Take the Change One Challenge!
Experience shows that those who make the biggest changes, see the greatest results. The Change One Challenge helps you to make a really big change to just one thing – your consumption of added sugars.
Eliminating your consumption of added sugars is your focus, so don’t worry about counting calories. Just make sure you don’t fill the calorie gap you’re creating by increasing your overall food consumption. Switching to a diet free of added sugars (including limiting juice intake but not whole fruits) is hard for many people to get used to, because it’s really an acquired taste. Our sense of sweetness changes with our diet, so it will take time for your sense of taste to change. But don’t try to bridge the gap with artificial sweeteners because that will only maintain your sweet-tooth.
What about fat?
For most people lowering fat intake is an important goal, because the trend has been to add fats into processed foods to improve flavor. The USDA reports that the “average use of added fats and oils in 2000 was 67 percent above annual average use in the 1950s.” But surprisingly, the top foods for dietary fat contribution, just behind margarine, salad-dressing, and mayonnaise are “cakes and other sweet baked goods.” So when you focus on a diet free of added sugars, you’re also lowering your intake of added fats!
Why does it work?
Many people who want to lose weight have an unhealthy balance of calories in their diets – too many calories coming from added sugars and fats – and not enough calories from healthy, nutrient-rich foods. When these folks go on a calorie-restricting diet, they often maintain this ratio, even though they’re actually eating fewer calories. The result? They’re often hungry and feel dissatisfied. By focusing on nearly eliminating calories from added sugars and the unhealthy added fats they often contain, it can help to re-balance the diet while creating a calorie-gap that allows for easier weight loss.
What’s your goal?
According to the USDA, most adult women need about 1,800 calories/day and men need about 2,400 calories/day to maintain body weight with no more than 20% – 35% of these calories from all fats combined.
The USDA considers saturated fats (found most abundantly in meat and dairy) to be as undesirable for health as added sugars and lumps them both together with alcohol consumption. They’ve determined that for most adults, the maximum contribution to calories from these together (added sugars + saturated fats + alcohol) should be no more than 15% of your daily total calories. Unfortunately, most Americans are getting almost 3x that much. For example, a woman who needs 1,800 calories/day to maintain her weight should eat no more than 270 calories from added sugars + saturated fats + alcohol. Read more about the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines at http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2010/PolicyDoc/PolicyDoc.pdf.
How can you make the change?
Focus on eliminating added sugars for at least four weeks. Eat when you’re hungry, and make it a never-miss goal to get your recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables. How much do you need every day? Most women who exercise 3-6 hours each week need 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables every day, according to the USDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As always, talk to your doctor about the right diet for you. Get more tips for a healthy diet and fat-loss as well as diet calculator tools at
http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/ and http://www.choosemyplate.gov/
Also check out the videos from The Problem With Sugar.