Have you ever chosen the fat-free version of the (insert favorite junk food)? For now, I’ll use the chocolate fudge brownie as an example. You have that moment when you feel slightly better about yourself for choosing the low-fat or fat-free version, but that is quickly surpassed by your desperate craving for the real thing. Fast forward 30 minutes. You couldn’t resist your craving and ate the full calorie chocolate fudge brownie AND the fat-free brownie and now you feel like sh*t.
British fitness blogger Lucy Mountain is here to let you know sometimes it’s ok to eat the real thing. Her visual food comparison posts have everyone talking. Mountain’s juxtapositions and smart explanations will change the way you think about calorie counting.
In her series of photos, the ‘healthy’ snacks are set side by side with the ‘junky’ ones with the calorie count indicated above for each option. One of her mantras is, “Everything in proportion.”
She demonstrates how it’s possible to treat yourself consuming small portions and still stay within your daily calorie limit. Mountain also makes a point that it can be easy to go overboard with certain ‘healthy’ foods, when not consciously consumed in and especially when they contain additives.
Meet Lucy Mountain, a fitness blogger sending an important message about calorie counting
A handful of almonds vs. a packet of fruit pastils
“Many would choose the almonds for the nutritional value or the flavour – which is totally fine. Many would choose the almonds because even though they’d prefer Fruit Pastels, almonds would make them feel more ‘on track’ mentally – which again, is totally fine… When the majority of my diet has consisted of well-balanced food that’s full of micronutrients, I have no issue eating something that’s less so just because I love the taste of it. This is just a personal choice… ‘Healthy’ to me is exactly what I make it. And Fruit Pastels (in moderation) make me happy which I believe contributes largely to my overall health.”
Salt and vinegar crisps vs. vegetable crisps
“Although the difference in calories is pretty minuscule, you’d expect the vegetable crisps to be considerably less calories right? This is just another little reminder that often there’s not much difference between the product marketed as the ‘healthy alternative’ and the real thing. So go for the thing you actually WANT to eat.”
Water and water
What Twix consider one serving vs. real life
“If you’re being more mindful of your calories, this is a prime example of why it’s important to read the labels properly and not just what it says in large font on the front. I mean OF COURSE you’re going to eat the whole god damn thing, but it’s just good to know exactly what that equates to.”
White americano vs. flat white
“It’s often surprising how many calories are in coffees and hot drinks – a large Starbucks Flat White is 290 calories and a latte is 300. If weight-loss is your goal, a simple swap like ordering a white Americano instead will save you 250 calories.”
Solero ice cream vs. magnum ice cream
“If your goal is weight loss, the Solero could be a good swap for the ole classic Magnum (if it helps you stick to stay in a calorie deficit). And equally – if your goal is weight loss, the Magnum could be a good choice regardless (if it helps you stick to stay in a calorie deficit).”
‘Healthy breakfast’ vs. ‘naughty snack’
“They’re practically the same calories and macros, with the digestive biscuits being a fraction higher in protein and lower in sugar than Belvitas. Yes, Belvita has an extra few micronutrients but only the equivalent to approximately 150g of spinach…”
Fatloss food vs. fattening food
“No single food will cause weight-gain. Eating more calories than you’re expending constantly over a period of time will do this. Equally, no single food will cause weight-loss. Eating less calories than you’re expending constantly over a period of time will do this.”
100g milk chocolate vs. 100g gluten-free, wheat-free, milk-free chocolate
“There’s an association that ‘Free From = Healthy = Weight-loss.’ And it’s just simply not the case. Just because something doesn’t contain gluten or milk doesn’t means it’s any less calories or more conducive to your fitness goal.”
Toast and butter vs. toast and butter
“As you know from my recent posts, I’m about enjoying ALL ze food and there is nothing I cut out of my diet that I like the taste of – no matter my goal. Learning how to manage portion sizes has allowed me to achieve this!”
100g milk chocolate vs. 100g 85% dark chocolate
“For those of who genuinely love dark chocolate, keep doing you. However, if you PREFER the taste of milk, but force yourself to eat dark because you’ve read it’s ‘healthier’, just have the milk chocolate and enjoy it. In terms of weight-loss from a calorie perspective, it’s actually more beneficial and will raise happiness levels by 938% (unproven stat).”
Both are the same size, both come with avocado, cheese, croutons and dressing
“… Salads are a fantastic way to pack in lots of lovely micros but not all salads are the same. Being aware of the individual components of the meal you’re eating AND how it sits in context to the rest of your day will massively help if weight-loss/weight-gain is your goal.”
100 calories of strawberries vs. 100 calories of strawberries
“Don’t get me wrong; dried fruit is waaaay easier to eat when you’re on the go (ain’t nobody got time to whip out a punnet of strawberries lol). So they could be a good option if convenience is the priority. But when fat loss is the goal, 300g of fresh strawberries is likely to be more satiating.”
Someone who tracks their calories vs. someone who doesn’t
“That’s right, there is no difference. There’s no difference because the method you choose (if any) does not solely dictate the food you consume. It starts with you… Does counting a calorie stress you out? If so, don’t do it. It’s simply one of many methods.”
Do you agree with her?