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Wellness

Equalution put a slice of cheesecake against half a day of meals – and the results may shock you


Do you know which has more calories? Health experts put a slice of cheesecake against half a day of meals – and the results may shock you

  • After working out extremely hard, many dieters like to treat themselves
  • But your favourite dessert can contain just as much as half a day’s worth of meals
  • Founders of Equalution shows what calories really look like in different foods
  • The Sydney duo compared a slice of cheesecake to three different meals

Cindy Tran for Daily Mail Australia

After working extremely hard to retain a physique you are happy with, you decide to treat yourself to a slice of cheesecake. 

But your favourite dessert can contain just as much calories as half a day of meals.

Sydney founders of science-based nutrition program Equalution Jade Spooner and Amal Wakim have illustrated the comparisons in a graph to show you exactly what calories look like in different foods – and the results may shock you.

In an Instagram post titled ‘this or that?’, the pair found a slice of New York baked cheesecake (900 calories) contained as much calories as three meals (900 calories), which included fish and chips with salad, Nutella ricotta crumpets and banoffee pie.

Science-based nutrition program Equalution have illustrated the comparisons in a graph to show you exactly what calories look like in different foods - and the results may shock you

Science-based nutrition program Equalution have illustrated the comparisons in a graph to show you exactly what calories look like in different foods - and the results may shock you

Science-based nutrition program Equalution have illustrated the comparisons in a graph to show you exactly what calories look like in different foods – and the results may shock you

What your body need: 

Our body runs on three essentials for living and proper functioning:

1. Macro-nutrients: The nutrients that we need in large quantities for survival – protein, carbohydrates and fat – providing energy in the form of calories for our body.

2. Water: The staple for survival and the metabolism.

3. Micro-nutrients: The nutrients required in small quantities for survival. These are vitamins and minerals – most importantly fibre.

‘Did you know how a typical cheesecake dessert can equate to a half a day’s worth of meals?’ the duo said.

‘Now, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying your favourite dessert here and there – let’s remember, the body doesn’t recognise food as good or bad, instead, it’s seen as protein, fats and carbs.

‘While there are foods that are more calorie dense, and not as nutritious as others, this doesn’t prohibit them, it just means a greater caloric amount allocated to one meal.’

So if you’re trying to lose weight, the health experts said you need to keep track of what you consume so you don’t derail your diet or undo all your hard work.

‘It’s all about being more aware of what you consume and compensating throughout the day so you can avoid a calorie surplus,’ Jade explained. 

‘For a lot of dieters their typical cycle is a very clean, restrictive Monday to Friday, allowing a week of cravings to stew and build up. 

‘Come the weekend, meals like the cheesecake are a regular occurrence and a calorie dense binge is more likely to occur, where it doesn’t just stop at one dessert.’

Jade Spooner (right) and Amal Wakim (left) said you need to be more aware of what you consume in your  diet and compensating throughout the day so you can avoid a calorie surplus

Jade Spooner (right) and Amal Wakim (left) said you need to be more aware of what you consume in your  diet and compensating throughout the day so you can avoid a calorie surplus

Jade Spooner (right) and Amal Wakim (left) said you need to be more aware of what you consume in your diet and compensating throughout the day so you can avoid a calorie surplus

The pair urged dieters to be more mindful with ‘restricting’ themselves over weekdays as this can lead to overeating.

‘Consider your calories as money in the bank of which you have essential bills and  living expenses to pay and then your treats are simply your leftover dollars,’ they said.

‘So indulgent meals like cheesecake will just require you to be more thrifty during the day with your essential expenses.

‘Don’t restrict yourself all week long only to double or triple your daily intake over the weekend, then punish yourself after. 

‘Whether it’s cheesecake, alcohol, or some good old chocolate, the key is to maintain a more balanced approach and incorporate these as part of a flexible diet, as opposed to a continuous weekend blow-out cycle. 

‘Work smarter, not harder on your fat loss journey.’

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Wellness

The Challenge Behind the 30-Day Well Challenge


Times Insider delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how news, features and opinion come together at The New York Times.

When some of my colleagues at The New York Times approached me about doing a health program for our readers, I knew immediately what I didn’t want. I didn’t want another impossible fitness program. (Some of us find even the 7-Minute Workout too hard!) I knew I didn’t want a plan that made readers feel guilty about their choices or bad about themselves.

I’ve always believed that living well doesn’t have to be hard — it actually makes us really happy! I wanted to create a wellness program that was simple, easy-to-do and, yes, fun. Since launching Well at The New York Times 11 years ago, I’ve always felt a strong connection with readers and their struggles. I’ve chronicled my own challenges with losing weight, and I find that when I write about something that personally interests me — whether it’s midlife resilience or the power of surrounding yourself with positive people — I discover that readers are usually thinking about the same thing.

So, together with a team including designers, developers and editors, I set out to create a wellness program that I would want to do myself. I thought about doing one nice thing for myself every day that helped me move more, that nourished my body, that connected me with loved ones or refreshed my spirit. In the Well section, we have always taken a holistic approach to health, and our coverage reflects that view. We focus on fitness and nutrition, of course, but we also share science-based information on mindfulness, sleep, family, love and friendships.

And so the 30-Day Well Challenge was born. Four days a week, the challenge offers simple tasks that help us nourish our bodies, refresh our minds or connect with those we love. The ideas for these challenges came from scientific research and a number of articles we’ve written on those topics over the years. The goal was to distill the science down into actionable advice. Research on happy couples became a challenge to reinvent “date night.” A much-studied meditation technique became a Sunday refresh challenge. Research on mantras, rewards and gratitude (and even chocolate) all became fun, daily challenges for readers who signed up for the program.

And three days a week, we ask readers to take part in a six-minute move challenge. We wanted to give our readers a unique and fun exercise video. We designed the workout with Chris Jordan, the inventor of the famous 7-Minute Workout, with the goal of creating an even simpler, easier workout aimed at building a regular fitness habit. Once we finalized the exercises and structure of the videos, we asked our designers and video team to create them. That’s when the fun began!

Alexandra Eaton, a showrunner in our video department, and Jaspal Riyait, the art director for our Smarter Living group, wanted the stars of these videos to be real women, which led to a casting call.

“We searched for strong, healthy women with a diverse range of athleticism,” said Ms. Riyait. “In the end we found Gillian, our yoga lover; Malia, who has entered the world of high-intensity workouts; and Asmeret, a strong believer in the power of movement and strength, a role model to her two young daughters.”

One thing we discovered during the casting call is that everyone liked the workout. Most found it to be just challenging enough, although some people wanted the option to modify the workout if needed. So we added some extra tips for readers with mobility issues and suggested they could sub in a workout that works better for them. (There are tips for each workout that can be applied to any exercises.)

The biggest surprise?

“No one loves push-ups!” said Ms. Riyait.

During both the casting call and the video shoot, most of the people we met struggled with correct form while doing push-ups. In the end, we decided this was a plus. Real people struggle with push-ups — they are rarely perfect. Many of us can’t stay straight head to hips doing a push-up. Instead we bend at the hips to make the exercise a little easier. After many conversations with Mr. Jordan, we decided it was O.K. if our push-ups weren’t perfect. Malia nailed hers, but we allowed Asmeret and Gillian — and anyone doing the challenge — to slightly modify the perfect push-up if needed.

To keep the videos visually interesting, we gave Asmeret, Malia and Gillian each a color theme and a wardrobe change for each exercise. Jordy Huinder helped by finding a great variety of workout outfits to create a sophisticated but still playful feel to the video. “The reasoning behind the constant wardrobe changes was to make these videos engaging every time you watched and to inspire all body types,” Ms. Riyait said.

The actual video shoot was a fun day. Asmeret, Malia and Gillian were all great sports. Everyone on set tried the exercises. Music was pumping and our on-site personal trainer, Mikee Richardson, did a great job keeping everyone motivated.

But the best part of creating the 30-Day Well Challenge has been the tremendous response we have received from our readers.

“I love how short the intervals are (I mostly need gentle inspiration to get started) and how the women used in the videos are healthy and fit looking, but not emaciated,” one reader wrote.

“Thank you for giving me hope and something to work on to improve myself,” said another reader. “Your program feels like a connection with others with a common goal of health.”

I hope after reading this even more readers will do something nice for themselves and try the 30-Day Well Challenge, which starts the Monday after you sign up. (A digital subscription is not required, though you do need to register so we can send you your reminders.) We’ve got some other fun ideas brewing for future challenges, so we would love to get even more feedback!

Follow the @ReaderCenter on Twitter for more coverage highlighting your perspectives and experiences and for insight into how we work.





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