2 challenges this week….
1. Reduce or eliminate added sugar and no refined carbohydrates. Either you eliminate added sugar 100% or use the American Heart Associations daily recommended amount for added sugar and have no more than 6-9 teaspoons a day. See below:
Men: No more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams) or 150 calories.
Women: No more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) or 100 calories.
Some of you have already mentioned you are doing this and that is great! Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared. This does not include natural sugars found in milk and fruits. Read this article from the American Heart Association about added sugars.
NO Refined Carbohydrates: refined carbohydrates are forms of sugars and starches that don’t exist in nature. They come from natural whole foods, but they have been altered in some way by processing to”refine” them. So we will eliminate white rice, bread, pasta, etc.. Here is a great article that explains a little more about refined Carbs.
This means you can have a glass of wine, a beer, or a cookie but you have to limit it to the above numbers daily. The easiest way to do this is to eat real food (Fruits, veggies, meat) and avoid anything in a package. This takes planning, thought and prep so start thinking about what you can have on hand that will make this week easier.
Lunch: Lean meat or legumes over a bowl of greens (use last nights leftovers), Lettuce wrap sandwiches, protein shake w/ some blended greens/veggies.
Dinner: Lots of veggies w/ some form of protein and your favorite fruit for dessert! You can make a large veggie saute (try my broccoli saute) and use it throughout the week.
Decide now what you will have for each meal and have it on hand! If you end up at a restaurant, party, work lunch, etc. order a salad w/ out the creamy dressing and have dressing on the side. Be careful as many salads have many added ingredients full of sugar (like cranberries and sugar coated nuts). If you order a burger you can ask for lettuce instead of a bun and if your ordering a meal that comes w/ pasta or rice ask for extra veggies instead.
2. Plank Challenge (4 min)
If you cannot hold the plank the entire time take a rest and resume. A good goal is by the end of 4 weeks you will start and end without a break. Remember you can always do it on your knees as level 1. I decided to start the challenge with the plank because it is an excellent exercise for establishing a solid core and good posture. Nearly every move we make uses our core. Establishing the connection from your brain to belly with breath takes practice but learning to engage and breath at the same time is key! Your first layer of abdominals do not require movement, just an isometric hold, and these muscles are your girdle- they are most important in creating that flat or flatter stomach. You can do all the crunches you like but if your first layer (transverse abdominals) are not strong your posture will suffer and that flat belly may not happen. Check out this article that explains in detail why plank is so great!
Ready to Plank? Click here for a video of the 4 Minute Plank Challenge my daughter and I made for you! Note: the last minute of plank you can add shoulder taps- we did not include this in the video but if you need more of a challenge keep this in mind as an option.
I’m excited for the first week- I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post that I’d love to count up the totals pounds lost by the group as a whole at the end of the challenge so even if you don’t send me your weight I’d love to know how many pounds you’ve lost by the end of it! Our goal is 300lbs total.. We have well over 100 people so this is doable! If you are open to posting your before photo to the blog email me the photo and your goals and I’ll compile them all together in a post. More accountability the better – we are all in it together.
Cheers to good health and the next 4 weeks!