Take the Pledge Today
The 61 Day Challenge is a health education campaign focusing on fitness, nutrition, health education and commitment to living a healthier life. It is an annual community program with a 61 day focus on healthy lifestyle management. Individuals and groups of all ages and backgrounds participating in the challenge are encouraged to Take the Pledge, promising to make healthy changes in their life.
Take more steps • Eat more fruit • Eat less sugar • Be more active • No soda (or other sugary drinks)
Click here for support material for you and our Community Business Partners.
How the 61 Day Challenge Began
Starting in 2012, the first challenge was a No Soda Pop in November campaign. For the 30 days in November, participants were asked to not drink soda pop. The 2012 Say No to Soda Pop campaign received national attention as hundreds of local Detroiters took the pledge and gave up the unhealthy sugary drink for the month of November.
Building on the success of 2012, the 2013 challenge added another healthy step for participants to work toward: No Fried Foods. The campaign was also extended to include the month of December and was renamed as the 61 Day Challenge. Adding December was chosen because most Americans increase their caloric intake during this time of year due to holiday celebrations, and we hope to provide the support needed to maintain a healthy diet during events often filled with sugary, fried foods.
2014 continued the trend of adding healthy steps for participants, bringing the pledge to four items: no soda pop, no fried foods, no sweets and increased physical activity. The year's challenge was dubbed, Less Sugar, More Steps, and was a success throughout the community.
2015 continuing the trend of adding healthy steps for participants, bringing the pledge to five items: no soda pop, no fried foods, no sweets, increased physical activity and eat more fruit.
Americans just aren’t getting enough fruits. Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet and are rich in vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, fiber and water. But the hard facts tell us that less than 30% of us – that’s seven out of every ten Americans – are eating the recommended 5-A-Day servings.
Why eat more fruit...
The fiber in fruits and vegetables is important and studies have found that a diet rich in fiber-containing foods may reduce the risk of heart disease. Fruits and vegetables are also rich in nutrients, such as vitamins A and C, folate, and potassium.
Did you know?
- The average American consumes over 22 teaspoons (352 calories) of added sugar every day
- On average, you should consume less than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day
- Sugar can damage your heart, can lead to tooth decay and is linked to cancer, high blood pressure and depression
- Sugar can negatively impact how children learn and is linked to ADD/ADHD
- High Fructose Corn Syrup is an added sugar found in many unhealthy foods and is linked to Type II Diabetes and Obesity
- Common sources of added sugar are soda pop, energy drinks, sweetened fruit juices, candy, pastries and baked good
- Of the many food additives, sugar is the second most common
- Eat whole fruit instead of fruit juices - even 100% fruit juice is high in natural sugar
- Eat more complex sugars and less simple sugars
- Consider sweetened drinks, like lemonade or fruit punch, as liquid candy
- Don't skip meals - this may cause a sugar craving
- Don't add sugar to foods
- Learn how to read a Nutrition Facts Label
- 1 teaspoon of table sugar = 4 grams of sugar = 16 calories
- Eat more frequently-You thought we would tell you the opposite, right? That would be a mistake, especially first thing in the morning. Adults who eat breakfast daily are up to 50% less likely to be obese compared with those who pass it up. When you load up with a balanced breakfast, you’re more likely to stay full longer, and keep your hunger in check all day long.
- Breakfast on Veggies-There’s good evidence that an increased intake of vegetables may help you lose weight. To hit your veggie goal (five servings per day), start at breakfast: Toss broccoli into your scrambled eggs, or spinach in your omelet.
- No refined sugar-Limit your consumption of added sugar to 2 grams per servings to cut calories, and cravings. Naturally occurring sugar (like lactose in yogurt, or fructose in fruit) doesn’t count, so check the label. If sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn sugar, dextrose, sucrose, etc. are one of the top five ingredients, SKIP IT!!
- Pick Hearty Grains-Fiber is key when you’re looking to lose weight, and though veggies are the obvious choice for getting your fill, they’re not the only way to go. Whole grains are another option. You should get at least three servings of whole grains per day, yet most Americans eat only one. Look for the words 100% whole grain on products, and beware of those that say multigrain or made with whole grain. Another tip,the fiber content. Choose bread with at least 3 grams of fiber per slice and cereal with 5 grams or more per serving.
- Crack some eggs-Following a breakfast of eggs and turkey bacon, people ate 450 fewer calories through noon the next day than they did after having a bagel with cream cheese and yogurt. This is because eggs are high in protein and are more satiating than a carb-loaded meal.
- Do Lunch at Breakfast-Don’t like the standard breakfast foods? Simply have lunch or dinner foods in the A.M. instead. In addition to giving you more options, this diet philosophy helps you redistribute your calories over the day in a healthier way. Dinner and lunch entrees typically have more calories, so if you fill up earlier, you won’t be hungry enough to have a 1000kcal dinner. Skip the bowl of cereal and put last night’s leftovers into play.
- Brown Bag your Lunch-Dieters consumed about 240 calories more on days they ate a meal in a restaurant compared with days they didn’t eat out. So unless you’ve done your homework before you order, you’re taking a gamble that special is as healthy as it sounds. You have more control over your lunch when you prepare it in your own kitchen.
- Order Soup and Salad-Eat more for less? YES!! Foods such as broth based soups, veggies and fruit have fewer calories for the same volume as fattier fare but satisfy you nonetheless.
- Take a Walk- Your body is designed for movement, take a moment to remind yourself about all the benefits of moving your body. Remember exercise actually improves your body’s ability to burn stored body fat.
- Fill up on fresh stuff-Choose veggies that appear similar to how they looked when they dropped off the vine or were harvested from the soil and you’ll automatically eat low-calorie because most fat and sugar gets added to our food in the cooking or manufacturing process.
- Pump up Protein-Protein is the most satiating nutrient. Eat it at every meal and you’ll feel full all day long. Shoot for about 8oz of lean meat daily for an extra 56 grams of protein daily!
- Eat more beans-Beans, beans, they’re good for your….weight! Beans are just about the most fiber packed out there-----1/2 cup black beans has 8 grams of fiber. Fiber is a miracle nutrient for weight loss, partly because we absorb fewer calories from high fiber foods than from those with less fiber. It also increases feelings of fullness. On average Americans eat only 15 grams of fiber per day; the recommended amount is 25-35 grams. One cup of beans get you about halfway to your goal.
- Goal-Start with a Salad- “I already do that,” you say. Great, but is your salad more than 100 calories? Probably! Do you load it up with fatty toppings such like full-fat dressing? Likely. Studies show that eating about 2 cups of pure vegetable with 1 ½ tablespoons of low fat dressing with a sprinkle of low fat cheese will fill you up, so you’ll eat less of your entrée.
- Goal-Go Fish-It’s a healthier source of protein than red meat, thanks to its low levels of saturated fat, and unlike most red meats and poultry, fish offers omega-3 fatty acids, which protect against heart disease, and maybe even cancer and depression. Plus, most fish is lean, so you get a lot of fill-up for your calorie buck.
- Goal-Remake your plate-Half your plate should consist of lean protein and the other half fresh vegetables and whole grains. EAT YOUR PROTEIN FIRST!
- Goal-Defat your favorites- People tend to crave comfort foods when they’re both sad and happy. It’s the emotional extremes that make us reach for chocolate and macaroni and cheese to commiserate or celebrate. The good news: You don’t have to swear off your indulgences; instead lighten them up with low-calorie, tasty substitutions. For example, replace full-fat dairy with low-fat, take a pass on non-fat cheese, which can be gummy and tasteless.
- Try a Protein Smoothie-The taste of protein supplements is often more acceptable when creativity and a blender are used. Start with vanilla flavored for more flexibility in mixing. Be careful not to turn your protein creation into a high calorie drink that delivers more calories than nutrients.
- Go for “free foods”-It takes 11 cups of sliced cucumbers to equal the calories in a measly 1-ounce serving of potato chips. Fill your fridge with nearly calorie-free bites you can munch on until you’re tired of chewing. “Dress up bell peppers with a squeeze of lemon and a dash of salt.
- Nosh on Nuts-People who ate nuts staved off hunger about two hours longer than those who had rice cakes or pickles. Even though the nut snack had more calories, nut eaters didn’t end up consuming more overall daily calories; plus, some nut calories may remain undigested. Aim for 100 calories (about 10 nuts).
- Have Fruit for Dessert-Finishing off a meal with fruit gives you more fiber and vitamins, all at a lower calorie cost. For extra flavor, sprinkle cinnamon or add a dollop of frozen yogurt to your favorite produce.
- Spoil your appetite-Put yourself on a snack schedule to prevent binges. Set your alarm for 10:30 a.m. and 3:00p.m. and have a snack, like ½ cup low fat cottage cheese with ¼ grapes.
- Drink Lightly- A 4-ounce glass of wine has about 100 calories-have one every night, and you’ll take in a Double Quarter Pounder worth of calories in one week. Plus, when you drink, you lose your inhibitions (“Oh, to the heck with my diet; pass those French Fries!”) and your satiety signals are weakened.
- Curb TV Snacking- When you tune into a show, you tune out your hunger signals: In one study, a group who watched TV for an hour ate 28% more popcorn than a group who watched for only half and hour.
- Goal-Downside your dishes- Studies show the bigger the serving, the more we’ll eat, even if we are not hungry. We use visual cues to tell us when we should stop. Have sugar free ice cream from a teacup not a bowl.
- Aim for Fiber-Fiber makes you full. Aim today for 25-35 grams of fiber per day. Read the label and keep track of your intake, remember day 12….eat those beans!!!!
- Cut back on caffeine-Caffeine is a diuretic, which works to release stored water from your cells. Therefore, the more caffeine you drink, the more water you may lose. A moderate amount of caffeine per day is considered about 300 milligrams or less. If you drink more than 3 caffeine drinks daily, you may want to consider reducing the total amount you consume. (8oz coffee-100mcg). As a general rule, the darker the color the more caffeine.
- Drink your water-Water helps the body metabolize, or burn, stored fat. Water also helps maintain good skin gone, and helps remove waste during weight loss. Water keeps the kidneys working properly, which helps keep the liver doing its job of breaking down stored fat. And the more fat you have stored, the more water needed. WATER IS A MUST FOR A REVVED METABLOLISM!!!!
Carry that water bottle every where you go!
Visit YourNewSelf.org for more information on weight management.
2015 - 61 Day Challenge Community Partners
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Alpha Rho Omega Chapter
American Heart Association
Community Network Services
Cornerstone Health +Technology High School
Detroit-Black Child Development
Detroit Police Department
DMC Employee Engagement Committee
La Grasso Brothers Produce, Inc
Medical Weight Loss Clinic
The Links - Renaissance Chapter (Detroit)
US Department of Probations
Wayne County Community College District
Your New Self: DMC Weight Loss Solutions Program