In late June of 2018, the town of Tameside in Great Britain decided to take the sugar and diabetes epidemic into their own hands and embark on a 70-day sugar-free challenge1. Designed to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service (NHS), the challenge was originally inspired by one local hospital’s decision to ban sugar-laden drinks and foods from its cafeteria. This initiative was the first of its kind both the UK and worldwide, and Dr. Aseem Malhotra was convinced it could make waves.
The Beginning of a Movement
Dr. Malhotra, author, and founder of the popular 21-day “Pioppi Diet” plan was born and raised in Tameside, making this the perfect venue for such a challenge. A firm believer that dietary changes can quickly and effectively improve an individual’s health and weight2, Malhotra said, “It is time to stop counting calories and instead promote dietary changes.”
For 70 days, Tameside residents were encouraged to forgo sugar and refined carbs in favor of a diet rich in vegetables and healthy, fatty foods like fish and olive oils. The 70-day challenge centered on the principles of his “Pioppi Diet,” which embraces the wholesome diet of one of healthiest villages in Southern Italy, Pioppi. Aiming above and beyond simple low-carb and high-fat principles, the challenge and diet took aim at an overall healthier lifestyle.
The Results (and the Challenge) Are Empowering
While the fighting obesity, diabetes, and additional chronic illnesses were the immediate goal, the 70-day sugar-free challenge offered much more. In the end, over 100 healthcare professionals and residents weighed in – literally – and revealed an average weight loss of 8-20 lbs, as well as a renewed sense of well-being. Furthermore, individuals also reported that it was relatively easy.
By simply sidestepping what Malhotra refers to as the “obesogenic food movement,” the challenge presented a sense of success and sustainability. It showed individuals that they could reap the success of their dietary changes if they made a consistent effort. On a larger scale, Malhotra’s brainchild is inspiring individuals everywhere to revolutionize their approach to their health.
Diet & Lifestyle Take the Proverbial Cake
Although not a clinical trial, Malhotra believes this challenge was a success. He says, “It highlights what can be achieved through simple diet and lifestyle advice.”
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