UFIT Nutrition

Lose weight with Clean & Lean

The UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge is much more than a controlled diet program. It's a major milestone towards a changed lifestyle. It will enhance the detoxing processes in your body, introduce you to better ways of eating and better food choices, and help you become leaner.

Importantly, as you begin to enjoy the taste of real food and the feeling of it in your body, you will develop new eating habits before you know it. We are creatures of habit after all. 

Our most important guiding principles are to base our food intake on fresh products, as close as possible to their natural state. It includes lots of vegetables, good sources of proteins, good fats, limited carbohydrates and no refined sugar whatsoever. On top of that we encourage you to challenge yourself with physical activities and fun fitness.  

Photo: Sofia bon Foster

Photo: Sofia bon Foster

Photo: Vincent Chan

Photo: Vincent Chan

The changes you see in the UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge are amazing. After overcoming sugar withdrawal symptoms and detoxing side effects such as tiredness, grumpiness and headaches, you will suddenly feel so much better.

YOU WILL START NOTICING THESE IMPROVEMENTS IN YOUR WELLBEING AND APPEARANCE:

  • Your blood sugar levels will stabilise - Drastic changes in blood sugar levels are caused by excessive consumption of carbohydrates, which in turn are responsible for food cravings, drops in energy and mood swings. At first, when we reduce our carbohydrate intake we might feel tired, hungry and grumpy, but after a few days once the sugar levels are low and the body has the opportunity and ability to use fat storage to create energy, all the symptoms will have disappeared.

  • You'll feel less hungry - You will control your food intake and the food will not control you!

  • You'll have much more energy throughout the day - Stabilised energy all day long, without massive energy drops and need for stimulants.

  • You'll have more energy during your training sessions - Once your body is trained to create energy from fat storage, it can do it faster and more efficiently, prolonging long term energy throughout your training sessions.

  • You will feel more balanced emotionally - Mood swings are often affected by our sugar ups and downs. At the beginning of the process, the limited carbs might lower your serotonin, which is the neurotransmitter responsible for our happiness. However, when your body gets used to lower sugar consumption you will experience a much more balanced emotional state.

  • Your weight will drop - At the beginning of the process your weight loss will be mainly due to loss of fluids, as carbs attract fluids. After a few days you will experience real weight loss, mostly from fat storage.

Rob, before and after Clean & Lean 16  - he lost 11kg - the first time  in over 15 years he weighed under 100kg                                     

Rob, before and after Clean & Lean 16  - he lost 11kg - the first time  in over 15 years he weighed under 100kg                                     

  • You'll lose body fat and become leaner - Once insulin levels drop, the body will burn fat to create energy. We aim to lose body fat as opposed to losing body mass.   

  • You'll notice your skin is clearer and your eyes brighter and whiter - You might experience some skin rashes during the detox period, but once this phase is over your skin and eyes will shine.

  • You'll experience improvements in your blood lipids and blood pressure - Lower triglycerides, higher HDL cholesterol for example.

  • You'll learn more about your body - The clean diet will help you eliminate foods that are suspected to cause indigestion, gassy stomach, heartburn or any other problems. It is a good way to learn which foods suits you the best.

Photo: Melanie Lim

Photo: Melanie Lim

Sweat it out Sunday at Tanjong Beach Bootcamp

Sweat it out Sunday at Tanjong Beach Bootcamp

Finally, at the UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge, you'll meet great people and form a supportive team, sharing ideas, recipes, difficulties and achievements.

You'll also have a set deadline to achieve your goals within, and get great ideas and support from our community via the closed community Facebook page.

This will help you to be accountable and stay on course, and eventually help you achieve your goals.  

There is no better way to kick-start your new year than with the UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge - starting Saturday 13 January! Sign up right here.

Getting to under 100kg after 15 years

Rob Hewitson lost 7.2% body fat in the last UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge. During that process he lost a staggering 11.4kg and at the end of the Challenge shared with us: 

"It’s been a great 4 weeks! The before and after photos are unbelievable! Really don't want to go back there, especially as I thought I was in OK shape before!! Told you I was competitive …" 

He shared his experience with us some more:

1. What made you decide to do the challenge?

I am coming up to a significant birthday and having been over 100kg (always 108-110kg) for about 15 years, felt it was time to give it a proper go at getting into double figures and staying there!

ROB1.jpg

2. How did you find it in the beginning and the end?

In the beginning I felt very dizzy and lightheaded, plus exceptionally grumpy. I wasn't great to be around! I found it easy to maintain the food menus and exercise but I dreamt about beer and whisky … A LOT!

I found I lost a lot of weight in the first week then hit a plateau and it wasn’t until week 4 when I started to see the scales really change. It is worth sticking with it.

3. What was the most difficult and easiest part?

The hardest part was going out with work and not being able to join in with a drink. 

The easiest part was the food, especially the fry-ups every morning!

4. What did you learn that surprised you?

How much sugar I take in on a normal day without realising. I haven’t been under 100kg since I was 25 and I feel so much better for it. 

5. Where will you take your Clean & Lean knowledge from here?

For me it's about having a better balance so keeping the Clean & Lean food options for most of the week with a couple of cheat meals. Food prep is also really important, as is always have Clean & Lean snacks in the fridge! 

ROB2.jpg

It's not to late to get into great shape for the forthcoming Silly Season!! The next UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge is running 28 October to 25 November - just in time for Christmas. Finish off your 2017 with a bang and sign up now here for Clean & Lean 17 !!

Oh sugar! How cauliflower became our third best friend with UFIT's Clean & Lean Challenge

Our amazing dynamic duo Mike Thornton and Trine Kaehler took on the Clean & Lean Challenge in January as a couple to give each other the motivation to stick to the program and avoid any temptations. Hear more about their journey of the four weeks right here. 

 Why UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge?

For both of us, coming off the back of a strong festive season, neither was happy with how we looked in the mirror and we knew it was time to make a change. Mike had undertaken the first C&L challenge back in 2013 and achieved good results so we thought it would be a fun challenge to do by starting off 2017 in the right way and also allowing us to spend more time together in an otherwise busy working schedule. Both of us had our goals in mind however achieving them would take serious commitment!

Week 1: Oh Sugar!

After the first seminar (which are excellent and very informative) and with the same excitement as a kid on their last day of school, we rushed to place a food order containing all the ingredients on the approved menu. Lunch was already planned out, as we are both working full time, Trine would get a salad from the closest Salad Stop every day and myself lunch from The Daily Cut. The tough part was making a food plan for the week (breakfast and dinner) and think out of our old routine. Eggs and cauliflower became our best friend – cauliflower bread, cauliflower fried rice, steamed cauliflower, roasted cauliflower (you name it). We both experienced dips in the first week due to the sugar withdrawal from our diets, Trine’s was immediate while mine (Mike’s) took some time to work in before crashing hard after a 5 a-side football game. Nevertheless, we powered through with the support of the C&L Facebook group. In week 1 we found out how much sugar we had actually been eating before and that there is a massive amount of meals you can make with limited ingredients

Week 2: Carrot-Gate

With the hardest part, over, we looked forward to the reintroduction of new items to the food menu for Week 2. Without giving away too much information, the reintroduction of carrots to the diet made life much easier…it really is the little things! We noticed that Trine was definitely experiencing a pop in energy in the mornings while myself…. well let’s just say on the 5th alarm I at least acknowledged it. We had both been pushing hard in the first half of the C&L, Trine with her Yoga and PT classes (thanks Wendy!) and myself with lunch time workouts and football. By the end of Week 2 we started to see the first signs of changes to our bodies which was exciting and gave us the motivation to keep going.

Week 3: It’s a complex situation, don’t lose your nut!

After pushing so hard in the first 14 days of the challenge it was inevitable that we would reach a burn out / plateau period at some point in the challenge and for both of us, this was week 3. We found ourselves sticking mainly to the Week 1 and 2 diet plan mainly due to our attempts at adding Week 3 foods into our diet plan had made portion control difficult, something Trine is much better at controlling than myself. Nevertheless, on the workout front we continued to do what we could when we could, a highlight of our days being our evening walks around Marina Bay and Gardens by the Bay which kept the clock ticking over while allowing us to clear our minds, evaluate on the day and to discuss what to cook for the next day…. Planning is the key to make C&L a success!

Week 4: Cross the finish line and say cheese!

The final week saw both of us making a big push for the finish line with the intensity of our daily workouts ramped up as the date of our weight out came closer. The introduction of cheese in week four had severely thrown a spanner in the works however apart from a homemade pizza utilising cauliflower crust (this challenge is impossible without cauliflower!!) we did our best to stay away from our favourite snack.

The Weigh Out

Saturday, 11th February, 8:30AM – D-DAY. With the standard “good luck” comments out of the way in our own time we stepped onto the scales…

Trines results:
Weight: 2.6kg
Body Fat: 5.9%

Mikes results:
Weight: 7.4kg
Body Fat: 4.7%

 

Should you do C&L?

That is a question you are probably asking yourself right now, in short, it depends very much on what you are looking to get out of a four-week diet plan. In our opinion the best way to approach it is to view the C&L as the kick start you need to change your lifestyle habits and not simply as an isolated course, this helps you to keep on the straight and narrow when times are tough. Yes, you will experience headaches, tiredness, nausea and dizziness (am I still selling it to you?) from time to time but once you battle through these short-term difficulties the change to your diet and lifestyle will provide huge upside potential. It doesn’t matter if you are 28 or 58 years old, 50kg or 130kg, each person is on this challenge for their own reasons and the coming together of complete strangers into a supportive community network where you make new friends and change for the positive is worth the admission cost alone.

A huge thank you from both of us to Wendy, Noa and the rest of the UFIT Clean and Lean brigade, these guys put in a HUGE amount of work over the four week period to provide support, assistance and in general “feel good vibes” to everyone on the journey in addition to their already busy lives and it simply would not have been the same without them.

Now, if you are still reading this; get online, get signed up and best of luck in your own C&L challenge – we look forward to reading the next persons story.

Mike & Trine


UFIT CLEAN & LEAN CHALLENGE

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.

 

"The first weight loss program I've managed to stick too," UFIT's Clean & Lean Challenge

Jacqui Young from Expat Living discover Clean & Lean benefits and how the rapport and community kept her strong and going for the whole four weeks. 

For years now I had struggled with the usual on and off latest diet fads, starvation periods and bouts of extreme exercise, all in an effort to lose the weight that I had seemed to collect over the last few years. 

I had heard through the grapevine about UFIT’s Clean and Lean program and thought of giving it a try. I toyed with the choice of program dates for 2017 thinking I can't do this one and can't do that one, and in the end, I thought no time is ever a good time and before I knew it, I was jumping straight in and enrolling to start the following day. If I didn't do it then I thought, I never will. Apprehensive, I embarked on my journey with my initial weigh in at UFIT's brand new gym just off Orchard Road before having my last latte in the nearby Starbucks and then joining my 270 comrades for my first Saturday morning seminar. The place was packed and there was an amazing atmosphere with everyone being supercharged for the upcoming challenge. 

The UFIT Clean and Lean program is about resetting your body and teaching you to have a cleaner, healthier and sustainable lifestyle and maintaining it after the program ends. For four weeks, you embark on a journey of a mainly green diet which eliminates processed foods and sugars. It’s incredibly easy to follow as it just involves cutting out the highly-processed sugars and eating healthier. There are no set recipes as such, but you do have the ideas from the cookbook that is supplied in a link at the start of the program. Some foods will be slowly reintroduced during the four week period normally after the weekly seminar which explains different topics along with the reasoning behind what’s being added. There is also access to a Clean and Lean Facebook community page site for all participants to share tips, ideas, recipes, or just to have a general vent if needed. There are also four bootcamp sessions are also given as part of the package which can be booked via a handy app for which all participants are given access. With over 80 classes a week, it’s easy to find a time and day that suits. There is an amazing support network of nutritionists and fitness experts, some of whom are also doing the program too for support. 

It is an actual challenge, and the winning male and female who lose the most body fat win an exclusive health and wellness package from UFIT and their partners. For me, it was more about resetting my eating habits and losing a few kgs. 

The four weeks passed quickly, and I was actually sad it was ending as it was so amazing having the support of so many people who were also participating. I was amazed at the results of my weigh in last week. 5kgs down on my weight, just over 5% body fat lost, and a good 5cms went from both my hips and waist. I was a very happy bunny! This four weeks has given me some great insight into changes that I made in my diet that I will have no problems sticking to. I’m not saying I won't ever eat a carb again or never drink a glass of wine (or five), but I’m definitely more in tune with balancing things out now. I’m even thinking of joining the next one in March now.

$159 + GST includes......

  • 4 x nutrition seminars 
  • A weigh in at the start, and weigh out at the end of the 4 weeks
  • 4 x bootcamp sessions to use at your leisure which can be booked via a handy app
  • Access to the 'Clean and Lean' cookbook with tasty recipes
  • Access to the Facebook site to support, share tips, stories and recipes

Program will run throughout 2017, and the dates can be found here. http://www.ufit.com.sg/clean-and-lean/  The next program will start on 11th March – 8th April.


THE UFIT CLEAN & LEAN CHALLENGE

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.

Say no to sugar

Sugar is a natural product, found in a variety of natural foods such as fruit, vegetables, grains, legumes and dairy products. It is a nutritional value is that it breaks down quickly and supplies the brain and muscles with instant energy for their function. However, consuming too much sugar will cause us to gain weight. Studies show that the average person consumes around 22 teaspoons of sugar a day from food, snacks and drinks. This is about 3 to 4 times more than the recommended intake advised by the American Dietician Association.

The damage caused by consuming too much sugar overtime is wide and does not stop on the scale. Most of the problem is due to the consumption of white sugar and the corn or fructose syrup added to our processed food and drinks. Even though it has been well known for many years that these products are damaging our health, the consumption of processed food and sweetened drinks keeps increasing.

Why should we limit our sugar consumption?

1. Sugar creates fat around the internal organs

Sugar (sucrose) as well as corn syrup contain fructose. Consuming too much of them will create burden on the liver, that has to convert fructose into glucose, which our cells use for energy. The excess fructose will be stored in the liver and around it as fat cells. Fatty liver is damaging the liver functionality and long term this might cause cirrhosis.

2. Sugar Causes Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a hormone that regulates human metabolism. Insulin is secreted by the pancreas whenever we eat something that contains sugar. The Insulin hormone sends a signal to the cells that they should put transporters for glucose onto their surface, thereby allowing glucose to get into the cells where it can be used to generate energy. When we eat sugar, glucose levels rise and Insulin levels rapidly increase in order to absorb the glucose from the bloodstream and into the cells.

However, when too much fat is accumulated, especially around our internal organs, our cells become resistant to the effects of insulin. In response, the pancreas will secrete even more insulin in order to insert the glucose into the cells. The problem is that insulin has additional functionality. One is to send signals to our fat cells, telling them to pick up fat from the bloodstream, store it and to also signal the fat cells to avoid burning the fat stored in them. Unfortunately, this is a vicious cycle, as it will generate more fatty cells and worsen the cell’s resistance to insulin.

Because of the resistance to insulin, the glucose doesn't enter the cells properly and fat storage doesn't break down into energy as well and we feel lack of energy and hunger. As a result we eat more and gain more fat.

Consistent resistance to Insulin will lead eventually to Type 2 Diabetes.

3. Sugar increases our risk to suffer from Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar to be too high, and in time might damage other vital systems in the body. Type 2 diabetes is caused by combination of genetics and lifestyle factors. Being overweight does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. In addition, a diet high in sugar from any source contributes as well. Research has proven that drinking sugary/sweetened drinks is linked to type 2 diabetes.

4. Sugar causes overeating situations

Studies show that excessive consumption of sugar damages the ability of our body to signal the brain that we are not hungry any more. The reason for that is that high levels of sugar in our bloodstream cause our brain to become intolerant to a hormone called Leptin. In a normal healthy situation, Leptin is secreted by fat cells when they become bigger. When the brain senses the increased Leptin levels, it signals to our body that we are full and we have enough fat stored for rainy days. When the brain develops resistance to Leptin, it doesn't get the message that the fat cells are full of fat. This situation leads to increased food intake and decreased fat burning.

5. Sugar affects the blood lipids

Blood lipids such as LDL and HDL cholesterol are markers of the biological processes that impact cardiovascular disease. When we think about the impact of food on blood lipids, dietary fat typically comes to mind. Yet a new study shows that dietary carbohydrate, specifically high-fructose corn syrup, can have a large impact on blood lipid markers of cardiovascular disease risk. Researchers noticed that "bad" cholesterol and triglyceride levels spiked in those people who consumed more sugar then others. One of the assumptions for this phenomenon is that the sugar damage to the liver, causing the liver to produce more cholesterol than needed.

6. Sugar affects the heart

Excessive consumption of sugar increases the blood lipids in the arteries, which raises blood pressure and increases the chance of having a heart attack or stroke. In fact, 65% of the people suffering from unbalanced type 2 diabetes, die from heart attack or stroke.

7. Sugar affects Alzheimer disease

New study proves that there is strong correlation between high consumption of sugar and the increased risk of Alzheimer’s. The study shows how the decreased ability to produce energy from glucose has negatively affected brain metabolism and created damage to the brain neurons. It has been referred to and named as "brain diabetes".

8. Sugar is addictive

Sugar affects the brain in a similar way to drugs such as opiates, alcohol and other legal and illegal drugs. It affects the pleasure centre of the brain by increasing the serotonin, dopamine and endorphin levels. As a result, the body develops tolerance to glucose in the same way it does for other drugs. In time, in order to feel good, we will need more of the sugar. Studies conducted on rats showed serious withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and tremor when the rats were banned from sugar. No wonder so many of us find it so hard to reduces the intake of sugar in our daily diet.

9. Sugar make you tired

Sugar makes you more alert and energetic for a short period of time. However, this energy does not last for longer than 30 minutes. Thereafter the energy level drops significantly and you feel exhausted and drained, this is referred as ‘sugar rollercoaster’.

10. Sugar damages the skin

Sugar cause insulin levels to spike, which leads to a burst of inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin. Digested sugar permanently attaches to the broken collagen through a process known as glycation. The result is sagging skin, wrinkles and higher sensitivity to the sun. Aside from increasing the effects of aging, glycation can also exacerbate skin conditions like acne and rosacea. 


My advice:

  •  Avoid sugary drinks, even fresh juices. Always consume water.
  • Reduce the number of sweets and treats that you are having.
  • Carefully read the food labelling. Sugar is sneaky and has different naming.
  • Remember even processed products such as sauces, dairy items, bread and others might have a high quantity of sugar in them.
  • Avoid the white stuff - white sugar, white flour, white rice etc. These provide you only with pure energy and no other nutrients.
  • No need to avoid sugar completely. However, make sure that the sugar that you are consuming comes from legumes, starchy vegetables and whole grains.

If you feel you need something sweet, go for the healthier option which includes high quality dark chocolate, fresh whole fruits, dried fruits, honey, or coconut sugar. Remember these are still sugars so watch the quantities.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Noa has been practicing as a Clinical Nutritionist for the last ten years. Her specialties include weight loss, Celiac disease, digestive system problems and metabolic diseases.

Noa focuses on providing the right moral support for all her clients, combined with a customised nutritional program. Through this, Noa assists her clients to change their lives for the best – improving their health, energy levels, sleep, and overall wellbeing. 

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For more information for UFITs Nutrition programs get in touch with us here. Join our next Clean & Lean Challenges that we run 5 times a year providing you with the opportunity to change your healthy habits into a lifestyle.