YOU’VE GOT ONE RULE.
Eat 800 grams (g) by weight of fruits and veggies per day… and continue to eat whatever else you want.
You pick the fruits and veggies and they can be weighed cooked, canned, frozen, or fresh. That’s right – all fruit, all veggies – it’s up to you.
Yep, that’s “it.”
Read on for the why and the how so you can start making the #800gChallenge® part of your life.
Why 800 grams though?
The idea started as an experiment for OptimizeMe Nutrition’s founder, EC Synkowski, years ago – “how do we measure quality in the diet?”
In other words, when someone says they eat “clean” or “healthy,” what does that REALLY mean?
Can we measure it?
Although some well-intended standards already exist (such as the USDA Dietary Guidelines), their rule structure was too complicated and burdensome to apply in modern, busy lives.
In the summer of 2017, EC came across a meta-analysis (summary of lots of different studies) in the International Journal of Epidemiology which found that eating 800 grams of fruits and veggies each day can reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke, as well as overall mortality.
The idea was born. “What about if I try to eat 800 grams of fruits and veggies each day, with no other rules, and see what happens?” EC asked.
After 6 months of playing with the idea to set the rules, collect nutrient data, and really determine the sustainability of the idea, the #800gChallenge® was publicly announced in Jan 2018. Since it’s inception more than 10,000 people and 900 gyms have participated, and it’s been featured on the TEDx stage.
Stop eliminating. Start adding.
When people think about diets, their first thought is: “What do I have to give up?” That deprivation mindset usually ends up in more cravings to which we cave – ending the diet soon after you began.
It’s time to flip the script on dieting and focus on adding, not eliminating, foods.
When you commit to eating 800 grams of fruits and vegetables every day, it means that you don’t ever have to eliminate any foods.
It turns out, you aren’t as hungry for junk food because you are pretty full of 800 grams of fruits and veggies. So, you naturally cut back on junk food that is the culprit for weight gain.
Instead of people feeling restricted and craving more sweets, they purposefully reach for more fruits and veggies. Viola! Weight loss, better energy, better recovery and more!
And guess what – since you don’t have to give up any of your favorite foods, it’s more likely to be sustainable to see the results you want.
How much is 800 grams though?
This is a very realistic standard for people of all sizes! Consider 800 grams the baseline and from which larger and more active people can scale up.
Eight-hundred grams fits on a standard dinner plate, but you certainly wouldn’t want to eat it at dinner alone.
It also works out to about 6 cups a day if you don’t have a scale. A sustainable strategy is 2 cups at each main meal.
In terms of calories, #800gChallenge® of mixed fruit and veggies end up being 500 calories or less (it ultimately depends on your food choices). But while you will feel full with all the fruits and veggies, it’s a fraction of the calories people need each day (usually 20-35% of total calories).
DOES IT COUNT? This is about eating fruits and vegetables – NOT products made with fruits and vegetables. When in doubt, leave it out!
No, they don’t count
When in doubt, leave it out! Remember, you can still eat these items – they just don’t count towards your 800 grams.
Store-bought or pre-made items that contain fruits or vegetables like soups, smoothies, frozen burritos
Dried anything (including fruit, veggie chips, coconut flakes)
Juices or milks of any kind
Commercially fried anything like french fries or tempura
Flours regardless of source
Grains of any kind (e.g., quinoa, buckwheat)
Nuts including peanuts (a legume) & seeds
Pasta regardless of source
Yes, they count
There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that count and are not on this list, because you know they count! Like apples, bananas, melons, squashes, all greens, cabbage.
Applesauce IF the only ingredients are apple and spices (no water, sugar, etc)
Baby food/squeeze packs if only fruit or veggies and without oil, water, and/or sugar
Beans Canned items if in water and spices only (weighed drained) Coconut (fresh/frozen chunks)
Corn as fresh kernels, corn on the cob
Edamame if not dried
Fermented/pickled foods (e.g., kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles) if the brine doesn’t have sugar
Guacamole if the entire ingredient list is only fruits and veggies. See also Recipes Hummus – See Recipes Legumes (beans), lentils, and peas
Pickles IF the brine doesn’t include sugar
Potatoes if they are not commercially fried. As for mashed potatoes, see Recipes
Recipes made with fruits and veggies count if you can weigh the qualifying items before cooking/prepping and estimate your serving size
Salsa if without added water, oil, or sugar. See also recipes
Smoothies – See recipes
Tofu if beans and spices only
Tomato sauce if without added water, oil, or sugar
Do you have to weigh and measure it?
It is recommended you do at home, but no need to bring a scale to a restaurant or when you are traveling. To estimate: a closed adult fist is about 1 cup. About 6 cups (6 fists) ends up being very close to 800 grams.
Except, leafy greens in salads don’t weigh much. They only weigh ~25g/cup – so think about it as 6 cups a day and as many leafy greens as you want when you are estimating. .
Dates: 4 Weeks
October 31st – November 27th
$59 – Non members
$49 – Members
Prizes awarded throughout
If you’re curious but just not quite sure, please think about booking a free consultation where we can discuss whether the challenge is right for you.