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Nutrition Challenge Day 3 – No “Good” or “Bad” Foods

🎯 Today’s Mission:

To successfully complete today’s mission:

  • ✅ Spend some time examining the food continuum, having a look at where different foods fall on the Green vs Orange vs Red food lists.
  • ✅ Write down some of your observations and thoughts in your food journal.
  • Complete the form at the bottom of the page when done.

💡 More Info:

This may go against everything that mainstream media and popular diets have told you, but…

Food is NOT ✅ “good” or ❌ “bad”.

We know, it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

You aren’t a 😇 good person for eating a 🥕 carrot and a 👿 bad person for eating a 🍩 doughnut.

That’s just not how food works. Maybe morals and religions for some people, but not food.

Popular diets have conditioned us to think that a diet will ONLY work if we do it PERFECTLY. But that’s just NOT TRUE! No one is perfect. Plus, people have achieved incredible results without following any specific diet at all.

The same goes for exercise, finance, relationships, work, education, and pretty much everything else. There may be recommended guidelines (like a “diet”) that we can follow for guidance, but ultimately they aren’t the be-all and end-all of how to be healthy, or get fit, or make money, or feel loved, or become more educated.

At Sleekgeek, we’ve found that thinking about food as “good” or “bad” rarely works out well in our everyday messy lives. For long term success, we need a better solution.

Welcome to the ⬅️ Continuum ➡️:

We’d like to invite you to rise above popular diet culture and ditch the “all-or-nothing” mindset.

Rather than thinking about food as either “good” or “bad”, try this: Look at food as being on a continuum that ranges from “better” to “worse” for your goals.

  • 🟢 There are foods that are “better” for you and your goals that you should eat MORE often.
  • 🔴 There are foods that are “worse” for you and your goals that you should eat LESS often.
  • 🟠 There are foods that are “neutral”, insignificant, or context-dependent for you and your goals that you could eat SOME of the time without much impact either way.

A continuum like this allows you to approach nutrition from both sides.

You can make small sustainable tweaks to your diet where you eat a little bit less of the worse foods AND a little bit more of the better foods without needing to do a complete diet overhaul that makes you miserable.

Here’s the continuum visualised 👇:

Using a continuum like this, you’re able to make mature grown-up decisions on a daily basis to decide which benefits and consequences you’re willing to trade-off.

For example:

  • If losing weight is a super high priority for you, then you may want to drink less alcohol and eat less pizza than you’d like to.
  • But if it’s your birthday and having fun is a super high priority for you, then you may want to intentionally drink more alcohol and eat more birthday cake than you usually would.

Ultimately, the context matters and what may be “eat less” for one person may be “eat more” for another person depending on their goals and current situation.

Introducing the 🟠 Orange and 🔴 Red Food Lists:

If you want to download a larger version of these images, here are PDF versions and here are the Google Sheets versions for quick access on your PC/Phone.

Again, feel free to print out these lists and circle the foods that you actually like. Yes, for the orange and red list foods too. Maybe you REALLY like chocolate but only sorta like ice cream… Well, if you are going to eat something that is worse for you and your goals then rather focus on the foods that you will thoroughly enjoy and savour instead of eating something you only sorta like and then feeling like it was not worth it afterwards.

As we like to say in the Sleekgeek Coaching Program, be a picky snob about the junk food that you do eat. Make it count.

We’ve only put the most common or most applicable foods in the Sleekgeek Food Lists.

If you aren’t sure where a food might fall on the list, a good rule of thumb is to move away from more processed calorie-dense foods towards healthier minimally processed and lower-calorie foods.

There may be some exceptions from time-to-time, but generally the continuum looks a bit like this:

  • 🔴 McDonalds French Fries > 🟠 Homemade Potato Wedges > 🟢 Potatoes.
  • 🔴 Tomato Sauce > 🟠 Tomato Puree > 🟢 Tomatoes.
  • 🔴 Fruit Juice > 🟠 Apple Sauce > 🟢 Apples.
  • 🔴 Deep-Fried Chicken > 🟠 Crumbed Chicken > 🟢 Chicken.
  • 🔴 Yoghurt-Coated Rice Cakes > 🟠 White Rice > 🟢 Brown Rice.
  • 🔴 White Bread > 🟠 Whole Grain Bread > 🟢 Whole Grains.
  • 🔴 Peanut Butter with Salt and Sugar > 🟠 Natural Peanut Butter > 🟢 Peanuts.

REMEMBER: Food is not good or bad and you’re not a good or bad person for eating whatever you want. But it is good to think about food as moving you closer to or further away from your goals. Use the food continuum to help you eat more of the food that’s better for you and less of the food that’s worse for you.

✅ Mission Accomplished?

Fill in the form below once you’re done to keep track of your progress.

Which day of the challenge have you completed?
Used to automatically email you a copy of your mission submission so that you can keep track of which missions you have completed.
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