Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Weekdays vs Weekends

Weekdays vs Weekends 😇

This is an extremely common pattern I see in my clients, and myself. Weekdays are often “ok” calorie wise or even good, and then weekends it goes a bit off track.

You may think that if you stick to your fat-loss calorie target for most of the time (5 days a week) that it’s ok to just relax at the weekend. Now sometimes this can work, but it rather depends how much you relax lol! In this example I’ve assumed a daily calorie goal of 1,800 cals for fat loss, or 12,600 calories per week. So Monday to Friday you hit those calories, or perhaps are even a little under (8,555 cals during the week in this example). Then on Saturday and Sunday you “relax” and have a few “treats”, because it’s the weekend right? You’ve been good all week so it’s fine… In this example I’ve included two weekend breakfasts, a pizza one night, a couple of glasses of wine, some crisps in front of a movie, sunday evening ice cream and chocolate etc. That’s 5,241 calories and doesn’t even include a full weekend of eating and drinking (especially if you start on Friday evening.. or even Thursday). Just those treats on top of the weekday calories take you to 13,796 calories for the week. So you’re already over by nearly 1,200 cals.

That extra 1,200 cals (or more) is why you won’t be losing fat. It’s very easy for that to happen. The things I’ve described for weekend treats aren’t crazy or particularly over indulgent. I’m sure we’ve all had weekends like that right? Now I’m definitely not suggesting you don’t enjoy some of these foods from time to time, but if you really want to lose fat then its worth getting away from the idea of weekends being focused on food and drink “treats”. Have the things you enjoy but in moderation and within your overall weekly calorie target.

Ways to do this include, reducing your weekday calories a little to give you a buffer for the weekend (be cautious with this though as if you take them too low you will find you tend to binge at the weekend which is counter productive so only aim to save 100-150 cals per day max). Also try going for smaller options of the weekend treats, a small bar of chocolate, a single portion bag of crisps, low cal ice cream etc. Pick one meal you want to let your hair down with rather than the entire weekend and keep tracking over the weekend so you can see where the extra cals are creeping in.

OR decide that life’s too short and you don’t want to restrict your calories over the weekend but then accept that you won’t be able to lose fat (which is absolutely fine too! You don’t need to lose fat – no one does).



Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Unhealthy or Healthy Mashed potato?

Unhealthy or Healthy Mashed potato? … 🥔 🍠

I often have clients telling me they’re having mashed potato, but it’s sweet potato, so that’s ok. The common perception is that white potatoes are “unhealthy” and a bad choice, whilst sweet potatoes are inherently healthier and therefore a good choice to go for.

Sweet potatoes are good – they have a lower glycaemix index than white potatoes (though it’s not actually ‘low’) which means it has a lesser impact on blood sugar levels. It’s also a great source of vitamin A, C, B6 and Potassium and also fibre.

In contrast white potatoes have a higher glycaemic index, slightly less fibre and less vitamin A but are also good sources of Vitamin C and B6. But they aren’t unhealthy.

Despite the higher glycaemic index it’s not the individual foods that matter in that context but rather the glycaemic index of the whole meal so it will depend what you’re eating with the potatoes. Combined with other low GI foods, protein and fats the overall GI of the meal will be lowered.

In addition, as you can see, when made with exactly the same recipe the mashed sweet potatoes actually contain more calories, carbs and fat than white potatoes. So from a fat/weight loss perspective – when it comes down to calories you’d be marginally better off having white potatoes.

So if you’ve been tucking in to sweet potatoes thinking they’re better for weight loss then perhaps think again. In reality the difference is pretty small, and the calorie impact is fairly similar.If you prefer the taste then definitely go for the sweet potatoes – just have the potatoes you actually enjoy!



Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Anxiety and Diet

Tuesday Tip: Anxiety and Diet 🤯

Anxiety can be a particularly tricky thing to deal with at any time, but at the moment levels of general anxiety are even higher and people who perhaps wouldn’t normally class themselves as being “anxious” are finding things increasingly difficult.

Mental health is so important, and if anxiety or anxious thoughts are affecting you then do please speak to someone (be it a professional, or even a friend/work colleague etc) but it is also possible to help with what you’re eating.

A 2010 study found that diets higher in vegetables, fruit, fish and whole grains led to lower incidence of anxiety disorders. A further study in 2017 directly compared a mediterranean-style diet with “social support (friends etc) for the treatment of anxiety and depression. The diet actually provided better relief than the social support. It’s believed this is due to the impact of short-chain fatty acids (created from digestion of fibres in the food). It’s though that consuming 30g fibre a day can help thus.

Omega-3 is also linked to mental health with higher levels reducing the incidence of low moods, depression and anxiety.

One study found a 20% reduction in anxiety with omega-3 supplements compared to a placebo but evidence is mixed. However it certainly won’t do any harm as it has many other health benefits so definitely worth a try.

In contrast studies have shown that diets high in caffeine, sugar and saturated fat are linked to increased anxiety. Alcohol is also an issue – it initially relaxes you by increasing the activity of the brain chemical gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). But this is short term and as the alcohol wears off the levels of GABA reduce which exacerbates anxiety.

So a few things to consider (as well as seeking professional help if it’s impacting your life)

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Just a Coffee …and a snack’

‘Just a Coffee …and a snack’ ☕️

Perception is everything! Many of us would probably have a coffee and a snack without giving it a huge amount of thought – a latte and a granola slice (healthy right?) is fine for an afternoon snack. Yet if you’d wolfed down 2 jam doughnuts you might be feeling guilty, like you’d over down it and you may even refer to it as a binge.

To be honest neither is an ideal snack – they’re both a decent number of calories and probably more than most can afford as a daily snack. However, as you can see, the coffee and granola slice is considerably more calories than the two doughnuts. They also contain significantly more fat and sugar. So whilst you might be beating yourself up over the doughnuts, in reality it’s not as bad as the coffee and snack.

It’s all about perception – the coffee and granola slice are not only viewed as being an acceptable snack, there is also a positive perception around the granola slice as it contains nuts (good fats, protein etc) and dried fruit (nutrient rich). Whereas the doughnuts are universally recognised as “junk” food.

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 latte and granola slice- have it and enjoy it. If you want to eat your way through two jam doughnuts then go for it. Just be aware of the calories so you’re making an educated choice!




Easy, ‘Healthy’, Autumn Crumble

With Autumn upon us it’s definitely time for some comforting, warming puds, and for me that means stewed fruit and crumble! Traditional Crumble can be quite high calorie so this is a great option for keeping the calories a bit lower but still just as tasty!

I was lucky enough to be given a haul of apples and pears, and I had some wild blackberries in the freezer form earlier in the summer but you can use any combination of fruit you fancy!

This comes in at about 184 calories per portion (I got 6 portions from mine) but tastes just as great! I didn’t add any sugar to my fruit at all – it was perfectly sweet as it was and with the sweetness of the topping you shouldn’t need to add any, but you can add if you feel you need it.

This makes a fab dessert, snack or even breakfast!

You will need:

3 large cooking apples/ pears (bramley apples work best)

A large punnet of blackberries (approx 200 – 300g) (or use more apples/pears/plums/raspberries/gooseberries/ anything!)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the topping:

100g oats

50g flour (I used rice flour as it has a finer texture but any flour will do)

30g sugar (I used ‘half spoon’)

1 tsp cinnamon

40g non-dairy spread (I used a ‘light’ spread)

Prepare the fruit – peel, core and chop the apples/pears into small chunks and rinse the blackberries. Place the apples in a saucepan with a tbsp of water and start to cook – they need a bit longer than the blackberries so this gives them a head start. Once they’ve started to soften a little add the blackberries and the cinnamon and stir well. Allow to simmer gently until the apples are cooked through.

Pre-heat the oven to 190 C.

Place the oats, flour, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and mix well. Add the spread and then use a fork or your fingers to rub it in to the mixture creating little lumps.

Pour the fruit mixture into whatever dish you’re using – I made 4 individual portions and one double portion.

Add the topping and then pop in the oven for 15-20 mins or until the topping starts to brown.

Remove and serve warm (or cold!), with a dollop of zero fat total yoghurt, or maybe some low cal ice cream!

Enjoy! Xx