3rd Nutrition Challenge: Paleo Eating Before and After Pictures

I lost 18 pounds, along with several inches all over, including four inches from my waist…I dropped 27 lbs and leaned out a lot. All my clothes are way too loose for me now…My energy levels are great, my latest blood work showed fantastic results, and my husband and son love the meals I’m fixing every night…I have lost approximately 19lbs (215 to 196lbs), about 4 inches on my waist (38″ to 34″), and 6% body fat (19% to 13% body fat)…I found that boost to my workouts that I had been looking for and noticed that I seemed to have an extra reserve of energy during longer workouts

Like our first Nutrition Challenge and our second nutrition challenge,  we implemented a nutrition challenge for our members this spring. They had eat a strictly defined, but very maintainable, set of foods: naturally raised meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, little starch, no sugar and no bread or pasta. We refer to this as paleo or primal nutrition and is our basic nutrition recommendation for all people.

It’s so easy for people to fill their bodies with excessive amounts of carbs, gluten and other pro-inflammatory choices that are prevalent in Western society.  This challenge represents the beginning for some and the middle of a journey for many.  We seek the best for our members and as you can see from their testimonials, this is not some bs diet. It’s a choice for a healthy life and we hope you see that too.

We selected Bri and Nick as the winners for this challenge, but everyone came out a winner. I’m so proud of all of you!

Bri

Over the last eight weeks, I lost 18 pounds, along with several inches all over, including four inches from my waist. The crazy part – my wedding rings no longer fit and I have to get them resized! I lost 2 pant sizes since starting the challenge, and 5 pant sizes since beginning CrossFit a year ago. Throughout the challenge, I had several PRs both in the gym and outside the gym. My lifts are getting stronger and I can feel myself getting faster along with more confidence. During the challenge, I ran a half marathon, a 10k and a 5k; I dropped over ten minutes from my half marathon time, and 20 minutes from my 10k time. I have so much more energy and have never felt better in my life! Paleo truly works for me and this is a change I have made for the rest of my life. I love finding new paleo recipes and am no longer a ‘picky’ eater and making myself try new foods every week. I thought that the challenge would be harder than it was for me, especially cutting out sugar but now looking back, I can’t believe I ate so badly before. I entered the challenge to become healthier and improve my performance in the gym, which has definitely shown results. I am so thankful for everything!

Nick

This Nutrition Challenge was AWESOME!!!!

I was a little nervous at the start, having tried some different nutrition styles/diets in the past, but have always fallen off the wagon pretty quickly.  Paleo’s focus on quality and quantity, combined with strict supervision in the beginning, helped me to dial in my diet for what was right for me.  As such, I am confident I will be able to continue eating this way from now on because I don’t feel like I’m giving up a ton of food I love, and if I do cheat, I’ve seen how quickly I can get results by getting back on track.  Perhaps more importantly, I felt better eating this way than I have in a long time.  More energy, more consistent and sustained energy, helped get me through the day and through our workouts (especially after a little tweaking in my fat/protein/carb mix and timing).  I also just feel healthier and cleaner – fewer stomach aches, no heartburn and I feel more in tune to my body.  Ok. On to the data points.
Weight Loss: I dropped 27 lbs and leaned out a lot. All my clothes are way too loose for me now.  In addition to losing this weight, I made a lot of gains in the gym, being able to do more pull-ups than ever and returning to my college rugby playing days strength on bench press, cleans and squats.
How I feel: Awesome consistent energy throughout the day – I found I was unconciously drinking way less coffee to get through the day, down from 3-4 cups to 0-1.  popping some almonds and a piece of fruit an hour before doing the WOD helped a lot in terms of powering through our workouts.
Pants Sizes: I lost two pant sizes, at least one jacket size and lost an inch in my neck.  This is awesome – except none of my clothes fit anymore.  My shorts literally fall to my ankles when I walk!

Sam

I’m not sure how many actual pounds I lost since I don’t have a scale, but nearly all of my pants are too big for me now, and not just by a little, by at least a full size or two. I have to buy some new smaller clothes, which is a nice problem to have! I can definitely see a difference in my body composition, especially in my stomach and my arms.

The first week of strict Zone dieting was tough for me from an energy perspective, but once I got through that I was fine. Now that the Challenge is over, I’m still eating a fairly strict Paleo diet and plan to keep doing so. My energy levels are great, my latest blood work showed fantastic results, and my husband and son love the meals I’m fixing every night. Thanks for offering the Challenge and for guiding us through it!

Alex

I started easing into paleo back in December, and up until the start of the nutrition challenge I lost 5lbs, 2 inches on my waist, and 2% body fat.  After starting the nutrition challenge and going to strict paleo, I lost another 14lbs, 2 more inches on my waist, and another 4% body fat.  In total, during the last 4 months I have lost approximately 19lbs (215 to 196lbs), about 4 inches on my waist (38″ to 34″), and 6% body fat (19% to 13% body fat).

I leaned out by cutting out all grains, sugar, and dairy products.  I started eating more vegetables like bell peppers every day, and learned to snack on things like cashews and almonds whenever I was hungry.  I also learned how much protein I needed to eat every day, and to take the time to cook a decent meal from natural foods.  My energy level and endurance have gone way up in the process, and I am much better about listening to how my body feels based on what I eat.

I may have lost a few pounds of lean mass, which is most likely contributed to an injury that caused me to stop lifting weights for the past 2 months.  However, during that span, I sucked it up and kept coming in to crossfit.  The trainers helped me scale the workouts to my ability so I was still getting a good aerobic workout that would challenge me, help build endurance and keep me in shape.

I am confident this will translate into a great beach volleyball season, especially when I have to dig in late in the day after playing 8hrs in 100deg temperatures (normally a point when I hit a wall and crash due to lack of energy and endurance).

Jen

I finally committed to the nutrition challenge after over a year of participation in Crossfit. I realized that I didn’t have any more excuses and was looking for something to rock me out of the rut that I’d fallen in to with my workouts. Plus, Kyle told me that I would never be able to do it…great reverse psychology.

I didn’t begin the challenge committed to numbers, so I’m not sure how much my weight or measurements changed. I did lean out considerably in the first few weeks, which hasn’t happened in a very long time. I attribute a lot of this to total abstinence from alcohol and Diet Dr Pepper…also hasn’t happened in a very long time. I was visibly smaller, and my clothes were much looser. Once the challenge became a bit less strict, and as my workouts progressed, I think I gained back some of that weight as muscle. I found that boost to my workouts that I had been looking for and noticed that I seemed to have an extra reserve of energy during longer workouts. I  woke up with a ton of energy in the morning, and slept hard at night. I did have an early evening drop in energy, but I may have needed to consume a bit more after workouts. Plus some cheat days may have thrown things for a loop.
It’s tough to tease out the specific effects of the Paleo nutrition versus the overall increased commitment to healthy diet and consistent exercise. Regardless, the challenge was a very positive experience for me. I have a much better awareness of what I put in my body and the reasons that I may crave something (tough day of counseling kids = desire for alcohol or carbs). I am super sad that the challenge may have ruined my love for cereal and diet soda, but it did force me to cook more (much needed), introduced me to new kinds of veggies and healthy fats, and broke some bad habits. I look forward to incorporating some of my new habits into an approach to nutrition that can become more of a lifestyle.

Fashaya

Elizabeth

I did not lose weight, but that was not my goal (I’ve been eating Paleo for over a year now). I did, however, gain more lean mass and finally drop to under 20% body fat, which was my goal. I sleep very well and my recovery times after hard workouts are quick — I have a lot of energy throughout the day. I PR’d on many of my lifts, including a 40# overall PR on my CFT. Gymnastics movements keep getting easier, and I hope to have a muscle-up any day now… As for ‘cheat meals’ or ‘cheat days’… well I no longer desire them — I would much rather have a plate of sweet potato fries than an ice-cream sandwich when I wish to indulge. Ah yes and I developed a new fondness for chopped liver and discovered beef bacon (YUM).

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