Nutrition and Calorie Tips

On track.. or blown it?…

On track.. or blown it?… 🤯

It’s very easy to get sucked into the idea that certain foods are inherently “good” and others are “bad”. I hear this sort of thing so often… a client may be feeling pleased that they’ve had a “good” snack – of 40g mixed nuts, and are therefore ‘on track’ . On another day they would be beating themselves up because they had a really “bad” day because they had a pack of chicken nuggets. They often feel like they’re blown everything, they’re disappointed and angry with themselves and feeling guilty.

Now I’m not suggesting the nuggets are a “healthy” option, nor am I suggesting it’s got more nutritional benefits than the nuts. They’re both very different nutritionally, and they both taste very different too. But for many people trying to lose fat or weight they might naturally assume that the nuggets are a terrible option and that by having it they’ve ruined their day (diet -wise). Whereas if they chose the nuts they would be feeling guilt-free and virtuous and like they were on track. They may even not track the calories because the nuts are such a ‘good’ option. However in actual fact the ‘good’ snack has slightly more calories and a lot more fat, than the 6 nuggets. The nuggets have slightly fewer calories and vastly more protein, so are likely to keep you satisfied for longer too.

So if you had to grab a box of nuggets (or just fancied one) when you’re out and about, then it’s not THAT bad. I’m certainly not suggesting your whole diet be made up of “junk food”, but it’s important to be aware of the facts to avoid unnecessary guilt. And remember that lots of the foods we perceive as being “good” or “healthy” may in fact be higher calorie and therefore unhelpful for weight loss if you’re consuming them without realising the calories. At the end of the day, as always, it comes down to calories. If you want to lose fat or weight, then you need to be at a calorie deficit. It’s important to still have foods you enjoy as part of an overall balanced diet. So don’t sweat it if you end up with a McDonald’s now and then if you want it, but then have a dinner with a range of whole foods and vegetables etc.

Be curious about what you’re putting in your body, look at the nutritional labels on food and don’t always assume the “health” food is the best choice.

🤗

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

‘It’s only a little sauce on the side – I don’t need to track that…’

‘It’s only a little sauce on the side – I don’t need to track that…’ 🤔

If you’re hoping to lose fat in a sustainable way you need to be aiming for a deficit of around 200-300 cals a day. Most people are pretty good at tracking the big stuff – the sandwich, the packet of crisps, the porridge for breakfast etc but how often do we overlook the little stuff. That little bit of ketchup on the side, that chilli sauce on your rice, that dash of oil in the pan…. And how often when you’re trying to lose fat do you deny yourself something you really want simply because you’re ‘on a diet’. Or how often do you feel like a failure because you’ve succumbed to the biscuits at coffee time?

A whole packet of custard creams comes in at around 746 cals – I guarantee most people would feel like they’d ‘ruined their diet’ if they polished off a packet. In fact many people might feel even a couple of custard creams are something they should avoid whilst on their ‘diet’ and yet we probably don’t even think twice about the 1,284 cals we might rack up in sauces and oil (and tbh that’s a conservative estimate on the oil!). In one week that’s your whole deficit gone and you may not even realise it.

I always tell my clients to track everything – right down to the oil they’re cooking with as that can be the difference. So if you’re tracking cals and hoping to lose fat make sure you include these, and if you’re just trying to cut some cals maybe they’re a good place to start being more mindful too?

Oh and if you fancy a custard cream

Or two – just factor it in to your calories and have it! 🤗

Remember – calories count! 🤗xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Feel Fuller

Tuesday Tip: Feel Fuller 🥗

When you’re trying to lose fat/weight and therefore eating at a calorie deficit it can be hard to feel satisfied. You will naturally be eating less food and whilst it’s normal, and ok to be a little hungry it makes it very hard to stick to the calories if you’re starving all the time.

Now whilst I’m very much a fan of people eating whatever they want within their calories, there are also some smart ways to help you feel more satisfied with the calories you’re on.

One good way to do this is to increase the volume of food you consume. How can you do this when you’re trying to reduce calories? By increasing the amount of things like vegetable and some fruits (berries particularly) primarily. These high fibre, high volume but low calorie foods are brilliant at helping to keep you fuller for longer, without impacting your calories to any great extent. Swapping a proportion of the more calorie dense foods for veggies and fruits will help to do this. You can also use other low calorie foods that are high in protein to help as well – things like 0% greek yoghurt, lean meat/meat substitutes. In addition reducing liquid calories in for form of high calorie coffees, juices, sugary drinks and alcohol will also help.

Swapping snacks for those that are low cal and high volume is also another handy option – so swapping crisps for skinny popcorn or pop chips, or swapping a sweet treat for something like meringue or marshmallow. If you combine these latter options with some berries and a little greek yoghurt you have the perfect hunger busting snack!

Physiologically eating greater food volume will have a positive affect on your digestive system and associated hormones – you will feel fuller and more satisfied. The extra time it takes to both eat and digest the meal will help with this. Psychologically it feels much better to see a large plate of food in front of you so you don’t feel deprived.

And the other added bonus is you will be probably increasing your intake of other micronutrients in the process which can only be a good thing for general health and well being.

So remember eating fewer calories doesn’t mean you have to eat less food per se – the goal is to eat as much as you can volume-wise within those calories.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

“Meat” Swaps

“Meat” Swaps 🥩

If you are trying to lose weight or fat then sometimes it’s handy to make some swaps for some of your meat based protein sources . Usually if you swap the higher fat protein options for leaner options then you can save calories, without sacrificing taste. It also means you can add more volume which helps with sticking to your caloire targets.

So here are a few examples of some easy swaps. I’ve included the plant-based options as well. There are a multitude of reasons you may choose not to eat meat (the ethics of which are beyond this article) but they can also be a handy way to reduce calories in some cases. However, as you can see, there are also lean meat options that reduce calories too (sometimes they’re even lower). It’s worth noting that I’ve chosen one example of plant based protein options and different brands have different caloric values so do check the labels.

You’ll also see that by choosing the leaner options you also end up with a greater amount of protein per 100g which is helpful for keeping your fuller for longer.

Chicken thigh 205 cals (16.9g protein) – chicken breast 112 cals (23g protein) – veggie ‘chicken’ 126 cals (16g protein)

Beef Mince (5% fat) 132 cals (22g protein) – turkey breast mince 119 cals (27g protein) – veggie mince 105 cals (14g protein)

Bacon 203 cals (17.6g protein) – bacon medallions 122 cals (21g protein) – veggie bacon 152 cals (24.5g protein)

Pork sausages 287 cals (12.7g protein) – chicken sausages 161 cals (15.1g protein) – veggie sausages 163 cals (14g protein)

These swaps are also handy if you struggle to track your calories. If you just made some of these swaps a few times a week you’d make significant savings over the week , facilitating a calorie deficit, and you’d probably barely even notice the difference!

Enjoy 🤗

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Healthy vs unhealthy starter?

Healthy vs unhealthy starter? 🥟

With indoor restaurant dining open again many people will be having more meals out than before. If you’re trying to watch your calories or lose weight then restaurant meals can be tricky. We often have a number of preconceived ideas about which the ‘healthier’ option is and equate that with lower calorie. In reality sometimes things aren’t quite as you’d expect.

A great example of this is the classic Wagamama starter or side of edamame beans. These yummy little beans are a popular dish and definitely a healthy choice as they’re full of nutrients. I think most people would order them thinking they were the best option calorie wise, and probably not even really think about tracking the cals (because they’re just veg right?). You may even avoid another starter or side you actually prefer to choose these instead in the belief they’d be lower calorie.

However that’s not actually the case. It would be natural to assume that the pulled pork gyoza starter was a ‘worse’ choice in terms of calories. In reality that dish is actually lower calorie and fat than the edamame beans. The difference isn’t huge but it is there nonetheless. It also shows that those beans are a significant addition to the overall calories of the meal. So they are definitely worth counting and not something to have as an extra unless you actually want them!

Enjoy 🤗

xxx