Breakfast Wraps

Breakfast Wraps – Only 233 cals per serve

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup semi-dries tomatoes chopped
  • 3 cups English spinach
  • 4 wholegrain tortillas

In large bowl whisk the eggs, add the semi-dried tomatoes and spinach and season with cracked pepper and salt. Heat a non-stick frypan to medium, add egg mix and stir well to scramble until cooked. Meanwhile heat another pan to moderate heat. Cook each tortilla, turning once until warm and soft. Divide egg mixture between the tortillas and roll up to enclose.

Calories in V’s Calories Out – Not So Simple…………

Weight loss is hard, yes? There wouldn’t be too many people out there that would disagree with me. Nearly all of us watch our weight, if not all of the time, at least at somestage in our life – and we should. It is part of living an healthy active life, and being mindful of our consumption (as overconsumption is so easy to do) and to be aware of what we eat, when we eat, and why we are eating.

I know I have mentioned to you all that watching your weight is a simple equation on calories in V’s Calories out, but I have also mentioned to you that everyone is different and everyone metabolises foods differently, due to your lean muscle mass composition, genetics, type of exercise you do, your hormones, stress levels just to name a few. Also, you all have different fitness levels that affect your ability to burn calories. You also know that I am a big believer of high intensity interval training, and that this is more beneficial than say, walking, for fat loss and increased fitness.

So, that said, here is an article written by the very clever Andy DuBois that may better explain why some of you are finding it easier than others to lose the weight. It also explains why I am so focused on you eating not a low calorie diet, but a HEALTHY diet. And why I also bang on about the obvious importance of exercising regularly, and at the right intensity for your desired outcome.

I have highlighted a few good points that I want to focus on and hopefully this will explain more about the differences in food (and why I hate white stuff!). It also mentions that there are inaccuracies with tools of measurement such as Heart Monitors and calories counters etc. While this is true, without the use of these tools many of us would have absolutely no idea of the calories in foods and how many calories you burn during exercise, so these tools are still invaluable even if they cannot be measured exactly. They allow you to take an element of control over your diet, but more importantly, your exercise and eating behaviour.

Happy Reading!

Simone

 

Fat loss is easy, all you have to do is eat fewer calories than you burn, or so many people would have you believe. If you aren’t losing weight then you are either eating too much or not exercising enough. Unfortunately the human body is a little bit more complicated than that and the calories in vs calories out model of fat loss has some serious flaws.   It’s all about balance yeah?

 

1. Food isn’t just calories.

One assumption calories in v’s calories out makes is that the all the food we eat is converted into calories. This assumes that whether you consume fat , protein or carbohydrate (macro-nutrients) it is all going to be used for energy and no other purpose. This is an incorrect assumption. Protein is used for muscle repair. It is also found in our hair , nails , skin and brain and it can be converted into a number of hormones essential for the body to function. Fat is used for insulation , it is used in cell membranes , it makes up part of the fatty sheath that surrounds nerve fibres, it helps with the absorption of some vitamins and is a key ingredient in hormones and other chemical substances that are vital for the body to function. Carbohydrates are almost solely used for energy. So depending on what you eat a certain amount of the macronutrients will be used for maintaining the cells in our body. A meal high in protein and fat will have a percentage of its potential calories used as building blocks for the body whereas a meal high in carbohydrates will be used solely for energy.

 

2. The numbers don’t add up.

According to the calories in v’s out argument if I ate 100 fewer calories per day for a whole year I would lose 36500 calories or approx 4 kilos of fat. That sounds great you may think. What if I then kept this up for 10 years. I would then have lost a total of 40 kilos of fat. I currently weigh 67 kilos so I would then weigh 37 kilos! Now 100 calories is approx 1 slice of bread . So I wouldn’t exactly be starving myself.   The good stuff There have been a number of studies that have shown that people eating the same amount of excess calories put on vastly different amounts of weight. If the calories in v’s calories out theory is correct then the amount of weight gain should be very predictable, instead it ranges enormously. Studies have also shown that it is possible to gain weight when eating fewer calories than your body supposedly needs to maintain weight.

 

3. It takes energy to store energy.

Energy is required to convert food into a form of energy that can be stored by the body. The amount of energy required depends on whether it is carbohydrate, protein and fat and which scientific paper you read! The macro nutrient composition of your meal will affect how many calories are burned in converting food into a storable energy source.

 

4. Different macro nutrients affect our bodies differently.

Hormones such as insulin and glucagon affect our fat storage or fat usage systems. Other hormones like leptin and ghrelin affect our feeling of hunger and satiety and all of these hormones are influenced by what we eat. The primary influence is not the amount of calories that we eat but the type of food we eat. If the calories in vs calories model out is correct then it shouldn’t matter if we obtain all of our calories from pure sugar or from lentils. If we eat fewer calories, then we should lose fat. But sugar has a vastly different hormonal effect on the body than lentils.

 

5. Inaccuracies measuring calories.

If the low-calorie theory is correct, then it is important to figure out how many calories we need to eat and how many we are burning per day. After all, 100 calories extra and you will put on 4 kilograms in a year! It is almost impossible to measure either the amount of calories you eat or the amount of calories you burn to anywhere near that degree of accuracy. Any watch or machine that tells you how many calories you burn is making some pretty big assumptions. The amount of fat and muscle you have will affect your calorie usage, your genetics will also affect it, as will the amount of sleep you had, the temperature, the time of day, your stress levels and numerous other factors. There are numerous calorie counters that will tell you how many calories are in a certain foods but the level of accuracy of these is very questionable. How many calories in an apple for example , a quick search on the net shows anything from 70-120 for the same size and type of apple. If you are measuring everything you eat, and using a state of the art watch to measure your calories burned you are still only going to have an estimate that is maybe several hundred calories out. Clearly this isn’t a good way to go about losing fat.

 

6. All exercise is not the same

The more calories we burn during exercise the better. Right? Well what about exercise that doesn’t burn as many calories during exercise but raises your metabolism after your workout? What about the hormonal response to exercise? Different exercise affects our hormones in different ways and our hormones affect fat storage , fat usage , muscle growth and numerous other bodily functions. High intensity cardio or weight training involving full body exercises will elicit a greater hormonal response than going for a walk. But if calories out is all that matters then whether we walk for 60 minutes or do weight training for 20 minutes as long as we burn the same amount of calories it shouldn’t make a difference. In the real world, weight training or high intensity interval training will have a far greater fat loss benefit than walking (comparing workouts burning the same amount of calories)

Why do some people lose weight when they count calories? The primary reason some people are successful is that when people calorie count they choose healthier foods as they are often lower in calories. It isn’t the fewer calories that promotes the weight loss it’s the healthier food choices.

So if counting calories doesn’t work what should you do? Whilst there is a raging argument going on between low carb, high carb, Atkins, Paleo, Dukan, South Beach or any of hundreds of other diets, I prefer to keep it simple. Eat a diet high in vegetables, a moderate amount of fruit, legumes, protein and good sources of fat, low in grains and cut out the processed stuff (it’s not really food).

Written by Andy DuBois, Mile 27

 

Love it, love it, love it! I hope you got something out of this. So, next time you head for that burger, fries, extra couple of slices of white bread or sweet biscuit, think of the response your body is going to have after digesting it.

 

 

Cumin Spiced Chicken Skewers With Orange & Lentil Salad

INGREDIENTS – Serves 6

1 tablespoon ground Cumin

2 garlic cloves crushed

2 teaspoon olive oil

2 oranges, find finely grated, segmented

1 kg chicken thigh fillets, excess fat removed, cut into 3c, pieces

2 x 400g cans brown lentils, drained

½ cup firmly packed fresh continental parsley

1 bunch fresh chives

1 small red onion, halved, thinly sliced

2 Lebanese cucumbers, trimmed, halved lengthways, thinly sliced

2 large sticks celery, finely sliced

½ head fresh broccoli chopped into small pieces

Cumin-spiced plain low-fat yoghurt, to serve

 

METHOD

  • Combine cumin, garlic, oil and orange rind in a class or ceramic bowl. Add chicken and season to taste with salt & pepper. Thread 4 pieces or chicken onto each skewer.
  • Preheat grill on medium-high. Line baking tray with foil. Place skewers on prepared tray and cook under grill for 3-4 minutes each side or until thoroughly cooked through
  • Combine orange segments, lentils, parsley, chives, onion, celery and cucumber in a bowl. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Divide among serving plates. Serve hot with cumin spiced yoghurt.

 

Per Serve

325cals

38g protein

10g fat

20g carb

6g dietary fibre

 

Calories in Chocolate – Is it worth having that pig out?

So, Easter is around the corner and the stores are full of temping little morsels that you just can’t resist buying. Some for the kids, some for you?

Next weekend when the house is full of chocolate, how will you cope? Do you have the willpower to resist hooking in to the Bunny’s ears every hour? Or peeling one more piece of foil wrap off a ‘tiny weeny egg’ – after all – how bad can they be? Might as well have another one!

You have trained hard all year and have realised your New Year’s Resolutions, only to be confronted with the friggin’ Easter Bunny and all his wicked ways, depositing his loot in all the wrong places so they can’t be avoided (the fridge) and all just in time to settle into Winter and hibernate. Right? Lucky that you can pull on some baggy warm clothes and hide those Cream Eggs! But it doesn’t have to be this way!

With that in mind, I thought I’d arm you with some knowledge that will help you turn away from temptation, and if you can’t, let you know how much damage you can do over a few days, and more importantly how hard you have to work to get rid of it all. Once it’s past your lips, it generally lands on your hips!

So, exactly how many calories are in those tiny eggs hey? Let’s see.

 

Cadbury

Mini Eggs    36cals each

Deluxe Bunny 100g (purple)  800 cals

Creme Egg    172 cals

Cherry Ripe Mini   84 cals

Cherry Ripe standard bar  241 cals

Crunchie Mini    87 cals

Crunchie standard bar   243 cals

Flake Mini    75 cals

Flake standard bar   161 cals

 

Lindt

Lindt Gold Milk Bunny w/ Red Ribbon

200g large 1086 cals

100g small 543 cals

10g mini  53 cals

Gold Bunny Gift Box w/ 3 carrots 716 cals

Mini Eggs    97 cals

Lindt Balls (red)   64 cals

 

Red Tulip

Mini egg caramel   48 cals

Maltezer Mini Egg    34 cals

 

Now, how long to work it off??

This is just an average and will vary due to body composition and fitness levels, but it is a good guide on how much exercise is needed to burn off Easter calories. Remember that if you are lighter you burn less calories, and heavier you will burn more. Use the weight in kilos below to gauge an idea.

 

EXERCISE                                                 65KILOS             85 KILOS

30min Jog at 6.5km/hr                               195                        255

80min Soccer Match                                    607                       793

60min Brisk Walk                                         345                       451

Swimming 30 mins                                       189                        247

Circuit Training Vigorous 75min               650                        850

Mountain Bike Riding 90mins                   829                      1024

 

For less than a minute of pleasure on your tongue, you will need to perform at least 30mins of exercise to burn it off.

 

So by all means, enjoy an Easter treat, but be aware of what it will take to work it off. Think twice before going back for seconds!

 

Happy Easter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can I Eat Carbs at Night??

As the old saying goes, “Breakfast for a King, Lunch for a Prince and Dinner for a Pauper”.

But should you really eat less at night? Here are some facts and tips along with some practical advice.

Can I eat Carbohydrates after 6pm?

The simple answer is yes you can, just make sure you don’t overeat. It is the over consumption or food late in the day which is the likely cause of weight gain related to night time eating.

There is not much conclusive metabolic evidence that carbs or any foods eaten at night are more likely to be stored as body fat. Metabolism drops when you are sleeping, but that simply lowers your daily energy expenditure. It is your total 24 hour energy balance (energy in versus energy out) that really matters for weight gain or loss. There are studies that suggest eating 6 small meals a day as opposed to 3 square meals are better for fat loss, however there appears to be no difference in success between the two ways of eating, as long as the total energy intake remains the same. In saying that, the answer to the question of is it better to eat small frequent meals throughout the day as opposed to 3 meals per day is up in the air – ultimately it depends on how much energy (calories) are consumed in total, as opposed to how often you eat.

Eat Regularly

A study suggests that keeping the meal pattern constant does have metabolic advantages. Researchers compared a regular meal pattern (6 meals per day) versus a ‘chaotic’ meal pattern (ie, all over the place/skipping meals etc) of anywhere between 3-9 occasions on different days for two weeks. The regular eating pattern was associated with a greater thermic effect of food (diet-induced thermogenesis – I have mentioned this before), which is the energy cost of digestion and absorption – yes, eating burns calories! There was also a lower energy intake, a lower fasting total and LDL (‘bad”) cholesterol with regular eating, as well as a slightly lower postprandial (after meal) insulin concentration with the regular pattern. According to the study, all these factors suggests that choosing a pattern and sticking to it, rather than skipping meals will assist with fat loss.

Personally, I think that the habit of eating regularly prevents you from overeating at night and gorging on easy snack and junk food in the late afternoon when you are starving because you have missed meals throughout the day. Eating regularly and choosing healthy smaller meals will sustain you for longer, reducing the desire to snack on junk food and high GI carb loaded food, which is nutritionally inferior food. Lets face it, we have all needed a cuppa in the afternoon after a hectic day as a pick me up so that we can survive the night shift, but if you tend to grab a bikky or something sweet to go with it for a quick sugar fix, you are taking in unnecessary high GI, sugary and fatty carbs, which is what you need to avoid if you are watching your weight. Reaching for these foods as a ‘pick me up’ is because our blood sugar has dropped due to skipped meal or low quality foods that leave us feeling tired and lethargic. If instead, we had a decent breakfast, a healthy morning tea, a substantial nutrient rich lunch and a light low carb high, protein afternoon tea containing good fats and lean proteins, we would survive until dinner time and be able to sit down to a light meal and still feel satisfied.

Examples of smaller meals are fresh fruit and nuts with a piece of low fat cheese or cottage cheese, yoghurt and low fat muesli, crackers with chicken, avocado and tomato, tuna and salad, an egg lettuce and tomato sandwich on multigrain bread. Always include lean protein to help with satiety, low GI carbs, lots of greens and good fats (avocado, raw almonds, etc) as well as fruits in your diet to keep up with all food groups and nutrients. Remember my rule to always eat RAINBOWS! Lots of fresh variety and make it colourful! Colours mean vitamins!

By eating this way your body is also getting good fuel to keep you going and feeding your brain so you don’t get tired. Your brain requires carbs to function and stay alert, just choose them wisely and avoid high GI and refined processed foods, such as white sugar, bread rice etc. GO FOR BROWN – IT WON’T LET YOU DOWN!

Plan!

Another reason eating carbs at night can make you gain weight is because you eat too much of them! If you don’t eat enough during the day you risk greater hunger at night. If you skip breakfast, are too busy for lunch, or forget to snack you leave yourself open to overeating in the evening. If you plan your food for the day, and take the time out to eat regularly, you can satisfy your fuel needs and avoid overfilling late in the day.

Lastly, another reason we can overeat is that we are dehydrated. Often we think we are hungry when our body is actually telling us we are thirsty. Before you snack on crap, try having a big glass of water first. If in 15mins you are actually getting true tummy grumbles that are feeling of hunger, then have something to eat. Try to always consume 1.5-3ltres of water per day to avoid dehydration and unnecessary ‘fake’ feelings of hunger.