Friday, September 23, 2011

Making Life Changes One Week at a Time -- Challenge #1: NO SUGAR!

As I sat in Starbucks today drinking my coffee with added pumpkin spice flavor studying for my Precision Nutrition certification, something began not to sit so well with me.  I read the sentence, "Fatty acid synthesis typically occurs with a high sugar diet."  (Fatty acid synthesis is exactly what it sounds like)  And there I was, sipping this sugary coffee and sabotaging my own goals.  According to Precision Nutrition, your nutrition should serve the purpose of supporting your health, body composition, and performance.

The nutrition component of fitness is the part I always struggle with.  I love working out, I don't drink or smoke, and I try to always get enough sleep.  I also happen to enjoy some...ok, many junk foods (ie: chips and salsa, french fries, and most sugary desserts).  Before I ingest anything, I think about how it will effect the goals listed above.  Whether or not that leads to making the right decision to turn away foods that compromise those goals is another story.  During times of stress or boredom, I tend to overdo it in the bad foods department. 

Personal experience has taught me that you simply cannot give up all of your bad habits at once, especially when it comes to nutrition.  That led me to my first idea: conducting my own one week No Sugar Challenge.  After further thinking, I decided that it would be interesting to come up with a new life challenge each week, the idea behind it being that over time, the small changes will accumulate and result in enormously beneficial, huge life changes.

The changes I will be making require serious will-power, and I'd like to invite you to join me.  The challenges will not always be diet/nutrition related, but they will always seek to improve us in some way.  It's going to be difficult, but I'm excited to give it a try!  As to not overwhelm us, each challenge will apply Monday-Friday.  If you're happy with the changes after that week, I hope you will do your best to stick with your new, positive habit.  If not, you can simply give it up and move on to the next challenge.  Feel free to stick with it through the weekend too.  It's a short-term change that we can all commit to!

Here's our first challenge for Monday, September 26th-Friday, September 30th:


This includes desserts of any kind, soda, gum, fancy coffee drinks, yogurt, cereals, etc.  And yes, this also includes sugary alcoholic beverages like wine, champagne, and beer.

We can eat fruit!

I know I succeed the most when I commit to something publicly, so feel free to leave comments about what you ate or didn't eat.  Another idea to keep you on track is to take a photo of everything you eat each day of the challenge, that way you have to be honest about how well you are staying on track.  If you're inclined, post them online for your friends to see so they can help keep you motivated.

Good luck!

***If you're interested in learning more about the dangers of over consumption of sugar, I recommend Lick the Sugar Habit by Nancy Appleton.