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The Idea Behind These Images Is Nothing New, But They Make You See Food Differently

When it comes to losing weight, we automatically think we have to try and eat the healthiest foods we can to be successful.

British fitness blogger Lucy Mountain knows all too well what a struggle it can be to eat healthy and still feel satisfied. She wants to send the message that we can enjoy the food we eat and reach our goals as long as we stay mindful about what we put in our bodies and our portion sizes.

That’s why Mountain is trying to change the way we look at our meals by creating visual comparisons between what is considered junk food and health food, and she makes good points.

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Do you want to know what the most underrated exercise is? Walking.⠀ ⠀ I had a rlly inspiring chat with my colleagues @_joshuapeters and @insideoutnf today 🙌 We were talking about how many spend so much energy (and money) focusing on our gym sessions, with less thought into what we are doing outside of them.⠀ ⠀ Let me put it this way – say you train for 1 hour. What are you doing in those other 15 hours* you're awake? (*thats if you're a good egg and getting your 8 hours.)⠀ ⠀ Do you work at a desk? That might be another 9 hours sitting down.⠀ Do you drive/get the tube to work? That might be another 2 hours sitting down.⠀ Do you get home, eat and watch tv because love island? That's probably another 2 hours sitting down.⠀ ⠀ So there's potentially 13/15 hours outside the gym that's you're sitting on dat peach.⠀ ⠀ Small tweaks to your daily routine can be game changing – take it from me. What sticks depends on your routine but here's some ideas to get some more walking into your day:⠀ 1. Walk your commute to work twice a week⠀ 2. Get off the tube to your destination a stop early⠀ 3.Walk the stairs instead of the escalator⠀ ⠀ My daily activity has been shit recently because I've been doing 0 of the above and all the sitting my a$$ watching love island.⠀ ⠀ But I decided I'm back on it now though and taking my own advice, COME JOIN ME 🙌⠀ ⠀ -⠀ ⠀ Wearing my FAVOURITE NEW LEGGINGS by @tamasinlangton_design. I have a special place for leggings that are both high-wasited AND long in the leg. And these guys are just that. Can we also take a second for this print? I mean. ⠀ ⠀ #theFFF

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“Same amount of food, different calories.”

Mountain points out that the only differences between these two meals are the meat and oil used to cook it.

The meat on the left is five percent fat beef, while the beef on the right contains 12 percent fat. The left meal was cooked with Fry Light olive oil spray and the right was cooked with a tablespoon of olive oil. While Mountain stresses that nothing is wrong with using either, keeping these differences in mind and swapping them can help with weight management.

“A handful of almonds vs. a packet of fruit pastels.”

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A handful of Almonds vs. A packet of Fruit Pastels 🍬⠀ ⠀ Both snacks have the same calories. Which one would you pick?⠀ ⠀ Occasionally I’m the left hand, but mostly I’m the right hand. (I know, shocking. A person who considers themselves into health and fitness eats sweets – and is openly talking about it on social media.) 🌝🌝🌝⠀ ⠀ You see, although I’m fully aware that a handful of almonds contains lots of wonderful nutrients that would keep me fuller for longer, some days (no matter whether I’m looking to gain, maintain or lose weight) I’ll choose to eat sweets or a chocolate bar as a snack 💪⠀ ⠀ Why? Because when the majority of my diet has consisted of well-balanced food that’s full of micronutrients, I have no issue eating something thats less so just because I love the taste of it. This is just a personal choice. Cutting out things I love isn’t realistic for me so I always squeeze something sweet into my days (all whilst still sticking to my calorie/macro/micro targets.)⠀ ⠀ 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 💕⠀ ⠀ I’m not glorifying sweets, or almonds for that matter. I’m glorifying knowing what’s in the food you’re eating, and make educated decisions based on your own values. And I value food that’s good for my body and good for my soul.⠀ ⠀ ‘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 🙌⠀ ⠀ #theFFF #theFFFeed @thefffeed

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Mountain acknowledges that the almonds are the healthier choice, but that sometimes, a bit of candy is good for the soul.

Of course, the almonds have more nutritional value when compared to sweets, but as Mountain puts it, “fruit pastels (in moderation) make me happy which I believe contributes largely to my overall health.”

“Protein porridge vs. protein porridge.”

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Protein Porridge vs. Protein Porridge 💪⠀ ⠀ Neither of these bowls are 'good' or 'bad'.⠀ Neither of these ingredients are 'good' or 'bad'.⠀ They are just bowls of oats with different toppings.⠀ ⠀ Both bowls have different calorie totals.⠀ Both bowls have different macronutrient values.⠀ Which one you might go for depends on your goal.⠀ ⠀ Why you might pick the left bowl:⠀ 1. Your goal is weight-loss and this will help you reach a sensible calorie deficit.⠀ 2. Your goal is weight-gain but the remainder of your diet for the day will meet your total requirements.⠀ 3. The micronutrient value.⠀ 4. You just wanna eat it.⠀ ⠀ Why you might pick the right bowl:⠀ 1. Your goal is weight-gain and this will help you reach a sensible calorie surplus.⠀ 2. Your goal is weight-loss but the remainder of your diet for the day will meet your total requirements.⠀ 3. The micronutrient value.⠀ 4. You just wanna eat it.⠀ ⠀ Calories aren't the sole indicator of 'health'. This is subjective term. How many calories you consume and how many you use through activity is an important part of weight management but there any many other things to consider 💪⠀ ⠀ So just do you 💕⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Left bowl:⠀ – 40g oats⠀ – 1 scoop protein⠀ – 250ml almond milk⠀ – 60g blueberries⠀ – 60g raspberries⠀ – 15g manuka honey⠀ ⠀ Right bowl:⠀ – 40g oats⠀ – 1 scoop protein⠀ – 250ml almond milk⠀ – 1 banana⠀ – 4 dates⠀ – 20g almond butter⠀ ⠀ #theFFF #theFFFeed @thefffeed

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The difference in calories above can be explained by the toppings used in the porridge.

The bowl on the left contains blueberries, raspberries, and manuka honey, while the right contains a banana, four dates, and almond butter. Mountain asserts again that neither are good or bad, but one may be better for your depending on your calorie and macronutrient goals.

“150ml gin & Slimline tonic vs. 150ml white wine.”

The occasional alcoholic drink is definitely enjoyable, but the calories sure add up fast.

One tip Mountain has for regular drinkers is to switch a higher calorie white wine for something like a gin and diet tonic every once in a while if you’re worried about your calorie intake.

“Salt and vinegar crisps vs vegetable crisps.”

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Salt and Vinegar Crisps vs Vegetable Crisps 🥔⠀ ⠀ Each of these bowls contain 1 bag (40g) of crisps. The bowl on the left are salt and vinegar, the bowl on the right are mixed root vegetable.⠀ ⠀ 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 🙌⠀ ⠀ Although there are many different aspects that describe ‘healthy’ (yes – it IS subjective), such as salt content, micro-nutrient value and how that food makes them feel, calories play a fundamental part in weight management. This post isn’t to say 'TRACK EVERYTHANG, TRACK THAT DAMN CUCUMBER’, it’s more about looking at your diet within the context of a whole day – and eating the damn salt and vinegar crisps if that’s want you actually want.⠀ ⠀ I want this and all my comparison posts to give encourage freedom with your food choices, not restriction. When 80% of my diet within a day is full of adequate micros and macros, i will ALWAYS eat food I love purely for taste. Because life. Ygm. 💁🏼⠀ ⠀ (All crisps are vegetable crisps 🌝)⠀ ⠀ Which side are you guys going for?⠀ ⠀ ⠀ *Crisps from Co-Op Irresistible range* – #theFFF #theFFFeed @thefffeed

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Since the vegetable crisps are marketed as the healthier option, you’d think they’d have fewer calories, but that isn’t always the case.

Mountain wants to remind us that sometimes there isn’t that big of a difference between the “junk” and “health” foods, “so go for the thing you actually WANT to eat.”

“100g milk chocolate vs 100g 85% dark chocolate.”

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100g Milk Chocolate vs 100g 85% Dark Chocolate 🍫 ⠀ ⠀ So it’s pretty unknown that dark chocolate actually has more calories than milk chocolate (and white chocolate for that matter.)⠀ ⠀ Dark is often given the label as the ‘healthy’ version of chocolate. And although calories aren’t the sole indicator of ‘healthy’, we just presume it has lower calories. So which one is best for weight-loss?⠀ ⠀ In most cases, Dark chocolate has less sugar, more fiber and more iron than milk. It’s basically more nutritious than milk chocolate.⠀ ⠀ Regardless, I will always go for milk for two reasons:⠀ ⠀ 1. I think Dark chocolate tastes like garden leaves.⠀ ⠀ 2. Chocolate isn’t something I’ll seek out when I’m looking to pack in those vitamins and minerals – especially in a diet that already consists of adequate fruit, vegetables and micronutrient-dense food 🥗 I enjoy chocolate for it’s taste, not it’s nutritional value. My diet is inclusive of it always – no matter what my goal is at the time 💪⠀ ⠀ 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.)⠀ ⠀ Don’t eat things you don’t enjoy for the sake of it. Personal enjoyment is ‘healthy’ in my eyes 💁🏼 Which side are you guys?!⠀ ⠀ #theFFF #theFFFeed @thefffeed

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She says if you prefer milk over dark chocolate, go for what you want.

While there is a noticeable difference in calories and health benefits between the two, if you’re having a once-in-a-while indulgence in moderation, you might as well enjoy the one you like better.

“Peanut butter on toast vs peanut butter on toast.”

We all love peanut butter, but it’s definitely easy to eat way more than you’re intending to.

Mountain’s suggestion to those who are trying to lose or gain weight is to always measure out your peanut butter portions so you know exactly how much you’re eating and can track it accordingly.

“What Twix considers one serving vs. real life.”

Labels can sometimes trick us with portion sizes.

Take Twix, for example. One serving is one bar, or half of what’s inside the wrapper — and let’s be honest, most of us eat the whole thing. That’s why it’s important to check labels carefully for serving sizes. That way, if you’re counting calories, you can plan for eating both bars (if you want) and not feel guilty about it.

“Avocado salad vs avocado salad.”

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Avocado Salad vs Avocado Salad 🥑⠀ ⠀ Both are the same size, both come with avocado, cheese, croutons and dressing. However the bowl on the right is almost 300 calories more than the bowl on the left.⠀ ⠀ It's easy to look at a salad and just think 'it's just a salad' -⠀ but small variations in the toppings and dressings can dramatically change the nutritional value.⠀ ⠀ Just look at your standard supermarket salad bar like Morrisons – I'd say only 50% of the offering is made up of greens and veggies. The rest is different types of pasta, potato salad, oily dressings and crunchy bacon bits.⠀ ⠀ This, OF COURSE, is absolutely fine. Some days I'll dowse mine in those bacon bits to the point it's actually bacon bits with lettuce on top. But atleast I know where I'm at 💪⠀ ⠀ Anyway my point is, salads are a fantastic way to pack in lots of lavly 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 💕⠀ ⠀ Here's my tweakz:⠀ ⠀ Left Bowl:⠀ – Mixed salad leaves (100g)⠀ – Avocado (Half)⠀ – Leerdamer Light (20g)⠀ – Sliced Toast (Half piece)⠀ – Homemade Dressing (yoghurt + mustard)⠀ – Toasted Oats (5g)⠀ ⠀ Right Bowl:⠀ – Mixed salad leaves (100g)⠀ – Avocado (Half)⠀ – Parmesan (20g)⠀ – Croutons (25g)⠀ – Caesar Dressing (2 tbsp)⠀ – Sunflower Seeds (15g)⠀ ⠀ ⠀ (Lil tip: Most of the Pret salads are higher in calories than the sandwiches. F. Y. I.) 🌝🌝🌝 ⠀ ⠀ #theFFF #theFFFeed @thefffeed

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Again, she says that being aware of what we put on our food helps us with our goals, even when it comes to salads.

The toppings on the left salad include a light cheese, sliced toast, a homemade yogurt and mustard dressing, and toasted oats. The toppings on the right include Parmesan cheese, croutons, Caesar dressing, and sunflower seeds.

(via BoredPanda)

As they say, everything in moderation, right? To check out more of Mountain’s food comparisons, be sure to follow her on Instagram.

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