Family Life

Fitness guru gives parents serious food for thought about calorie counting

We all diet in some shape or form.

Whether it's by cutting out food groups, staying away from sugar or counting calories we consistently berate ourselves over food. 

And we vehemently try our best to make sure our kids are always getting the good stuff. 

But after viewing Lucy Mountain's Instagram account, we've been blown away by her food concept, which makes a whole lot of sense if we're honest. 


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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Lucy is trying to change the way people think about counting calories, using the public forum to convey her point by providing visual comparisons. 

The fitness guru believes if you're counting calories there is no harm in treating yourself as sometimes even healthy food can be heavy in calorie intake. 


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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So if you have a small treat, you can still stay within your daily limit.

Moreover you can just as easily go overboard with some 'healthy' foods, especially when they contain additives, leading you to potentially exceeding your limit. 


The OG has arrived. Spot the difference ⠀ ⠀ Each side has the same amount of food but the left side has 550 calories less than the right.⠀ ⠀ I know I say the same shit every post but let's get my lil disclaimers out the way first because they're important:⠀ ⠀ 1. I'm v. v. v. aware calories don't necessarily mean 'healthy'.⠀ 2. However if you're looking for weight-loss/gain having an awareness will help.⠀ 3. Each day of food is just an example and not what you should necessarily aim for.⠀ So let's talk differences;⠀ – OJ = Reduced Sugar vs 'Normal'⠀ – Porridge Almond Milk = Unsweetened vs Sweetened⠀ – Salad Dressing = Light vs. 'Normal'⠀ – Oil to Bake Potato = Light vs. Olive Oil⠀ – Tuna Mayo = Light vs. 'Normal'⠀ – Beef = 5% fat vs. 12% fat⠀ – Oil to Cook Veg = Light vs. Olive Oil⠀ – Yoghurt = 0% Fage vs. 2% Fage⠀ This is just to show you don't have to necessarily eat less food. Small swaps can make a big difference ⠀ (And yes I eat chocolate bars. The kind you get from a newsagents. And still consider myself 'healthy' )⠀ Left side:⠀ ⠀ Breakfast:⠀ – 40g Oats⠀ – 3 Strawberries⠀ + 200ml Unsweetened Almond Milk⠀ + 225ml Reduce Sugar Orange Juice⠀ ⠀ Lunch:⠀ – 1 Potato⠀ – 100g Salad⠀ – 1 tin Tuna⠀ + 15ml Light Caesar Dressing⠀ + Frylight Spray⠀ + 1 tbsp Lighter Light Mayo⠀ ⠀ Dinner:⠀ – 125g Golden Veg Rice⠀ – 80g Mushrooms⠀ – 60g Peas⠀ – 100g Chopped Tomatoes⠀ + 125g 5% Fat Beef⠀ + Frylight Spray⠀ ⠀ Desert:⠀ – 150g Apple + Grapes⠀ + 0% Fage Greek Yoghurt⠀ ⠀ Snacks:⠀ – 30g Almonds⠀ – 1 Chocolate bar⠀ + 3 Mini Babybel Lights⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Right Side:⠀ ⠀ Breakfast:⠀ – 40g Oats⠀ – 3 Strawberries⠀ + 200ml Sweetened Almond Milk⠀ + 225ml Orange Juice⠀ ⠀ Lunch:⠀ – 1 Potato⠀ – 100g Salad⠀ – 1 tin Tuna⠀ + 15ml Caesar Dressing⠀ + 0.5 tbsp Olive Oil⠀ + 1 tbsp Mayo⠀ ⠀ Dinner:⠀ – 125g Golden Veg Rice⠀ – 80g Mushrooms⠀ – 60g Peas⠀ – 100g Chopped Tomatoes⠀ + 125g 12% Fat Beef⠀ + 1 tbsp Olive Oil⠀ ⠀ Desert:⠀ – 150g Apple + Grapes⠀ + Fage Greek Yoghurt⠀ ⠀ Snacks:⠀ – 30g Almonds⠀ – 1 Chocolate bar⠀ + 3 Mini Babybels⠀ ⠀ #theFFF #theFFFeed @theFFFeed

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Some of her arguments have seriously struck a chord with us, as we would often swap almonds for sweet things and choose high calorie coffees. 

One which really threw us was her depiction of salad bowls; both salad bowls contained the same foods, yet one bowl had more calories than another due to choices of dressing, cheese and croutons.


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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And the one that will really tickle your nose – gin and tonic versus wine – who's the winner?

It makes for an interesting read, and if calorie counting is your thing – it's definitely worth a scroll. 

So if you're planning on counting the calories, just remember there are ways of treating yourself without going 'to town'.

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