The 800gChallenge® was something that was brought to our attention and invented by friend of the program, EC Synkowski. If you do not know who EC is, you can find her on Instagram. Her handle is @optimizemenutrition. EC is one of a very very few CrossFit Level 4 Coaches. She was on the Seminar Staff for a number of years and is a Licensed Dietitian.
The 800 Gram Challenge was created to help people establish probably the most important pillar of good nutrition habits: eating high quality but low calorie foods. Most people want to lose weight. Most people need to lose weight in this country. We are probably one of the only countries in the world where it is not uncommon to see someone in poverty that is massively overweight. How can that be? If we look at the world throughout history – where we see poverty, we see famine. Well, in this country anyway, there has been quite the paradigm shift over the last 50 years. How did that happen?
We started eating less and less REAL food and more and more PROCESSED food. When we say REAL food, what do we mean? We mean food that was either going to be an animal OR you can pick from a tree or harvest it out of the ground. We mean food that has no ingredient list. If you can buy it at the grocery store, and it doesn’t have a nutrition label on it, it’s real food. Processed foods are exactly the opposite. They usually have a much longer shelf life. They are in boxes or some kind of packaging. They went through a PROCESS in some food plant before they ended up at the grocery store. They didn’t just get loaded into a truck, cleaned and then put out for purchase like they do with apples and oranges.
So, what exactly is the 800g Challenge? It is a challenge to consume 800 GRAMS in weight worth of fruit and vegetables every day. That is the ONLY stipulation. You can eat WHATEVER else you want. You must, however, be sure to also consume 800 GRAMS worth of fruit and vegetables in the day as well. For example, let’s say I sit down to have breakfast and I make myself some eggs and bacon with a banana. I’m going to peel the banana and place the whole thing on a food scale. You can get a food scale at HEB for $20. Whatever number of grams shows up on the scale, I will subtract from my total of 800. So, let’s say that this banana in particular weighs 125g. 800 minus 125 is 675. So, I still have 675g worth of fruit and vegetables to get to for the rest of the day.
Getting back to my original point of the intent here is where we went awry and why we are so overweight in this country. We started eating things that weren’t filling, didn’t take up a lot of volume in our stomachs (whether in actual weight or through fiber), and had A LOT of calories. We started eating things that didn’t fill us up, but still packed a HUGE calorie punch. This is weight gain 101. The inverse of this is the 800g Challenge. Eat things that are SUPER filling. NO ONE, in the history of humans in the modern era, has ever sat down and binge ate broccoli. You sit down and go through a whole package of oreos. Why? Because after a certain amount of broccoli, you get FULL. And, even if you ate A TON of broccoli it wouldn’t be detrimental, because why? Correct, it has essentially NO CALORIC value. The benefit to eating adequate protein AND a lot of fruit and vegetables is that you’re full WITHOUT going over on your caloric needs. And, remember in order to lose weight you MUST be at a caloric deficit. It’s just a fact of life.
So, the 800g Challenge begins on MONDAY. If you have questions, just ask. Buy a food scale this weekend. Do the challenge for ONE month WITHOUT missing a day. Watch what happens.
If you’re not a member of CrossFit Virilis and want to join us on the 800G Challenge or learn more about nutrition and fitness and how it can work for you, contact us here.