February Fitness/Health Challenge Week 1

Update: This weeks randomly selected winner will receive an UnderArmour e-gift card valued at $20.

This week’s challenge has ended. To see who the winner is click here.

Week 1: No night time snacks at least 2 hours before bedtime. Ideally no eating after 7 pm.

Listen, this weeks challenge is tough, but that is why it’s called a challenge. This one is first because if you can conquer this the rest of the month will be easy. When you don’t eat late you get a better nights sleep and actually wake up in the morning ready to eat the hearty breakfast everyone boasts is the most important meal of  the day, and guess what? It is. Starting with a healthy breakfast jump starts your metabolism and gets your body going.

Yes, I don’t want you to put any food in your mouth after 7pm every day for the rest of the month. Everyone’s schedule is different depending on when you get to bed. Ideally if you go to bed at 9pm then not eating after 7 will be less of a challenge for you. If, however, you’re a night owl then you might have more difficulty with this one. Either way, this new habit will help you in achieving your health and fitness goals.

This week and for the rest of the month you can only drink water from 7pm till bedtime and that is it. No candy, gum, juice, and obviously no food.

51 responses to “February Fitness/Health Challenge Week 1

  1. Well I made it…it was hard though! Bring on challenge 2!

  2. This weeks challenge was tough for me as I was raised in a culture where dinnertime is usually at 9. I failed to keep it up Sunday(ate some grapes) but the rest of the week I was able to uphold it. I did feel healthier, however it will be. A hard habit to keep when I work overtime!

  3. I was stuck inside all week because of ice and snow down in Texas, which traditionally has no need for snow plows. It was difficult to adhere to this one, but it gave me something work for while I was stuck indoors. My girlfriend joined in as well and so it’s been a fun thing to do together. We’ve both got resolutions for a fit life in 2011 and have already seen improvements in that area. This is one more step down that road.

  4. Bring on the next challenge!!! This was terrific. This one wasn’t a difficult challenge for me – but my husband got on board too and for him it was brutal! Good news is we have done it!!! Don’t think my husband will manage tomorrow night, given the game party, but otherwise we are golden. Makes me glad that I wasn’t invited to that party. Hope everyone else is doing well. I expect that next week is going to be the hard one for me. I have always known that I should drink more water, have often thought that I would try, but it never quite happens. I am hoping that the challenge gives us very specific goals. “More water” has just never worked for me.

  5. So far I’ve done better than expected with this one. Couple of nights i ate after 7 due to not getting home from bootcamp till then (good excuse right?!) so I just went to bed a bit later.
    The water one I should smash through this week as I generally drink 2.5 litres a day (thanks to an iPhone app that helps me track it)

  6. No food or soda 2 hours before bed time. This has actually helped me get my water in since my “go to drink” is Diet Dr. Pepper. But after 7:00 pm, I’ve only had water. Thanks for the challenge, it was one!

  7. Ok, NO snaking before bed!! I can do this!

  8. It’s the middle of the week…How’s everyone doing with the challenge? I must admit it is a tough one. Sunday night: we had Alex’s cousins over and he decided to make his favorite European pastry. Everyone was chowing down while I resisted. I kept telling myself this is the true test. Resist this and I’ll be all set for the rest of the week. I succeeded, phew. I felt so empowered after that.
    Monday night: Alex and his cousin wanted to eat ice cream at around 11:00pm so they each took a Klondike. I personally don’t like them, not much of a challenge there. After they were done eating I asked them how it was? They said good and asked me how mine tasted, teasingly? I said, “the air tasted quite good” and we all laughed. Again, I felt so good to know that I have self control and that I was able to use it
    Tuesday night: Alex went to the airport to pick up his parents who are visiting. We have a full house I was able to relax with no pressures and just enjoy the evening with no temptations.
    I do have to add that I am feeling so much better in the mornings. My belly is not bloated and heavy. I feel good when I look at myself in the mirror and I am ready for a good breakfast. Best of all, I am realizing more and more that I do have the self control and will power I’ve always wanted but never thought I had.
    We will see what tonight brings, but I just wanted to say that all your comments have really helped me with this journey and I hope you all can “feed” off of each others’ stories to help you stay on track too. Keep up the good work!

  9. This isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. It does take discipline because I love my little sweet snack, but drinking the water seems to help.

  10. Ok I am ready…Week 1 is gonna be a challenge for me!!! I am a night owl and have a serious sugar attack around 9:00 pm!!! Here is a little background…I started working out about 2 years ago and lost about 30lbs…I didnt really change my eating habits but I did cut out sugary drinks and tried to have portion control. Despite my efforts I have gained back about 15-20 lbs due to not keeping up with the exercising and quitting smoking. I have started the c25k program and I am on week 3 day2 and I am trying to do some other kind of cardio (eliptical) or strength training the other two days of the week and I take off the week-ends. The biggest struggle for me is the food but like I said I am ready!!!!!

  11. Can’t do the no eating after 7 pm thing since my husband doesn’t get home from work until then, but can do the no snacking 2 hours before bed, no problem. I usually don’t go to bed until 11ish. Good luck to everyone w/ the challenge!

  12. This is clearly gonna kill me ! I usually goto bed at 1-2am………..but I’ll do it this time: no eating after 7pm! and go to bed if I’m too hungry….

  13. Ready to start this wks challenge! No more late dinners.

  14. I’m in. I have been trying to do this anyways and this might provide some additional motivation.

  15. Hey this is great!!! I am definitely on board for these challenges. The snacking at night one isn’t hard for me. I gave it up quite a while ago and have lost 20 pounds (I still have 5 more to go and I certainly could be more in shape and eat more healthy). The next few though are really going to be a challenge. I am hoping that you are going to get more specific than drink “more” water or eat “more” vegetables and fruit.

  16. Count me in! A challenge is just what I’m needing!!!

  17. Thanks for starting this – I’m in!

  18. I have accepted the challenge. I’ve lost 45lbs since July and I have about 70 more to go. January was definitely more of a plateau for me and I need this jumpstart.

  19. Sounds tough…I’m in :)
    I think I’ll schedule an alarm at 7pm to remind me to brush my teeth to help make this happen…

  20. How do we followyou on twitter and alsohow do we sign up for the challenge?

  21. I am game…ill give it a shot being a night owl some nights this is gonna be a tough one but it won’t kill me to try hopefully…

  22. Pingback: February Fitness/Health Challenge « Couch to 5K

  23. I’m interested in following this challenge, but what about people who work past 5?

    I regularly don’t finish work till after 6.30 so by the time I get home it’s well past 7. After cooking dinner it’s often 8pm by the time I’m sitting down to eat.

    With no ability to eat dinner at work, what do you suggest?

    • Helen,

      I know this is a tough one for people who do not have the regular 9 to 5 job, but I think it can be done. Before I answer your question I would like to ask you a few questions myself. What time to you go to bed? When do you wake up? When does work start? When do you usually break for lunch? If you wouldn’t mind answering some of these questions it would really help me with answering not only your question but others with the same type of schedule. Thanks

      • Thanks for your response Tanya :-)

        I usually go to bed between 11 and midnight, and get up around 7/7.30. I leave for work around 8.30 and get in and start at 9. Lunch I take around 12-1pm meeting dependent. I eat breakfast (museli) at work when I get in, as I’m usually not hungry until then, and I find im then not hungry till lunch time. I can finish work anytime between 5.30 and 7.30 on a regular day, but I have been known to finish at 10…although those days are stressful and rare!

        I’m not a morning person but i find I work best late morning, and after 5ish so I plan around that, hence working late. I run a team so get lots of interruptions during the day, so most of my most productive time is when everyone has gone home!

      • Thanks Helen for getting back to me so quickly. Sounds like you have a busy work week:) I have to commend you on the muesli for breakfast. Do you have your own recipe? If you do, please share :) That being said. The reason why you are not hungry until 9 in the morning is because you eat a late dinner. Your stomach is still deciding what to do with the left over undigested meal. And because you eat a very good breakfast that’s why you’re not hungry even for lunch. There are sooooo many variables that goes into changing something as simple as the time you eat dinner. Are you married? Do you have kids? Can dinner be made ahead of time and eaten without you when you get home late? All these things I don’t know, but one thing is for certain, when you are willing to make a change anything is possible. It may take some more planning on your part, but it’s worth it. Check out this link http://www.womenfitness.net/top10_no_skip_breakfast.htm for the Top 10 reasons not to skip breakfast. With eating breakfast earlier you’ll find that you’ll be ready for your lunch break.

    • I’m similar as I don’t get home till a bit later.
      I’m up at 6:30 and at work by 7:30. I eat toast and vegemite (I’m an Aussie) for breakfast at about 8 and lunch at 12. I’ll have carrots and grapes for morning and arvo snacks.
      I’ve also just started a bootcamp which 2 days a week won’t finish till 7:30pm and the other days I work late
      I’m in bed by 9pm or earlier.

      • Suzie,

        When do you get to have dinner? Between 5 and 6 pm? I also like that you started a new workout regimen and that you get to bed on time.

      • Tanya – I’m definitely ready for lunch when it comes! Sorry if that wasn’t clear. If year breakfast before I leave for work j usually end up snacking at 11ish. Also I’m on medication that I’m supposed to take first thing and on an empty stomach…. And if get up at 5.30 I’m falling asleep at work by 3! :-)

        Also, I do make up dinner every week so that when I come in I just throw some veggies in the steamer (everyone should have a steamer!) and a casserole in the microwave and it’s done in 5 mins. But I’m still eating that at 7.30/8 if I’ve had a busy day.

        Just a quick question though – what are the physical benefits of not eating past 7?

      • That sounds great and it looks like you are eating a sensible dinner. The challenge is to not eat anything after 7 or at least 2 hours before going to bed. Sounds like you’ll be able to complete the challenge anyway. Thanks for clearing it up for me.
        Late night dinners can be bad for your health depending on what you are eating and how late. Often times heavy meals eaten late at night can contribute to poor sleeping with nightmares, can contribute to weight gain, developing high cholesterol and reflux. Late night eating and bad snacking can help eliminate many other preventable diseases that we see occurring in the world these days.

      • I really don’t know how I’ll go with this one. I’m on my way home from bootcamp now at 7:15pm and won’t be home for about 15 mins.
        Between not having dinner and eating at 8 then not going to bed till 10pm which is later than normal what’s the best option?
        I go straight to bootcamp from work and can’t workout on a full stomach.

      • Did you have a good workout? Sorry I didn’t get back to you in time. What did you end up doing?

      • I had a light dinner of some Cous Cous and a little salad and went to bed later. Kind of wishing I’d skipped dinner all together cos I’m up early and tired.
        Workout was awesome even if it was bloody hot today at 32celcius and high humidity.

  24. I usually try to eat lean protein before bed to keep my body from pulling what muscle I do have while I’m sleep.. I just started this habit so this will be a challenge and change in my process. but I’ll try it.

  25. This ones a little hard for me since I don’t get home until 630. The two hours before bed is easy; I’ll do my best with nothing after 7.

  26. I have lost 60 pounds over the last year and have 20 more to go. Last month my weight loss completely stalled. This is just what I need to get me back on track. Thank you!

  27. Rebecca Wockenfuss

    Alright! Here we go! No snacking after 7 eat at least 2hrs before going to bed, no later.

  28. This is going to be tough since I am used to my evening snacks!

    • Christina,

      This one is tough for me too. The two things I have done is programmed my phone to alert me of the challenge and I’ve told my family. Between the blog and those other things I believe I can make it. Maybe these ideas will help you too. Be creative, this is your life, take control.

  29. Challenge accepted! I think this is a great idea!!!! Will definately be following this blog :)

  30. I’m on board. I do pretty well most of the time, but then there are some days when all you feel like doing is snacking even when you don’t need to, i.e., not hungry. Thanks for posting the challenge.

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