Similar Meals Can Have Huge Calorie Difference by Making a Few Changes

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There are people these days that have gone the extra mile to lose weight, even following the craziest diet trends. Though there are still some who just stick with the usual healthy eating routine, they may be doing it wrong.

Paula Norris, a dietitian from Australia, shares useful information about “healthy” diet mistakes by posting similar images of the same meal but with huge difference in calories.

In the series called, “Spot The Difference,” Norris shows two plate comparisons, and writes down the calorie-saving recipes, adding healthy eating tips like focusing on healthy oils, portion control, and replacing starchy carbs.

“Ever since I studied Dietetics, I haven’t bothered with drastic diet changes to achieve goals because I know how short-term, unsustainable and depressing they are. Changes I make are small, almost unnoticeable and spread across days and weeks. Decreasing the serve size of energy-dense foods and increasing portions of low energy density foods has been key for me. A lot of small changes can add up!’ she writes on one of her posts.

If you’re trying to lose weight then it can be easy to overdo the cals on even seemingly healthy meals like stir fry! See below 👇🏽 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ***As a note- I have weighed the non starchy veg for this demo but I DO NOT weigh non starchy veg at home- I throw as much as I can in! Scales are good to keep portion sizes in check for meats, starchy carbs and good fats (although measuring in spoons, cups usually works for a lot of starchy carbs and fats) but weighing is not required for non starchy veg! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On the left 🔸50g capsicum 🔸20g zucchini 🔸2 stalks broccolini 🔸1 large mushroom 🔸15g beans 🔸1/2 small onion 🔸200g beef (when cooked) 🔸2tsp oil 🔸1Tbsp sweet chilli sauce 🔸2tsp oyster sauce 🔸2tsp lime juice 🔸1 cup cooked rice ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On the right 🔹100g capsicum 🔹50g zucchini 🔹3 stalks broccolini 🔹1 large mushroom 🔹40g beans 🔹1/2 small onion 🔹100g beef (when cooked) 🔹Spray oil 🔹1tsp Sriracha 🔹3tsp oyster sauce 🔹2tsp lime juice 🔹1/2 cup cooked rice

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Ever since I studied Dietetics, I haven’t bothered with drastic diet changes to achieve goals because I know how short term, unsustainable and depressing they are. Changes I make are small, almost unnoticeable and spread across days and weeks. Decreasing the serve size of energy dense foods and increasing portions of low energy density foods has been key for me. A lot of small changes can add up! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🔸On the left • 175g beef • 4 potatoes (150g) • 20g Spinach • 1 floret Cauliflower (40g) • 1 slice Zucchini (25g) • 1 stalk Broccolini (25g) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🔹On the right • 100g beef • 3 small potatoes (80g) • 40g Spinach • 3 florets Cauliflower (100g) • 3 slices Zucchini (74g) • 3 stalks Broccolini (60g)

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SPOT THE DIFFERENCE ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Both of these meals are healthy but depending on your goals you may make some modifications for more or less calories. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This one is also important as while good fats are ofcourse amazing for and required by our bodies- the calories can add up. So if you’re trying to move some weight you need to be aware of portions of even good fats. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🔸On the left • Large (220g) Salmon fillet (when raw) • 2tsp oil for pan frying • 1 serve (~200g) soba noodles • 1 Tbsp Edamame • 1/4 carrot – julienned • 1/2 cup cooked spinach • 25g Broccoli (~2 florets) • 1/2 medium Avocado 🥑 • 1 tsp lime juice • 1/4 cup basil • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🔹On the right • Small (150g) Salmon fillet (when raw) baked without added fat • 1/3 serve (~70g) soba noodles • 2 Tbsp Edamame • 1/2 carrot – julienned • 3/4 cup cooked spinach • 50g Broccoli (~2 florets) • 2 cherry tomatoes • 1/4 medium Avocado 🥑 • 1 tsp lime juice • 1/4 cup basil • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ A fish spot the difference for you @judithhross 😚 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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A chicken Pad Thai spot the difference for you @judithhross 😚 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ You can apply some of the below modifications based on your fitness goals- if you want to gain weight or maybe you want to maintain but have higher energy requirements- go left. If your goal is to lose or maintain weight – go right. This Pad Thai is on MEDIUM sized dinner plates (hence why they fill up most of it!) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🔸On the left • 200g cooked chicken thigh • 2tsp oil for cooking • 130g (when dry) rice noodles • 1/4 red onion • 1/2 carrot – julienned • 3 snow peas – chopped • 1Tbsp Soy sauce • 1/2tsp Fish sauce • 1Tbsp Lime juice • 1/2 egg ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🔹On the right • 120g cooked chicken breast • 1tsp oil for cooking • 70g (when dry) rice noodles • 1/4 red onion • 1 carrot – julienned • 8 snow peas – chopped • 1 bunch Chinese Spinach • 1Tbsp Soy sauce • 1/2tsp Fish sauce • 1Tbsp Lime juice • 1/2 egg ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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You can apply some of the below modifications based on your fitness goals- if you want to gain weight – go left. If your goal is to lose or maintain weight – go right. The bulk of these meals is pretty much the same, so both will be equally filling. This is important because satiety is one of the major challenges when trying to lose weight and many people think they need to eat smaller meals. This is simply not necessary! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🔸On the left • 3 small soft shell tacos • 1tsp oil for cooking • 1/2 garlic clove • 1/2 brown onion • 200g Regular mince • Taco seasoning + herbs • 1/2 tin tomatoes • 4 cherry tomatoes • 1/4 small corn cob • 50g Avocado • 40g full fat cheddar cheese ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🔹On the right • 3 large lettuce leaves for shells • 1Tbsp water for cooking • 1/2 garlic clove • 1/2 brown onion • 100g Extra lean mince • 70g red kidney beans • 1 small grated carrot • Taco seasoning + herbs • 1/2 tin tomatoes • 8 cherry tomatoes • 25g dices capsicum • 1/4 small corn cob • 25g Avocado • 10g Parmesan cheese (Parmesan has a much sharper flavour so you can get away with much less) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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Too big a burrito? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Ok so the size of the wrap (which saves about 100cals) makes this one more obvious but the other differences save you an extra 300cals! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🔸On the left • Large wrap • 1tsp oil for cooking • 1/2 brown onion • 160g Regular mince • Taco seasoning • 1/2 tin tomatoes • 1 cup lettuce • 1/2 tomato • 50g Avocado • 40g cheese ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🔹On the right • Medium wrap • 1/2 brown onion • 100g Extra lean mince • 50g black beans • 1/3 Zucchini • 1/2 medium carrot • Taco seasoning • 1/2 tin tomatoes • 1 cup lettuce • 1/2 tomato • 25g Avocado • 20g Low Fat cheese ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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SNEAKY ‘SALADS’ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Unfortunately calorie heavy dressings, too much grain and not enough veg can result in a ‘salad’ with calories closer to that of a risotto. Here’s how easily it can happen, even with ‘salads’ of similar bulk… ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🔸On the left • 1 cup cooked Pearl Barley • 70g Haloumi • 1/3 Zucchini • 2 florets Broccoli • 1/4 Capsicum • 50g Eggplant • 3 Cherry Tomatoes • 200g Poached Chicken • 1/2 cup herbs • Dressing of 2tsp EVOO and 2tsp Balsamic Vinegar ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🔹On the right • 1/2 cup cooked Pearl Barley • 35g Haloumi • 2/3 Zucchini • 5 florets Broccoli • 1/2 Capsicum • 100g Eggplant • 5 Cherry Tomatoes • 100g Poached Chicken • 1/2 cup herbs • Dressing of 2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar and 2tsp seeded mustard ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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No change in ingredients – just different amounts! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On the left: 🔸180g steak (untrimmed) 🔸1tsp Oil (to cook steak) 🔸2 cups Lettuce 🔸4 rings Red Onion 🔸50g Avocado 🔸1cup Cooked Rice Noodles 🔸30g Cucumber 🔸2 Cherry Tomatoes 🔸2 tsp Sesame Oil 🔸2 tsp Lime Juice 🔸1 tsp Soy Sauce ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ One the Right: 👍🏽 🔹100g steak (trimmed) and grilled (without oil) 🔹2 cups Lettuce 🔹4 rings Red Onion 🔹25g Avocado 🔹1/2cup Cooked Rice Noodles 🔹50g Cucumber 🔹4 Cherry Tomatoes 🔹1/2 medium Carrot 🔹1 tsp Sesame Oil 🔹2 tsp Lime Juice 🔹2 tsp Soy Sauce ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ [Both recipes have equal amounts of garlic, mint, coriander, chilli and ginger]

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These posts are NOT to encourage calorie counting but are to demonstrate the impact that ingredient manipulation can have on the overall calories in a meal (obviously important for those of you who are trying to lose weight) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On the left: 🔸50g Feta 🔸200g Sweet Potato 🔸4 Cherry Tomatoes 🔸1/2 cup Baby Spinach 🔸1/4 small Capsicum 🔸1/6 medium Zucchini 🔸1 cup cooked Quinoa 🔸180g Poached chicken 🔸Dressing of Balsamic Vinegar + Olive Oil ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On the right: 🔹25g Feta 🔹100g Sweet Potato 🔹8 Cherry Tomatoes 🔹1 cup Baby Spinach 🔹1/2 small Capsicum 🔹1/3 medium Zucchini 🔹1/2 cup cooked Quinoa 🔹120g Poached chicken 🔹Dressing of Balsamic Vinegar ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #Spotthedifference

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HEALTHY PASTA? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ While pasta is not the devil, it gets a bad wrap. The portion size and what we load it up with can be an issue, it’s easy for the cals to add up! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 〰️On the left 🔹 2 tsp EVOO 🔹 200g chicken 🔹 30g semi-trimmed bacon 🔹 2 cups cooked pasta 🔹 30g full fat cheddar 🔹 2 large Florets Broccoli, 1 medium mushroom ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ✔️Easy swaps to get the dish on the right⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🔸100g chicken (cooked in a little water instead of oil) 🔸 1 cup cooked Pasta 🔸 1 tsp capers 🔸 10g Low Fat cheddar 🔸 1/4 large capsicum, 4 large florets Broccoli, 2 medium mushrooms ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ [Both recipes contain 100ml passata, 1Tbsp tomato paste, garlic clove, 1/4 red onion, 2 anchovies, Chilli, herbs, salt and pepper]

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