Take the Challenge! And Take Charge with 10!
The Take Charge with 10 Nutrition Challenge is a simple, effective, and 100% FREE challenge designed to help you pay attention to how you fuel your body through nutrition choices and equip you to make lasting changes for your health.
Each morning we will send you a daily email with that day’s habit, additional valuable content from Barbell Logic’s Director of Nutrition, Gillian Ward, a downloadable accountability checklist, as well as a short video from a BLOC Nutrition Coach with tips on how to succeed at that day’s challenge.
The 10 days are packed with foundational tools for nutrition, and each habit stacks on the ones before it. So by Day 10, you’re doing things that can change your relationship with food on a fundamental level. By taking charge, you start to build habits that will help you feel great and better understand your nutritional needs. Not to mention you will have taken a giant step toward your health and body composition goals.
TAKE THE CHALLENGE
Drink your water
The absolute minimum goal for water consumption is half your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 200 pounds, you need to drink at least 100 ounces (roughly ⅘ of a gallon) of water. We’re not counting other beverages in this. We mean water. If it’s caffeinated or sweetened in some way, it’s not pure water. Other beverages are okay, but they don’t count toward your water total. If you already drink more, this is an easy one for you; consider it a gift and get ready for assignment number 2.
Reduce added sugars
The easiest way to do this is to steer clear of packaged goods such as cookies, candy, cakes, crackers, breakfast cereals, and juices. Instead, opt for whole grains over refined ones. We’re going to start reading food labels here. Scroll down the Nutrition Facts label until you see “Total Sugars” and then “Added Sugars” under the carbohydrate portion. We’re going to track this number for the next 9 days. Your maximum daily allowance of added sugars is 50 grams.
Stop mindless snacking
For the remaining 8 days, we’re only going to eat at mealtimes and a designated snack time. No sneaky little bites here and there. No sitting in front of the TV and munching. No refrigerator or cupboard drive-bys before dinner. The maximum allowance of “mindless” munching is zero.
Keep a food journal
A food journal is a simple way to keep track of everything that goes in your mouth. This can be in an app like My Fitness Pal, on paper the old-fashioned way, or even through a series of pictures on your phone. Studies show that most people incorrectly report their caloric consumption by 20% or more. Are you really aware of what you eat in a day? Take it even one step further and write down WHY you ate. For example: “It was lunchtime,” “I always eat at this time,” “I was stressed,” “I was bored,” “I smelled it and had to have it,” “the kids were eating it,” etc.
Eliminate alcohol consumption
Come on, guys—it’s only 6 more days. No booze for 6 whole days. You can do it! If you miss something fun in your glass, opt for unsweetened flavored seltzers with a wedge of lemon or lime in your favorite cocktail glass. No alcohol. Period.
Eat your veggies
Whatever your norm, step it up. If you don’t eat vegetables, start by adding one serving to lunch and one serving to dinner. This doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be as simple as adding carrot sticks, cucumber slices, celery stalks, cherry tomatoes, or even cut bell peppers to your plate. Consider adding a salad with dark leafy greens before or with a meal. Experiment and try a vegetable that you might be unfamiliar with. Who knows? You might like it. Yes, I know some of my examples are considered fruits, but eat them anyway! Be creative to up your veggie game.
Fill up on fiber
Here’s one more thing that we’re going to count. Consume at least 30 grams per day of fiber from real food, not fiber supplements. Some super high fiber foods include whole grains (oatmeal, quinoa, barley, bran cereal), beans, lentils, fruits like raspberries and apples, and most vegetables. Food like chia seeds and ground flaxseed add tons of fiber in small quantities and mix well into your favorite foods like yogurt, smoothies, and oats.
Cut off caffeine consumption at least 6 hours before bed
This will improve your sleep quality and boost both metabolism and recovery. If you need something hot and cozy, opt for a caffeine-free herbal tea. Many of you already do this, so this is a good day to make sure that you are patterning the previous 7 days’ worth of habits/assignments.
Balance your meals
Balanced meals reduce blood sugar crashes, improve energy and mood, and help you feel more satiated. For most of us (unless you are on a keto or extremely low carb diet), this means incorporating protein, carbs, and a small amount of fat at each of your meals. For instance, instead of just having a banana for breakfast, have a banana and an egg or two.
Know exactly what’s in your food – all meals today should be prepared at home today.
Sorry, no restaurants or take-out today.