Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Raw vs cooked calories….

Raw vs cooked calories…. 🍝

A question I’m often asked is whether you should track your calories as raw or cooked weights? To be honest it doesn’t matter as long as you’re consistent and know which you’re tracking so you can record the correct calories, but it can be a little confusing!

Unless otherwise stated nutrition labels are usually raw weights. However, you’ll find sometimes some grains, pasta and pulses might be listed as cooked or ‘as prepared’ weights – which is when you need to be careful, as you will underestimate cals if you weigh them raw.

Different foods absorb different amounts of water as they’re cooked. This makes them swell and weigh more. So for things like rice, pasta, cereals etc it’s probably best to track them as raw weights. As you can see there are small differences between white and brown varieties but only after cooking really, which is down to the differing amounts of water they absorb. You’ll also find different shapes and types of pasta will vary too for the same reason. Oats are the same and in fact over 80 percent of the weight in cooked oats is actually water.

Protein sources, like chicken, tend to lose weight when cooked. This is because the water and liquids in the meat evaporate during cooking. They loose 20-25 percent of their weight during cooking. Again it’s best to track raw weights. It’s also worth noting that the cooking method has an impact on meat too. The calories for 100g cooked chicken are based on a grilled skinless chicken breast, the same amount of roast chicken (skinless) is 220 cals – due to the fats in the meat thanks to the roasting. So that’s also worth remembering if you’re a roast fan or are oven baking chicken with the skin on.

Whichever you chose to track is up to you but be sure to choose the right option in your tracking app.

Enjoy 🤗

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Coffee time!

Coffee time…! ☕️

If you’re a coffee drinker then it might be worth just taking note of the calories in your brew of choice (if you’re trying to lose weight/fat).

A swap to a different style of coffee can help save some cals – especially if you’re a multiple brew a day kinda person.

Remember coffee itself is essentially calorie free so it’s the milk and any additional syrups etc that add the calories. This is just an overview of a few of the most commonly ordered coffees. They happen to be Costa coffees but the calories are similar across brands. These calories are based on a medium sized drink , made with semi-skimmed milk. I’ve discussed the calories in other milks before and you can also save calories by going for skimmed milk or unsweetened almond milk which is the lowest calorie option.

Here’s a run down of the most commonly ordered brews:

Americano – if you have it black it’s basically 0 cals.

Cappuccino – 155 cals

Cortado – 65 cals

Flat white (nb this is for the largest size which is a small) – 135 cals

Mocha – 222 cals

Latte – 155 cals

Caramel latte – 254 cals

Enjoy 🤗

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips, Uncategorized

The lower sugar myth…

Sugar is often vilified as the cause of all health issues and as a result many companies have latched on to the idea that people are keen to reduce their sugar consumption. Now whilst sugar in excess amounts is undoubtedly not good (no nutrient in excess is) normal amounts of sugar in the diet are absolutely fine. However if you’re diabetic or trying to reduce your reliance on sugary snacks then it may be sensible to opt for some lower sugar options.

If you’re trying to lose weight (fat) then you may also decide to reduce sugar consumption. Many people equate lower sugar to mean lower calorie and would therefore go for the reduced sugar option in the belief that it would help them lose weight. In this example the actual difference is pretty insignificant.

A bag of normal Colin the Caterpillar sweets contain 499 cals, whilst the reduced sugar version contains 471 cals – a reduction of 28, which is unlikely to result in weight loss. Yes, every little bit counts, but the expectation would probably be that it was much lower and therefore you may eat a larger portion, or expect bigger fat losses from this small change. So at first glance you’d assume it was a lower calorie option. It’s not really! Clever eh?

So if you’re trying to reduce your calories and are going for the reduced sugar versions of things you love just take some time to check the calories and portion sizes and see if there really is a difference. If you enjoy the reduced sugar option and it helps to keep you on track then go for it! But don’t pay more for a marketing ploy when you don’t need to. Enjoy the sweets you like, in moderation, as part of a balanced diet 🤗

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips, Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Strategic Snacking

Tuesday tip: Strategic Snacking 🍪

Often clients tell me they ‘just need to stop snacking’ and they’ll lose weight, but that’s rarely the solution. Snacking has a bad rep, but there’s nothing wrong with a snack in itself. Many of us need smaller intakes of food spread across the day rather than 2 or 3 large ‘meals’, it’s mindless snacking that’s the real issue.

Remember whether you call something a meal or a snack is basically meaningless; some snacks are more cals than meals anyway! It’s just a window of time when you eat. So try to view them all as part of your overall daily food intake, they’re just names! The key is planning them in. If you don’t then you will end up feeling guilty every time you have a snack and that can lead to the f*ck it mentality and then overeating.

Identify first of all when you tend to or want to ‘snack’ and then allocate some calories for it; the same way you might for breakfast or lunch etc and adjust your meals to accommodate. By factoring it in not only are you ensuring you’ll be within your calories, you’re also managing your expectations and giving yourself permission to have that snack. It doesn’t matter what it is, choose snacks that work for you; if it’s biscuits fine, if it’s fruit that’s also fine, within the context of a balanced diet you can have anything you want!

If you find the problem is that once you start you can’t stop then try getting your snack item out at the start of the day and having it on show and somwhere easy to grab. That way hopefully you’ll be more likely to stick to it rather than rummaging through the cupboards or heading to a shop to get it at the time you’re most ‘snacky’ and will power is lower.

Everyone is unique and the desire and need to snack are influenced by age, emotions, activity, main ‘meals’ etc so you have to work out what’s best for you. One good approach is strategic snacking at around 3/4pm to help stave off evening hunger, and there is some scientific evidence to suggest a plan of three balanced meals and one snack (4 windows of time where you eat) works well for weight loss.

Happy snacking! 🤗xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Enjoying a few drinks…

Enjoying a few drinks …. 🍷

Whilst I never tell clients cut out any foods/drinks totally from their diet If you are trying to lose weight/fat then alcohol is 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 necessarily an easy habit to change!

There’s no reason you have to give up alcohol to lose weight as it ultimately comes down to whether you’re in a calorie deficit. However it’s very easy to rack up several hundred calories in alcoholic drinks with little or no nutritional benefit. Meaning you will usually have the booze on top of whatever food you’re eating. In addition alcohol consumption can lead to poorer choices when it comes to food and you’re far more likely to end up eating more calories if you’re drinking or hung over.

So if you do want to still enjoy a drink but stay within your calories then there are 3 main things you can do. You can adjust the type and quantity of booze, and the frequency with which you drink it. So in this example swapping the thursday night work drinks 2 low cal beers and a gin and tonic saves over 300 cals. Cutting those Friday ‘end of the week’ glasses of wine from large to small glasses saves a further 264 cals. Saturday – just relax and enjoy them, then cut Sunday night out and swap the dregs of the bottles for a lime and soda. These simple swaps shouldn’t impact too greatly on your enjoyment but could make a big difference on your calorie intake.

So you can still go out and enjoy yourself and have that drink without worrying it’s going to derail your progress!

Cheers! 🥂

Xx