Ask a Qualified Dietitian anything

Hey gentleman, following on from the success of @maxnas thread, I have been asked to put together a specific nutrition related topic as a potential resource for anyone with pressing issues or general queries surrounding eating, drinking and all that goes with it.

I would like to gauge interest first of all, so lets see if this can be a tool for you all. Should you have questions about a specific part of weight/fat loss, or you would like an informed opinion/support with anything nutrition related then please do post it here.

I will get back to these as and when they pop up.

All the best and keep at it!


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looking forward to it

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Hi Tom.
This is a refuelling question. I’ve been working as a postie for the last 9 months. I burn about 1200 active calories and walk around 13 miles a day 5 days a week.I’ve lost 4 stone during that time which is great. My question is what to eat and when to eat it when I’ve finished my shift at 3 ish each day. I get a severe case of the munchies when I’ve finished and have to be really disciplined not to over eat when dinner is only 3 hours away. I try and fill up on water on the way round and have 200 calories in dried fruit and nuts as well. Any suggestions? Cheers Alun Romano

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Three questions on the way.

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How do I measure my waist?

I don’t have a beer belly, it’s a big saggy thing, I read between bottom rib and hips but they’re under fat too. I’ve worn my trousers high for years because that’s where they stay up!


I’ve been fat all my life, I’ve taken cortisol steroid medication all my life, how much of my fatness can I blame on the medicine???!!! :rofl:

On ‘Savoury snacks, what to eat?’ you mention rice cakes and peanut butter work together.

Are there any other food combinations that combine to boost each other like that?

I’m a firm believer in the most-accurate is best ideal. i.e. if you can guarantee that you’ll measure the same bit each week then that’s actually the best, regardless of whether it’s the technical waist or not. In this instance we use the belly button as the marker, why? Because it doesn’t move. Each time you measure you know that it’s at the same point. You put the start of the tape in the belly button, hold it there, spin around and cinch it tight (but not pulling, just a good grip). Then (important) MAXIMUM EXHALE. At that point you know where you are and you can use that as a good indicator of your belly fat.


100% this ^

PS @TomIrvNutr23 super glad you’ve created this mate, as I often get asked questions more along the clinicial/medical or more ‘health’ based nutrition areas etc, which is totally out of my remit…

my qualifications and knowledge are soley directly related to fitness/weightloss/bodycomposition etc stuff (training, nutrition, strategy, tracking, habits etc), so im often unable to give advice for anything thats not directly related to the ‘how do I make myself look sexy’ stuff lol

Subbed :blush::+1:

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@aromano I had a client who was a postie and he asked the same question, exactly. It’s that grey area of ‘do i have a late lunch, very very early dinner or risk increasing calories by fitting in a mid afternoon snack?’.

Go with the latter in my opinion. Have a balanced, functional mid afternoon snack post shift (no pun intended).

I would aim to get some protein and fat dense snacks in to satiate until dinner time (6:30-7:30pm ish). A good option might be my fav, 1 rice cake/ryvita etc with 1 tsp nut butter of choice and a sliced half banana (feel free to eat remaining half banana too).

Or consider a quality protein bar, these can make for a strategic little boost in blood sugar when often blood’s are low post 1200kcal round! A good option might include Grenade Carb Killas (I think that’s how they’re spelt) or Pulsin do a nice organic option with very little carbs. Alternatively an Eat Natural Bar Protein is available to consider delivering a nutrient packed 229kcal 10g Protein, 15g Carbs, 14g Fat and 3g Fibre.

If fruit is something you fancy then just look to combine this with say a handful of raw nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans etc, this can help to slow the rate of release of sugar into the blood, in turn limiting spikes in blood sugar and compensatory lows later on (leading to low energy and more hunger).

Hope this helps.


Absolutely, the protein, low GI carbs and fibre that comes with houmous makes houmous and a ryvita, rice cake etc a superb option. Of course cruditees such as cucumber, carrot and pepper slices are great to dip in also.

Cream cheese (not fussed if light or full fat…makes little difference in grand scheme) used in the same manner as above.

The principle is the same, a moderate to high GI (medium to fast glucose releasing) carb accompanied by some protein and fat to slow the rate of release.

Fruit and a handful of raw nuts, Greek yog and handful granola, banana and 2 tsps nut butter etc all work in the same way…appreciate not savoury but hey.

Hope this helps and sorry for the late reply!


PB & J sandwiches?

At last! I now have a clue where my waist is. Thank you

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Is there much difference between what is in a calorie?
I have been sticking to 329 calories breakfast but I have changed it a little.
Before: 3 little custard filled buns, cuppa coffee - 329 cals.
More so now: 75g of oatmeal with some powdered semi skimmed milk on top with hot water, cuppa coffee - 329 cals again.
Both keep me going until lunch time, I haven’t felt hungry sooner/later on either of them but my weight seems to be really dropping.
I haven’t consciously made any other changes. Could there be a significant difference here?
I expect it has something to do with less sugar and maybe more protein.

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I’m not a nutritionist but I’m guessing that the calorie estimate on the custard buns might not be as accurate as that on the oatmeal. Given you location I wonder how accurately the calorie labelling is on the packet?

The oatmeal will have less fat and simple sugars than the buns.

Could well be yes. They are very small and they are from a reputable chain though.
The oats are Aussie but all the packaging is still Chinese.

A calorie is the amount of energy it takes to heat 1g of water by 1degree centigrade mate, its just a unit of measurement. A calorie is always a calorie… food types however are different… this is where some profesionals confuse people by saying ‘calories arent always the same’

A calorie is always the same amount of energy, just like a mile is always the same length and a kg is always the same weight… they dont change.

The things you’re measuring have different properties, but the measurement units dont change.


A calorie from chocolate and a calorie from broccoli are the same (the energy avaiability)

The nutritional properties of a calorie of chocolate compared to the nutritional properties of a calorie of broccoli are very different in terms of the actual food and its properties

If you’re losing weight you’ve changed your total energy intake vs expenditure somewhere…

Looks like you’ve been conciously going with better and more sasiating/filling food choices which has now stopped some previous subconcious behaviours (snacking or not counting certain foods etc) or the nutrition label was wrong

Could even be that calories haven’t change but you’ve dropped your carb intake and have lost water and glycogen, or food better food choices are producing better digestion and theres less food in your gi/gut and stomach

Do you know for sure if its fat loss, as the scales just measure total bodyweight… are you taking any waist measurements or anything else?

Hope you dont mind me chiming in @TomIrvNutr23


That is what I am thinking about. The different properties of the food.
Less sugar, more protein, in general being better for me? Maybe I am sub consciously doing something better like exercising or less snacking.

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I need a new hole in my belt (going in).


Sure so different foods have different properties, but we know thats not what causes fat loss, energy intake vs output causes fat loss, so if calories are matched it doesnt really make a difference directly to fat loss

Looks like you’re simply making better choices, feeling fuller and have reduced energy intake by default (awsome habit change!)

Anyway this is toms thread, ill leave it to him now as its rather rude of me to jump in and answer questions not posed to me (sorry) :blush: