London-based fitness blogger, Lucy Mountain, is on a social media mission to prove that healthy eating all the time may not actually be healthy.
In her much loved Instagram, Mountain compares photos of food side by side. On one side is a “healthy” dish with the calories written above, and on the other side is an “unhealthy” dish with its own calorie count listed.
The images seem pretty cut and dry – a handful of almonds on the left vs a handful of sour candy on the right, potato chips vs vegetable chips. But, the fitness enthusiast proves it’s not that simple. In the almond and candy photo, both servings have the exact same amount of calories.
On her Instagram, Mountain asks her followers, “Both snacks have the same calories. Which one would you pick?”
It seems like the answer for someone concerned with health would be a no-brainer – the protein-packed almonds. Mountain, however, is open with her fans about her food choices and, perhaps more importantly, the reasons behind them.
“Occasionally I’m the left, but mostly I’m the right hand,” she said. “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.”
Mountain defends her choices by saying “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.”
Lucy Mountain is so dedicated to her cause of disproving theories behind the calories and “healthiness” of certain foods that she spun off her popular Instagram into another one called thefffeed, which is focused only on showing comparison photos of food.
In one post she shows two images of the exact same meal with one labeled fat loss and the other labeled fattening. Depending on your goals – lose weight, build muscle, tone – and physique, these foods will affect people differently, which is the point Mountain tries to make.
“I'm a firm advocate of everything in moderation, no matter what my fitness goal might be. Fat-loss, muscle-gain, maintenance or no-goal-whatsoever,” she says in her post. “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.”
She does, however, offer a caveat about understanding “different foods have different nutritional values” and to make sure you are choosing the right foods to power your body.
But her most important takeaway is that “restricting yourself of foods you enjoy will ultimately always lead to binging. So just eat all the things you love in moderation.”