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

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Targeted Fat Loss Myth

Tuesday Tip: Targeted Fat Loss Myth 🔍

A common thing I hear from people is that they want to lose fat from one particular area, usually stomach, thighs, butt or arms. Often they’re trying to achieve this by focusing exercise on that area; so if it’s belly fat then lots of ab exercises, arms – loads of bicep and tricep work etc. You also see people advertising fat loss diets that will supposedly target the belly etc.

There’s just one problem: it’s impossible to target fat loss! Spot reduction (i.e. losing fat from specific areas) is a myth. You can’t magically lose fat from a specific body part just by doing exercises on that area. Our bodies can only lose fat from the entire body as a whole and where it comes off first is down to genetics and can’t be changed. Some people lose fat first from their thighs, others from their belly etc. No workout or exercise, or magic slimming drink can change this.

What does happen is that the muscles underneath get worked and get stronger, so when you do lose fat from that area you will look muscular/toned/ shapely etc. So ab exercises will target your abdominal muscles, but not the fat that sits above them. Recent studies confirm this and found that doing ab exercises had no effect on abdominal fat. Another study on professional tennis players looked at the impact on fat of the extra use of one arm and found no difference between the playing and non-playing arm.

So if you can’t spot reduce fat what do you do? You lose fat from your whole body! At some point the fat will also come off from the body part you wanted to lose fat from in the first place. Sadly you can’t influence when that happens. How do you lose body fat? By eating fewer calories or burning more calories (or a combo of the two) – all you need is a calorie deficit and you will lose fat. So you can stop those hundreds of sit-ups and focus on the food side of the equation instead!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

xx

Recipes

Veggie ‘feta’ roasted veg pasta

I’m sure many of you have seen the posts on social media of the feta and tomato pasta hack. This is my version of it – using a dairy free (vegan) feta! I wanted to see if it would work and it does! Obviously you can use a normal feta if you prefer. I also pimped it up a bit with mixed peppers, mushrooms, spinach and basil.

This serves 5-6 and comes in at around 380 cals per portion.

You will need:

500g pasta

1 200g block ‘feta’ (I used Violife Greek white cheese)

600g cherry tomatoes (1 punnet)

2 small peppers

5 mushrooms

100g baby spinach

Fresh basil

Salt, pepper, mixed herbs

1 cal oil spray (I used the olive oil version)

Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Chop the peppers and mushrooms into chunks. Spray a roasting dish with oil spray and pop the block of cheese in the centre, and throw the cherry tomatoes and peppers around it. Season and spray with oil.

Pop in the oven for 10-15 mins to start with.

While it’s in the oven cook the pasta to your taste. Drain and pop to one side.

Check the oven after 10-15 minsand if the tomatoes are just starting to split a little then add the mushrooms and pop back in the oven for 10 mins or so. Timing will depend a little on how ripe your tomatoes are so check and see if they are soft and that the juices have run into the dish. The feta will have melted too.

Using a wooden spoon stir the veg and feta together and gentle squish the tomatoes.

Add the spinach a little at a time, stirring in each time. Pop back in the oven for 3-5 mins.

Remove from oven Once the spinach has wilted and stir in a handful of fresh basil leaves.

Stir in the pasta

Then serve with a little sprig of basil!

Enjoy! 🙂

Xx

Recipes

Cinnamon Oat Baked Apples

This is a really easy option for a warming winter dessert. Delicious as it is or even better with a scoop of Greek yoghurt or ice cream! I make a batch and then I can reheat them for pudding or even have one for a snack or brekkie! Bramley apples work best but you can actually use any apple you like.

This recipe makes 4 portions (half an apple) at approx 77 cals per portion (this will vary with apple size).

You will need:

2 Apples

50g Oats

10g sugar (I use half spoon – as it gives sweetness with fewer calories)

20g light spread (I just used a normal anchor light spread)

1/2 tsp cinnamon (or more to taste)

Preheat the oven to 180 C

Mix the oats, cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.

Add the spread and use a fork or your hands to mix it into the oat mix. Leaving clumps.

Cut the apples on half and use a spoon to remove the core and create a little hollow.

Pop the apples on a baking dish and pack the oat mix into the hollow and across the top of each apple half.

Add a tbsp of water to the dish, cover lightly with foil and bake for 25 mins. Then remove the foil and bake for a further 10 mins.

Serve as is or with ice cream/ yoghurt

Enjoy! 🙂 Xx

Recipes

Biscoff Berry Porridge

As it gets colder I am drawn to warm, comforting food and porridge ticks the bill for me!

This combo of biscoff and berries works really well! It comes in at around 350 cals (using water not milk) for a portion so a good hearty brekkie or even a lunch option.

You will need:

50g porridge oats

1/4 to 1/2 tsp cinnamon (to taste)

Water (or milk if you prefer to use that for porridge)

Handful of berries (I used blackberries, raspberries and blueberries)

20g Biscoff spread

20g Berry jam (optional – I used the low calorie skinny jam – available here)

Mix the cinnamon with the oats and then prepare your porridge using water (or milk) as you normally would. I often use boiling water from the kettle for speed but you can use a saucepan of course.

Once at a consistency you like transfer to a bowl and add the blackberries (or whatever berries you have), mix them up a little to release the juices.

Then add the other berries and biscoff spread. If using the jam add that too.

Pop in the microwave for 1 min (optional – this just helps to melt the biscoff and release the fruit juices – you could also do all this in a pan on the hob)

Enjoy! 🙂

Xx