Updated: Nov 17, 2021
With a million diets out there, how do you know which one is best for you and your goals? The short answer is, pretty much ALL diets work with 100% compliance. The more important question is tho, does the diet make you look, feel, and perform better in the long term? Meeting these 3 outcomes should be the main basis for evaluating if a diet is working for us.
One that note, whether you are trying to drop some body fat or just improve your health, the 800g/day fruit and veggie challenge is worth considering. Founded by EC Synkowski of OptimizeMe Nutrition, her research states that "Eating up to 800g fruit and vegetables a day -- or 10 portions -- was associated with a 24 per cent reduced risk of heart disease, a 33 per cent reduced risk of stroke, a 28 per cent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, a 13 per cent reduced risk of total cancer, and a 31 per cent reduction in dying prematurely"
Considering most of us don't consume the above quantity of fruits/veggies on a daily bases, the 800g challenge should be part of our nutrition strategy. Here are the top 3 reasons why I like it;
One of the main reasons people find it hard to comply with a diet is they don't feel satiated. Especially when you combine 800g of veggies and fruits/day with adequate protein, there doesn't leave much room for anything else. Basically feeling full reduces the temptation to binge on higher caloric garbage/processed foods. Not convinced? Try eating 2 cups of broccoli with every meal and see how hungry you are (only 62 calories).
From a psychological perspective, its easier to add things into your diet vs subtract or restrict things.
Another reason people fall off the wagon on any given diet is a lack of variety, boredom, or too many "No' foods. The 800g challenge is more sustainable because it is flexible to a tone of choice. Not only are there no other restrictions on the diet, but think of how many different fruits and vegetables there are!
So what exactly is the 800g challenge?
Eat 800g total grams of ANY vegetables and/or fruits per day
You must be able to weigh or measure food independently as an unprocessed item. For example, apples in an apple pie do NOT count.
No other dietary restrictions, you decide what else to eat as long as you get your 800g in each day.
So how much is 800g anyways?
A full dinner plate or 6 cups (approximately 6 handfuls)
What exactly counts as a fruit or vegetable?
For the most part I think everyone knows what a fruit or a vegetable is. For the specifics of this diet however, you can include beans, olives, avocados, corn, fermented/pickled foods, coconut, and potatoes.
What does NOT count ?
Anything fried, so no french fry's
Dried fruits and vegetables or juices
Peels, cores, or skins don't count towards the 800g
What are some hacks to help reach the 800g/daily goal ?
Try adding veggies or fruits to your protein shake to make a smoothie
Experiment and try to add one new fruit or vegetable a week. Add this task to your grocery list now.
Once a week cut up a bunch vegetables so they are ready to go in the fridge for meals or snacks. (celery, carrots, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower)
Share watermelon with your dog
Thanks for reading and please reach out with any questions or comments! If you're looking improve your health and fitness with online or in in person coaching please reach out to book a free consultation. I specialize in "helping busy professionals get fit without burning out" by working together with you on Tiny Habits to find the right plan that works best for you. I service the st. Lawrence Market, Distillery district, and Corktown neighbourhoods of Toronto. I also offer online coaching and virtual sessions for those outside the downtown Toronto area.