In July-August of this year, a number of F3 regulars led us into 6 weeks of what seemed like a CSAUP nutritional challenge. As it turned out, it was neither completely stupid nor utterly pointless. Through that challenge, I changed my eating habits drastically, I gained new energy from the foods I ate, and broke the stranglehold of fast food & pastries. I felt healthier. I didn’t tire as easily. Though weight loss wasn’t the primary goal of the challenge, I also lost roughly 8 lbs, due directly, I believe, to the Fuel Challenge. The consistency of diet and exercise has maintained me through most of the year. But, the holidays, oh, the holidays! It won’t be long and we’ll be inundated with holiday parties, cakes and cookies in the breakroom of our offices and my personal weakness: turkey, dressing and cranberry chutney. I have heard no small number of Pax desiring to get control of their caloric intake before the upcoming and inevitable yule binge. To that end, we bring you the Pre-Holiday Fuel Challenge.
From the previous run this year:
“Health is a product of many things but primarily your diet and exercise. While F3 is very much focused on the exercise portion, many of us may not pay as much attention to our overall health, including what we eat and drink. Maybe you would like to drop a few pounds or reduce your alcohol intake. Maybe you have tried to eat healthier but keep “cheating” because there was no accountability for doing so.”
For these reasons and many more, F3-Columbia is proposing a 6-week cleanse program, “The Pre-Holiday Fuel Challenge”, from October 14- November 24 (Ending just in time for Thanksgiving!) This program is modeled after previous Challenges in F3 and it’s progenitors. Many have lost weight during these six-week programs, but more importantly improved their nutrition for the long-term after this “detox” or cleanse.
If you’ve done the Challenge before, much of this will seem familar, indeed, even verbatim from the July post to this one. I see no need to re-invent the wheel if it works. Because of that, the banned items discussed in the previous discussion areas still apply. New items can be brought up for review by the team, but, use your head. If the item in question has “bread” in the name, it’s still bread, and therefore banned.
The Challenge will give you a chance to test yourself with the support of your fellow men of F3. And maybe after 6 weeks, you will stick to the plan (or much of it) in order to live a healthier lifestyle. The program will have a base list of items that are prohibited during the six weeks as follows:
- No ALCOHOL (yes, yes I know…)
- No Fried Foods
- No Fast Food (inc. Pizza)
- No Red Meat
- No Breads
- No Potato Chips, Snack Foods, Etc.
- No Desserts
- No Sodas or Sweet Tea
This leaves many food and drink items available – no one will go hungry! Just eat/drink better.
You will receive ONE free pass per week also known as “The Cheat Meal” – this could be a steak dinner, a pizza, or a drinking occasion, etc. – no carryovers though, the pass can only be used that week – try to use your weekly pass in moderation. (And remember, a free pass is for a MEAL not an ENTIRE DAY!)
In addition, we will add WEEKLY CHALLENGES, beginning in week two. These may include dropping something else from your diet (such as dairy products or pork) or adding something to your routine.
- WEEK ONE – Take this first week to begin The Challenge.
- WEEK TWO to SIX – To be announced each week on the F3/Fuel site
Weekly challenges start on 10/14/13 and are NOT cumulative (unless you want them to be). They will be announced a few days before the next week starts. We will use Twitter to remind you of each week’s challenge posted on the site (no email).
I can’t stress enough the importance of logging in your food and exercise on something that’s trackable & accountable to your F3 brothers. You’ll be surprised how much some of your favorite foods cost in terms of calories vs. nutrition, and you’ll also be surprised how many of you may actually need to eat MORE good foods per day than you think. I use MyFitnessPal.com for this. I would recommend it to you as well.
If weekly abstinence challenges are not for you, instead focus on a 90/10 program: 90% of daily calories from fruits, veggies, beans and nuts (FVBN) and 10% from “other”: anything else. A ramp up would be best: Week 1: Track your normal diet in these terms (%FVBN vs. % other) Week 2: 70/30, Week 3: 80/20, Week 4-6: 90/10. You’re still going to kickstart your nutrition either way, and participate without the lack of a dietary need. All I ask is that you choose one way or the other, no bouncing back & forth between programs. Consistency is key! For those utilizing this program, please keep us informed of your progress and results.
If you are IN and ready to accept The Challenge, (either program) commit below (we highly encourage your M or Family to participate, as well).
For hints and Protips, see the Survivors Guide to the Six-Week Challenge posted by TigerRag.