UFIT Clean & Lean For Life

No sugar for a month... are you kidding? Game on! 

UFIT Marketing Manager, Lizzie, takes on Clean & Lean to fight her addiction of what some days consisted to be of four Twix's a day (well that was the latest obsession).

No sugar. No booze. No fruit. For four weeks. But can you really commit to achieving your goals? I hear it every day from friends and family, 

"But I've got that birthday event"
"I've got this wedding I can't do it."
"I have friends in town" 

Sound familiar? 

Too many excuses flood the end goal, and you have to decide how much you want that to get that Beyoncé ‘butt’, or those toned arms and rock hard abs. Or even having that "feel good feeling" about eating real food. Well, in my case enough was enough. I'm pretty head strong so I was up for the challenge as the sugar issue started to get way out of hand. I already fell off the bandwagon twice over with the last Clean & Leans; The sugar highs were just too damn good. After a full on year with a new job, home, and shake up I made the decision 2017 is my year to rein in my sugar addiction. 

So here goes. Third time lucky to make that commitment. Was I serious; Of course I was! As Marketing Manager I think it's integral to understand each and every part of UFIT. After two previously failed attempts due to my insane sugar addiction, a bet with the boss got me signed up for the challenge; $200, let's see if it's worth it! To get the ball rolling I enrolled my partner in crime to make the journey with me and smash our body goals (it makes it easier to say yes when there's two of you). For those of you unfamiliar with the Clean & Lean Challenge UFIT run in Singapore, it's a four week nutrition cleansing program whereby we see a large amount of people join for a number of reasons including weight loss, getting lean, reducing their cravings to sugar and processed foods. It's a journey for learning how to appreciate the real foods that are right in front of you.

Week One - Cauliflower is my new best friend

Dealing with no sugar was a test in itself for week one. No fruit in the mornings, just green veg, meats, and my soon to be best friend... cauliflower. The key to getting through this first week let alone the whole four weeks was having my buddy do it with me. We were able to help remove temptations from each other, have chilled nights in, and when we did go out we were a team, ordering together our Clean & Lean approved dishes. 

The first day was a Saturday, everyone in our friendship group ordered five large pizzas and a tray of Krispy Kreme's (are you serious guys?). We jumped the first hurdle with our green spinach chicken pancakes and avocado... YUM! I was still hungry though but wouldn’t admit it! The point of Clean & Lean is whilst you cut out the bad you replace it with the good and lots of it. You get hungry and you eat, surely isn’t this the case? For me the struggles started when it came to exercising. My body was telling me no, my head was telling me train, keep your training up. I gave in and listened to my body! The next step was the food. To get through I knew it was all about the planning and that's when FitThree came into the equation. All approved of course. I was set for my five dinners a week and just had to prepare the yummy lunches courtesy of @Soff.it delicious recipes. This was the week we realised that we had endless recipes we could make with cauliflower and zucchini focaccini. The rest was history and week one started to get easier with occasional sugar cravings but no chocolate in sight. 

Week Two - Red pepper never tasted so amazingly good!

With a week of just greens, cauliflower, protein, protein and protein it was time for an addition to the menu. I don't think I've ever realised how tasty and sweet a red pepper was going into week Two; They’re super sweet and full of flavour. We continued our FitThree's, prepped our lunches and snacks on the Sunday. Thank goodness for the introduction of coloured vegetables. Did you know one red pepper can contain a teaspoon of sugar. All natural sugars of course, but the journey is learning about the good sugars, the good fats and oils to put into your body. 

Connecting with real food and tasting the real flavours was something else. Doing it alongside 270 other people was another. The power of people and seeing their results after two weeks was so inspiring. With everything going well I still wasn't able to train after feeling quite weak, but that was about to change when Fran and I signed up to trek up Mount Kinabalu with no sugar and carbs - OMG!

Week Three - Trekking up South East Asia's highest mountain; Mount Kinabalu!

It goes without saying this was seriously tough. Without two weeks of training, no sugar and carbs we had a number of people saying we were crazy, and were not confident we could do it. Probably a little mad, but if we're doing one challenge, why on earth not do two? Trekking is one of my all-time favourite things to do and I wasn’t about to bail on this amazing trip.

To cut a long two days short (full blog coming soon), Fran and I did a great deal of preparation before the trip. We had these amazing cacao coconut protein balls, with nuts introduced which helped fuel us the most and then some super tasty True Protein dark chocolate flavour shakes (life saver). The first hour of the trek kicked in hard; Out of breathe, the midday sun and hours of uphill climbing… but still smiling. The only way was up (pretty vertical). The packed lunch was not the best as we could only eat chicken, a slice of cucumber and an egg. We were expecting to starve the whole trip, but thank goodness for eggs, meat and vegetables which saved us from noodles and rice. 

After a night of no sleeping, acclimatising and hearing a couple of people vomiting it was time to get up and ‘nail’ this climb. For fuel we drank our protein shakes, ate a couple of handfuls of nuts and had our eggs. We made it! 4095m secured! With no carbs and sugar our recovery was something else. When walking for three days afterwards, with a lack of the right nutrients in our bodies, was agony. 

Week Four - On the home straight

Sustaining Clean & Lean for four weeks was tough, but manageable. As soon as I set my mind to the challenge the rest was history. Week four was a breeze. I prepared my protein balls, my lunches, ordered my dinners in advance and I was ready to go. I’m a few weeks on and still keeping up with Clean & Lean week four with one cheat day a week, therefore sustaining a realistic lifestyle and falling under the 80% healthy - 20% eat whatever tasty treats I want… I’m only human after all!

If I could give you anything to walk away with these five key tips, the first would be to get your ‘butt’ into gear and stick to your goals:

1. Determine how badly you want it… 

Are you serious about change and getting the end result? At the end of the day it's your choice. Take control of your life,  make your mindset strong and surround yourself with people that just ‘get’ you. Social events, and holidays etc will come and go so you've just got to make it work! 

2. Get yourself a partner in crime

They have your back, you can enjoy social occasions together and take a stance with your friends that just don't get it. Achieving similar goals with someone else is empowering as you share the ups and downs, and it makes you forget about the four weeks’ timeline. It just naturally continues to become your way of life. 

3. Get planning and prepping

Don't skip the corners, or you’ll suffer. Get ahead of yourself with your breakfast, lunches and dinners and how it fits best into your schedules. Mine was a Sunday session spending a couple of hours getting everything made for the week. 

4. Make it sustainable and be realistic

We can't be perfect 100% of the time so give back to yourself and give yourself a guilt-free treat, you deserve it! 

5. Get your ‘butt’ into gear.

Pick up your training again. Strength training to be exact. Yes - it's known for weight-loss, toning up those muscles, preventing illness and realising those happy endorphins. There’s nothing better than breaking a sweat and earning your body!

I’m pretty happy with my results, but now the real journey starts with carb loading and increasing my strength training to build on muscle tone. Overall I lost 1.66% body fat, 1.6kg and lost 4cm around my waist. I am so guilty of sharing the far right picture after my firs tCrossFit session and getting my muscles working. The lighting was better - guilty. But I now want to show you the slight difference lighting and posing can make to a set of photos. We all have our good and bad days! Now time to train and build my muscle tone back with phase 2 - bring on the strength training.

You’ll find there's always a tomorrow, there's always another Monday or next month. So the question is what are you going to finally achieve this year? Take the first step and if at first you don't succeed just try and try again. 

Fitter, Leaner, Stronger!


The 2017 Clean & Lean sessions are happening on March 11 – April 8 (4 weeks), May 20 – June 17 (4 weeks), September 2 – 30 (4 weeks), November 4 – 25 (4 weeks).

UFIT is Singapore’s largest independent fitness community that offers a 360 approach to health and fitness island wide. For more information, visit our website.

Why I signed up to the Clean & Lean Challenge - Kelly Latimer

What made you both sign up to the challenge?

 I signed up to challenge myself - as if life on the road wasn’t hard enough! I decided to make a conscious effort to eat and train better. I had also just discovered that I was expecting, so I felt like it was as good a time as any to focus on giving my body the right sort of nutrition. Justin had always supported me in my decisions, so to have him along with me on this journey was important. I think it just makes sense too. Meal prepping, motivation and inspiration all starts at home and if a couple is on the same page, it’s easier to focus on the end goal.

What results did you both hope to achieve?

As I was newly pregnant, I really wanted to make sure that my weight gain was under control. The desire to eat, a lot, is real. I also knew that I shouldn’t be putting on any weight early in the pregnancy. I didn’t believe that carrying a child should be an end-all excuse to eat whatever I liked, but I also knew that everything had to be in moderation. Justin’s goals were very different. He was trying to build more lean muscle mass. As he has a high metabolic rate, this was a challenge for him. He benefits from a regular training schedule, so at the end of the month, he was looking to see a shift in his body fat percentage.

What were your concerns?

 I was traveling a lot around South East Asia. Getting fresh produce is not the easiest when you’re on shoot and many times the food provided is not the healthiest. In fact, it rarely is. So I needed to manage my options and improvise. Justin needed to ensure that he was consuming enough calories. He worked out hard at least 5 times a week, but ensuring that he doesn’t lose his mass was going to be a big thing for him.

You’re a busy lady and travelled throughout the Clean & Lean Challenge, what did you struggle with the most?

It’s always a struggle to eat well and stick to your training regime when you’re on the road. But it’s important to do a little bit every day, no matter what it is. Food wise, I knew I wan’t going to be eating a super strict diet, simply because standard production shoot food consists of Nasi Lemak, chicken rice or some form of noodles. Reason being is that the days are long and the crew need to keep their energy levels up. I needed to consume some grains, but I packed some healthier snacks, alternative breakfast options and looked for fruit for sustenance on the longer days.

Read more about Kelly's full experience right here.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelly Latimer - Host & Vocal Talent Fitness Enthusiast, friend of UFIT.

Cauliflower Arepa | UFIT Kitchen

UFITs new take on ‘Arepa,’ by replacing the dough and flour with the Cauliflower. Yet another unbelievable use for cauliflower. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup mashed cauliflower
  •  2 tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 1 tsp pysillium husk
  • 1/4 tsp chia seeds
  • Sea salt to taste

METHOD:

1. Mix all the ingredients with a fork. Once the ingredients are well combined, use your hands to make a ball and shape into a burger.
2. Prepare a baking tin with oil spray or putting 1-2 drops of oil spread and spread with a napkin.
3. Place the arepa and sprinkle sesame seeds.
4. Cook in preheated oven at 200 until crispy on the outside. Cool down, slice in half and fill.


For more information for UFITs Nutrition programs get in touch with us here. Join our next Clean & Lean Challenges that we run 4 times a year providing you with the opportunity to change your healthy habits into a lifestyle.

Thanks to @Soff.it for providing these deliciously creative recipes.

Homemade Chicken Tikka | UFIT Kitchen

A tasty and simple dish for the whole family to enjoy. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 barbecue skewers
  • 250g chicken breast
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 green capsicum
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 tbsp dried tikka spices (double check that there's no sugar added)
  • 1 lime - wedged
  • Cilantro to taste
  • Coconut oil (just a little bit for brushing after sprinkling the spices)

METHOD: 

1. Cut the chicken into cubes. Place in a bowl and toss 1 tbsp of spices.
2. Cover with paper wrap and store on the fridge.
3. In the meantime, chop the vegetables in chunks.
4. Put the skewers under water for 30 seconds. Assemble the skewer by mixing the chicken, onion, capsicum and tomato. Then place on a baking tray.
5. Use a brush with coconut oil to “paint the skewers" and sprinkle the remaining tbsp of spices on the skewers.
6. Bake in a preheated oven to 200 for 15-20 minutes.


For more information for UFITs Nutrition programs get in touch with us here. Join our next Clean & Lean Challenges that we run 4 times a year providing you with the opportunity to change your healthy habits into a lifestyle.

Thanks to @Soff.it for providing these deliciously creative recipes.

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Clean & Lean Challenge body transformation with Ben Wheeler

Be the better version of you

Our Clean & Lean Challenge and For Life transforms bodies and lives! It is a 4 week intensive, all-inclusive program, that will get you amazing results in a short amount of time.

Our team of the 'best in class' Personal Trainers and Nutritionists identify your needs and take your journey with you each and every single step of the way. We're there when you need support, motivation and most importantly we are interested in helping you build a sustainable and healthy lifestyle for the future.

One of our loyal clients Ben took to our renowned Clean & Lean Challenge earlier this year and achieved such amazing results. 

In just four weeks Ben lost 6.21% body fat and 5.7kg. He has proven that if you take the first step and really put your mind to it you are capable of much more than you give yourself credit for. 

BEFORE

AFTER

Ever wanted to know what it's like to do UFITs Clean & Lean? Hear it first from Ben himself.

1. What were your reasons for signing up to the Clean & Lean Challenge? 
Firstly, I’d just had a heavy (boozy) couple of months with a few trips away and visitors in town, so too much going out eating and drinking and not enough exercise I was feeling overweight and unfit, and the timing worked well that I had four weeks pretty free in the diary. Also, liked the idea of a bit of a challenge and doing it with some mates (my cricket team) with a side bet between us as an extra incentive.

2. What were the hardest parts of the challenge? 
The first week probably. Changing habits, the sugar withdrawal, saying no thanks to a beer the first couple of times and I felt a bit weak/light headed training in the first week, after that it was fine and I got used to it quickly. I did miss fruit and having milk in my morning cup of tea though!

3. What did you enjoy most about the challenge? 
Seeing the results! I lost a few kg’s really quickly and found that quite motivating to stick with it. I also felt good, more energetic and slept really well.

4. What was the best bit of knowledge that you learnt throughout the process to sugar, fats, diet? 
Probably how much sugar and hidden sugar is in different foods and the process of what your body burns first for energy.

5. Did you manage to avoid your biggest weaknesses? 
Yes, on the whole I managed to stick to it pretty well.

6. What advice would you give to future clean & leaners to encourage them to stick with the challenge? 
Do it with some friends, colleagues, team mates, your husband or wife as a bit of moral support and banter definitely helped throughout the month.

7. Did it get any easy? 
Yes definitely. After the first week I felt I had more energy and also just wasn’t as hungry as I used to get, so didn’t get cravings for big/ unhealthy meals etc.

8. What would be your 3 top tips to stick with the challenge? 
Get stuck into the Clean & Lean recipe book (or your helper in my case) and preparing meals, so you don’t get bored of eating the same things, train hard throughout the month if you can as I found it helped me not want to cheat and do it with some buddies for a bit of moral support.

9. How to you feel four weeks later? Happier, healthier? 
Absolutely! I’m very happy I did it, I feel much better for it.

Preempt the new year guilt and get ahead on your resolutions with the Clean & Lean team this January. Remember it's not a sprint, it's a marathon. Take the time to understand your body, learn to love food and understand how to cut back on your sugar intake. 


CLEAN & LEAN CHALLENGE

For more information for UFITs Nutrition programs get in touch with us here. Join our next Clean & Lean Challenges that we run 4 times a year providing you with the opportunity to change your healthy habits into a lifestyle.


BODY TRANSFORMATION

Be the better version of you and find out how UFIT can provide you with a life changing experience! Find out more information here.