The 800g Challenge is a practical and sustainable approach to nutrition. The challenge was created by EC Synkowski who advocates for focusing on the fundamentals of quality and quantity. She generously created an outline which can be found here.
The idea is incredibly simple. It is, to eat 800g of vegetables and fruits each day. That is the only thing you are measuring using this approach. To give you an idea, 800g of veggies and fruits can fit on one standard dinner plate. With that being said, I’d advise not to tackle all 800g in one sit down.
What I love about the 800g Challenge is that it focuses on addition rather than subtraction. No foods are blacklisted or off-limits. I believe there are several benefits to this approach. First, it promotes a mindset of abundance rather than scarcity. In other words, you’re focusing on what you should eat rather than what you should not eat. Second, from a nutritional standpoint, it ensures you are getting enough micronutrients. Micronutrients, or vitamins and minerals, are vital to optimal health. Currently, 92% of Americans are deficient in at least one essential vitamin or mineral. Third, 800g of veggies and fruits is a significant amount of food by volume. This will keep you feeling full and therefore less likely to overindulge on additional, lower-quality foods. It is incredibly difficult to eat 800g of veggies and fruit in a day, and still want to snack on less nutritious options.
All you need is a food scale and you own preferred way to track your grams throughout the day. As always, start where you are with what you have. If 800g is too much of a stretch for day one, shoot for 400g and gradually increase each week.
It’s worth noting your body still needs protein and healthy fats, so utilizing the plate method is a recommended bonus. The plate method is structuring your plate as a 1/4 protein, 1/4 starch, 1/2 veggies and fruits, and sprinkled or topped with healthy fats. When you think protein, think meat, fish, and eggs. When you think fats, think nuts, seeds, avocado, or olive oil.
If you’ve been wondering where to start, give the 800g Challenge a shot.