing anything more. You’ll hear lots of people saying they’ve achieved great fat loss using this method and they undoubtedly have. So surely it works then? Well yes it works – but only because those people have ended up eating fewer calories and therefore been in a calorie deficit, and lost fat/weight.

The problem with this method is that it doesn’t account for individual’s daily caloric requirements. So if someone started this method, but was eating more than their daily calorie requirement within that 8hr window, then they wouldn’t make any progress. Studies have shown that this method ONLY results in fat /weight loss when participants eat fewer calories than they are expending, and are therefore in a calorie deficit. Meal timing is irrelevant in terms of fat loss, it’s energy in vs out that matters.

Having said that, for some people, it’s easier to eat fewer calories if they restrict the hours in which they are “allowed” to eat. So if skipping breakfast, or not allowing yourself to eat after 8pm works for you then go for it! BUT you still need to be eating in a calorie deficit. For some people though, fasting for long periods of time, or skipping meals, isn’t a sustainable strategy long term. It can result in reduced energy levels, and excessive hunger, leading to periods of “binge” eating and therefore eating more than their daily calorie target. It can also lead to less activity (and therefore fewer calories burned) due to low energy levels.

So basically – do what works for you, but remember it’s the total calories that count – not when you eat them

🤗

Xx