At first, choosing between a slice of banana bread with butter or a McDonald’s Big Mac seems like a no-brainer healthwise.
But upon closer inspection, your typical slice of banana bread (660 calories) is nowhere near as ‘healthy’ as it sounds as it can contain more calories than a Big Mac (565 calories).
Founders of science-based nutrition program Equalution Jade Spooner and Amal Wakim, from Sydney, shared a graph to highlight exactly what your isolation snack looks like next to the fast food meal.
At first glance, choosing between a slice of banana bread with butter or a McDonald’s Big Mac seems like a no-brainer. But upon closer inspection, your banana bread (660 calories) is nowhere near as ‘healthy’ as it sounds
How to prevent mindless eating
Out of sight, out of mind: To prevent easy access to snacks, keeping them away from your work space and in sealed containers as you’re less likely to impulsively start snacking
Ensure you’re accountable for your diet by tracking all your food
Keep pre-portioned snacks in the pantry: It’s easier to plan a few snacks into your day, and measure how many calories, macros and micros you’ve consumed so you can stick to your Calorie deficit
Keep your diet balanced: Now more than ever your body needs good nutrients, so sticking to the 80/20 rule is key
Focus on one thing at a time: If you’re eating, you’re eating, if you’re watching TV, you’re watching TV. Once you start combining the two, you won’t even notice how or what you’re eating, leading to an excess calorie intake
‘Just because it has banana in it, doesn’t mean banana bread is always a calorie-smart snack option,’ the pair said on Instagram.
‘But if you look a little closer, most people would be shocked to find out the ‘healthier’ looking option is almost 100 calories more than the Big Mac.
‘That’s not to say one isn’t more nutritious than the other, but rather how important it is to be mindful of calorie intake when starting a body transformation journey.
‘Think of your optimal calorie deficit like money in the bank. You want your money to go as far as possible, which is why it’s important to budget your calories to ensure you’re getting as much bang for your buck.’
According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines, the average adult daily energy intake is 2,000 calories, or 8,700 kilojules. But the amounts of calories varies according to your age, height, weight, sex and physical activity.
Consuming an extra 120 calories, or 500 kilojules, a day for 12 months without doing any exercise could lead to weight gain of almost five kilograms over a year.
To keep in mind what you eat daily, the founders of Equalution said you should monitor exactly how many calories are in those snacks and be aware of how quickly they start to add up.
‘We know it’s now harder than ever to resist the temptation of snacking, with everyone responsibly isolating at home be mindful of your snacks as this is why that “little snack” could be the thing letting your diet down,’ they said.
‘As you can see, a nibble on some nuts or some hummus and crackers might seem like a responsible snack option, but over the week these can quickly add up to make a big calorie impact.’
Equalution have been sharing visual graphs to show you exactly what seven days of snacking looks like – and the truth is more surprising than you may think
If you feel the snack urge coming on, follow these steps:
- Are you actually hungry or are you boredom/ stress eating?
- Try occupying yourself with another activity
- Don’t leave food within reach while working
- Determine whether you really want the food
If you’ve ticked all these boxes and you’re still feeling peckish, portion out a serving of the snack you’re craving and make sure to track it. That way you can monitor it over the week, because an extra snack on one day might not make a difference overall, but extra snacks every day might.
If you’re struggling with mindless eating, there are simple things you can do around the home to prevent cravings.
‘Social distancing is so important right now, but staying at home 24/7 means you’re more likely to fall victim to mindless eating,’ they said.
‘No problem is too big or too small for Equalution to tackle though, and we have some useful tips on kicking mindless eating to the curb.’
The first trick is to keep your snacks ‘out of sight, out of mind’.
To prevent easy access to snacks, keep them away from your work space and in sealed containers so you’re ‘less likely to impulsively start snacking’.
Ensure you’re accountable for your diet by tracking all your food for the day.
Always keep pre-portioned snacks in the pantry at all times so you don’t overeat.
Founders of science-based nutrition program Equalution Jade Spooner (left) and Amal Wakim (right) shared a graph to highlight exactly what your isolation snack looks like next to fast food
‘It’s easier to plan a few snacks into your day, and measure how many calories, macros and micros you’ve consumed so you can stick to your calorie deficit,’ the pair said.
‘Keep your diet balanced. Now more than ever your body needs good nutrients so sticking to the 80/20 rule is key.
‘Focus on one thing at a time. If you’re eating you’re eating, if you’re watching TV, you’re watching TV. When you start combining the two is when you won’t even notice how or what you’re eating, leading to an excess calorie intake.’
The best friends launched Equalution to help people achieve their body transformation by promoting the 80/20 rule – 80 per cent wholefoods and 20 per cent of anything you want to eat, within reason.
The pair are known on Instagram for illustrating the surprising comparisons in a graph to show you exactly what calories look like in different foods.
‘The reason why we do those comparisons essentially is to educate on the energy intake in food. So what we like to educate people is how our body recognises food,’ they said.
‘So not as good or bad, but for its numeric value so the nutrient density of our comparison photos are not always alike but the calories shock a lot of people.’