At UFC GYM, you are challenged physically in each Boxing class, personal training session, and Daily Ultimate Training session. But have you challenged yourself in terms of your diet and nutrition lately? We are challenging you to a minimum 7-day added sugar detox. You can do this challenge for the minimum 7 days and still see improvement, or you can be a rock star and stick it out for the 21 days to really make a difference!
The maximum amount of added sugars recommendation for one day according to the American Heart Association, is no more than 9 teaspoons (or 37.5grams) per day for Men, and no more than 6 teaspoons (or 25 grams) for women. To put it into perspective, in one 12- ounce can of regular soda there are about 8 teaspoons of added sugar, give or take, which is about 130 calories with no other nutrients. There are over 61 different names for sugar, which hide in packaged and processed foods! Even if you do not eat dessert, you may still be consuming more than the recommended amount each day. These common names for sugar often ends in -ose, or says syrup, but these added sugars can show up in multiple ways on one package. Consuming too much sugar can wreak havoc on the body, pack on the pounds, decrease immunity, disturb cognitive function, alter hormones, and increase chronic disease risk.
This added sugar reset challenge is ridding your body from the added sugars, and the goal is to make you more aware of the added sugars hiding in products such as salad dressings, condiments, nut butters, crackers, yogurt, breads, cereals, protein bars, drinks, "light" and "fat free" items, etc. This "reset-challenge" is different from the rest, because it is just eliminating added sugars which the body does not need. In comparison, a juice cleanse requires you to eliminate much more from your diet. The idea is not to deprive you of your favorite foods forever, but just to make you more aware of the high amount of added sugars in your diet so after the reset, you will likely be more sensitive and consume less added sugars in your everyday life! It takes about 21 days to make or break a habit, so if you can repeat this cycle for 21 days you will be even more likely to continue your newly inherited healthy habits.
Step 1: Get rid of all trigger foods with added sugars, sweeteners, drinks, etc.
Step 2: Go grocery shopping for lean meats, eggs, seafood, limited red meat if necessary, FRESH fruits and vegetables (or frozen/canned but only ingredient should be that fruit/vegetable with no added salt or sugar), some dairy or dairy alternatives (unsweetened and unflavored), nuts, seeds, water or seltzer (unflavored but you can use lemon or lime to flavor, or some fruit within servings). Some packaged items okay as long as they don't have added sugars (remember there are more than 61 different names for sugar).
Step 3: Get started! Continue to exercise, sleep well, hydrate during this added-sugar reset challenge
Example Meal Plan
*This is not based off specific calorie needs so please do not follow exact but rather eat for your individual caloric needs!! These are JUST some ideas.
2 eggs with 1/4 cup spinach, cherry tomatoes, onions, and peppers. Seasoned with black pepper (and turmeric or other spices if you'd like)
1 slice of whole wheat bread or ezekiel toast
1/3 avocado on top
green tea, unsweetened
1/2 apple and 2 tbsp nut butter (or sun butter) where only ingredients is peanuts/almonds/cashew, etc.
Mixed greens salad with 4 oz of chicken or wild caught salmon, spinach, mixed greens, or romaine, cucumbers, tomatoes, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), chia or flax seeds, 1 tbsp oil and vinegar
2 tbsp hummus and 1-1/2 c vegetables (peppers, cucumbers, celery, etc), small handful of almonds (about 20-28 almonds)
1 Stuffed bell peppers (see recipe here)
1 c zucchini noodles on side drizzled in small amount of olive oil and seasoned with spices (or any non starchy veggies on side)
1 c plain yogurt with 1 serving of fruit and nuts
Author: Melissa Conover, Nutritionist