UPDATE: New challenge starting January 11, 2016! Go here for the official announcement, but the rules for the challenge are on this page.
Let’s do this! Here we discuss the rules of the challenge. Whoo hooo!
Am I seriously excited about not having sugar?
After learning more about sugar addiction and the Fed Up Challenge, I started to take note of how often I ate sugar. I realized that I seek out sweets on a constant basis. Like all the time. (Listen, don’t you dare judge me but I caught myself eating leftover chocolate frosting out of a Duncan Hines tub as I was doing research about sugar addiction. Yeah.)
But recently, I admitted that I’m a serious sugarholic and you didn’t laugh at me. I think we’re bonding.
For the next step in my research…I started reading labels.
Scary horror music: “Dun dun dunnnnn!”
Just try it. Rummage through your fridge and pantry for 5 minutes. Read the labels. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
What you’ll find is almost every product has added sugar. If the ingredient list doesn’t list “sugar” it might say “high fructose corn syrup”, “cane sugar” or “maltodextrin” among others. Most sugar-free food products have artificial sweeteners like “Sucrolose” (Splenda) or “Aspartame” (NutraSweet). These sugar substitutes are just as bad, and, in my opinion, worse for you. For a list of names that sugar hides behind, check out this list of Other Names for Sugar.
My sugar-loving friends, this is scary.
So not only have I been eating sugar with every snack, drink, and dessert, I’m also consuming unnecessary added sugar with my bread, canned/jarred sauces, ketchup, salad dressings, yogurt, juices, and a whole lot more.
Hold up. Let’s stop right here. Bread?! Can you believe they add high fructose corn syrup to bread? It’s bread, people! Ya know, flour, yeast, water, salt?
I had no idea. If this concerns you (and it should), you might want to read this fantastic article by the Food Babe about what’s in your bread and some tips on which healthy bread to buy. What an eye opener! What really concerned me is the fact that some of the worst breads seem to be the ones labeled as “whole wheat” or lead you to believe they are healthy. There just isn’t a need for all of these chemicals and sugar substitutes. Sure they might have a longer shelf life, saving the bread companies and grocery stores money, but you and I are the ones that suffer.
Now that I’m done freaking out, let’s get back to the Fed Up Challenge rules.
The Rules for the Fed Up Challenge
So I’m giving you 2 options to try. One is definitely doable. The other is hard core, man. Like whoa. Choose the best fit for you and your limitations.
1. Pick a plan
2. Read the rules for your plan.
Rules for the Fed Up Challenge Plan A
- No added sugar of any kind. No sugar substitutes (including honey, molasses, sucrolose, etc). This means no dessert, candy, soft drinks, sports drinks, diet drinks.
- No processed products that have added sugar or sugar substitutes (pasta sauce, salad dressings, ketchup, yogurts, etc). For reference, see this list of Other Names for Sugar. You will be doing a lot of label reading!
- No fruit juice (even if it says 100% fruit juice and doesn’t list added sugars).
- No white flour or white starches (bread, pasta, potatoes, rice). Use brown rice or whole wheat flour. If using whole wheat bread or pasta, make sure there aren’t any hidden sugars in them. You’ll be surprised how many of them have sugars or sugar substitutes. I’m going to use Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain. (Ezekiel also sells pasta) If you’re allergic to gluten, eat the bread you need to, but try to find one with no added sugar.
- Limit alcohol intake. Definitely no mixed drinks (because you’re not allowed sodas and juices). No alcohol is preferred with this challenge but if you have a glass of red wine, shhhh…I won’t tell. But, you may not lose as much weight. Just don’t overdo it. If you drink too much, you’re bound to dig into that bag of potato chips or order a pizza.
Rules for the Fed Up Challenge Plan B
- No added sugar of any kind. No sugar substitutes (including honey, molasses, sucrolose, etc.). This means no dessert, candy, soft drinks, sports drinks, diet drinks.
- No processed products that have added sugar or sugar substitutes (pasta sauce, salad dressings, ketchup, yogurts, etc.). For reference, see this list of Other Names for Sugar. You will be doing a lot of label reading!
- No fruit juice (even if it says 100% fruit juice and doesn’t list added sugars).
- You may eat white flours and starches but try to eat them in moderation. You can do it! Also, make sure you look for breads with no added sugar. One of my favorite breads has no added sugar: Heidelburg French Peasant Bread. It’s downright delicious!
- Limit alcohol intake. Definitely no mixed drinks (because you’re not allowed sodas and juices). No alcohol is preferred with this challenge but if you have a glass of red wine, ssshhh… I won’t tell. But, you may not lose as much weight. Just don’t overdo it. If you drink too much, you’re bound to dig into that bag of potato chips or order a pizza.
3. Follow the plan
Misery loves company, right? Let’s stick together. If you mess up, remember that your next meal is an opportunity to eat healthy. Just do your best!
What is the purpose of doing the Fed Up Challenge?
My personal reason for doing this is truly an experiment with my body. I tend to snack quite a bit between meals and don’t always pick carrots! I wonder: will my skin look better? Will I lose any weight? Will I stop craving sweets? How strong is my willpower? I also have been having some health issues in the last few years and wonder if the sugar is affecting my health. I need to train myself to pay more attention to what I eat, and this 10-day Fed Up Challenge is part of that training.
You will probably have your own personal reasons for wanting to take sugar out of your diet. But I think the most important thing is that we both learn to read labels and realize what these food manufacturing companies are putting into our foods.
Why can’t I have sugar substitutes?
Artificial sugar substitutes may not have the calories, but they are loaded with chemicals, some proven to be cancer causing. All sugar substitutes (including natural ones like honey, and fruit juices) have the same impact on your brain as sugar does. They make you crave more sweets, increase hunger, and don’t help you kick the sugar addiction, which is what we’re trying to do here.
Why is it okay to eat fruit?
Fruit has nutritional value that these other chemical and natural sugar substitutes don’t have. They also have fiber and water.
If I follow Plan A, why can’t I have white flour, bread, rice, and potatoes?
White flour, bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes have a high glycemic index and turn into sugar in your body. The refining process used in making white flour removes about 100 vitamins and minerals from the wheat kernel. I’ve read that white flour is worse for you than sugar!
Complex carbohydrates like fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are more slowly absorbed into the body and provide longer lasting energy.
For a really good explanation read What’s So Bad About Flour and Sugar from ProcessedFreeAmeria.org.
What can I eat during the Fed Up Challenge?
Did you know that in order for the body to digest sugar, the body adapts by pulling nutrients, normally found in the fibers of the sugarcane, from its own bone and tissues. Yikes!
Start reading labels and educating yourself. I promise you’ll be shocked at how much sugar and chemicals are added to your favorite foods.
Please let me know in the comment section below if you’ll be joining me for the Fed Up Challenge! Don’t let me do this alone 🙂
For updates on the challenge, sign up via email in the upper right hand corner of this page. You can also follow me on Pinterest and Twitter, where I will be pinning and tweeting healthy choices during the duration of the Fed Up Challenge.
Here are some great Kitchen Snob recipes that are Sugar Free:
Poor Man’s Steak Salad (my newest sugar free recipe!)
Spicy Power Turkey Sandwich with Avocado Spread
Spicy Chicken Fried Rice
Impress Your Mother-In-Law Avocado Toast
Herbed Basmati Rice (instead of white rice use brown rice)
Easy Pan-Seared Pork Chops (omit the bread crumbs or use wheat flour or Ezekiel bread)
Fresh Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Bacon
Marinated Vegetable Salad