The JLo 10-Day No Sugar, No Carb Challenge is all the rage. Thinking about joining in the trend, but not sure exactly what it is?
The basics of the 10-day diet are explained here just for you. If you’re not sure how to get started, we’ve got some tips to help you succeed and stay healthy (and not hungry!) during the whole 10-day challenge.
What is the 10-Day No Sugar, No Carb Challenge?
In late January, Jennifer Lopez challenged her more than 85 million Instagram followers and other celebrities such as boyfriend Alex Rodriguez and Today show co-anchor Hoda Kotb to join her 10-day no sugar, no carb diet.
On January 29th, the actress and singer posted a photo of herself in workout clothes on Instagram, showing off her physique. “Day 9 and feelin’… like I can’t wait for Day 10,” Lopez wrote.
While the challenge itself consists of eating limited carbs and no sugar. Lopez reportedly took it one step further and cut out some fruits, condiments with added sugar, alcohol, and dairy from her diet.
Whether you’re ready to take the basic no sugar, low carb plunge or go all the way, JLo-style, we’ve got tips to help you succeed in the challenge, so keep reading!
How Did the 10-Day Challenge Get So Popular?
The 10-day challenge quickly gained popularity after JLo posted on Instagram that she was cutting sugar and carbs for 10 days, and challenging others to join her. When Hoda Kotb joined in, she challenged her Today colleagues to do the same.
During an episode of Today, Carson Daly dared Hoda, who was in the middle of the challenge, to take a bite out of a sugary sweet. Carson said he’d donate $5,000 to a charity of her choice if she did so. Hoda refused, and instead donated $5,000 of her own money to charity. Carson still donated his share, and JLo and A-Rod donated $5,000 as well.
JLo celebrated her completion of the 10-day challenge in an Instagram story and said she would do it all over again after a five-day break, inviting more people to join her.
“Alright, guys so I just got back from the gym. It’s day 10. Day 10! We did it; we’re here! I mean, we still have the rest of the day, but I’m feeling pretty good, like we can finish,” the 49-year-old star wrote. “Anybody who has stuck with us through the whole 10-day challenge, congratulations.”
“Maybe we’ll stop for a few days and then get back on it, so you can join me for the second round,” she said.
Are you thinking about joining JLo and A-Rod on the next round of the 10-day challenge, but not sure how to go about it? Here’s what you need to know about the health benefits of cutting back on carbs and sugar, and how to go about it.
What Are the Benefits of Cutting Out Sugar and Carbs?
The JLo 10-day no sugar, no carb challenge is somewhat similar to the Sweet Defeat 30-Day Sugar Reset but more restrictive on carbohydrates and alcohol. The basic idea is to eat mostly leafy green vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Starchy carbs like white bread and pasta are really sugar in disguise: your body breaks them down quickly into glucose. Complex carbohydrates that are fiber-rich, like leafy green vegetables, take longer to digest, so you feel full longer.
The average American eats far too much sugar—up to 150 pounds a year—so doing a challenge to cut back on sugar can reset the palate and help establish a healthy, low-sugar lifestyle in the long term. Research links excess sugar consumption to all kinds of health issues, including obesity and heart disease. And cutting back on sugar can have many positive effects, including weight loss, improved levels of triglycerides in the blood, reduced cravings, and increased energy.
How to Do the 10-Day No Sugar, No Carb Challenge
Interested in completing the no sugar, no carb challenge yourself? Here are some guidelines and helpful tips to follow to ensure success with your 10-day challenge:
Adjust Your Diet
Here is an outline of foods that can be eaten while following a no sugar, no carb challenge (though note that it’s not really “no carb,” it’s really a limited-carb diet) as well as the foods you should avoid, along with some tips to keep you on track.
Foods to eat on a no sugar, no carb challenge:
- Non-starchy vegetables (including kale, spinach, celery, broccoli, lettuce, cucumbers, cauliflower, bell peppers, and zucchini)
- Unsweetened teas and seltzers
- Spices and seasonings
- Nuts and sugar-free nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, and soy butter) and seeds
- Meat and poultry (beef, pork, chicken, and turkey)
- Olive oil
- Blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries
Foods to avoid while doing the challenge:
- Starchy vegetables—this includes potatoes, beets, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and winter squash
- Baked goods—bread, crackers, cakes, cookies, etc.
- Most fruits
- Grains (such as wheat, corn, and rice), beans (such as black, kidney, and pinto), and legumes (such as chickpeas and lentils)
- Condiments with sugar, such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, and teriyaki sauce
- Sweeteners (even artificial sweeteners)
Keep some afternoon snacks handy to munch on in case you’re feeling hungry between meals while you’re doing the no sugar challenge. Foods such as seeds, nuts, nut butter, and non-starchy vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, and mushrooms will keep you feeling full without going off the challenge.
Helpful Tips for Following the No Sugar, No Carb Challenge Rules
In addition to consuming only the foods and beverages permitted in the challenge, there are some other things you can do to ensure your success.
Curb Sugar Cravings
Sugar cravings can become pretty strong when you first cut sugar. You may want to try using Sweet Defeat lozenges to help you curb your cravings. Sweet Defeat is a clinically proven, plant-based lozenge that contains mint, zinc, and Gymnema sylvestre, an herb that blocks the sugar taste receptors on your tongue to suppress sweet taste. Using Sweet Defeat can help you to avoid sugary foods and stay on track during the challenge.
Read Nutrition Labels
Learn to make a habit of reading nutrition labels on packaged foods. The American Heart Association recommends that women consume 25 grams of sugar a day and men 36 grams.
Many foods and beverages that you might not expect include added sugar. For instance, fat-free salad dressings typically contain a lot of added sugar, so you’ll want to avoid these during the challenge. Other items that often contain added sugar include barbecue sauce, iced teas, jellies, and jams. Look out for foods that not only include sugar, but also corn syrup, cane sugar, fruit juice, and juice concentrates in the ingredients list; these are other names for sugar.
Natural Doesn’t Mean Sugar-Free
Just because a food item is natural, doesn’t mean that it’s sugar-free. For instance, although honey is natural, one tablespoon of honey contains 17 grams of sugar.
Although dairy is not allowed in J.Lo’s 10-day challenge, it is important to note that dairy products such as milk, cream, and yogurt contain sugar. Flavored yogurts typically contain more sugar than plain yogurt, so be sure to read the nutrition labels. A sugar-free alternative to milk you may choose to incorporate into your diet is unsweetened almond milk.
Certain fruits (including pineapples, bananas, and mangoes) are higher in sugar and should be consumed in moderation and avoided during the 10-day challenge. Fruits that are low in sugar include berries, such as strawberries and blackberries, which are allowed during the challenge. Being conscious of which fruits contain high amounts of sugar can be important in limiting sugar consumption, not only during the challenge but also after you finish it.
10-Day No Sugar, No Carb Challenge Meal Plan Example
Below is an example of options for meals that was adapted from one dietitian Joy Bauer created to help Hoda Kotb succeed in the 10-day no sugar, no carb challenge. Follow this model as a guide along with our list of acceptable foods to eat. Choose vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats that you enjoy eating to keep you motivated.
- Sliced avocado and tomato
- Scrambled eggs with mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, and spinach
- Turkey bacon
- Grilled chicken or grilled salmon with a salad that includes lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, or sunflower seeds and walnuts or sliced almonds with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
- A bowl of chicken-vegetable soup
- Turkey or chicken wrapped in lettuce with a side of grilled or raw vegetables such as snap peas, bell peppers, and mushrooms
- Grilled salmon with roasted cauliflower and broccoli
- Baked fish or chicken with green beans and kale chips
- Roasted turkey with a salad topped with walnuts
- Grilled shrimp or steak with a grilled vegetable medley
- Sunflower seeds
- Raw or roasted walnuts, cashews, or almonds
- Celery sticks with peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower butter (without added sugar)
- Sliced avocado with seasonings of your choice
- Carrots and celery with salsa or guacamole
Back to You
You should check with your doctor before starting a 10-day no sugar, no carb challenge, especially if you have any current medical conditions. Also, keep in mind that both the 10-day no sugar, no carb challenge, and the keto diet are meant to be done only in the short term. These diets are not sustainable but can be a good way to “reset” your diet, help you to lose weight, and encourage other healthy habits like exercise.
If you complete the 10-day challenge and decide you want to continue on a low-sugar lifestyle, you can try some of the low-sugar recipes here. After completing the 10-day challenge, you may want to try the Sweet Defeat 30-Day Sugar Reset to keep you motivated towards living a low-sugar lifestyle.
If you want to get healthy and fit, get started on the no sugar, no carb challenge today!