I have to be honest. With the hustle and bustle of the holidays my clean eating focus is starting to become very difficult. I'm still trying to follow all of the challenges, drinking water, eliminating junk food, no eating 3 hours before bed etc. but I am starting to get distracted or maybe bored is a better word. The goal for this challenge is to get through the holidays without gaining a ton of weight and maybe even loosing a few and of course developing a healthy eating lifestyle. So far I am on track with that goal but it does get difficult day to day. The scale went down .5 this week and you know what...I'll take that. As long as it is moving in the right direction I am satisfied. The challenge this week is a bit difficult which is why we are allowed two free days.
Week 6 Challenge:
If man makes it, don't eat it. This is likely to be the hardest week of your diet. You want to eat only whole foods and eliminate all processed foods, even good ones, for the week. This includes breads, most salad dressings, all cereal, luncheon meats (I thought after my pregnancy I was in the clear with luncheon meats!!!), cheese, dried fruits, anything with preservatives, and alcoholic beverages. What you can eat are whole foods such as fruit, raw or steamed vegetables, meat (sans any type of sauce.... no BBQ Chicken), natural whole-grain rice, poached eggs, etc. Since your eating habits have been slowly changing, this shouldn't be that big a shock to your system, but keeping in focus that you only have to do this for 7 days will make it easier. (Although each week's rules are cumulative in the plan, Week 6 is more of a "cleanse" or "reset" week where you avoid all processed food; after Week 6, you can go back to the occasional processed food, but chances are you'll take what you learned this week and tend to make healthier, smarter choices.)
Free Days: 2
The "free day" mentality isn't a bad one. Rewards like decadent desserts, a night at the buffet, or drinking with friends are good for you as long as you keep them in perspective and don't gorge yourself. Plus, there's some method to this madness as well, in that you still tend to crave nutrients you lack. So if you're cutting down on the calories to lose weight, allowing yourself a free day will give your body a chance to take in what it needs to avoid being malnourished.