My energy levels are more stable
Performance has improved, most noticeable in Oly-lifting as I PR’d my snatch by 5kg in one day
I have noticed increased energy levels and better sleep
It will be a great platform for me to build some more nutritional knowledge
I look forward to keeping this lifestyle change.
I felt I could think more clearly as well because I wasn’t thinking about snacking or feeling hungry
I am increasing reps in most body weight exercises and I’m adding weight in all my lifts
This change has really been a lifestyle change and not a diet.
It really makes you think about what you are putting into your body
Congratulations to everyone who participated in the Spring 2013 Nutrition Challenge! This was our seventh Nutrition Challenge, and you can find past results here:
- Nutrition Challenge #1
- Nutrition Challenge #2
- Nutrition Challenge #3
- Nutrition Challenge #4
- Nutrition Challenge #5
- Nutrition Challenge #6
Below you will find before and after photos and testimonials from those who completed all six weeks of our Nutrition Challenge this spring. After compiling the testimonials and pictures into this post, I can honestly say that what you have done is truly inspiring! I know that Chris had a blast working with you all, and I want to thank him for everything he has done. Most importantly, big congratulations go out to Heather and Jason for winning the Spring 2013 Nutrition Challenge! They not only achieved the best body composition changes, but also have created new sustainable lifestyle habits now that the challenge is over.
Chris had the following to add in response to your amazing efforts this past spring:
“It is always great to work with people who are committed to making positive changes in their lives. Undertaking a Nutrition Challenge like this can be intimidating, and at times you have to place a lot of trust in your coach. That said, it’s very inspiring to see the results these people achieved, and I congratulate each and every one of them for their participation!”
I lost 10 pounds. I leaned out in my abdomen – lost 3.5 inches on my waist and I guess my waist to hip ratio improved a pretty good amount – .76 to .71. My face is less puffy, my legs are less bloated.
I feel better throughout the day. My energy levels are more stable. It’s definitely easier to wake up in the morning, and that was a huge relief and wonderful perk. Admittedly, I’ve been focusing mostly on just “showing up” for my workouts, and not really getting too into comparing how I perform day to day. At the start of the challenge I aggravated an old shoulder injury and took care of it with Airrosti, so there were at least a couple of weeks where I only worked out twice, and a bunch of workouts that I modified to take easier during to allow for the big-picture recovery and realignment of this part of my body. But I have noticed a difference in my performance – my recovery time is shorter, and the 400m jog doesn’t feel like torture anymore. I’m also not worried about how my stomach feels when I go to work out.
I don’t know that I really changed clothing sizes – I went from what I might consider an “over-stuffed” 12 to a 10/12 that feels about normal.
Hands down, the best benefit for me (along with slimming a bit!) was the impact the nutrition shift had on my imagination. It felt like a thick cloud had been lifted from the middle part of the right side of my brain. I noticed it most significantly in my day-dreaming – that important time when you create your life without necessarily realizing you’re creating your life with your practiced and unconscious thinking. I found that I could imagine more desirable outcomes to projects I’ve undertaken, envision conversations with my clients that felt really good to me, allow playful creative ideas to have a little life before my analytical brain would start going to work on them…this is priceless. I’m really grateful to the challenge for this shift.
As for energy – at first my energy was really wonky – I felt spacey after 3pm, and I definitely think I leaned on caffeine too much in the challenge overall. Caffeine was like my blankie. But by week 2 or so things started to even out. By week 3 I definitely noticed that I didn’t feel the compulsive desire to stuff my face with something to get through the day, and I wasn’t thinking about it, either.
I’ve tried making a shift like this in the past, but the biggest difference for me was being ready to do it. For me, it’s part of a bigger life shift. In years past, I tried to make food changes with the wrong motivation – I tried to make changes out of fear (“If I don’t look better/feel better/weigh less/have clearer skin/whatever… I’ll never get to be or achieve XXXX goal.”) and this never works. Or, if it does, it does not last because it’s built on a false foundation – that there’s something wrong with you. In my own life, I am clear on my own purpose in the world – and I’m clear that having a healthy body is a necessity in order to achieve those goals. But that’s a deep, personal, spiritual feeling. Because I’m connected to my deeper purpose, this time I could make dietary shifts that are relatively pretty intense, log everything (I’ve NEVER been able to log my food…EVER – emotionally it would tear me apart), cook meals regularly for the first time in ages, and not get overly obsessive about any of it. Honestly, it’s been a long road to get to this point inside of myself – I’ve hired coaches to help me with the emotional side of eating, nutritional therapists…the information wasn’t new to me. Maybe that made it a little easier. It was the fact that I was ready, and having a community to do it with was really powerful. It just took the edge off to know that there was a gym full of dozens of people who could chime in with ideas and support. I feel like for any woman (or man?) who has an emotional relationship to food…my suggestion would be to not pressure yourself to be perfect, but keep the bigger picture. One of my proudest moments was falling off the bandwagon like a champ…and getting back ON the program.
And, it took me until week 3 to not automatically salivate at the mere site of cookies and other carbs. That was the most annoying part of the beginning – being mentally on board and waiting for my body to calibrate. But it did, and I’m grateful.
Now that the challenge is over, I am going to keep it up – but I realize I have to CHOOSE it. At least for me right now, it’s still not fully natural. I have to wake up and decide that today I will eat a certain way. Because it’s just too easy to let all sorts of other unsupportive foods in, and they taste so good, but they hurt so bad!
I lost 10lbs. Not sure how much I’ve leaned out. I wake up more refreshed and don’t have to play the snooze game. I have noticed more stamina and better performance in my workouts. I am increasing reps in most body weight exercises and I’m adding weight in all my lifts.
I have dropped a full shirt/pant size. I have increased clarity at work. I’m don’t get that groggy afternoon feeling and have a better outlook on the day in general.
It really makes you think about what you are putting into your body and gives me a better perspective on how my body reacts to the fuel I provide it.
I lost about 5lbs, but have lost another 3lbs since my weigh in. My upper stomach/lower rib cage area has definite improvement, and my arms are also considerably leaner. Energy levels have stabilized; right in the sweet middle of not being too high nor to low. Love that. Performance has improved, most noticeable in Oly-lifting as I PR’d my snatch by 5kg in one day.
Mental clarity has improved. The most noticeable, is short term memory. Mine has never been great, or at least felt not-so-great, but during the challenge I noticed that I wasn’t needing to write down notes or grocery lists as much. I was quicker to take care of a small errand or chore, rather than procrastinating for a day or 2.
I had a great overall experience with this. I was already consuming a Primal dietary lifestyle prior to starting the challenge, but wanted to clean up my intake further as I felt that I was starting slip on too many sugary confections. My main goals were to eliminate these entirely and cut back on carbs, and monitor my progress and energy levels collectively. I actually enjoyed logging my food intake each day as I felt that it gave me better control to stay on point nutrition-wise.
The beginning of the challenge was during the end of the school semester so my primary goals were to cut out alcohol, think clearer, and perform better in the toughest part of my year. I think a little piece of me also wanted to see visible physical changes. Throughout the challenge I noticed several things both expected and some unexpected. Immediately I lost some weight. I also noticed that I started to sleep more soundly and had MUCH more energy. I could make it an 18 hour work shift and not yawn once. However, I haven’t noticed many performance benefits.
The biggest adjustment/change/benefit I saw was my relationship with food. Its completely changed. The first week I noticed that food had become an addiction. I was having cravings and dreams where I would cheat at a fast food restaurant and then immediately throw the food against the wall in shame. I don’t know how I didn’t realize this dependency sooner. I started eating a lot… constantly. Good food, of course, but i was always hungry. The last 2 weeks of the challenge I was able to adjust small things to where I wasn’t consuming the calories but was getting the satisfaction. I truly now know what the phrase “food is fuel” means… and I don’t think I will ever look at food the same again.
I gained 5 lbs but my goal was to gain. I felt good throughout the day and didn’t have the urge to snack as much as before. I felt my performance was unchanged in my workouts.
My clothes remained the same. My energy level remain constant through the day and I didn’t want to take a nap after eating a meal.
I lost around 10 pounds. I definitely see some more definition in my abs and shoulders. Not too many things changed food wise (I’d been doing paleo-ish zone since January), all I really cut out was beer and all I added was more supplements. I think the lack of alcohol kept me a bit clearer and the extra fish oils may have helped prevent some soreness.
I am normally a 32″ waist. I bought some new jeans during the challenge and they should have been 31″. As far as mental benefits, I’ve been clearer and in a better mood – others have told me I’d seemed happier.
This was a great way for me to focus on macro nutrients, which I’ve never really done before. It will be a great platform for me to build some more nutritional knowledge and try to keep hitting numbers while keeping overall calories down.
I lost 6 pounds, I’ve noticed my arms are more toned and my core feels stronger. I am sleeping much better and feel more rested when I wake up.
I didn’t lose a pant size but my pants are looser than before. I definitely have more energy and i am learning to have a new mental relationship with food, i.e. only eating when I am hungry and identifying why I feel like eating (making sure it’s not boredom, emotions, etc.)
I lost 4 lbs and 5 cm from my waist, while maintaining my hip size. I have obviously leaned out in my stomach, with abs finally visible and a more defined waistline. Since starting the challenge, I have noticed a huge change in energy level throughout the day. Although I ate paleo prior to starting the challenge, adding zone portions, with carbs only after wods and at night, made my energy more constant with no crashes after meals and little to no bloating. This has carried into the gym–I had more energy to tackle a wod regardless of the time of day, I PR’d in 3 lifts this past week, and the wods have just felt less taxing in general.
I lost 1 pants size during the challenge and found myself reaching for the smaller jeans in the back of my closet and literally punching a smaller hole in a belt or two. My dress size has actually increased–not in the past 6 weeks per say, but since starting crossfit in the fall, my shoulders have broadened and I went up one dress size as a result. As stated previously, my energy levels are much more constant since adjusting to a zone way of eating. I felt I could think more clearly as well because I wasn’t thinking about snacking or feeling hungry.
I just wanted to say that although the changes I made for the challenge were small compared to my previous diet, the portions and timing of certain macronutrients throughout the day made a huge difference for me. Just when I thought I was leveling out with paleo, these changes gave my body the boost it needed to keep improving.
While I only lost a few pounds, I look different after the challenge. I traded fat for some muscle, and people have commented that I look healthier and more fit. The first week I felt horrible. I actually got very weak and sick, due to withdrawal symptoms of dairy and grains. But after that, each week I gained energy and woke up more refreshed than I ever have in years. My performance increased at the gym, I was able to push harder and lift more weight than before. I also increased my recovery time. One dress size smaller. Overall I have a lot more energy. I wake up earlier and need less sleep than before. My afternoon brain fog has disappeared and actually crave my workouts after work. The paleo challenge was difficult the first few weeks. It took a while to figure out what you could eat, because everything I used to eat wasn’t allowed anymore. But by week 3 I figured it out, and started feeling better. I plan to continue the paleo lifestyle as I feel better and healthier.
I lost a total of 10 lbs during the contest and 4 inches off my waist. To date I am down 14 lbs. My neck, where I really show weight gain, has really thinned out. I can wear shirts and pants that made me look like Chris Farley in a little coat before. I have also stopped snoring according to my happy wife. I have seen a big energy boost. I don’t get the after meal comas that eating crap brought on. I went from a size 36 to a size 34 and about 2 holes on my belt. This change has really been a lifestyle change and not a diet.
I really don’t have any cravings for bread or pasta. I will continue this way of eating as it has become normal and I enjoy the way I feel. I have 15 more lbs to go to reach my under 200 goal and feel with an increase in workouts I can achieve this.
Throughout the Paleo nutrition challenge I lost approximately 10 lbs and lost a couple centimeters off both my waist and hips. Although I have not gone down any clothing sizes, due to these thighs, I feel leaner and tighter. I mostly noticed change in my waist, particularly the ‘love handle’ region.
The first week of transitioning into a Paleo routine was a little harder than expected. The planning of quantities and pre-made meals didn’t go as well as expected and so my calorie intake was way under combined with the unexpected heat-wave, I literally got sick. As soon as I figured out how to ‘plan’ more efficiently and to fit in snacks and meals at work better, I really felt a difference in my everyday energy and well being.
Throughout the course of the challenge I became stronger. I PR’d on a few lifts and workouts. I am now able to do kipping pull-ups. Planning and cooking has become easier and more fun. I look forward to keeping this lifestyle change.
I lost about 9 lbs, but my clothes fit better and I was able to wear dresses that were too tight before the start of the Challenge. I feel and look leaner and several people have asked what I’m doing differently. I felt more stable and focused during the day. I injured my back early on in the challenge so workouts were few and far-between, but I could still hike. I don’t think I dropped a full size, but definitely appreciated having the clothes fit better!
On days I did hike I made better time, was able to go longer distances, and recovered more quickly. I slept better and was more clear-headed during the day. Once the sugar was out of my system I felt so much better overall. Also, cutting the booze was definitely a good thing.