The 30 Day Last Bite Challenge
The 30 Day Last Bite Challenge
You’ve seen it all before, a 30 day challenge to jump start your fat loss goals. Whether it’s a squat challenge, planks, or cutting out all sugar, it’s a way for you to build momentum in living a healthier lifestyle.
Looking at the different fitness challenges out there, I want to do something a little different, one that stems from my childhood:
When I was a kid, I was overweight. Not obese, but definitely heavy enough that ‘chubby’ didn’t QUITE cover it.
One of the obvious causes of my weight gain was the fact that I ate too damn much. SOME of this was my fault. I liked snacks. Snacks are great. Who doesn’t love snacks? Snacks are life. #snacklife
As a fat kid growing up I ate an entire party size bag of nacho cheese flavored Doritos that my folks bought. They were one of my favorites growing up, there’s just something about that crunch and the seasoning that was addictive and I couldn’t stop eating it. We got it from Costco and after sharing it with friends I devoured the rest of the bag because I didn’t know when I’ll get to eat that again.
In the fourth grade we had something called Snack Fridays and everyone brought something to share. I made sure to sample everything all of the kids brought and I cleaned everything up lickety fucking split.
Fun fact: There’s actually a study showing that the more variety you add, the more you wind up eating. According to a study from the American Heart Association , although having a wide variety of foods is important for getting the proper nutrients for a balanced diet, it can also lead to higher intake of processed foods, sugar, and refined grains.
So yeah, when it came to eating too many snacks, that was all me.
But I definitely had a bit of a messed up relationship with food, and that part was on my family. And here’s where I think you can relate.
When I was growing up, I was always encouraged-mandated, even-to finish everything on my plate. Every night. No matter how full I got. Anyone growing up with parents no more than two generations removed from World War II probably have this experience.
My parents were raised in a culture of scarcity. Their parents went through wars, a depression, and near famine. The idea of finishing your food no matter what was embedded in the social consciousness. Because even if you were full now, you might not have such a splendid meal next time.
The problem is, when you’re feeding your kid calorie dense foods all the time, and there IS no shortage, they’re going to overeat; by a lot.
So this did two things to my relationship to food-one mental, one physical.
On the mental side, it gave me this idea that not finishing was “wasteful” and wrong. Overeating to avoid waste became a habit.
The physical piece was more damaging: I became accustomed to being overly full. That feeling of never being “done” with a meal until I was painfully stuffed was something my body learned- and something I needed to unlearn.
This carried over throughout most of my life and I still finish eating my entire plate even if I was full. That actually led me to regain a good chunk of it back after I lost it all in college. Old habits die hard and it took a lot of rewiring of my behaviors to change that.
Many of my coaching clients struggled with the same thing, their parents also made them finish their plate at the dinner table and they always do. Problem is, they continue to do so when they’re full even as an adult which led them to their weight gain.
Because these cultural behaviors are so deeply ingrained into us, we struggle with dealing with our hunger cues and don’t know the difference between feeling stuffed and satisfied. We end up eating too much, too fast and we don’t allow our food to settle so our brain gets the signal that we’re full.
So this is why I’ve created a 30 Day Last Bite Challenge. If you’ve struggled with overeating and have fat loss goals that you want to achieve, I want you to take this challenge.
When it comes to losing fat, you simply need to be eating less calories than you burn. One of the biggest ways to do that is to decrease your portion sizes a little bit with each meal.
For the next 30 days, I want you to try to actively NOT finish your food. With each of your meals, leave one last bite of it, no matter what is still left on your plate. Whether it’s some steak, potatoes, some leafy greens. Whatever it is, don’t clean your plate. This way you’re not overeating and by cutting out little bits of food with each of your meals for the next 30 days, you’ll be in a caloric deficit and will lose some fat.
In order to get the most out of this challenge, for God’s sakes please don’t go out of your way to increase your portion sizes and leave one tiny bite. Also don’t find other ways to keep your calorie intake higher, whether it’s from beverages or increased meals. This is about learning to change your behavior and mindset about food for the better.
Here are some examples:
Now if you feel like you’re wasting food, I totally understand. Food waste is a big problem here in the US. Simply pack up your leftovers and save it for your next meal. Once you’ve left that last bite on your plate, take a picture of it and post it on your IG story or feed tagging me @timliufitness and using the hashtag #lastbitechallenge.