What a year it’s been for the wellness industry, with a global pandemic that saw weeks-long lockdowns and a complete reimagination of the way we take care of ourselves, traditional means of dieting became seemingly redundant—because, why if we’re stuck at home should one deprive themselves of such simple pleasures as baking? But that’s exactly why the Australian-founded wellness program Equalution has seen such worldwide success, offering up a program that sees its users meet their goals, but all while eating their favourite foods. Basically, no skipping on the cheese and red wine Friday’s.
The brand was founded by two Australian coworkers turned best friends, Jade Spooner and Amal Wakim, and offers up “science-based nutrition programs tailored to your body's needs with the food you love to eat,” explains Wakim.
Before diving headfirst into Equalution’s booming success, it’s first important to understand how exactly it works, pinpointing the benefits of a macro-diet and the way in which the program allows its users to maintain a healthy way of eating, but without forcing out everyday, go-to meals.
Wakim explains of the program. “Therefore no food will directly cause fat gain, nor are there any ‘superfoods’ that will result in fat loss. Basically, our approach allows you to maintain a balanced way of eating without depriving yourself of the foods that you love, to create long-lasting results.”
The program offers up ‘practical, flexible dieting’ that focuses on a balanced macronutrient and micronutrient intake. While you’ll still find plenty of vegetables, proteins and healthy fats in your plan, Equalution doesn’t skip out on the good stuff—in short, burgers and ice cream make regular appearances on the menu.
As Wakim summarises, “macronutrients are nutrients that we need in large quantities for survival—protein, carbohydrates and fat—providing energy in the form of calories for our body. Our caloric and macronutrient strategy at Equalution takes into account individual factors of your body, as well as weekly progress, and manipulates your targets on a weekly basis for optimal results. Good nutrition is a two-part system both in aesthetics and inner health, so with that, micronutrient intake is also monitored, strategised and met within our nutrition plans.”
Perhaps why Equalution has seen its community grow so rapidly, is that it’s not simply a one-size-fits-all kind of model, with the program tailored to each individual’s needs, as well as its app filled with not only a community of like-minded people looking to make balanced switches but a team of professionals guiding you along the way. In short, you get to decide which foods you want to appear on your meal plan, including if you’re wanting to keep in those ‘traditionally’ frowned upon items like a weekend wine (or two).
We cater for all dietary requirements i.e. dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan etc. Our meal plans are constructed according to the Australian Dietary Guidelines and take a balanced and non-restrictive approach,” Wakim adds.
Equalution isn’t simply about helping their community reach their personal goals, but as Wakim explains, the big picture of the program comes down to creating a shift in mindset to stop viewing food as the enemy.
“Our vision at Equalution is to create a world where everyone has a positive relationship with food,” says Wakim. “Our industry is filled with false and misleading information, and as a result, leads people to distorted eating behaviours creating poor relationships with themselves and food. The science of nutrition allows you to have your cake and eat it too, which means it’s possible to find balance in achieving their goals without restriction and while enjoying the foods they love.”
Basically, the mission encompasses a simple, balanced approach to daily meals—consisting of “80 percent wholefood and 20 percent soul food”.
"...so when we refer to understanding energy, we’re referring to the calorie and macronutrient makeup of food. Having an understanding of what you're consuming from a numeric perspective allows you to achieve balance (healthy eating), without jeopardising your results.”
In September 2021, Equalution’s co-founder Jade Spooner announced she would be departing the business to focus on other ventures. “It’s the end of one era & the just the beginning of a whole new chapter. @equalution you’ve been a dream come true ✨ Forever grateful to my team, the Equalution community, my family and friends & of course @amal.wakim,” Spooner wrote to Instagram.
While Spooner still has a share in the business she helped create, Wakim describes the move away as the “end of an era.”
Wakim says of her business partner’s exit. “Although she isn’t part of the day-to-day, it still feels like her touch is still here. It’s definitely been a challenge to take on the responsibility of solely running the company, however, I’m excited by the challenge and it makes it easier when I’m supported by a passionate and amazing team.”
One of those responsibilities includes managing a team in the midst of lockdowns, with Wakim in Queensland and her team in differing states—which as any business owner will tell you, comes with its fair share of challenges.
“Good management and solid processes are fundamental during a time like this,” says Wakim. “In order to see success with working from home, we needed to ensure staff were kept accountable and motivated to stay productive. Each department has a daily stand up at 9am sharp. We also use the communication platform Slack to communicate with each other throughout the day. These processes and tools were embedded within our culture long before we implemented WFH, so it was a very natural and easy transition to go from working from the office to working remotely. “
There’s no denying Equalution has seen its fair share of successes since launching, with Wakim and Spooner recently named in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list for their nutritional empire, but despite this Wakim admits that the most rewarding aspect of her business is about knowing (and tangibly seeing) the positive impact she’s had on lives across the world.
“The most rewarding experience of being a part of Equalution is waking up daily knowing that you’re making a positive impact on someone’s life,” she reflects. “Being our two first clients and undergoing our own body and mind transformations, we know the journey one goes through and the end feeling of making a change. To facilitate that daily for thousands of people is a reward in itself. We love seeing the physical and mental transformations our service provides.”
When consumed daily by a business you created from the ground up, it can be easy to become immersed and forget to take time for yourself, but Wakim says that her personal experiences of “working seven days a week, 16-18 hour days”, she’s finally uncovered the key to life balance.
“It's important to create time for yourself where you can. Put your mental health first. Sometimes it's the simple things that have the biggest impact, such as morning reflection and meditation, or a lunchtime walk. By stepping away from your daily duties and responsibilities, you’ll be treating your mind to a reset, boosting your mood and setting you up to finish your day on a high.”
Image Credits: Equalution