Experts have revealed the shocking tweaks that can add hundreds of calories to your meals, and why a healthy looking dish won’t always be good for your waistline.
The founder of the Australian weight loss program The healthy mama Rhian Allen explained that very often the problem with weight loss is that we don’t realize we’re making unhealthy choices.
“Small changes can really change the nutritional details and calories in the meals you eat and can give you more of a chance to reach your weight loss goals,” Rhian said.
She illustrated this with various food examples and revealed how changing just a few things can make your dishes healthier.
Australian founder of the weight loss program The Healthy Mummy Rhian Allen (pictured) revealed the small tweaks that can add massive calories to your meals
More ravioli was added to the larger pasta dish, as was regular thick cream and more bacon (photo)
1. Creamy mushroom and bacon Ravioli
When looking for a comfort dish, many turn their attention to pasta and something like creamy mushroom and bacon ravioli.
But with this dish, it’s easy to go overboard and your meal can quickly reach nearly 800 calories.
“With this comparison, the larger calorie meal increased to 185 grams of beef ravioli and we used 100 ml of regular fat-thickened cream instead of less fat,” Rhian said.
They also increase the bacon by 54 grams (or by two slices) and increased the meal to 10 ml of extra virgin olive oil.
If you want to keep the calories in your pasta dishes low, Rhian recommends keeping the cream to a minimum and filling the pasta with extra vegetables, be it mushrooms or broccoli.
The second thing Rhian looked at was Greef beef burgers, a weekend treat for many families. In the larger dish, Rhian said she raised the ground beef, swapped the bread, added butter and more feta to the patties (photo)
2. Greek beef burgers
The second thing Rhian looked at was Greek beef burgers, a weekend treat for many families.
“In the 690-calorie version, we increased the ground beef to 120 grams, changed the whole-wheat bun for a medium-sized Turkish roll, and added a teaspoon of butter,” said Rhian.
She also said that she had increased the amount of feta cheese in the hamburger patty to 25 grams and added a slice of regular fat cheddar cheese (20 grams) to the burger fillings.
All this resulted in a difference of more than 300 calories.
With this Mexican lasagna (photo), Rhian said she increased the ground beef and kidney beans, used full-fat sour cream and cheese, and added white sauce to make over 400 extra calories
The difference between these two Mexican lasagna for four people is a whopping 427 calories.
To make the larger portion, Rhian said she only increased the ground beef to 800 grams, increased the kidney beans to 400 grams, used whole sour cream instead of light, used whole cheese, and increased it to 150 grams instead of less fat, and 250 grams of white sauce added.
While the two dishes are remarkably similar, the healthy eating expert explained that with just a few minor tweaks, you can make your dish healthier.
Rhian illustrated how desserts or snacks can add up quickly, with a slice of cherry chocolate, which can bring you back either 131 calories per slice or 314 calories (shown)
4. Cherry Choc slice
It’s not just main meals where you can easily double your calories, but also desserts and snacks.
Rhian illustrated this with a slice of cherry chocolate, which could bring you back either 131 calories per slice or 314 calories.
“With the fat fattener, we changed the dark chocolate into 150 grams of milk chocolate, increased the grated coconut to 85 grams, omitted chia seeds, and made the portion size slightly larger,” said Rhian.
Keep an eye on your portion size and remember that you should never eat anything larger than your fist.
By swapping the potato for sweet potato and using yogurt instead of aioli, you can save yourself hundreds of calories with this chicken schnitzel dish (photo)
5. Chicken cutlet fingers with wedges
Finally, Rhian said that a simple dish like wedge chicken cutlet fingers can quickly add up to 623 calories per serving, provided you’re not careful.
‘To make the bigger calorie portion, we increased the chicken to 800 grams (four 200-gram breasts), swapped sweet potato for 480 grams of white potato, swapped yogurt for store-bought lemon aioli, and swapped homemade whole-wheat breadcrumbs for white bought shopping options, ”she said.
“We also increased the oil to two tablespoons.”
If you’re trying to be healthy, limit things like aioli and make healthy substitutions.
Sweet potato is also often a more nutritious choice than regular potatoes.