Sunday, 29 June 2014

How do you like your eggs in the morning?

I have never been a breakfast person. Heck, I have never been a morning person at all. In fact, it's fair to say, that since turning 18 and leaving the rigour of sixth form there are probably very few mornings I have actually seen. The concept that there might be more than one ten o clocks in a day was alien to me!

Of course, when you're not leaving your bed before midday, skipping breakfast is not a particular issue. However, this changed very quickly upon finishing my degree (still a heartbreaking sentence to write!) and entering the world of work. When you're awake, or even starting work, at seven am waiting until one or two for your first meal of the day suddenly becomes a huge issue!

Now unfortunately for me, as I think I have made clear in previous posts, I am an avid lover of sleep. I would even venture that I am sleep's biggest fan. There is nothing that can come between me and my bed. Therefore, although I quickly learnt that I needed to eat in the morning, my first instinct on sourcing out breakfast was to find something that I could eat on the go. Something which would provide a fast energy source. Something which would be just enough to tide me over until my actual first meal of the day. For me, this, came in the form of Milky Way bars. Yummy, chocolatey, light Milky Ways. At only 192 calories for both bars in a Milky Way duo, and with a sugary rush to power me through those hours I had previously slept through, I was sure I was on to a winner.

However, despite my love for both chocolate and sleep, I pretty quickly had to admit to myself that eating a Milky Way on the way to work is not the most healthy of diets. There's very little goodness at all in it, and despite the initial sugar rush I soon found I was crashing a couple of hours before lunch and craving more sugar to regain that energy boost. Something had to be done. 

Since leaving my student home and moving into my own little flat (such a scary, grown up thing to be able to say!) I have developed a new love for breakfast. I might even consider it my favourite meal of the day now! The sudden silence that accompanied nights in the flat meant that an early night, previously a luxury in a busy, social, student house, was now the norm. If you get a good nights sleep, and wake up rested, it's far easier to get out of bed and think about making a nutritious breakfast rather than blearily downing a coffee and running out of the door. 

There is the old cliché that breakfast is the most important meal of the day; it genuinely is. Breakfast is about ending the intermittent fast that we take over night, every night. If you haven't eaten since dinner at seven o clock the night before, and it's now one in the afternoon, you haven't eaten for a massive 18 hours! Not only will this make you feel run down, it will actually reduce your productivity and ability to concentrate at work. In essence, eat breakfast and you will perform better. Breakfast is also  important to kick start your metabolism in the morning. Not only that, research has demonstrated that people who skip breakfast in the morning are more likely to overeat later in the day. Indeed, people who regularly eat breakfast are far more likely than those who skip it to maintain a healthy BMI and the American Heart Association found that breakfast eaters were significantly less likely to be obese! Therefore, if you're trying to lose weight, breakfast really is essential! 

But of course, it's not just about eating breakfast but about eating the right breakfast. My milky way bar was clearly not the right breakfast to kick start my day. Sugary cereals are also not the best option, nor would a full English every day be particularly beneficial to maintaining a healthy weight! So what do I recommend?

My current favourite breakfast is:


Topped with strawberries:

And half a banana:

Finished off with a couple of spoons of 0% fat greek yoghurt:

And normally accompanied with the good old British staple- a mug of tea:

So there you go, a nutritious breakfast which will energise you through the morning. The high fibre cereal helps keep you fuller for longer, healthy bacteria in the greek yoghurt helps maintain a healthy gut (but make sure you choose the low fat option), and the fruit thrown in contributes to your five a day whilst providing plenty of vitamins. Not only is it healthy but it tastes amazing.  Feel free to experiment with the fruit topping combinations. I'm also a big fan of cherries and banana (Cherries work out a cheaper option as well), however, I just could not resist those beautiful British strawberries in Tesco last time I went shopping. 

Have a tasty healthy breakfast of your own? Please let me know!

Nutritional Information

15g Cornflakes: 54 calories
Half a banana: 60 calories (approx)
100g Strawberries: 30 calories
Onken Fat Free Natural Yoghurt (75g approx): 34 calories

Total: 178 calories

Fat: >1g
Carbohydrates: 37g
of which Sugars: 11g
Fibre: 2g
Protein: 6g


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Sleep yourself thin

A while back Channel 4 did a brilliant tv series called Secret Eaters. If you haven't seen it I seriously recommend it (all the episodes are on 4od). The premise of the show is that secret cameras follow two people, both of whom just don't understand why the weight keeps piling on instead of off. Normally they've drastically underestimated their calorie intake in a way that baffles me. One woman believed she was eating 1400 calories a day but was actually eating nearly 5000- that's some serious denial! But, apart from the fun of laughing at the people who omitted the large big mac and fries they had as an afternoon snack from their food diaries, the real hidden gems in the show were the experiments run into dieting.

(Image from

In one episode, Dawn Porter and her team investigated the effects of a disrupted nights sleep on weight loss. They took two groups, invited to the clinic under the premise of a bogus experiment, and whilst one group was allowed a perfect nights sleep the other was woken every few hours. The group who had a seriously disturbed nights sleep ate 35% more the next day!

Now this experiment became particularly relevant to me on Monday night. I had work at 7am on Tuesday so I called it a night at 11 on Monday in the hopes of a good nights sleep. Unfortunately, the house next door to me had other ideas, hosting a raging house party (which may I add was still ongoing when I was leaving for work). Seriously exhausted then, I spent the entirety of the day with the worst junk food cravings i've had in a long while. Just the thought of high fat food made me salivate. I can only compare it to that desperate need to carb up when your hungover. Not only was I craving quick fix sources of energy, the thought of going to the gym made me want to cry. I actually ended up having a two hour nap after work before I dragged myself onto a treadmill!

(Image from

Indeed, countless studies have found the same results as me and secret eaters. One study found that people who get 7 hours of sleep a night are 30% more likely to be obese than those who get nine hours. Lack of sleep can make you gain weight by causing you to eat more and exercise less! If you're tired you are far more likely to reach for a fast source of energy, such as chocolate. On top of this, chances are that you will opt to collapse onto the sofa rather than head to the gym. Even worse, the sleep deprivation is likely to leave you unmotivated to cook and so takeaway, or a ready meal, become likely options.

Susan Zafarlotfi PHD said "Sleep dept is like credit card debt. If you keep accumulating credit card debt you will pay high interest rates or your account will be shut down until you pay it all off. If you accumulate too much sleep dept, your body will crash."

A particularly interesting study by Walker et al, published in the Journal of Natural Communications looked at the brain of people who had been sleep deprived compared to those who hadn't when viewing images of foods. They found that depriving people of sleep had a huge impact on the way their brain responded to high-calorie junk food. Junk food stimulated a stronger response in the areas of the brain which motivates us to eat, whilst simultaneously depleting activity in the frontal cortex where rational decisions are made. Participants were asked to rate the pictures of food and told they'd be given one of the ones they rated the highest to eat. On average, the foods they requested when sleep deprived were 600 calories HIGHER than the food they desired when well rested.  That's a huge difference!

So what's the solution? If you want to keep your weight down make sure you get a good nights kip! Next time someone moans at you for having a long lie-in in the morning, or being a social pariah and getting an early night, you can tell them with pride that you're serious about your health and fitness and those extra hours in bed are essential. I'm sure this is advice that students and young people everywhere will love!

(Image from

Secret Eaters- Channel 4

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Carbs: friend or foe?

A few of the girls at work today were questioning me about my diet whilst I was trying to lose weight. What did I eat? What didn't I eat? Do I eat at ALL? The common question which kept reoccurring was, "but what about carbs? Surely you don't eat carbs? You must have cut out bread and potatoes?!" It makes perfect sense then for my next blog post to be all about carbs; are they the enemy or something we can still enjoy whilst losing weight?

(Image from:

Truth be told, I haven't cut anything out of my diet all together. The main reason that diets fail is people attempting to cut out everything "bad" and then giving in to cravings a few days later and giving up! The famous yo-yo dieting pattern is not something I have any desire to fall into so, if I fancy a chocolate bar, I will damn well eat a chocolate bar! Ultimately, it's all about balance and portion control; calories in and out. Eating smaller portions of food and making sure that snacks fit into your calorie allowance.

Don't cut out food groups, cut down on calories! But remember, the absolute minimum anyone should cut their calories to for weight loss is 1200. It's dangerous to go lower and your body wouldn't be getting the energy or nutrients it needs!

I'm really against all these quick fix diets, "low carb", "5:2", "the cambridge diet" because I think that weight loss is about more than this. It should be a permanent lifestyle change that we can maintain forever to live healthier and more fulfilled lives. By all means if you want to condemn yourself to never eating potatoes again in an attempt to lose weight do, but there are easier ways!

A healthy plate should actually be 1/3 carbs! 1/3 vegetables and then the other 1/3 should be made up of protein, dairy and fats. Like this:

(Image from:

And there are lots of reasons why carbs are so essential to diet. Most importantly, carbs are the best source for the body to get energy. They are the fuel the body needs to function properly! However, they also contain a lot of important nutrients and vitamins which would be missed out on if cut from the diet. One thing I didn't realise when I started my fitness regime is that fruit is actually a carb. If you aim to cut carbs out of your diet you would therefore have to cut out fruit as well which would leave you seriously deficient in many vitamins!

Moreover, eating carbs means that the protein you eat can be used for building muscle rather than simply fuelling the body. Anyone who wants muscle and definition and not just to be skinny therefore needs to eat carbs in order to get maximum benefits out of the protein they eat! And, obviously, returning to energy once more, carbs will enable you to work out with far more energy and intensity than otherwise further increasing the benefits of your exercise regime!

Coincidentally, Danny posted a fitness tip concerning carbs today:

"Weight Loss Myths #2

Zero Carb Diets, this is the best diet right?!

Cutting carbs is a pointless method of fat loss unless you are extremely low in body fat and want to be extra shredded, and let's face it, you wouldn't be here reading this if you were 5% body fat!

The correct approach is to cut your calories down all together, and make sure you get a good amount of protein for building muscle, carbs for a good amount of energy and fats to keep your body ticking."

(Check out the link to his website in the sources below)

So, following this line of thought, here are my personal top tips for removing the fear from eating carbs!

(Image from:

1) Eat complex carbs like brown pasta, cereals and whole wheat bread. Although calories are largely the same between the two, complex carbs are absorbed slower making you feel fuller for longer and providing a longer release of energy.

2) Eat early. We've already established that carbs are great for energy, therefore its common sense that they should be eaten earlier in the day! Try and make your evening meal a low carb option because if we eat carbs straight before bed the body doesn't have the chance to use the energy and stores it as fat. Eating carbs at lunchtime instead will provide energy for the rest of the day and ensure that its used rather than stored!

3) Eat in balance! Make sure that carbs aren't making up more than 1/3 of your dinner plate. I am a huge fan of lasagne and chips but do you really need potato when there's already pasta in there? The answer is no.

4) Eat carbs when you need them. If you're spending a day lounging on the couch without  moving then a high carb meal probably isn't the most essential or beneficial thing. However, if you're on your feet all day at work or heading to an intense work out at the gym then carbs are not only great but essential!

Fundamentally, we shouldn't be cutting anything out of our diets just simply cutting down on our eating and increasing our exercise! Even the occasional McDonalds won't kill you or make you fat. It's a cliché but it really is about everything in moderation!


Sunday, 8 June 2014

Race for Life: Cancer, We're Coming to Get You

When my alarm went off at 7am this morning the last thing I felt like doing was getting up and running 5k. After two back to back 13 hour shifts at work, followed by a 5k walk home from work when I finished at 11pm the night before, I was exhausted and the temptation to switch off my alarm and roll over in bed was pretty strong! Unfortunately, there were three very good reasons why I could not back out of running Race for Life this morning:

1) My lovely friend Emma (check out her beauty blog in the links below) was sat outside my bedroom door harassing me with texts until I opened it and let her in. It's amazingly difficult to go back to sleep when you're being nagged from a feet away!

2) Cancer is an illness which can affect anyone. You can have the healthiest, strictest and most nutritional diet, exercise daily and refrain from drugs, alcohol and smoking and still be hit by cancer. True all of those things dramatically lower your risk of cancer, but ultimately, it's one of those things that fitness really cannot defend against. Therefore, it's certainly something that anyone who cares about their health and fitness should be motivated to raise money for. The more money we raise for Cancer Research, the better we can defend ourselves against it and the closer we come to a cure. 

3) Cancer has affected a lot of the women in my family. Most recently, my Nana had a mastectomy. She is the bravest woman I know and nothing has ever stopped her from getting up and on with things that have to be done. Now if she can have major surgery and keep on going, how can I possibly decide i'd rather stay in bed then get up and run to raise money for cancer research, just because I worked a few long shifts?

So I got up, got dressed and Emma and I walked the 5k from my house to Victoria Embankment ready to begin the race! I'd had all the best intentions of getting in a healthy breakfast before the race, brilliant plans of eating weetabix and a banana to provide energy and nutrition. Unfortunately, my need for sleep had won over food so we were left to grab something at the Embankment. The smell of bacon was in the air, but at £4 a roll it was way out of my budget! So we headed over to the pick and mix stand and grabbed a nutritious breakfast of fried eggs, fudge and a few chocolate pigs (My pt would be so proud!)

There was a horrific performance by some school children (I will never be able to listen to Let it Go without cringing again) and then some incredibly hot guys came onto the stage to lead the warm up. There was a lot of arm waving and squatting, star jumps and jogging on the spot and it was a brilliant way to create a buzz and get everyone motivated for the task ahead. I must admit to chickening out of the hip thrusts though, it would have taken a good few beers to make me confident enough to hip thrust in the middle of a large crowd in a brightly lit public place! 

Impressively, the entry tickets alone for this race raised over £300,000 which really emphasises how great an impact Race for Life has!

The sleep cobwebs banished from my brain then, and operating on a minor pick and mix fuelled sugar rush, we set out on the 5k race. 

Whenever i'd told anyone I was running 5k their first reaction was to say, "5k that's easy!". Let's just take a moment to remember that 5k is around 3 1/2 miles! Now before anyone says that 5k is easy they should give running 3 1/2 miles a try and then come back to me! I myself had been pretty optimistic over the length but by the 1k mark it suddenly dawned on me what i'd let myself in for! Although the time went fast, the track felt long! Nearing the final stretch we could hear the music from the finishing ground and gained false confidence before realising there was another 1k to go!

Not to mention the misleading false finish line! A couple of metres before the real finishing line there was a stretch of pink carpet, bubbles blowing and people cheering. Given false hope many people slowed to a walk or doubled over with stitches only to realise that the finishing line was still ahead! Cruel joke!! There was no better feeling then running past cheering crowds and across that finishing line though. I have serious respect for those running the 10k Race for Life in the Afternoon because by the end of that 5k I was almost ready to crawl across the finish line rather than run!

Exhausted, and holding an agonizing stitch under my right rib, I was incredibly grateful to the volunteers handing out water and chocolate chip brioches. These were a welcome gift after running for 30 minutes in the hot sun! There was also an amazing sense of achievement after being handed the race for life medal. I never got medals in sports day at school (unless stickers for taking part count?) so this was a new experience! But the most exciting and welcome thing that I was handed was an apple from a volunteer on a bike. Words cannot describe how good that cool apple tasted!

I had an amazing morning and I'm so glad that I got my lazy ass out of bed to take part. I hope that all of the women that took part today feel proud of themselves for the effort they made. The sense of sisterhood and community amongst strangers, sisters united in the fight against cancer, was an amazing thing to be apart of. I was also so proud of my friend who ran the entire thing with a dodgy ankle, both of us have family reasons for wanting to take part in the race and I couldn't have picked a better person to do it with. Cancer is something we should all take seriously, as is health and fitness in general, so seeing so many people run to raise money for Cancer Research makes me feel proud of the women of Nottingham, and all over the country running Race for Life this summer.


Thursday, 29 May 2014

All About Abs

Like most girls I fear my bikini body is somewhat lacking. Not that it hugely matters this summer, with the end of university (and all sense of purpose and direction in my life) i'm scraping the pennies and a holiday is out of the question. English weather doesn't hold much promise for bikini weather either so technically I, along with the rest of the impoverished nation, have a get out of jail free card where bikinis are concerned this summer!

Unfortunately, along with the lack of things to occupy my time post university and exams, I also have a depleting amount of excuses for why that bikini perfect body is so hard to come by. It is difficult for girls to get that washboard stomach and perfect abs, we carry more fat naturally in the tummy area then guys so the temptation to throw my hands up in the air and wail that i'm destined to have a jelly belly for ever is strong. But, I am no quitter and I have a bunch of free time on my hands right now! So for the next few months my focus is all about the abs.

Bikini Body Action Plan 

(Disclaimer: all these exercises and nutrition information come via my pt Danny Dogget-Short website referenced below)

1) Nutrition

 Macros Macros Macros

The first step of getting that perfect body is nutrition! Admittedly, i've been slacking in this area with the stress of exams taking my full focus. But now, post exams,  hitting those macros has to be high on my priorities. At the end of the day, if you want muscle, and abs ARE muscle, you need to be hitting your calories. A lot of us female fitness wannabes are pretty bad at this and it can be really easy to associate increasing your calories with increasing your weight. The trick is to eat lean calories, not to binge on Maccy Ds and pizza! Fish, Chicken (oh god chicken, I love chicken!), nuts, vegetables and complex carbs like brown rice. To get that perfect bikini body you need to perfectly achieve your protein, carbs and fats. Skimp out and the journey is going to be a lot more difficult!

2) Exercise

I've put together some of my favourite abs workouts (all of which can be done from the safety and anonymity of your home!) that i've learnt over my sessions with Danny.


The old traditional favourite, everyone knows that crunches are a must for getting that fat free tummy.   A little technique Danny taught me is to hold your legs in the air whilst your crunching so that your engaging all of your ab muscles. Make sure you really squeeze and tighten those muscles throughout the workout.

Reverse Crunches:

Like crunches but, you guessed it, in reverse. The idea is that your bring your legs so that their bent at 90 degrees with your knees at your chest and curling your hips up off the floor.  Then lower your legs back down ensuring you maintain the control and tension and that your legs don't touch the ground in between. This exercise is brilliant for targeting that lower tummy pudge which is a nightmare to shift!

(Image taken from
Plank Up and Downs:

These were a new addition I learnt at the end of my session with Danny yesterday. He suggested we do something fun before throwing this into the workout. Now me and Danny clearly have a different definition of fun because these were lethal, I felt like I was going to die. However, saying that, I have fallen in love with this little exercise and will be utilising it to my full advantage in my quest for a perfect bikini body.  The idea of the activity is that you hold your body in a planking position for 20 seconds before coming up onto your hands and back down into the plank 5 times, after the 5 up and downs you resume the plank for another 20 seconds and you do it three times before you're allowed to collapse in a heap, muscles crying! The great thing about this is it doesn't just work your core but your arms as well so the pain is totally worth it. 

V Ups:

V Ups are an old military style workout which impact both the upper and lower abs. Lying on your back, with your legs straight in the air, you attempt to touch your toes. This is a high intensity exercise so the movement needs to be fast for optimum effect. 


I have a genuine hatred for squats. I look like an idiot when I attempt them and i'm forever fighting my body's desperate attempts to throw me on the floor under the weights. But, horrible as they are, squats are a brilliant all round workout. Not only will they give you toned thighs and a peachy bum for in that bikini but amazingly they also work your core and help to build those abs that we're so desperate for. I refuse to do squats in the gym without Danny to hide behind but they're certainly an exercise I cannot avoid in my home workouts if i'm serious about getting that bikini body!

(Image taken from as no one needs to witness me attempting squats!)

So there you go, some of the key elements in my mission to get that bikini ready body! If you have any other must dos for getting the bikini body, or are on your own mission for the perfect summer body, tweet me at @a_life_on_fire or drop us a line in the comments! I'd love to know about everyone else's fitness journeys this summer!


Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Miracle Cure for Exam Stress

I, like students everywhere right now, am smack bang in the middle of exam period. The stressful time of year where you swing between being so jittery from energy drinks and coffee that to sit still for more than a few minutes is torture fighting urges to start up obscure new hobbies that just cannot wait (one year I developed a random obsession with Katy Perry during exam season which evaporated with the exams), to wanting to curl up under a pile of blankets in bed and deny the world exists. The level of physical and mental stress we put our bodies through during exam season is torturous and I have been dependent on my traditional exam season staples:

Unfortunately, a diet of coffee, smokes and diet coke does very little for your health, mood or mental abilities. As what felt like my 100th late nighter in the library hit, my will to live was fast dissipating and every bus was beginning to look like a feasible get out of exams clause!

I was not in the best of moods when I left the house for my session with Danny this week then, to say the least! I'd had three hours sleep and i'd worked myself into such a state of stress over the exam that even the thought of food was making me want to grab a bowl. I was torn between a desire to cancel it and crawl back into bed, the knowledge I should probably be locked away in the library rather than escaping to the gym, and in a mood so black I wasn't sure I could handle being around people without biting someone's head off. One of those moods where if someone so much as gives you a funny look you explode in an unstoppable rage.

It's well known that exercise is a good stress relief. It releases endorphins in the brain which deplete stress and help you to achieve a more positive view of the world! It's also a great way to dispel that pent up energy which being restricted to the library, or a desk, creates such a build up off. Moreover, exercise improves your ability to sleep which further reduces stress. Sleep is something which students certainly fall short of in exam season (which is why the amount of sleep we get the rest of the year is totally justified!).

Now I, like the majority of the population, already knew all this. I knew the great scientific benefits of exercise for stress and i've frequently hit the treadmill to relieve some anger on previous occasions. But I was far from convinced that the gym was going to do anything for the black cloud currently above my head, as far as I was concerned nothing short of a bus a high ledge or the apocalypse was going to improve my mood until my final exam was out of the way (5 days to go now: is that a blessing or a curse?!).

We began our session with the usual leg circuit: squats, lunges, jump squats, jump lunges before moving onto arms. Just hitting the weights again gave an incredible release. I hadn't realized quite how much i'd been neglecting my body's need to exercise over the last week. What I really love about my sessions with Danny is that he always knows the right activity for me to be doing and is quick to shake things up if it's going to help (If you're in the Nottingham area check out his website linked at the bottom of this post, you won't find a better personal trainer around here!). So this week he suggested we break out the gloves and pads in an attempt to work out my aggression and improve my mentality. This was the miracle I had been waiting for all week. Words cannot describe how much of a stress relief hitting something is. I may have got a bit carried away and there were a few near misses between my glove and his face! But after 20 minutes of imagining everyone and everything that had been fueling my rage that morning was on the centre of those pads, the cloud lifted and suddenly the world looked like a slightly rosier place. The exams would be over in under a week, if I fail its not the end of the world, and all of a sudden I actually had some restored motivation and energy to focus on the revision which had been blankly staring at me all week. There was hope that something might click in my newly relaxed brain!

Whether it's exams, or work, family or friends causing you stress. There is nothing I recommend more as a stress relief than hitting the gym. If you get the opportunity, I strongly suggest breaking out the gloves and pads and throwing some boxercise in there, the therapeutic benefits of pummeling those pads cannot be underestimated. From now on, I for one will be swapping my exam season staples:


Monday, 19 May 2014

Shame free snacking

The place where most people fall down when attempting to cut their calories, or their waist lines, is snacking. It doesn't help that all the health and diet advice out their recommends fruit and nuts as their low calorie snack replacements. The majority of us crave high fat high sugar snacks and a handful of fruit and nuts, nutritious as they are, just do not seem to cut it! So here are my top six alternative snacks which will satisfy those junk food cravings without hurting your diet:

1) Ben and Jerry's Frozen Yoghurt.

This is the highest calorie out of my top six snacks but at 180 calories and 5g of fat per 100g (Stawberry Shortcake Flavour) its a far cry from the 280 calories and 15g of fat in the same flavour of ordinary Ben and Jerry's ice cream! Not only is sinfully low in fat but it tastes delicious, every bit as good as the real icecream. I haven't experimented with other brands, being a Ben and Jerry's girl at heart, but if you're in the mood for ice cream any frozen yoghurt is going to be a much healthier alternative.

2) Metcalfes Topcorn

Now plain popcorn isn't particularly unhealthy for you anyway, but once you start adding all those delicious flavourings the calories, and the fat, soon add up. Most frustratingly, most bags of popcorn claiming to be low cal, say 100 calories per serving, contain about 5 servings in a bag. I really struggle with will power with popcorn, once the bag is open i will eat the entire bag regardless of how many servings in it! Metcalfes Topcorn is perfect then because when it says 108 calories per serving it means 108 calories per bag. I enjoy the salted flavour but for around ten calories more you can get salted sweet which is equally irresistible. It's delicious, hits those cravings, and is very unlikely to make you pile on the pounds.

3) Snack a Jacks

Sticking with the salty theme, i frequently crave crisps but can never justify there high fat quantity. Snack a Jacks are the perfect alternative boasting only 7% fat and with the majority of their flavours coming in at under 100 calories a bag. My personal favourite is the salt and vinegar which never fails to satisfy however, experiment to find the flavour that best hits your crisp cravings!

4) Weightwatchers Dessert Flavour Yoghurts

At under 60 calories a pot these yoghurts were an absolute god send to me when i found them. They taste like heaven. They're little pots of goodness tasting almost exactly like the desserts they attempt to mimic. The Rhubarb crumble flavour left me feeling as guilty as if i'd eaten a real crumble, but at 56 calories and most significantly only 0.1 grams of fat these yoghurts are far from the guilt trip their dessert alternatives would be!

5) Options Hot Chocolate

When i'm really craving a sweet treat and a chocolate fix, which lets be honest every girl does on a regular basis, there is nothing better than an options hot chocolate. If you make them with water they are only 38 calories, however, i see no harm in adding a dash of skimmed milk to cream it up a tiny bit. I mean who is counting calories here? Embarrassingly my favourite thing to do with this drink is eat it out of the mug with a spoon like chocolate soup to really make the satisfaction last longer! The mint flavour is my personal favourite but orange is also incredible and butter scotch is certainly worth a taste!

6) Hartley's Jelly

These jellies really are a wonder coming in at just 10 cal a pot. I was incredibly ambiguous buying them as surely no dessert can taste good for 10 calories. I was even warned that they were lacking in sweetness and flavour which is obviously to be expected for 10 calories. But boy were the critics wrong. I can taste very little difference between these little pots and real jelly and i seriously wonder why anyone would ever opt for the high calorie alternative!

I will be transferring this post to its own page in due course so that as i discover more incredible low calorie, low fat snack replacements i can add them to the list for you all to see. In the mean time, if any of you have any nuggets or discoveries of your own please drop me a line and i will add them to the list!