With obesity rates being at alarmingly high levels, there has never been a better time to stop and think about what you eat. Small changes can make a big difference. Nutritionist Paula Norris agrees, and has developed a photo series on Instagram called ‘Spot The Difference’ to show the differences that healthy choices can make in what looks like the same dish. Along with the high calorie and low-calorie photos she writes out the calorie saving recipes and general healthy eating tips such as portion control, focusing on healthy oils and replacing starchy carbs.
For Norris the key is attainability, writing on her page: “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!”
Scroll down below to see these amazing plate comparisons and see if you can spot the difference!
1 A Chicken Pad Thai Spot
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
2 Healthy Swaps For Your Lasagne⠀
HEALTHY SWAPS FOR YOUR LASAGNE.⠀
One the left (per serve):🔹150g Standard Mince🔹2tsp oil to cook mince🔹100g cream🔹40g Cheese for white sauce and to top.
On the right (per serve):🔸100g lean Mince🔸Use water to cook in fry pan (less need for Oil when you’re using so many tasty ingredients!)🔸1/2 Medium Carrot🔸1/4 large Zucchini🔸Replace 100g cream with 75g Ricotta + 25ml milk (to get right consistency)🔸12g Parmesan cheese to top. Parmesan has a sharper flavour which means you need less on top. Using Ricotta for white sauce means you can go without cheese🔹🔸[Both contain 1/4 brown onion, 1 lasagne sheet, 35g tomato paste, 1/4 tin tomatoes, chilli, thyme, oregano and parsley per serve]
3 Spot The Difference
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
4 The Impact That Ingredient Manipulation Can Have On The Overall Calories In A Meal
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
5 Both Of These Meals Are Healthy But Depending On Your Goals You May Make Some Modifications For More Or Less Calories⠀
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
6 Easy Ways To Save Cals In Your Stir Fry⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
On the left: 🔹2 tsp oil for cooking🔹1Tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce🔹280g Chicken (1 medium breast)🔹1 cup Brown Rice🔹Half the amount of Veg (1/4 red capsicum, 1/2 small carrot, 1 Medium Mushroom, 2 pieces Broccolini)🔹2 tsp Soy sauce, 2 tsp Oyster sauce, 2 tsp Lime Juice.
Healthy Swaps on the Right:🔸No oil for cooking (you can use water or the sauce instead)🔸1tsp Sriracha instead of Sweet Chilli (it’s stronger flavour means you need less)🔸150g chicken🔸1/2 cup Brown Rice🔸Double the Veg. (1/2 red capsicum, 1 medium carrot, 2 Medium Mushrooms, 1/2 bunch Broccolini)🔸 2 tsp Soy sauce, 2 tsp Oyster sauce, 2 tsp Lime Juice
7 If You Want To Gain Weight - Go Left. If Your Goal Is To Lose Or Maintain Weight - Go Right⠀
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)
8 Changes I Make Are Small, Almost Unnoticeable And Spread Across Days And Weeks
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!
9 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]
10 Small Change Diet
While 170 Calories difference doesn’t seem huge, a few small changes like this across the day can be the difference between weight gain, maintenance and loss 3 almost unnoticeable changes like this across your day will cut the calories required to lose 0.5kg per week. So while 170 Calories doesn’t sound like much, it can help you get to your goals. And because the difference between these bowls in bulk is minimal, both will be filling!
On the left:🔹3/4 cup muesli🔹100g full fat yoghurt🔹1Tbsp sultanas🔹1/4 cup mixed berries🔹1 Tbsp Chia seeds🔹1 tsp Pomegranate seed.
On the Right:🔸1/2 cup muesli🔸100g reduces fat yoghurt🔸3/4 cup mixed berries🔸2 tsp Chia seeds🔸1 tsp Pomegranate seeds