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Mom was Right, Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables - #800gChallenge - Just Additions, No Restrictions!

EC Synkowski of OptimizeMe Nutrition tells us all about her refreshingly simple approach to nutrition in an interview I had with her this week for our upcoming START the ADVENTURE for the Rest of Your Life Fitness Challenge. EC's extensive credentials as a scientist and nutritionist makes for an informative and don't- miss-listen. Here I'm only highlighting the eating plans EC offers as it applies to our Challenge. The interview dives into motivation and accountability, setting up your environment for success, the benefits of tracking your food, intermittent fasting, how much water to drink and more. Learn more from EC: blog, Consistency Project Podcast, fabulous Instagram posts, or her TEDTalk.

For four weeks in May, participants are pledging to eat well and exercise for 4 weeks. EC’s #800gCHALLENGE is one of the nutrition options suggested for participants, that is simply eating 800 grams (by weight) of fruits and vegetables each day. That's it. She explains the advantages of filling up on these nutritionally dense foods. Originally based on research she encountered, that eating 800 grams of these wholesome foods will lessen the chances of developing a host of diseases, she also notes it fills you up and leaves less room for calorie dense food, like ice cream.

How much is 800 grams of fruits and vegetables?

You can weigh everything you eat. Here's a scale you can order.

Or you can measure. 800 grams equals approximately 6 cups.

Or you can estimate. 800 grams equals approximately 6 fist size servings.

Beans and potatoes are included. Watch this YouTube video for more info.

Wait, what else should I eat?

The fruits and vegetables will equal only a portion of your daily calorie requirements so eating like you normally would, you'll add protein and other foods as desired. By just making this one change for a month or so, many people begin to feel significantly better and lose weight with these shifts in eating.

Wait, I still have questions and would like more guidance.

Sign up for EC's#800gCHALLENGE . It's a 30 day challenge, it costs $27, includes daily 5 minute educational materials.

Get started now and so you can read the prep materials. It's really very simple to join and follow.

How much protein?

Some people want more structure. EC offers guidance for protein intake in her Lazy Macros plan, that is to eat the 800 grams of fruits and vegetables and keep track of protein grams eaten. She recommends using this formula to calculate recommended protein amounts: .7 x your body weight.

Example: (150 pounds x.7 = 105 grams protein)

To calculate protein values of food, use sites such as NutritionData or just ask Google :).

Wow, that's a lot of protein. Yes, many middle age women eat inadequate protein. This is a guideline; increasing protein, especially including it in every meal, will be an improvement and will help build muscle. EC talks about how muscle burns fat more efficiently, aiding weight loss and helps regain some of the muscle we lose with aging.

This is everything you need to get started with a nutrition plan that provides flexibility and ease. As EC says in her website, “When you understand nutrition isn’t about specific food choices, you get to stop chasing the trends”. By addressing the big picture, eat fresh, whole foods, enough of them (800 grams) , it’s a great place to start in a path to eating.”

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