So it’s Valentine’s Day, romance is in the air. The chocs are plentiful and the bubbly is flowing. Nothing wrong with that – right? It’s one day. But are you counting calories!


However, recent reports in the media suggest that we are all eating too many calories and hence the ever increasing obesity issue in the UK. And it’s not just the obvious unhealthy foods that are causing the problem. We all know that eating ice cream, biscuits, crisps, chocolate, burgers and fizzy drinks are laden with empty calories and that the average man should consume no more than 2500 calories per day and an average woman 2000 calories per day. Ok. I’ll keep away from high sugar foods and go for the healthy alternatives. Great. But that’s not going to solve that ever increasing waist line. A healthy lunch of an avocado pear on 2 sourdough slices of toast with butter and 2 eggs cooked in coconut oil, washed down with a freshly squeezed orange juice and a cappuccino will tally almost 1000 calories! Thats half of your daily allowance if you’re female and you still haven’t included breakfast, dinner and those little snacks. It’s all about eating healthy foods and portion control. Keep those healthy foods. Your body needs the vitamins, minerals and nutrients so your body can function correctly. But you must calorie count if your BMI is high.


Generally, a portion is the size of one cupped hand. In that portion, include lots of healthy fresh vegetables. They are very filling, full of nutrients and low in calories. Pad them out with a nice fresh piece of free range and if possible organic meat. And use your slow cooker. Add raw chopped vegetables, stock, raw fresh meat and herbs into the pot and cook slowly over 4-6 hours. Come back home to a tasty low calorie meal that will fuel your body and leave you feeling full and satisfied.


And then there’s dessert! Give the cake, pudding and chocolate a miss and dump trans-fats. Reach for Greek natural yoghurt (full fat is fine – your body needs small amounts of saturated fat as well as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated). Have a tablespoon of that thick creamy yoghurt and mix in an orange, banana or grapefruit. Total calories 150! Or eat half a melon coming in around 100 calories. 


Finally, exercise to keep fit and healthy. Exercise will strengthen your body, tone your muscles and improve your cardiovascular fitness. What is doesn’t do is burn thousands of calories on a daily basis. Running for 60 minutes at about 80% of maximum intensity will burn between 600-700 calories depending on the size of the runner. A 60 minute weight training session will burn between 200 and 300 calories. Yes, it will help with a weight loss management programme but all too often people will go the gym and then eat their bodyweight in food and wonder why they are not losing weight.


Portion control of healthy unprocessed foods is a way of life. It is not a diet. Your body will adjust over time to the correct portions of food you consume. You will feel fuller with less food, look better and have more energy. And whatever you do, never under eat. Going on calorie restriction diets of 1000 calories a day or less is a sure way to end up suffering from illnesses and disorders.

Check out lots of weight management apps and calorie counters. My favourite is the popular