Fit ‘n’ Healthy: Spring Break 7-day Challenge

Are you putting all your hours and hard work in at the gym and don’t seem to be getting anywhere?

Please don’t order any more products and gimmicks online or off the television that promise to give you abs of steel.

Try this one thing for me. Take your weight and a picture today, and then over the next seven days cut out all food with sugar.

Yes, all. Read all labels, and if there is sugar on the label – don’t eat it. I don’t care if it’s white sugar, cane sugar, brown sugar, rice syrup, high fructose corn syrup, glucose, fructose and so on.

Eat as much real vegetables and real protein and real fats as you like.

Then in seven days take your weight and another picture. Don’t change anything else. Drink your water, do your regular workouts, go about your normal day.

Now, I am not going to lie. This is a challenge and it will be hard.

Expect headaches and that “fuzzy” feeling in your brain for the first three to five days, but after that you will start to feel fabulous.

You will need to work at first at finding foods to eat. You will soon notice that sugar is in everything: breakfast cereal, ketchup, oat bars, crackers, pasta sauce, breads, jams, salad dressings, cured meats, juice, and almost everything that is pre-packaged.

At the end of your seven days, note how you’re feeling.

How are your energy levels? How does your body feel? How are you sleeping? Do your clothes fit differently? Maybe you’ve lost a pound or two.

If you feel good and your body is changing, why not keep going – why re-introduce sugar into your diet again?

Here is a list of known ways sugar affects your body:

Sugar can suppress the immune system.

Sugar can upset the body’s mineral balance.

Sugar can contribute to hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, concentration difficulties and crankiness in children.

Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.

Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.

Sugar can reduce helpful high density cholesterol (HDLs).

Sugar can promote an elevation of harmful cholesterol (LDLs).

Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.

Sugar contributes to a weakened defence against bacterial infection.

Sugar can cause kidney damage.

Sugar can produce an acidic stomach.

Sugar can raise adrenaline levels in children.

Sugar can speed the aging process, causing wrinkles and grey hair.

Sugar can increase total cholesterol.

Sugar can contribute to diabetes.

Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.

Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.

Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.

Sugar causes food allergies.

Sugar can cause liver cells to divide, increasing the size of the liver.

Sugar can increase the body’s fluid retention.

Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance.

Sugar can cause hypertension.

Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.

Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha and theta brain waves, which can alter the mind’s ability to think clearly.

This next seven days is not a diet or a detox. This is introducing a lifestyle change that will truly make a difference inside and out.

It’s only seven days out of the rest of your life, so why not give it a try? What do you have to lose?

This column is provided by Mrs. Lee Randell, independent fitness consultant, who is an ACE certified advanced health and fitness specialist and personal trainer. You can reach her at

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