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12 Months to a Healthier You: Week 13 Check-In

Are you joining us for the 12 Months to a Healthier You Challenge? If so, it’s the weekend and guess what that means? It’s time for our weekly check-in to post our progress.

April’s Challenge:

We’re focusing on developing the habit of cutting back on sugar. I encourage you to set a simple and doable goal for drinking more water and to stick with it.

New to this challenge? Read more details on the plan for this year here.

My Goals for Cutting Back on Sugar During April

My goal for April is to cut back on sugar — which is hard for a girl like me who has a strong sweet tooth! :) I’m going to make it my goal to only eat dessert once a week and to cut back on the sugar I use in my coffee on a daily basis, too.

I’m also hoping to keep up with January’s habit of exercising at least 4-5 times every week, February’s goal of eating a big salad at least six times a week, and March’s goal of drinking 8 glasses of water a day.

This Week’s Progress:

I quickly figured out that this challenge is going to be a true CHALLENGE this month… but it’s good for me! And I’ve stuck with it so far. Yay!!! Okay, so we’re only 5 days into the month… but still, I’m going to celebrate the success. 🙂

And I hit my water goals four out of the seven days, exercised three days, and ate a salad every day. I’m so excited that some of these monthly challenges are really starting to become more of a habit!

How Are YOU Doing?

Leave a comment telling us how you did on your exercise goals this past week. If you’re blogging about this challenge, leave the direct link to your blog post about the challenge below. Are you on social media? You can also share your progress on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter by using hashtag #12MonthstoaHealthierYou.


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  • I decided to not even eat granola bars or energy bars with chocolate in them except for one dessert a week. I mistakenly finished a cookie for my son yesterday so that’s my dessert for the week. (I think I’ll have normal weeks with it restarting on Sunday.) I’m drinking more water and figured out a new way to count it to make sure I’m getting it in and am working on salads for lunch at least 5 days a week (which I did this week). So far, so good. It’s more when I’m not thinking about what I eat that sugar gets to be a problem.

  • Maria says:

    I still find myself eating treats a lot more than I realized, though I have kept up not putting ketchup on my scrambled eggs. I’ve been using salsa and cheese instead, which my oldest daughter is also starting to do. I still eat my fruit an salad daily, though my water and exercising hasn’t been very good. I’ll get there though!

  • Luba says:

    Great job, Crystal! My husband and I are on a mission to eat less sugar as well. Instead of parking right by a place where I needed to go this week, I parked about 1/4 of a mile away and walked. It felt really good. I’ve been noticing that drinking more water really helps my energy levels too. Thank you for this challenge. Oh, and we have been eating lots of soups and salads lately too. 🙂

  • Stevi says:

    Honestly, my diet hasn’t been the best in the world lately. I just started a new job and have been working a lot so I’m still trying to figure out a good routine so that I am able to pack healthy lunches and snacks. On the days I do make myself a lunch, I’m usually in such a rush in the morning that I forget it at home, and since I don’t have buying lunch in my budget I end up not eating all day which is even worse. I have been drinking lots of water though, and I have been doing yoga whenever I have the chance

  • Amber says:

    I thought you were going to say “cut back desserts to once per DAY”… so, um, that is how amazing you all are. Wild, and impressive. I’ll consider once per day.

  • Kerri says:

    This month’s challenge is also a challenge for me. I have cut sugar out of my coffee and am trying to be more cognizant of the sugar in foods that I eat.

  • I read this while eating ice cream and cookies. Haha

  • Jen says:

    Here’s what I have found works to curb sugar cravings….apple cider vinegar. Make a hot apple cider vinegar “tea” with about 1tbs apple cider vinegar, add 1 tbs natural honey and fill mug with hot water. It tastes like hot apple cider and curbs the sugar cravings. Honey isn’t addictive like refined sugar, so it works well on cravings.

  • Joye says:

    omigosh, this IS going to be hard! hmm. I’ll start by cutting back on sugary drinks, so I’ve been trying to cut back on soda anyway. I will only have ONE sugary drink each day and that includes juice, soda, and the iced coffee. I’ve still been drinking my water, but otherwise I technically bombed the challenge this week. I can’t be TOO hard on myself though, I had a tooth pulled and haven’t felt like myself mots of the week. They told me not to do anything to raise my blood pressure during the day of the extraction and the day after while I’m recovering, so I didn’t workout much this week, and my food options have been limited. I’m going to change things up a little next week, so hopefully I’ll be able to get back on track.

  • Stevi says:

    Crystal, could you possibly make a post about surprising foods that have sugar in them? I never realized that ketchup has sugar in it, and I put ketchup on a lot of things lol. I think it would be helpful for a lot of the readers to maybe have a list of the not so obvious things that have sugar in them. I know it would be very helpful to me at least

    • Kim says:

      Most ketchup, most peanut butter, most salad dressings (for lettuce & Miracle Whip), prepackaged taco seasoning, BBQ sauce, most dressings, sauces, & marinades (powdered mix form & already prepared, sweet & sour anything, many frozen dinners (prepackaged), prepackaged meatballs, many canned tomatoes & chili beans, pasta sauce, salsa, picante sauce, most cold cereal, prepackaged oatmeal packets, flavored yogurt, flavored jello (dry & already prepared), flavored coffee creamers, hot chocolate mixes, flavored drink mixes, & chocolate milk to name a few. Bread requires sugar or honey to feed the yeast so the bread will rise. Some natural peanut butters only contain salt & peanuts, but not all. Aldi’s natural peanut butter contains four kinds of sugar! 🙂 Activia yogurt has several kinds of sugar. If something tastes sweet, read the ingredients label. Sucrose is sugar. Anything ending in -ose is a form of sugar. This will all depend on how much sugar you want to cut out. You can eliminate most sugar by cooking from scratch.

      My family eats very little sugar/sweets. Sweets are only for special occasions. Fresh fruit has been our dessert, even as a little child. Now sleep…….., I need help with!

  • mckenna says:

    This is awesome I just realized today I needed to make a life change so I dumped my soda and drank a bottle of water. And then ate fruit. It’s a start and I’m willing to keep it up!

  • Dacha says:

    Well I’m like you Crystal- this one is going to be HARD!!! I’ ve decided to cut 3C’s : candy, chocolate and chips! Well technically chips aren’t sugar, but it´s been a while that I’ve been thinking about cutting them out of my diet. The hardest one is chocolate- when I’m not careful I end up buying pastries with chocolate in them etc. ( because of course pastries with fruit don’t count in my 3 c’s!!;)) Anyway I did well for 4 days out of 5. I kept up with exercising, fruit & veggies and have been a little laxist with water. Will be working on it next week!! Love from Paris everyone!!!

  • Sissy Sweet says:

    I decided a while back to try and cut some of the sugar out of my daily eating. I started with my coffee. Using local honey, instead of sugar only took a few days to get used to. As an added bonus it has really helped my allergies. I substitute local honey or raw honey for a lot of things now, and don’t miss sugar at all.

  • I did okay this week. I planned on limiting my sugar to one dessert & less in my coffee like you, Crystal but I had dessert twice! Nest week I will do better!

  • Mandi says:

    This one is hard! Even with the kind of lame goal of 1 dessert a day, I find it a challenge. But I am doing it! I am keeping up with the water and fruit/veggie goals for the most part. And I am doing the exercise I am able to right now (recovering from a running injury) which includes a lot of p/t. I will be glad to get back to my routine in this department.

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