Great job on last week's challenge! Be sure to post a blog or send me a message to get your points!

Your challenge for the week of May 17th – 23rd is…

No processed carbs for the week – or as few as you manage.

If you can make it an entire week without any processed carbs, you’ll receive 1,000 FITera points.

If you eat between 1-4 processed carbs for the entire week, you’ll still receive 500 points.

5 processed carbs or more, but you still made a conscious effort and blogged about your experiences and offered encouragement and support to others, you’ll earn 250 points.

What are processed carbs?

Anything that is man-made or modified from its natural state. Any food that is picked from the ground or a tree is “natural”, such as fruits and veggies, beans, nuts, potatoes, etc. But when that potato has been modified into a potato chip, it becomes “processed” and therefore has less nutritional value and more calories. Natural carbs are ideal for fat loss, and good health in general, and therefore the focus of this first weekly challenge!

Here’s a list of some common processed carbs and good substitutes for them:

Processed carbs                       Natural alternatives
Tortilla                                         Romaine or iceberg lettuce
Chips                                          Sliced cucumbers
Crackers                                      Sliced apples
Pretzels                                        Berries
Bread                                           Sweet potatoes
Pasta                                            Spaghetti squash
Granola bars                                Homemade bars

There are some carbs that borderline natural/processed, yet still a healthy food, such as: brown rice, popcorn, and oatmeal (dry rolled or steel cut oats, not the sugar-packed packets). If prepared correctly, these are all acceptable in this challenge.

How will choosing natural carbs over processed ones improve your health and contribute to your fat loss efforts? Natural carbs are:

  • High in fiber: improves digestion and heart health and makes you feel full, satisfied, and energized longer.
  • High in vitamins and minerals: helps fight disease, improves your immunity, and assists in metabolizing fat.
  • Low in calories: you must create a “caloric deficit” (consume less calories than you expend) to lose fat.

I’m hopeful that this Weekly Challenge will help you make a conscious effort to choose natural carbs that are low in calories, yet high in nutrients vs. processed carbs that are the exact opposite – high in calories and low in nutrients. And I hope it’s a habit that you continue long-term.

If you have any questions or need any help at all, let me know!