The diet challenge for weight loss might seem a little nuts, but the logic behind it is sound. You can actually see results of this diet because it works in conjunction with a workout program. The diet is known as the keto (ketogenic) diet, and yes – you guessed it, it’s a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet.
Easiest Diet Challenges to Lose Weight That Work
Every time you boot up your Facebook feed, it can seem like there’s another new challenge popping up on your screen. And while some of these efforts are in the name of activism and raising awareness, there are plenty others that are simply the latest slim-down attempt-or worse, sales pitches. “Do this 30-day diet with me.and then buy the company’s product from me if you want!” Sound familiar?
The truth is that you don’t need an army of social friends to give you ideas for a rally cry, nor do you need to reinvent the wheel that makes weight loss move forward. Instead, there are numerous mini diet challenges to lose weight that you could be trying-some you already know you should be doing and some you don’t.
Our point? Do something from the below list and we promise you’ll see a change in your body faster than you’d expect. And for plenty of ways to get motivated, check out these motivation tips that actually work!
1. Reboot Your Breakfast with Protein
Carb-driven breakfasts, day in and day out? Enough of the madness! Instead of focusing on getting something into your belly, look to protein as your diet challenge. “It’s easy to load up on carbohydrates like bagels, croissants, and cereals for breakfast. But protein is a key factor in satiety and keeping your blood sugar stable for longer periods of time,” offers Lisa Hayim, MS, RD registered dietitian and founder of The Well Necessities. “Compared to a high-carbohydrate meal, a high-protein breakfast is associated with a level blood sugar for up to three hours post meal consumption.”
2. Dial Down the Alcoholic Drinks
Okay, we know this one is no fun; it’s perhaps the most of a challenge of many of the items on here! But a study published in the American Journal of Nutrition showed that alcohol is one of the biggest drivers of excess food intake.
Another study published in the journal Obesity has suggested that this may be because alcohol heightens our senses. Researchers found that women who’d received the equivalent of about two drinks in the form of an alcohol infusion ate 30 percent more food than those who’d received a placebo.
We’re not saying you have to go dry, but if you replace your booze with H2O, you might be shocked at how different your jeans feel in a week or two!
3. Disconnect Emotion and Eating
Although a negative feeling like stress, loneliness, and frustration will eventually quiet down, the calories you consume will not. So, here’s the challenge: If you’re feeling the slightest bit emotional and want to eat-or it’s even time to eat-force yourself to either do something else or to eat something healthy and wholesome. Not only will you retrain your body for what to expect to feel better, but experts say that truly experiencing your emotions will teach you that it’s possible to tolerate them head-on. Don’t forget that the pendulum swings both ways, though; be careful of how and what you’re eating when you’re feeling super awesome, too!
4. Follow the 10:1 Rule
It’s super simple but is a handy rule of thumb to keep in mind whenever you’re shopping for a loaf of bread: “For every 10 grams of carbs, there should be 1 gram of fiber,” says Rebecca Lewis, RD for HelloFresh. It really is our #1 tip for if you want to eat bread without gaining weight!
5. Get Your Fruits and Veggies!
If you do any challenge, we vote for this one! “Eat five servings of veggies (a serving = one cup raw, half-cup cooked) and four servings of fruit (a serving = a small piece of fruit or half-cup),” suggests Kimberly Gomer, RD, Director of Nutrition at Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa. “To promote weight loss, eat the veggies as a first course prior to your meals. Be creative; eat a chopped salad, a fruit salad, roasted veggies, or a big bowl of veggie soup.” Be sure to sneak in some of these six best veggies for weight loss!
6. Allow Zero Distractions when Eating
Allow Lewis to elaborate: “It is difficult to eat mindfully if you are quickly rushing through a meal to get to the next thing. It’s even more difficult to be mindful if you are distracted by an electronic device that steals your attention from the food.” The challenge? “Take a full 30 minutes to eat your lunch or dinner. Seriously, set a timer. Do so without your phone, computer, TV, magazine, or other distractions. Eating with someone else is encouraged!”
7. Eat a Probiotic-rich Food
“Most people complain about constipation or not having regular bowel movements. I have found a simple solution: Consume one probiotic food or beverage a day,” says Hayim. “This can range from Greek yogurt to kombucha to even just a half cup of miso soup. These probiotics add good bacteria into your gut and help stimulate a healthy gut flora and normal digestion.” Try these probiotic products that aren’t yogurt!
8. Wind Down with Tea
“Making a cup of tea, and then sipping it slowly, is a great way to incorporate a winding down period into each day. Often, the after dinner time period is one where the stresses of the day can build up. For many people this leads to snacking when they’re not hungry and/or difficulty falling asleep,” says Willow Jarosh, MS, RD, CDN, of C&J Nutrition. “A nightly herbal tea ritual is a way to wind down, hydrate, and relax before bed. This nightly tea time can also be combined with journaling as a powerful way to healthfully handle daily stress, sans food.” Make the most of the benefits of tea with The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse! Test panelists lost up to 10 pounds in one week!
10-Day Challenge Diet Plan
Eatingwell suggests these delicious breakfasts ideally suitable for the challenge (2)
- Soft-Boiled Eggs With Soldiers
Soft-boiled eggs with toast soldiers are one of the classic English breakfasts. Simply cut toast into strips and serve with dippy eggs for a fun and healthy breakfast recipe.
Ingredients: 2 large eggs, 2 pieces of toasted whole-wheat bread, a pinch of salt, a pinch of ground pepper.
Nutritional Value: 284.5 calories; protein 19.5g, carbohydrates 24.7g, fat 11.5g.
- Ricotta And Yogurt Parfait
This fast and simple breakfast recipe is easy to throw together in the busy morning. Or you can stir together the filling in a jar the night before and top with the fruit, nuts and seeds when you wake up.
Ingredients: _ cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt, ¬ cup part-skim ricotta, « teaspoon lemon zest, ¬ cup raspberries, 1 tablespoon slivered almonds, 1 teaspoon chia seeds.
Nutritional Value: 272 calories; protein 21.7g 44% DV; carbohydrates 25.1g, fat 9.6g.
- Peanut Butter-Strawberry-Kale Smoothie
This green smoothie recipe makes for a quick and nutritious breakfast you can easily take on the go.
Ingredients: 1 cup unsweetened soy milk, 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1 cup chopped kale, 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 2 eaches 2-4 ice cubes.
Nutritional Value: 321 calories, protein 11.9g, carbohydrates 39.8g, fat 12.3g.
- Buttermilk Oatcakes With Raspberry Compote
These oatcakes are made with 100% whole grains, are high in fiber, and contain no butter. A quick raspberry compote is a nice change from high-calorie maple syrup.
- Oatcakes: 2 cups well-shaken buttermilk or plain kefir, 1 large egg, 1 « cups rolled oats, « cups whole wheat flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, « teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¬ teaspoon salt.
- Compote: 2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, or to taste, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Nutritional Value: 303 calories, protein 12.1g, carbohydrates 55g, fat 5.3g.
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- Apple Oatmeal
Add apples to your morning oatmeal for the perfect combination of whole grains and fruits.
Ingredients: 4 crisp apples, 1 cup steel-cut oats, 4 cups water, 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar, « teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¬ teaspoon salt, « cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt.
Nutritional Value: 282 calories, protein 8g, carbohydrates 59g, fat 2.7g.
Check out these lunches from Eatingwell to stay energized throughout the day and lose weight (3)
- Veggie And Hummus Sandwich
This vegetable and hummus sandwich is a delicious and healthy vegetarian lunch. Healthy fats from the avocado and fiber from a variety of vegetables will keep you full.
Ingredients: 2 slices whole-grain bread, 3 tablespoons hummus, ¬ mashed avocado, « cup mixed salad greens, ¬ medium sliced red bell pepper, ¬ cup sliced cucumber, ¬ cup shredded carrot.
Nutritional Value: 325 calories, protein 12.8g, carbohydrates 40g, fat 14g.
- Crunchy Mexican Salad With Spicy Cilantro Vinaigrette
This delicious and simple crunchy black bean salad with a spicy cilantro dressing is a perfect combination of taste and health. The black beans add protein and fiber to this great dish to keep you full throughout the day.
Ingredients: 2 cups Veggie Crunch Salad, « cups rinsed canned low-sodium black beans, « cup diced red bell pepper, 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, 2 tablespoons roasted, salted pumpkin seeds, 2 tablespoons Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette.
Nutritional Value: 404 calories, protein 16g, carbohydrates 44g, fat 20g.
- Egg Salad Lettuce Wraps
This egg salad wrap is very simple and the taste is amazing. Iceberg lettuce makes a great low-carb swap for bread to make your weight loss journey smooth and delicious.
Ingredients: ¬ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, « teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 pinch Pinch of salt, 1 pinch Ground pepper to taste, 3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, 2 stalks celery, minced, 2 tablespoons minced red onion, 2 or 3 large iceberg lettuce leaves, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, 2 carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
Nutritional Value: 435 calories, protein 27g, carbohydrates 21g, fat 27g.
- Clean-Eating Bento Box Lunch
This healthy and delicious bento-style lunch is loaded with clean and nutritious foods and can be quickly packed to take on-the-go.
Ingredients: « cup snap peas, ¬ cup blueberries, « medium apple, sliced, 1 ounce Cheddar cheese, sliced, 2 tablespoons hummus, 8 eaches seeded whole-grain crackers.
Nutritional Value: 303 calories, protein 14.4g, carbohydrates 47g, fat 17g.
- Greek Salad Wraps
Greek salad packed with tomatoes, cucumber and olives, and chickpeas for a protein punch-gets tucked into a whole-wheat wrap for a great vegan lunch that’s easy to pack for work.
Ingredients (6 servings): ? cup red-wine vinegar, ¬ cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano, ¬ teaspoon salt, ¬ teaspoon ground pepper, 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce, 1 (15 ounce) can reduced-sodium chickpeas, rinsed, 1 medium cucumber, halved and sliced (1 1/2 cups), 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes, ¬ cup sliced pitted Kalamata olives, ¬ cup slivered red onion, 6 eaches 8- or 9-inch whole-wheat wraps.
Nutritional Value: 333.5 calories, protein 9.3g, carbohydrates 42g, fat 14g.
Finally, the perfect dinners to finish your busy days
- No-Noodle Eggplant Lasagna
Satisfy your craving for cheesy lasagna with this noodle-less option. Roasted eggplant slices go instead of noodles in this low-carb, gluten-free lasagna.
Ingredients: 2 large eggplants (2 1/2-3 pounds total), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 12 ounces lean ground beef, 1 cup chopped onion, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 1 (28 ounce) can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes, ¬ cup dry red wine, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, _ teaspoon salt, ¬ teaspoon ground pepper, 1?« cups part-skim ricotta cheese, 1 large egg, lightly beaten, 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided, 4 leaves chopped fresh basil for garnish.
Nutritional Value: 300 calories, protein 24g, carbohydrates 19g, fat 13g.
- Roasted Autumn Vegetables And Chicken Sausage
Butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, garlic and sausage all roast on one sheet pan in this super-easy and delicious dinner.
Ingredients: 1 20-ounce package cubed peeled butternut squash, 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (or quartered if large), 1 large red onion, halved and thickly sliced (1/2-inch), 4 cloves garlic, minced, 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried, ¬ teaspoon salt, « teaspoon ground pepper, 4 cooked chicken sausages (12 ounces).
Nutritional Value: 334 calories, protein 17.5g, carbohydrates 33.6g, fat 16g.
- Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Enjoy the classic flavors of Buffalo chicken wings in a healthier and weight loss friendly way. Spooned into spaghetti squash boats and topped with blue cheese, this lighter version is just as tasty as the original one.
Ingredients: 1 spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds), halved lengthwise and seeded, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, _ cup diced carrot (1 medium), _ cup diced celery (2 ribs), _ cup diced onion (1 small), 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded, 4 ounces Neufchƒtel cheese, ¬ cup hot sauce, ¬ cup low-fat milk, ¬ teaspoon celery seeds, ¬ cup crumbled blue cheese (2 ounces), ¬ cup sliced scallions.
Nutritional Value: 441 calories, protein 43g, carbohydrates 27g, fat 18g.
- Ginger Roasted Salmon With Broccoli
This flavorful, healthy salmon dish can be cooked in under 30 minutes, making it a perfect and nutritious meal for busy evenings.
Ingredients: 1?« tablespoons toasted (dark) sesame oil, 1?« tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari, 1?« tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, ¬ teaspoon salt, divided, 1 pound 8 cups large broccoli florets with 2-inch stalks attached (about 1 pound), 1 tablespoon molasses, 1?¬ pounds wild salmon, cut into 4 portions, 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds.
Nutritional Value: 323 calories, protein 34g, carbohydrates 17g, fat 13g.
- Chicken, Arugula And Butternut Squash Salad With Brussels Sprouts
Hot roasted vegetables are combined with arugula and chicken in this healthy dinner salad recipe.
Ingredients: ?_ cups precubed butternut squash, 2?« cups halved Brussels sprouts (or quartered, if large), 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, _ teaspoon salt, divided, ? teaspoon ground pepper plus 1/4 teaspoon, divided, 2 cups cubed cooked chicken (1/2-inch; about 10 ounces), 1 cup red grapes, halved, « cup very thinly sliced red onion, 1 5-ounce package baby arugula, ¬ cup walnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard.
Nutritional Value: 242 calories, protein 17.4g, carbohydrates 17.5g, fat 12.1g
Ways this 30-day eating challenge will change your body and mind.
When it comes to eating better, most folks worry about the little details:
“Are potatoes fattening?”
“If I don’t drink a protein shake after my workout, is it even worth exercising?”
“Is keto really the best way to lose weight? Or should I be doing Paleo? Or what about the alkaline diet?!”
Yet they eat over the kitchen sink. Or in their car. Or in a daze while in front of the TV.
And who can blame them? We’ve been taught to think about what we eat, not how we eat.
That’s too bad since.
Eating slowly and mindfully can actually be more important than:
what you eat
when you eat
getting anything else “perfect”
Now, this may seem a bit controversial. After all, if you only eat Oreos, the speed at which you consume them isn’t your biggest problem.
But setting aside the extremes, slow eating may be the single most powerful habit for driving major transformation.
Instead of having to figure out which foods to eat, in what frequency, and in what portions-all important factors, of course-eating slowly is the simplest way anyone can start losing weight and feeling better, immediately. (Like, after your first slow-eaten meal.)
That fuels confidence and motivation, and from there, you can always tighten up the details.
Because why go to the complicated stuff right away, when you can get incredible results without it?
Slow eating isn’t just for nutrition newbies. Nutrition nerds can also see big benefits. If you’re like Cameron, for example, it could be the key to unlocking never-before-seen progress. In fact, we’ve seen it work for physique competitors, fitness models, and even Olympic athletes.
Slow eating is like the secret weight-loss weapon everyone has access to, but nobody knows about.
That’s because it can help you.
1. Eat less without feeling deprived.
Sure, many popular diets claim this as a benefit. But with slow eating, this phenomenon can occur even if you don’t change what you’re eating.
For example, in one study, University of Rhode Island researchers served the same pasta lunch to 30 normal-weight women on two different days. At both meals, participants were told to eat until comfortably full.
But they were also told:
Lunch 1: Eat this meal as fast as you can.
Lunch 2: Eat slowly and put your utensils down between every bite.
When eating quickly, the women consumed 646 calories in 9 minutes.
When eating slowly, they consumed 579 calories in 29 minutes.
So in 20 more minutes, the slow-eaters ate 67 fewer calories. What’s more, it also took them longer to feel hungry afterward compared to when they were speeding through their lunch.
These effects, spread across every meal and snack, could add up to hundreds of calories saved over the course of a day.
Granted, this is just a single study, but it demonstrates what we’ve seen with our clients over and over.
(Feel free to try this experiment at home right now, if you like.)
Why does this happen?
Reason 1: Physiology. It takes about 20 minutes for your body’s satiety signals to kick in. Slow eating gives the system time to work, allowing you to better sense when you’ve had enough.
Reason 2: Psychology. When you slow down, and really try to savor your meal, you tend to feel satisfied with less, and feel less “deprived.”
2. Look and feel better.
Have regular bloating, cramping, or stomach pains? Many of our clients say slow eating helped solve their digestive issues.
Why does speed matter?
Because when you wolf down your food, you take larger bites and chew less.
Your stomach has a harder time mashing those big chunks of food into chyme-the sludgy mix of partially digested food, hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes, and water that passes from your stomach into your small intestine.
When food isn’t properly broken down into chyme, it can cause indigestion and other GI problems. We may absorb fewer nutrients, depleting ourselves of valuable vitamins and minerals.
Besides making you uncomfortable (maybe even miserable), shoddy digestion can also affect your mindset.
For instance, if your meal leaves you bloated, burpy, and sluggish, you may interpret this as “feeling out of shape,” and become discouraged about your efforts. On the other hand, slowing down and digesting your food properly may help you “feel leaner.”
3. Learn what “hungry” and “full” feel like.
Ever have a meal because it’s a certain time of day, even if you’re not particularly hungry?
Or clean your plate, though you’re pretty sure you’ll regret it?
These are just a couple of ways people tune out their internal hunger and satiety cues. There are plenty more, but the point is:
Many of us eat when we’re not hungry, and keep eating when we’re full.
Slow eating can help get you right again. With regular practice, it improves your appetite awareness. You learn to recognize -and more importantly, trust-your body’s own internal signals.
Over time, this retrains you to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Not because some rigid meal plan demands it, but because your body (a.k.a. your new best friend) tells you so.
This is the difference between being “on a diet” and learning how to “listen to your body”. a valuable skill that allows you to make healthier choices for the rest of your life.
Voila-lasting body transformation in a way that doesn’t suck.
Disrupt patterns that derail your progress.
If you struggle with binge eating, learning to go slow can help.
That might sound odd, since a binge is driven by an overwhelming urge to consume as much food as possible, as fast as possible. (This quality is what differentiates binge eating from run-of-the-mill overeating.)
But the skills you develop from slow eating can help you mitigate the damage, and build resilience over time.
Here’s how: When you’re in the grip of a binge, slow down as soon as you realize what’s happening.
Pause. Breathe. The food will wait for you. Even just one breath between bites will help.
You might not be able to stop eating right away, and that’s okay. How much you eat isn’t as important as getting back into a more thoughtful state of mind.
With this “binge slowly” technique, most people can regain a sense of control. And the more you practice it, the more effective it will be.
If you keep slowing down, even during your most difficult moments:
You’ll become more aware of why, where, and how you’re binging (so it won’t seem random, and eventually you can break the chain).
You’ll likely eat less and stop sooner.
You’ll feel less panicked and powerless.
You’ll be able to soothe yourself more effectively, and get back into “wise mind” faster.
In time, this’ll help normalize your eating, boost your physical and psychological health, and improve body composition (or help you maintain a healthy body composition more easily, without restriction-compensation cycles).