I have never eaten so well in my life. I lost a 8.5 lbs. My waist went from a 34″ to a 32″. My energy level improved as did both my strength and overall fitness…
My son has had horrible sinusitis for years. Allergy medicines, nasal sprays, nothing has helped. A couple of weeks into the paleo plan, and he was congestion free for the first time in probably 4 or 5 years. It actually makes me mad that no doctors recommended dietary adjustments for him…
I have felt so deeply encouraged by the paleo challenge and the entire Crossfit family. It is now a lifestyle and not a diet for me…
That’s almost 30lbs in about 11 weeks…
4.5% decrease in body fat…
I have rheumatoid arthritis. Well managed but usually I wake with stiff joints and discomfort. Since day 5, I have had no symptoms!
I would guess this amounted to about two inches off the waistline. Now that the challenge is over I haven’t changed back to the old way of eating nor do I plan to…
The main thing that I noticed was that my energy level was through the roof and I felt fantastic.
We’ve had a total of five nutrition challenges thus far, and I can honestly say this one is the best thus far. For past results check these links:
For this challenge our participants ate 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 something they worked into their lives and saw meaningful improvements in all areas. It’s a choice for a healthy life and we hope you see that too. We chose Courteney, Katie and Al as the winners for their diligence and visible results, although this was by far the hardest decision we’ve had to make in any nutrition challenge.
Everyone did so awesome, in fact that most of the people in this challenge would have won prior challenges. Anyway, here are the pictures!
The Nutrition Challenge was so good for me. Prior to it, I thought I was eating well but basically had no idea of what I was really putting into my body. I knew very little about nutrition. I had just finished Rob Wolf’s “The Paleo Solution” and when the Challenge was announced, I was ready. The challenge turned out great. It was hard initially but as I got used to conscious meal planning it got easier and easier and I stuck with it in spite of doing a lot of traveling.I have never eaten so well in my life. I lost a 8.5 lbs. My waist went from a 34″ to a 32″. My energy level improved as did both my strength and overall fitness. As far a “leaning out” is concerned, check out the photo. I feel great, I hope I can eat this way for the rest of my life, and I would recommend this challenge for anyone who hasn’t tried it yet.
The first week was really, really hard (seriously, really…). I was already eating pretty well– maybe 65 percent paleo–, but this was taking it to a new level, and ditching my nightly glass or two of wine and all added sugar, processed carbs and dairy hurt. A lot. Also, I felt pretty weak and tired, and I had constant cravings for sugar, cheese and bread. I never cheated though, and the biggest help was that I was doing it with a friend. We just ate dinner together every night and moaned about how miserable it was.
Week two, things started getting much easier– it helped that I felt so much leaner already. Tripling the fat definitely curbed hunger, and my energy level improved hugely. I also noticed weird things– like my hands were less wrinkly and old ladyish (I am 40, after all). I think I’d been really dehydrated before without realizing it! Since I was feeling better, I started working out harder, and over the next two weeks, it was crazy. Even when I was much younger and working out all the time, I’d never been able to do pull-ups. It seemed like out of nowhere, I could suddenly do multiple sets of three. Running, which I’ve always hated, also seemed so much easier. Really exciting!
I pretty much chugged along until the end of week three, when a long weekend away derailed me somewhat, but I came back and got back on track. For the last month, eating right was no problem, but I did slip some on the wine consumption (there was somewhat more than one cheat per week….) Even so, at the end of the challenge, I’d lost six pounds and more significantly, three inches off my waist and an inch and a half off my hips.
Also, I started my kids on paleo, and got some crazy results. My son has had horrible sinusitis for years. Allergy medicines, nasal sprays, nothing has helped. A couple of weeks into the paleo plan, and he was congestion free for the first time in probably 4 or 5 years. It actually makes me mad that no doctors recommended dietary adjustments for him…
To sum up, I definitely have a lot more energy, and doing the challenge made me realize some other things: most of the time, when I’m craving carbs, it’s because I’m exhausted. Trying to go to bed at a reasonable hour helps with that, and those times that I didn’t have that option, I’d go for half a banana and some almond butter. Much better than a bowl of cereal or cold pizza, my former choices… I’ve also noticed that after I eat a meal, I never feel weighed down or stuffed, but I don’t get hungry for hours. I’ve been doing it long enough now that it’s not hard to make good choices. Before the challenge, my microwave was doing double duty– I used it for just about everything. Now, I’m cooking real meals, and my grill is my new best friend. It doesn’t take nearly as long as I feared. (It does require much better planning, though.)
The one downside: my grocery bill is probably double what it used to be. I’m still trying to figure out tricks to bringing it down. Still, I figure that feeling better, being healthier and having healthy kids is a good investment, so I’m sticking with it, and I’d recommend it to anyone.
How much weight you lost/how you leaned out? I have lost a total of 15 pounds of body fat and replaced most of it with lean muscle mass.
How you feel throughout the day/workout performance? I have had so much more energy throughout the day and have been sleeping better than before. My workout performance was great but I hit a busy season in life where I was very dedicated to the paleo eating but could not make it to the gym as often as I would have liked (due to a heavy travel schedule).
How many dress/pant sizes you lost? I lost about 2 or 3 pants sizes in my waist and all of my clothes have been fitting better overall.
How your energy levels have changed/maintained: I have continued to do Paleo and my energy levels continue to stay very strong. I hope to continue with paleo for the long term/life.
Anything else you want to share? I have felt so deeply encouraged by the paleo challenge and the entire Crossfit family. It is now a lifestyle and not a diet for me. Thank you Crossfit Charlottesville for helping me to realize my goals. I still have a long way to go and I hope to continue to challenge myself in the future.
I lost 22lbs during the 8 weeks of the challenge. Since then I have lost another 7 lbs. that’s almost 30lbs in about 11 weeks. The first week or two was tough. My energy dropped and I felt tired. Then I felt much More energetic. I was sleeping a lot better at night and wasn’t tired during my ten hour work day. The biggest improvement I have seen is in my blood work. My cholesterol ratio was up to 6.4 and halfway through the challenge it was tested and is now 4.0.
I haven’t had any real opportunity to exercise, let alone do Crossfit because of my schedule so the results are from the diet alone. I did very strict paleo (at least for the first month, then had to go back on caffeine) but only did the zone for the first week. It was too hard with my schedule and other obligations to track like you are supposed to. I was able to eyeball it which is a more realistic method for a lot a of people I think.
I can’t wait to combine paleo with Crossfit here in the next few weeks and see the results.
I wouldn’t have lost any weight without my family though. They saw how important it was and jumped on board. I had to cut out some of m favorite things like chocolate, icecream, cookies. Oh and chocolate. But my family came up with great recipes and now it’s all second nature. It’s definitely a lifestyle not a diet, but a lifestyle that really works well for me.
Oh, I also went from wearing size 36 to fitting comfortably in a 33. I had to buy new jeans. My shirts all seem way to large. The extra larges I was wearing seem huge. Now the large is a perfect fit.
Thanks for everything Kyle and the rest of the Crossfit Charlottesville folks.
How much weight you lost/how you leaned out? 4 lbs lost, an inch off my waist and an inch off my hips. 4.5% decrease in body fat. I ate a fairly low carb healthy diet before the challenge so I didn’t expect to see huge changes. However, I was encouraged and excited to see the changes in my waist and abs and pushed through the rest of the challenge.
How you feel throughout the day/workout performance? Being an endurance “athlete” as someone who cycles 4-5 days a week I took a real hit energy wise the first couple weeks with the zones. I’d do a two hour bike ride after work and if I had stayed within my zones I’d only have eat about 1000 calories throughout the day. I was hungry and cranky which really wasn’t working for me. On lifting days the zones were much more doable. Kyle helped me modify my blocks but I abandoned the zones after the first 3 weeks and felt much better. A sweet potato after dinner and extra fruit/veggies at lunch made a lot more sense for my body’s needs on the bike. I did stay pretty strict on the paleo and spread my “cheats” out across the weekend with alcohol mostly. Four drinks a week max.
How your energy levels have changed/maintained? I slept much more soundly which was a nice change for myself who is usually a very light sleeper and early riser. The biggest thing I noticed was how awful I felt after drinking a beer. I was surprised gluten really upset my system. One good IPA would leave me feeling awful after a few hours and the following day. I soon switched my alcohol clears to Cider beer, wine or liquor.
Anything else you want to share? I plan to stick to a very relaxed paleoesque diet. I’ve added beans back, a little bit of plain Greek yogurt and occasionally some cheese. The grains I’ll cut out for the most part. I’ve read up on peanut butter and will stop buying it and opt for almond butter instead. From the zone dieting I realize a ton of fruit is a lot of carbs and sugar that may not be necessary. Day to day it’s nice not to be tempted by the crackers and such at work. I think cutting out those little extra carb snacks throughout the day is what made the biggest difference and is a very sustainable change.
During the first week I lost a total of 7 lbs. The hunger was the hardest part. With the decreased fat, my energy dropped an hour after each meal/snack. But after the first week and 2x the fat, it felt amazing! I had tons of energy and never a “dip” in the day where I felt I needed coffee or a snack.
The pounds kept coming off and after two weeks I had lost 12 pounds. I had energy all day and felt amazing with what my body was doing. To be able to look in the mirror and feel sexy, not just a mom has changed the way I look at my body.
The way I view food is also a huge change. I have always eaten “healthy”. Having never documented the macronutrients placed into my body, I was in for a shock. What changed was my appreciation of fuel. Fuel my body needs on a daily basis. I have never felt better! I have rheumatoid arthritis. Well managed but usually I wake with stiff joints and discomfort. Since day 5, I have had no symptoms!
Since the challenge I have lost a total of 14 pounds, had pain free days, continued to work out and feel great! To me this was not just a challenge but a change on lifestyle. I am still doing it and have absolutely no intention of stopping!
I started the challenge at 170 lbs and finished and currently weigh in at 158 lbs. I lost the first six pounds during the first week of the challenge and another three pounds the second week. After that the final three pounds came off over the remaining six weeks. Knowing from previous experience that I am pretty sensitive to carbs in general and breads and grains specifically, I completely banned starchy foods. Therefore, my diet consisted of plenty of animal protein and fat as well as fruits and vegetables. The hardest part of this was cutting out the junk food. I love potato chips and soda and it took about two weeks to get rid of the cravings, especially on the drive home. Lastly, I altered the dietary plan from a 40-30-30 ratio of carbs, protein, and fat to 40-40-20 ratio of protein, fat, and carbs and strictly followed this plan. I think i might have had a couple of french fries and a chip or two the entire two months but thats it. No “cheat days.” This really accelerated the leaning process and I still felt great eating five small meals per day. My energy levels throughout the day were always high but I felt as if I was more susceptible to dehydration. If I didn’t drink enough high quality H20 I seemed to start dragging both mentally and physically. This was more pronounced eating during this new dietary regimen than when I was eating like crap. At any rate, I now drink about a gallon of water per day and feel great. I steadily improved on my workouts and felt energized thanks to the better diet.
As far as inches and measurements go, I never broke out the tape measure but my suits for work loosened up significantly in the trousers while the jackets continued to fit properly. Obviously, this was the desired result as I maintained lean muscle mass in the upper body and lost the fat in my gut and ass in my lower body. Just for fun and games I tried on my army uniform from 12 years ago and it still fits. Not too shabby. I would guess this amounted to about two inches off the waistline. Now that the challenge is over I haven’t changed back to the old way of eating nor do I plan to. I do “cheat” about once a week usually on date night or some kind of special occasion but nothing too gluttonous. This nutrition challenge was a blast to participate in. Thanks for putting it together!
You can add that I felt like I healed pretty quickly from my hamstring injury. I know that studies have shown that a good diet can improve the body’s ability to heal itself. This is a good example….that and I’m tough as nails.
I’m about 6 lbs lighter than when I started, though I suspect that I lost a little more and gained some back in muscle. I dropped a notch or two in belt size and overall clothing fits a bit looser. I was pretty surprised by how quickly the weight seemed to come off despite eating 2-3 blocks more than what I had initially calculated for my BMI. The main thing that I noticed was that my energy level was through the roof and I felt fantastic. This was especially noticeable on the job, as I work in construction; it has made work all the more enjoyable. Also, you’ll never have a post meal crash on this diet.
For those who want to lose some weight, kick some nasty habits, and want a real challenge I highly recommend giving it a go.
23 thoughts on “Fifth Nutrition Challenge: Paleo Nutrition and Zone Guidelines for 8 Weeks Before and After Result Pictures”
Holy cow! I don’t know how you guys picked winners– everyone looks amazing!!!
Great work everybody! Kevin’s bottom right pic is amazing: “hey ladies…”
There are a couple of even more ridiculous ones that didnt make the page.
Yeah, I had the pleasure of taking those photos…. Hopefully we can find a use for them on the website, haha
Awesome results! very impressive! Congrats everyone!
Nice work! Dang, I should have done the spray on tan and a speedo, it might have given me the edge.
Nice work everyone! I changed my diet before starting CrossFit but I got similar results — dropped 18 pounds in about 6 weeks. Then I started CrossFit and I estimate I’ve lost another 5 pounds of fat and gained 5 of muscle. I’m the same weight but I now have more muscle than I’ve ever had in my life, by a decent margin, so obviously I have to have dropped some more fat too 🙂
Now all I have to do is get up to 240 like Greg! haha.
Great work!! Congrats to everyone for finishing – you all look fantastic!
Everyone looks fabulous! What a great challenge. I think we should have a big paleo cook out to bring everyone together and share some of our delicious recipes (not just nutrition challenge people). Any thoughts?