2nd Nutrition Challenge: 8 Weeks of Paleo + Primal Eating and CrossFit Training with Result Pictures

I lost 17 pounds. I also went down one full pant size…I have lost 8 pounds and have definitely toned up; I went down two pant sizes…I found myself with a big increase in energy, both mentally and physically…I stopped having those feelings of guilt over eating terribly, because I wasn’t…And I Feel STRONG!! This is really the best feeling ever!!!

Similar to our popular Spring 2010 Nutrition Challenge, we implemented a nutrition challenge for our members this fall. 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 are so happy you all made it through this challenge.  We chose Kyle, Lydia and Hillary O as the winners, although everyone truly made great accomplishments in this challenge.  I’m so proud of all of you!

Pictures after the break…


Over the course of the nutrition challenge, I lost 17 pounds. I also went down one full pant size, from managing to fit in size 36 to fitting comfortably in size 34. Besides my waist being definitely smaller, I think my upper arms, chest, & thighs are noticeably leaner than before. My workout performance has continued to improve, but I’m still new at CrossFit so there’s room for a lot of improvement yet. Honestly I haven’t noticed increased energy levels, but I also didn’t experience any real difficulty transitioning to the paleo diet, other than having to learn how to cook more things for myself. Speaking of which, I can definitely cook a lot more now! I hope to continue expanding my repertoire of paleo-friendly meals, & maybe convince a few more friends that it isn’t all so bad as they think it sounds!

Hillary O

I have lost 8 pounds during the Nutrition Challenge and have definitely toned up a lot as well. I went down two pant sizes, which stinks because now I cannot find pants that are long enough and right in the waist, but that is okay I will deal. Also I have felt much more energized while at work and later on into the day. I am a teacher so I need my energy level high, usually I would feel very lethargic but the Nutrition Challenge helped me to regain energy that I had lost.


  • I wasn’t trying to lose weight, though I did end up losing a few pounds. My abs showed up pretty quickly.
  • After the first couple of weeks, I found myself with a big increase in energy, both mentally and physically. My workout performance seemed improved and I hit some major PRs during these eight weeks. The increased energy was by far the best benefit of doing the challenge, and something I would like to keep up.
  • The longer the challenge went on, the easier it got, and I got the unanticipated benefit of becoming much more organized in my meal planning. I thought cutting out dairy would be far harder than it actually was. Almost everything I made tasted good (minus a few experimental failures), so I never felt too deprived. I entered the challenge to re-wean myself off of sugar, and it definitely worked.


  • I lost about 4 pounds, 1/2 inch from my waist.
  • I felt great throughout the day… it was a gradual climb though. At first I think I was on a sugar depression. I had cravings for chocolate, and sugar. But after about a week, I started feeling more energized throughout the day, and all around better. I stopped having those feelings of guilt over eating terribly, because I wasn’t.
  • I didn’t really loose a pant size or dress size… didn’t have the sizes to really loose (legs will always be ‘muscular’) but I feel more comfortable in my clothes.
  • It was hard for me to stick to this being as active running as I am. I felt I needed more carbs. But getting out of that mentality and sticking to the diet helped me have more energy for runs. I ran a half marathon, a 10k, and a 5k all during the challenge, I wont say it was completely the diet, but it was definitely a combination of the gym and the energy lift I felt that influenced my time improvement. I ran my first half marathon in 2 1/2 hours. Yes I probably could have gone a bit faster then, but not by much. After going to crossfit for a year I cut more than 40 minutes off my time, running the Richmond half in 1:49:48. I have also cut 5 minutes off of my 5k time since starting crossfit, with my last run coming in at 22:51.


I have been eating paleo for almost one year (started Jan 2010) . My motivation at that time was that I just had not felt healthy for a really long time. I had a cold for about three years-almost straight….seriously. And I started to develop eczema. My sleep was terrible and I was crabby. I was really frustrated and  I wanted to feel good again. Once I started Crossfit in Nov. 2009 I started reading anything and everything I could get my hands on regarding paleo nutrition. Over this past year I have been convinced by both the nutritional science and research that I have read regarding this way of eating but more so by how I look, feel, and perform. The combination of crossfit and paleo works for me. I have never felt better in my life.

I have done 4 dedicated nutritional  “challenges” over the past year – one with G in Jan. 2010, The Whole 30 in June 2010, a second whole 30 in August, and now this one with the box . All have been really helpful in making a full transition to eating paleo as a lifestyle. The reason I wanted to participate in this challenge was to continue to tweak my nutrition in light of a recent knee injury (therefore a little bit less active). Also the weeks leading up to this  challenge were very demanding at my job and I was feeling tired, stressed, and in a general “high cortisol” state. I was not feeling as healthy in general as I had been. My personal challenge with this was not to cut out grains, legumes, or dairy. This I had done over the past year and really never looked back .  Sugar is more so my personal challenge and with the added stress at work had crept back into my eating.

By doing this challenge I was able to reestablish my nutrition and I feel great again. I will say that I do not have numbers for you from this challenge-I did not track my weight, body fat, or measurements.  I do see more muscle definition and my clothes fit better but more importantly to me at this time I feel healthy again. I have only had one cold since Nov. 2009 (and it was during those stressful weeks I spoke of above), my eczema is better, and  I am much happier in general. And I Feel STRONG!! This is really the best feeling ever!!!

Hillary S

I had been eating more and more paleo in the months before the challenge, and used this as a good opportunity to cut the junk out of my diet (i.e. sugar and a pesky diet mountain dew habit). I wasn’t aiming to lose weight but dropped about a pants size in the process.  The big body change for me was putting on upper body mass, which was my main goal.  I don’t think you can tell in the picture, but my arms are much bigger now and I’ve gained strength across lots of different movements. I have no problem doing pull-ups, can string together 10 or so ring dips, and am hoping to get a muscle-up soon. The plateau in my shoulder press disappeared.  My overhead squat is no longer embarrassing.  A lot of the subs I used to do in WODs, like HSPUs from a box and ring dips with a band, are ridiculously easy.  Which means I actually have to do ring dips and HSPUs now, but that’s a good thing.


22 thoughts on “2nd Nutrition Challenge: 8 Weeks of Paleo + Primal Eating and CrossFit Training with Result Pictures

  1. Nice work, everyone!

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