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Make These Changes to Your Meals and Reduce the Calories

 Some people go to extreme lengths to lose weight. There are plenty of fad diets around - from the liquid diet all the way to the raw food diet and everything else in between. But, even if you do not follow any one of these diets and stick to healthy eating regimens, you still could be doing it wrong. And one dietician is shedding some light on these 'healthy' plate mistakes, whereby she posts identical photos of the same meal but with a difference of around 300 calories. Below, nutritionist Paula Norris breaks down how harmless meals may have quite a calorie difference. She illustrates this in her collection on Instagram entitled: 'Spot the Difference'. 
 
1. Don't be fooled by a salad
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A salad that is covered in heavy dressings, too much grain and not enough veg can result in a 'salad' with calories closer to that of a risotto. Here's how that can happen:
On the left you have: 1 cup of pearl barley, 70g halloumi, 1/3 zucchini, 2 florets broccoli, 1/4 capsicum, 50g eggplant, 3 cherry tomatoes, 200g poached chicken, 1/2 cup herbs, 2 tbsp EVOO dressing and balsamic vinegar. 
On the right you have: 1/2 cup cooked pearl barley, 35g halloumi, 2/3 zucchini, 5 florets broccoli, 1/2 capsicum, 100g eggplant, 5 cherry tomatoes, 100g poached chicken, 1/2 cup herbs, dressing of 2 tsp balsamic vinegar and 2tsp seeded mustard. 
2. Both meals are healthy, but depending on your goals you may need to make some modifications
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While this is a healthy dish, making slight modifications can ensure you get fewer calories. Bear in mind that while good fats are good for you, if you are trying to shed some weight, be aware of the portions of this type of fat too.
On the left you have: 220g salmon fillet, 2tsp oil for pan frying, 200g soba noodles, 1 tbsp Edamame, 1/4 carrot, 1/2  cup cooked spinach, 25g broccoli, 1/2 medium avocado, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1/4 cup basil, 1/2 sesame seeds.
On the right you have: 150 salmon fillet baked without added fat, 70g soba noodles, 2 tbsp Edamame, 1/2 carrot, 3/4 cup cooked spinach, 50g broccoli, 2 cherry tomatoes, 1/4 medium avocado, 1 tsp lime juice, 1/4 cup basil, 1/2 tsp sesame seeds. 
3. How ingredient manipulation can affect calories
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The purpose of these posts is to demonstrate the impact that ingredient manipulation can have on the overall calories in a meal. 
On the left you have: 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 and olive oil. 
On the right you have: 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. 
4. Healthy fried rice
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This seemingly harmless meal can have quite an impact on your calories.
On the left you have: 1 1/2 cup brown rice, 1/4 capsicum, 1/4 cup peas, 1/2 cob corn, 1/2 egg, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1/4 carrot, 180g chicken, 2 tsp oil.
On the right you have: 1/2 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup cauli rice, 1/2 capsicum, 1/2 cup peas, 1/2 cob corn, 1/2 carrot, 1/2 egg, 8 green beans, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 100g chicken. 
5. Easy ways to save calories in a stir-fry
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On the left you have: 2 tsp oil for cooking, 1 tbsp sweet chili sauce, 280g chicken (1 medium breast), 1 cup brown rice, 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.
On the right you have: No cooking oil (just water), 1 tsp Sriracha instead of sweet chili, 150g chicken, 1/2 cup brown rice, 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. 
6. Chicken Pad Thai
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To maintain higher energy requirements go left, to lose or maintain weight, go right. 
On the left you have: 200g cooked chicken thigh, 2 tsp oil for cooking, 130g rice noodles, 1/4 red onion, 1/2 carrot, 3 snow peas, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1/2 egg.
On the right you have: 120g cooked chicken breast, 1 tsp oil for cooking, 70g rice noodles, 1/4 red onion. 1 carrot, 8 snow peas, 1 bunch Chinese spinach, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1/2 egg. 
7. Spot the difference
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On the left you have: 300g chicken breast pan fried in 1 tsp oil, mayonnaise dressing, bacon rasher, croutons baked with 1 tsp oil, 15g Parmesan cheese. 
On the right you have: 120g chicken grilled, without fat, red onion for flavor, additional cherry tomatoes and carrot for bilk, croutons baked with oil, dressing made of 1 tbsp natural yogurt with 1 tsp Dijon mustard and garlic, 5g parmesan cheese. 
8. This dish has no change in ingredients, just different amounts
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On the left you have: 180g steak, untrimmed, 1 tsp oil (to cook the steak), 2 cups lettuce, 4 rings red onion, 50g avocado, 1 cup cooked rice noodles, 30g cucumber, 2 cherry tomatoes, 2 tsp sesame oil, 2 tsp lime juice, 1 tsp soy sauce. 
On the right you have: 100g steak, trimmed and grilled no oil, 2 cups lettuce, 4 rings red onion, 25g avocado, 1/2 cup cooked rice noodles, 50g cucumber, 4 cherry tomatoes, 1/2 medium carrot, 1 tsp sesame oil, 2 tsp lime juice, 2 tsp soy sauce. 
9. A low-calorie burrito
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Opt for a smaller size wrap - this will save you about 100 calories.
On the left you have: large wrap, 1 tsp 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 you have: 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. ⠀
10. Easy ways to cut calories
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Reduce oil in cooking and opt for spray oil instead. Replace some of the starchy carbs with non-starchy vegetables and add moderate amounts of healthy fats - nuts, seeds, oil in the dressing. ⠀⠀
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