By now all those holiday treats should be gone from your cabinets, but Valentines Day will be here before you know it, with it’s heart-shaped boxes of pure SUGAR. If you are like the more than 140 million Americans who made a New Year’s resolution earlier this month, it’s a good bet that, “Eating healthier to lose weight,” or ”Feel better,” or “Boost my Koko Smartraining results,” are near the top of your list.
Start with this ONE THING
If you haven’t started on your 2015 plans for better health, diet or fitness, it’s okay. It’s still January and you have a whole year ahead to make positive change. Let’s start now.
As a Koko FitClub member, you know everything I preach is about making it simple to be healthy. Life is complicated enough, so in the spirit of simplicity, I want to give you the ONE thing you can do today, this week, this month — maybe even this whole year — to lose weight, feel healthier and look better: REMOVE SUGAR FROM YOUR LIFE.
I know I may sound like a broken record on this, but as you know from my Koko Cardioworkouts, sugar is the NUMBER ONE dietary element undermining our efforts towards living healthier and happier. For most people, changing your sugar intake will have the most immediate and noticeable impact on your health, your body, and your mood.
Many of today’s chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and liver disease are directly related to excessive consumption of sugar in the western diet. Here’s another more startling way to think about it: During the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, 1,500 American soldiers lost a limb in combat. During that same period, a THOUSAND times that number, 1.5 MILLION Americans, lost a limb to Diabetes.
Eliminating sugar in today’s world is not easy, but at least it gives you a singular enemy to focus on. Identifying the obvious sugars, like sodas and desserts is a good first step for most. But what you may not realize is that nearly 80% of ALL packaged foods contain added sugars under a myriad of names (61!) like high-fructose corn syrup and dextrose.
If you follow your personalized 21-day Koko Fuel plan, we will detox your diet of sugars automatically for you. If you’re not the meal plan type, then challenge yourself right now to seek out and eliminate as many added sugars as you can each meal every day this week, or this whole month, or maybe even all of 2015 and beyond.
7 Day Sugar Busting Challenge
I challenge you, for the next seven days, try to remove sugar from your diet.
- Completely cut out added table sugar (white or brown) and other sweetenersfrom your food and beverages. No agave nectar, no honey, no maple syrup. If you normally put sugar in your coffee or tea, be bold and try it black or cream-only for a week.
- Stop using “fake” sweeteners. Using artificial sweeteners can keep your sugar cravings going. No diet sodas. No sugar-free popsicles or desserts.
- Read your labels. If sugar is on the list, don’t eat it.
- No alcohol.
- Enjoy the natural sweetness of fruit. Have an apple with some natural, no-sugar peanut butter or almond butter. Try some “monkey salad” — a sliced banana with cashews and unsweetened shredded coconut. You’ll be amazed at how much sweeter the natural sugars of fruit will taste when you cut out the fake stuff for a week.
If you are really looking to challenge yourself and feel the greatest change in body composition, then try taking a few measurements around your waist and hips before and after your challenge. If you extend your challenge for a month, you should see greater results. Losing an inch or more around these areas will have many health and fitness benefits.
Comment on our Facebook page after your 7 day challenge is complete and let us know how you did! I guarantee you’ll feel better and you might just start a healthy habit that melts that belly fat in the long run.
Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer, Koko FitClub
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About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer
Michael Wood, CSCS, is Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, driving the development of integrated strength and cardio training and nutrition programs for Koko members nationwide. A nationally acclaimed fitness expert, Michael has conducted research as a Senior Exercise Physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and has lectured at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. He has been named Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” Personal Trainer, and made the Men’s Journal “Dream Team” list of the nine best trainers in the U.S. Michael and his family live in North Attleboro, MA.