A health and fitness expert has recreated a series of classic dishes to show how easy it is to cut down your calorie intake.
The 30-year-old, from Aberdeen, recreated 10 of the nation’s best-loved meals with a healthy twist as part of Frylight’s #CaloriesUncovered campaign.
He rustled up a mouth watering shepherd’s pie, tasty chicken tikka masala and spaghetti bolognese, reducing the calorie content by up to 400 per meal using alternative ingredients.
Speaking about the challenge, the fitness guru – a self-confessed ‘nutrition geek’ – said: ‘I’m a firm believer in small changes reaping big rewards.
Graeme Tomlinson – aka The Fitness Chef, has given bangers and mash a 500-calorie cut by swapping chicken sausages for pork sausages, and creamy mash potato with carrot, swede and parsnip
Graeme has recreated classic dishes, including a chicken tikka masala, to show how easy it is to reduce a person’s calorie intake by making changes such as using extra masala paste instead of cream
Graeme cut the calorie content of pan-fried gnocci by using a lighter pesto. The Office for National Statistics has reported that people are consuming up to 50 per cent more calories than they realise
Spaghetti bolognese can reach up to 875 calories, but Graeme has slashed the calories by swapping 20 per cent fat mince meat for a five per cent version
Graeme added: ‘Looking at ways to reduce the calories in the food you already know is the easiest way to make a positive step towards a calorie deficit for fat loss.
‘Specific diets can often fail as they’re just not sustainable.’
For Graeme’s version of a classic curry, which he reduced from 703 calories to 555, he swapped 100ml of cream for an extra 50g of masala curry paste, while the other ingredients – chicken, tomatoes, red peppers, onions and tomato paste – remained the same.
Similarly with the Italian dish spaghetti bolognese, Graeme simply swapped 20 per cent fat mince with five per cent.
Graeme Tomlinson shares meal plans, dieting tips and calorie comparisons on his Instagram account The Fitness Chef, which has seen him rack up 249,000 followers
Graeme’s healthier fry-up. The nutritionist has managed to slash the calories in a fried breakfast by over half by swapping pork sausages for chicken sausages, bacon rashers for bacon medallions, and the oil for Frylight, which also slashes the fat content by 44g
Shepherd’s Pie contains 1074 calories and 70g of fat, but opting for a reduced fat mince meat can see the meal drop to just 718 calories and 30g of fat
Some may think courgette and sweetcorn fritters are fairly healthy, considering they contain many vegetables, but by frying the patties in oil is where calories are added to the meal
He has even managed to reduce the number of calories in a famously fatty traditional fry-up breakfast.
The nutritionist advises swapping two pork sausages for chicken sausages and bacon rashers for bacon medallions, which brings the calorific morning feast to just 331 calories instead of 743.
The campaign comes after the Office for National Statistics reported that people are consuming up to 50 per cent more calories than they realise.
Frylight consultant nurtitionist Helen Bond explained: ‘In order to help battle the growing obesity crisis, it is important to be aware of the amount of fat and calories we eat and drink.’
Fish and chips is a classic takeaway favourite that contains a lot of fat and oil because it is made in a deep fat frier. But if you make the meal yourself at home you can reduce the calorie intake by almost half
A chicken stir fry will still have the same amount of protein and carbohydrates but less fat by cutting down the amount of oil in the dish
Graeme insists his healthier recipes are still full of flavour despite having less fat. Graeme’s chilli con carne contains a fraction of fat because of the healthy alternative ingredients
She added: ‘People need to ditch the “diet” mentality – going on a diet infers there’s a start and stop date, so you only change your diet during these times.
‘The result: when you ‘”finish” your diet you return to the same eating habits that piled on the pounds in the first place.
‘Instead, plan to change your eating habits for good, making small steps towards a healthier diet, and focus on the huge number of other benefits that eating well will have for your weight and overall health.’
Graeme barely changes many ingredients in the 10 meals he recreates, but simply swaps out oil or butter with the one calorie spray (pictured: his shepherd’s pie recipe)
The Fitness Chef has provided the simple recipes for his tasty dishes as part of the campaign, and in most cases it simply involves swapping oil and butter for Frylight, and cream for masala paste in this case
Deep fried foods contain a lot of calories, which is why Graeme advises cooking the meals at home and with Frylight spray instead
Would you consider swapping pork sausages in your breakfast for chicken sausages? The swap could save you many calories
A spaghetti bolognese can be made healthier simply by swapping 20% mince meat with a leaner version that contains 5%
Similar to the spaghetti bolognese recipe, the calories in a chilli con carne feast can easily be reduced by using lower fat mince meat, and swapping oil for Frylight as it contains one calorie per spray
Pan fried gnocchi is a quick and easy meal to make, but for a lower calorie option simply swap butter with Frylight and pesto with a ‘light’ version
A stir fry takeaway can be quite a greasy dish, but to make it healthier Graeme suggests making it yourself and swapping the coconut oil for Frylight coconut oil.
Similar to the stir fry recipe Graeme advises using Frylight spray instead of coconut oil to help with people wanting reduce their calorie intake and lose weight
Sausage and mash is a classic dish that can contain a lot of calories. By simply swapping pork sausages for chicken sausages, cream and potatoes to make the mash for mashed carrots, swede and parsnips with greek yoghurt