Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Protein isn’t magic

Tuesday Tip: Protein isn’t magic 🔮

I talked about carbs last week – the devil food 😉 so now I thought I’d touch on the supposed super star – protein. Eat more protein and you’ll lose weight – right? That’s the rhetoric out there isn’t it? Well I’m sorry but protein isn’t magic – I wish it was, but it just isn’t!

The idea that eating more protein will magically alter the laws of thermodynamics and make you lose weight regardless of how much you eat is just silly. There is a basic law of physics at play here – to lower fat content of the body (i.e. to lose weight), you have to reduce the calories consumed, or increase the calories burned – where these calories come from makes no actual difference. In fact it’s been clearly disproved in many studies. In one study from Columbia University they fed participants liquid meals of fixed calories, some with vastly more protein, some with more carbs, some with more fat – but all contained the exact calories required for the participants to maintain their weight. Guess what – they all maintained their weight… even those eating more protein…

Now that’s not to say protein isn’t super important and a useful factor to consider though. There’s no denying that higher protein foods tend to keep you fuller and more satisfied for longer (especially when combined with fats), and as I’ve mentioned before there is a small increase in the calories used to digest protein (very small and not enough to really influence overall weight loss), it’s also full of vital amino acids for muscle repair and building. If you’re a body builder and looking to put on large quantities of muscle in a short time then yes def prioritise protein (but you’ll be over eating anyway as your goal is muscle gain… not weight loss). If you struggle to stick to your calories because you’re always hungry then yes definitely consider upping your protein and fats a bit in your meals – but not at the complete sacrifice of carbs (otherwise you will crash and burn).

So there it is – yes protein is great, but no it isn’t magic! So no need to fret over it too much!

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Do you need protein shakes?

Tuesday Tip: Do you need protein shakes? 🥤

Protein shakes – all the rage, essential gym kit eh? But are they really necessary?

Protein itself is essential, especially for maintaining and building muscle, so it helps with recovery and is also great at keeping you feeling full. But the reality is most people’s diet includes more than enough protein as it is. Average daily recommended intake is 55g for men and 45g for women’s (with heavy exercisers needing a bit more: 1.2 – 1.7g per kg body weight). It’s not hard to get that in your meals e.g. 1 egg: 6g, 1 chicken breast: 20g, 30g cheddar cheese: 7.5g, 1 serving cooked beef mince: 18g, 1/2 pot cottage cheese: 18g, 1 tin of tuna: 25g, 1 serving Greek yogurt: 18g etc. So it’s pretty easy for most people to eat the required amount, with no shakes or powders required.

In an ideal world, if trying to build muscle then you do want to get some protein in within 30 mins of a strenuous workout. So that could be a reason to grab a shake. But you could save some pennies and instead go for something simple like a glass of milk (dairy milk contains 8g protein, soya milk contains 7g), or one of the best post-workout recovery drinks – chocolate milk (perfect carbs: protein ratio).

Aside from saving money you will also be protecting your health. Recent research shows that too much protein in the diet can increase your risk of osteoporosis amongst other health issues. Plus if you’re already eating a good diet then all you’re doing is taking on extra calories you don’t need, which could stall your weight loss attempts. They’re also not ideal as a meal replacement unless you combine them with other ingredients. For example as an grab and go brekkie option they’re great when combined in a smoothie with banana, milk, etc to give you a range of nutrients and a good balance of carbs too (but Greek yoghurt also does the same!).

So if you’re eating a balanced diet, and working out at a normal level (i.e. not an Olympic athlete!), then don’t stress about protein shakes as they’re really not necessary at all! Save your pennies!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Recipes

Easy, light high protein chocolate mousse

This is a super easy chocolate mousse which makes a fab dessert or snack. Because it uses Greek yoghurt it’s higher protein than ‘normal’ mousses and that means it is more filling so can help to keep you satisfied.

I’ve also used Cocoa + protein chocolate – mainly because it’s one of my favourite milk chocolates and I was desperate to try their new baking chocolate, but it does have the added bonus of more protein. Any chocolate will work though – milk or dark!

This is so quick to make and so easy. It serves 5-6 at around 200-240 cals snd 15g protein per portion.

You will need:

160ml skimmed milk (or any milk of your choice)

160g 0% Greek Yoghurt (I used ‘total’ – you can use any but it needs to be thick)

200g Chocolate (I used Cocoa+ milk choc)

Start by popping the chocolate, in small pieces, in a clean bowl and melt it using short blasts in the microwave (or a bain- marie)

While the chocolate is melting measure out the milk and yoghurt.

Add the milk to the yoghurt and then whip it together until frothy using a hand whisk.

Once the chocolate is melted add it gradually to the yogurt mixture, mixing it quickly and really well.

Once it’s well mixed pour into individual Ramekins and pop in the fridge for at least 3 hrs to set. It will be quite liquid to start with so don’t worry.

Sprinkle a little chocolate on top to serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Xx

Recipes

Craving Beating Pud – Chocolate Greek Yoghurt Your Way!

This is one of my favourite desserts (or even a mid afternoon snack!). It’s like having a huge chocolate mousse! It’s creamy and sweet, and perfect for combatting sugar cravings – especially after dinner. Its really filling too (as the Greek yoghurt is high in protein) which means you’re less likely to go on to graze on more snacks afterwards. It’s also really quick and easy to prepare.

You can make whatever flavour you like – I’ve done a chocolate one and a white chocolate and raspberry one, but the world is your oyster! If you use cocoa powder you will find it needs sweetening – so for that i use either a low calorie jam (my favourite is the skinny food co Jam – only 7 cals for a tbsp and they also do flavour syrups too I’d that’s your thing – check them out here : The skinny food co) or you can use some honey etc or some stewed fruit.

You can also customise toppings – sometimes I have it without, or I use a few chocolate chips (I happened to have white cooking chocolate chips in the cupboard so used those), or a little sprinkle of cereal (Rice Krispies, cocoa pops etc work well).

Calories vary depending a little on what flavour, fruit and toppings you use but you’re looking at roughly 160 – 250 cals.

Chocolate bowl

You will need:

125g 0 percent Greek Yoghurt – I prefer ‘Total’

1 serving of hot chocolate powder (options works well) OR 1 large tbsp cocoa powder (adjust cocoa powder for taste – I also like to add a little cocoa powder as well as the hot choc for added calorie free richness)

A handful of mixed berries (around 120g) – I like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries

A few chocolate chips (or choice of topping)

Sweetener if required

Place the hot choc powder or cocoa powder in a bowl.

Add the Greek yoghurt

Using a spoon just mix the cocoa powder/hot choc into the Greek yoghurt (it may look like it’s going to be too dry but keep going). ‘Whip’ it up by mixing well so it’s nice and creamy and the powder is fully incorporated. Taste a little and if needed you can add something to sweeten it (honey, maple syrup, zero calorie syrup, low cal jam etc).

Add the berries.

Sprinkle over your topping of choice and enjoy! 🙂

White chocolate and raspberry

You will need:

125g 0 percent Greek Yoghurt – I prefer ‘Total’

1 serving of white hot chocolate powder (options works well)

A handful of mixed berries (around 120g) – I like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries

1 tbsp low calorie jam (I use skinny food co raspberry jam : The skinny food co

A few white chocolate chips

Place the hot choc powder or cocoa powder in a bowl.

Add the Greek yoghurt.

Using a spoon just mix the hot choc into the Greek yoghurt (it may look like it’s going to be too dry but keep going). ‘Whip’ it up by mixing well so it’s nice and creamy and the powder is fully incorporated.

Add the jam and swirl it through the yoghurt.

Add the fruit and sprinkle the white choc chips over the top.

Enjoy!

🙂 xx

Recipes, Uncategorized

Lemon veggie ‘chicken’ and ‘bacon’ rice

This is something I used to make many years ago with ‘real’ chicken and bacon. You can obviously use the real deal if you want, but even if you’re not veggie it’s worth considering the vegetarian alternatives as they do save a lot of calories without sacrificing taste or satisfaction.

This works well with either freshly cooked or leftover rice. The lemon gives it a real freshness which is great for a warm spring/summer dinner or lunch.

It serves 4 and is approx 320 cals a portion.

You will need:

200g rice of your choice (uncooked weight)

300g Chicken alternative (I used Quorn chicken pieces)

120g Bacon alternative (I used Quorn)

1 onion, diced

A couple handfuls of frozen peas

Juice and zest of one large lemon (plus extra wedges for serving)

1/2 tsp oregano (or mixed herbs if not)

Black Pepper to taste

Start by getting the rice going – cook as usual (add to boiling water and boil until as soft as you like it). Drain and put to one side.

Use a little 1 cal oil spray in a hot pan and add the diced onion and sauté until brown.

Add the veggie chicken pieces and allow to brown.

Chop the veggie bacon into small pieces and add to the pan, allowing that to brown too.

Then add the peas – you can use as many as you like!

Cook through for a couple of minutes and then add the cooked rice and stir well.

Then add the oregano/ herbs, black pepper and lemon zest and mix.

Finally pour the lemon juice over and stir in well. Then serve, with a wedge of lemon.

Enjoy! 🙂

Xx