Carbohydrates always used to be seen as necessary (and believe us they are) however, recently many fitness trainers and athletes have been alerting the ratio of their macronutrients and reducing the amount of carbs and increasing protein (and even fat) levels.

Potatoes offer more vitamins and minerals than plain rice or pasta.

One 173g baked potato contains:

27.6% of your daily value for vitamin C
27% of your daily value for vitamin B6
26.4% of your daily value for potassium
19% of your daily value for manganese

Is high fibre

And provides 160 calories

Potatoes being a ‘white’ carb have a relatively high level of energy release (Glyceamic index). This means they are useful for fuelling post exercise when quick re-fuelling is needed or before workouts for similar reasons. However, to keep your potato eating as ‘clean’ as possible you should avoid chips and other potato prep that uses oil, high-fat and high-fat dressings.

Boiled potatoes have a GI of 56
Mashed potatoes have a GI of 76
Chips have a GI of 75
Jacket potatoes have a GI of 85

Quick Potato Recipes

1. Low Fat Potato Wedges

1 large baking potato (washed and pierced with a fork). Seasonings as desired: garlic powder, oregano, chili powder, Parmesan cheese

Cooking Instructions:
•Microwave the potato for 6-10min and let it stand for 3-5 minutes to finish cooking
•Cut the potato into half and then into wedges
•Spray with cooking spray and then season to choice
•Broil for 2 minutes or until golden

Nutrition Information:
•Carbs 90% 52g
•Protein 10% 4g
•Fat 0%
•Calories per serving 225

2. Mighty Mashed Potato
Powdered milk is used to fortify the mash with calcium and protein and is also rich in fibre as the skins are not removed.

•1large potato
•Half cup of water
•Third cup of milk powder
•Salt and pepper as desired

Optional: chopped onion, low-fat cottage cheese, cheddar or mashed tofu

Cooking Instructions:
•Cook potato in water in a covered saucepan for 15-20min (or until tender when pierced with a fork). Keep the water
•Mash the potato (in the water)

•Add milk powder and seasoning as desired

Nutrition Information:
•Carbs 80% 44g
•Protein 20% 12g
•Fat 0
•Total Calories 225

3. Meal in One

•1 large baking potato
•Two thirds of a cup of cottage cheese (low-fat or non-fat as desired)

Optional seasoning: onions, garlic, crumbled blue cheese, Parmesan cheese

Cooking Instructions:
Bake the potato to 425 degrees/gas mark 7 (or microwave – see Low fat potato wedges) Cut an ‘X’ in top of potato and fluff up Spoon on cottage cheese and seasonings of your choice

Nutrition Information:
•Carbs 55% 83g
•Protein 35% 95g
•Fat 10% 3g

Need to Know Nutrition

1 Must you exercise to lose body fat?

To lose body fat, you must create a calorie deficit. You can create that deficit by 1) exercising, which improves your overall health and fitness, or 2) consuming fewer calories. Even injured athletes can lose fat, despite a lack of exercise.

The complaint, ‘I gained weight when I was injured because I couldn’t exercise’, could more correctly be stated as, ‘I gained weight because I mindlessly overate for comfort and fun!’ Adding on exercise does not equate to losing body fat.

In a 16-week study, untrained women (aged 18 to 34) built up to 40 minutes of hard cardio or weight lifting three days a week. They were told to not change their diet and they saw no changes in body fatness (1). Creating a calorie deficit by eating less food seems to be more effective than simply adding on exercise to try to lose weight.

Fitness trainers or athletes who complain they ‘Eat like a bird’ but fail to lose body fat may simply be under-reporting their food intake. A survey of female marathoners indicated the fatter runners under-reported their food intake more than the leaner ones. Were they oblivious to how much they actually consumed? (2) Or were they too sedentary in the non-exercise hours of their day?

2 Exercise not More Protein is the key to bigger muscles 

In theory you only need to consume 14 extra grams of protein a day if you wanted to increase your lean (muscle) weight by 0.45kg/1lbs a week. However, that won’t work if you don’t break down muscle fibre – you need to train with heavy weights (in excess of 75% of your 1 rep max) to create the best conditions for muscle growth.

Eating extra protein will not build those muscles. Note also that it is when you are not training when your muscles increase in their size, as protein is re-synthesized and muscles grow larger and stronger.

3 Should you exercise on an empty stomach? 

Many fitness trainers like to exercise ‘on empty’ as it were, believing that it will help them lose more body fat. The reality is that it’s best to eat a light snack 2-4 hours before you exercise in order that your body has sufficient carbohydrate to fuel your workout. The longer and more intensely you are able to workout, the more calories you will burn.

4 Save Money – make your own isotonic sports drink 

Method 1: 500ml fruit juice mixed with 500ml water and one eighth of a teaspoon/0.5-0.7g of salt (optional) Method 2: 200ml squash (preferably organic and without artificial sweeteners or additives) mixed with 800ml water and one eighth of a teaspoon of salt

5 Re-fuel Snacks     

Fresh Fruit and a Glass of Milk A cocktail of carbs, protein and antioxidants. Fruit has a low GI and will therefore release its energy slowly, with vit C you get an anti-oxidant boost and the milk will give you protein for muscle recovery. Pro-biotic yoghurt. These yoghurt drinks can contain 3g protein and 12g of carbs

6 Chocolate Milk better than sports drinks?

A study in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise (2006) showed that chocolate milk improved endurance better than carb-only sports drinks because it contains the ideal carbohydrates to protein ratio of 14.4 gper 100ml.

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