The 800g Challenge®!

Ever Try a Diet that Adds Instead of Subtracts? Enter the 800g Challenge®

If you have read my columns in the past you probably know by now that I like a good challenge. About 6 months ago I joined a Crossfit gym, thanks to the gentle nudge from my buddy Kathryn Gentile ? We happen to live in the same zip code,  so she helped me dive into this new fitness endeavor, which I am now obsessed with. You rock, Kathryn!

Last month, the owner of the gym/coach decided to run a challenge. The challenge is called the #800gChallenge®.

There is just one simple rule for the whole challenge—Eat 800 grams (g) by weight of fruits and veggies per day… and continue to eat whatever else you want.

Yup- that’s it! Isn’t it an amazing concept for a diet? The only rule is to add, not subtract! That was officially the first time in my life I ever heard a diet do that. I’m in!

The first logical question you’re probably wondering is- why 800 grams? The idea and future challenge started by OpimtizeMe Nutrition’s founder EC Synkowski. The idea budded from the question “how do we measure quality in a diet?” What does a “healthy” or “clean” diet really mean.

EC states that several years ago she came across a meta-analysis in the International Journal of Epidemiology “which found that eating 800 grams of fruits and veggies each day can reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke, as well as overall mortality.” The idea was born.

Here is an example of what 800g looks like:

846 grams

You may be thinking, well that’s all fine and good, but I wouldn’t want to carry a scale with me everywhere I go.

So the good news is that 800g works out to be about 6 cups total. A sustainable way to approach this challenge would be to try for 2 cups at each main meal. In terms of calories, it ends up being around 500 total calories which is just a fraction of a person’s daily intake. Below is an example of what one day of eating could look like (images from the OptimizeMe Nutrition website):


I just completed this 30-day challenge and I truly only have positive things to say about it. What negatives could there be about adding real whole foods into your diet with intention?

It is truly a simple and sustainable approach of adding not subtracting. It is definitely worth a shot! Check out the website for all of the challenge details. 800gChallenge – OptimizeMe Nutrition