Spring 2015 Nutrition Challenge Results, Before and After Photos, Testimonials

I feel better during the day- mostly because I no longer have the extreme mid-morning and post-lunch sugar crashes/food comas that I used to
I now have no trouble sleeping at all
Thanks to the challenge I have kicked my sugar addiction to the curb and am no longer constantly craving sweets
Max amount lost 14 total pounds
I had more energy and felt like my endurance and ability to “push through” tough workouts got better as well
This was such an enlightening experience!
I felt amazing throughout the entire day
My friends and family also noticed that I had clearer skin and better skin

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the Spring 2015 Nutrition Challenge! This was our eleventh Nutrition Challenge, and you can find past results here:

Below you will find some before and after photos and testimonials from those who completed all eight weeks of the Spring Nutrition Challenge (2015.  I am really proud of the hard work everyone put in.  You all approached it with an open mind and a willingness to make positive changes. Big congratulations go out to all of the competitors from our gym.

Lauren and I chose 2 winners and 2 runners-up, but the finishers in this group made it extremely challenging to pick a winner.  There are a lot of factors that go in to choosing a winner, from before and after results based on measurements, to communication and upholding the guidelines during the challenge, to benefits that go beyond just physical looks and measurements.

Winners:

Mike and Ariel

Runners-Up:

Andrew and Elise

During this challenge, we tweaked some of the macros based on each person’s body type and activity level. We realize there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach and a lot of factors go into sustainable nutrition and developing good habits.  These finishers clearly demonstrate how this approach helped them reach their fitness and nutritional goals!

Congratulations again to all the finishers!!

-Scott and Lauren

KATE

I think I lost about 5 pounds- but losing weight was not my goal. I am overall much leaner than I was before the challenge. I wanted to lose fat and build muscle, and have done so. I have noticed significant changes in tone in my stomach, arms, and legs. My clothes fit better, and I am generally more comfortable in them.

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I am now proud of my entire body, whereas before the challenge I definitely felt that I had problem areas that I tried to conceal more. I feel better during the day- mostly because I no longer have the extreme mid-morning and post-lunch sugar crashes/food comas that I used to. My workout performance has improved pretty dramatically (depending on the movement- I don’t think my overhead squats will ever improve!).

During the first two weeks I lacked energy in a big way, but once my body adjusted to the food I noticed myself pushing harder and doing better in workouts- especially in a lot of the really long workouts we did this spring. There was a huge difference in my clean weight and overall WOD time between the benchmark workout week 1 and when we repeated it six weeks into the challenge.  I definitely have more energy more consistently than I did before- fewer highs and lows than I had before the challenge when I was eating pretty poorly. I am able to stay awake later (late is 11:00 pm max though) and be more productive in the evening that I was before. I sleep through the night much more consistently now.

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I would recommend this challenge to everyone- it was awesome! It was absolutely one of the hardest things I have ever done, but that makes the end even more rewarding. I never in a million years thought that I could make it through 8 weeks of strict paleo, but I am SO proud of myself for doing so. The challenge completely changed the way I look at food- I developed planning, cooking, and snacking habits that I know I will stick with despite the challenge being over.  And MANY thanks to Scott and Lauren for being so supportive of us and so responsive to my many email questions over the last 8 weeks- we definitely couldn’t have done it without you guys!

ARIEL

I believe I only lost anywhere from 3-5lbs. It fluctuates depending on the day but I’ve been consistently under 140 which I haven’t been in years. I do think I’ve leaned out a bit, I am starting to see and feel more definition especially in my arms and legs.  There is a difference in how well my clothes fit, I can tell the most difference with my summer clothes – they feel a lot looser and overall more comfortable.

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I feel 100% better. I don’t need caffeine to get me through the day.  I feel more happy and upbeat.  My workouts have only improved, I’ve hit more PRs in the last 8 weeks than I have in the last 8 months.  It’s been the biggest motivator.Energy wise – I didn’t feel like I was having any crashes.  I didn’t need to take afternoon naps or have caffeine to wake me up.  I was way more energetic than I had been before.  I actually was seeing a sleep specialist for severe insomnia prior to the challenge where I was only sleeping 1-2 hours a night (not exaggerating), I now have no trouble sleeping at all.  I’ve been sleeping 7-9hrs a night while working night shift.  It’s been incredible!  I can think a lot clearer and its made me overall more happy.

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I never realized how addicting sugar is and how hard it is to quit. It was the biggest struggle for me. I am really glad I did the challenge though, because after it ended and I went to have that first “cheat” meal – I realized that I didn’t really like those kinds of foods anymore.  That feeling of being so full that I felt stuffed was awful and I decided to stick to paleo with a few exceptions.  I actually enjoy counting my macros. 🙂  It was a challenge, but totally worth it.

JULIA

This was my first Nutrition Challenge and I was very satisfied with my results.  I lost nine pounds and 2.5” from my waist/hips.  I can see changes all over my body, specially in my midsection. I feel leaner and all my clothes fit better and looser.

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The first two weeks were very challenging for me because bread, cheese, wine and sugary treats were staples in my diet. I had major withdrawals symptoms, but once my body adapted to the changes I saw a big increase in my energy levels. This was also evident in my workouts. I’ve been able to see improvements in my performance. I feel stronger and more confident.

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At first, I felt very energetic to the point of having trouble sleeping at night. Things level off after a couple of weeks, and my energy levels are more stable throughout the day. I no longer feel like I need a nap or sweets to fight the post lunch slump. I am more focused at work and overall have more mental clarity.

This was a great experience for me. I learned the importance of good nutrition (I realized that I was not eating as healthy as I thought) and how to properly fuel my body. Thanks to the challenge I have kicked my sugar addiction to the curb and am no longer constantly craving sweets. Furthermore,  I plan to continue applying some of the things I’ve learned and to be mindful of what I put in my body.

 

ELISE

When I started the challenge I weighed in at 141 and by the final weigh in I was 131, losing 10 pounds overall. I definitely noticed that I am leaner and have more muscle definition, that is a testament to the workout programming I have been doing along with Lauren altering my macros each week. My smaller sized clothes now fit perfectly there is definitely a difference in the way I look and feel in my outfits.

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The programming I have been doing started at the same time the nutrition challenge begun which is much heavier volume. It was tough at first but Lauren helped me to program when I should eat my carbs and proteins to maximize my results. The workouts have gotten easier, I wouldn’t call them easy workouts but my body is able to handle the volume now. 

I also have a ton of energy lately and feel so good! I never knew how bad I actually felt relative to the amount of energy I now have. I also tried to get a minimum of 6 1/2 hours of sleep each night which probably has helped.
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I think this challenge was perfect for me, I seem to notice a big difference in my body whenever I eat paleo. This time around needing to weigh and log what I am eating for macros gives me much better insight into nutrition and how what and how much you are eating can really effect you.  I will now forever think twice before eating bagels and donuts at the office… it’s just not worth it. I think that’s the main benefit of this challenge is that 8 weeks is long enough to develop a habit and this was not just a diet for me but a shift in my overall lifestyle of eating. Well worth the $20 for Lauren’s expertise and Scott’s guidance and experience.
Thanks Crossfit Cville!!!

LEX

I think I lost a few pounds and I definitely leaned out a bit. Some pants felt looser and some shorts that I hadn’t been able to wear in like 2 years fit great!

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I’ve been eating Primal/Paleo-ish for a while, so I didn’t feel all that different for the most part. I didn’t see a huge change in my workouts, but I’d say my recovery post-workout was a little bit better. The one thing I noticed was markedly improved was my, ahem, digestive health. I had a Frappuccino the other evening, and it definitely gave me a stomachache the following morning.

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Energy and sleep were about the same. Mentally, I felt better equipped to tackle this challenge compared to previous personal challenges I’ve done because I was taking a cooking class at the same time. Being able to make more of my meals made me feel much more in control.
My main goal for this challenge was to cut back on my sugar consumption. I truly believe I have a genuine (albeit mild) sugar addiction, so going cold turkey and getting that back under control felt great. I’ll always struggle to make good food choices when it comes to sugar, but it was good to remind myself that there is a whole world of healthy (and delicious) snacks out there that won’t make me feel like crap the next day. Congrats to everyone who made it through!

EMMA

I lost four pounds and have noticed a significant change in how my clothes fit. I have gone down about one pant size.

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Initially, I was pretty fatigued throughout the day as I got used to the new diet restrictions and figured out how to meet my macros while meeting my calorie goals. My workouts struggled a bit in the beginning but as I figured out how to increase calories while still hitting macros I got back to my previous stamina. 

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My sleeping patterns stayed pretty solid, sleeping about 7-9 hours a night. I initially felt pretty tired throughout the day but as I got used to the different diet, my energy bounced back.  Overall I was very happy with how much I leaned out and how I felt throughout the challenge. Normally my stomach gets upset very easily but with the paleo diet, I was able to control that much better.

ANDREW

Max amount lost 14 total pounds – weigh in at completion of challenge, -12lb loss. I feel that I have leaned out a lot. My shoulders and chest especially.  Clothes are definitely a bit more loose especially some of my work pants I had purchased in the fall during our “bulking phase” 🙂

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In the beginning, I was a little sluggish in the and lacking energy. After a week or two I was able to acclimate to the diet a little bit and became more comfortable eating the right foods and in the correct amounts. I was definitely able to see, during my workouts, if I didn’t eat enough or the right types of foods, or didn’t time the food intake correctly. When I timed my intake correctly and ate the right amount I felt very strong and was able to get through my workouts faster and with better results. I felt that I needed less time to recover as well – which is a huge plus. I had more energy throughout the day and was able to accomplish more in my work environment. 

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Mentally I felt stronger and was able to focus much easier on things than I normally would be able to. This was a great experience. I loved being able to push myself and get out of my comfort zone. I learned a lot and value the experience – I look forward to maintaining the commitment level I kept throughout the challenge with the exception of one thing… pizza… and beer.

 

MIKE

I lost right around 10 lbs during the challenge, and I feel like a leaned out a lot! I feel like I was able to keep lean muscle and lose a good amount of fat, so I was really happy with that!

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My clothes also fit a lot better near the end of the challenge, pants fit a whole lot better!Once I really got used to the diet and started hitting my macros more consistently, I felt amazing throughout the entire day. I felt like I ate more than I usually did before but I continued to lose weight and lean out. I had more energy and felt like my endurance and ability to “push through” tough workouts got better as well.  All around improvements in all areas! Its amazing to think about how much these things changed for the good!

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I actually realize it more now that the challenge is over. I am still continuing to eat mainly paleo but I have indulged every now and then since the challenge and I can really tell the difference in how crappy food makes you feel. However, icy cold Bud Light has been nice… I actually think that has helped me improve in every area!

VICTORIA

I didn’t catch my starting/ending measurements, but I noticed a significant decrease in my waist/hip area based on how my clothes fit. Even after the first week, I could tell a difference in how “bloated” I felt. I also noticed more overall definition.

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I felt significantly better, more “even”, as long as I ate on a somewhat consistent schedule. There were a few days on which I waited too long to eat, or ate too little, and I could tell a difference in terms of my hunger and energy. Overall, I didn’t hit my typical 3pm “slump”, and it felt easier to accomplish more throughout the day.

I definitely noticed an improvement in endurance. I didn’t really track my strength progress, but body weight exercises became significantly easier — I finally managed a few pull-ups! I also noticed that I seemed to recover much more quickly after particularly challenging workouts.

This actually surprised me–I noticed that I felt less stressed overall and more capable of dealing with issues as they arose.  I felt like I slept much more soundly at night, after getting through the first week or so of the challenge.

This was such an enlightening experience! Though I was already eating pretty well beforehand, the challenge was really helpful with learning how to balance macros and really rely solely on “real” food. I also appreciate that the challenge forced me to cook more and get creative with some new recipes. I feel like I have a better relationship with food and a better understanding of what my body needs to function well. I noticed a lot of the changes above during the challenge, but it wasn’t until I started adding a lot of “cheat” foods back in that I’ve really noticed a difference. As soon as I began eating sweets, I could almost immediately tell a difference in terms of bloating, energy levels, cravings, and sleep quality. I won’t say I’ll never have another donut, but I will certainly be more mindful of what I eat in the future!

DOMINIQUE

I chose to do the nutrition challenge yet again (my third time) because it is an opportunity to fine time my food and experiment with my performance. The recommendations for protein and carbs were higher
this time. I actually tried hard to stick to the plan. The most challenging part for me was getting enough carbs. During the challenge I learned something about how I eat; I have a habit of filling up on fat because I am slightly carb phobic. Once I began eating more carbs, I leaned out and grew more muscle quickly. I also felt good and performed well. I lost one pound on the challenge (no big whoop.) However, I lost 5% body fat, increased my muscle mass by 4 pounds, and increased my basal metabolic rate by 150 calories (big whoop). I am very happy with that. I will probably do the nutrition challenge again. I have benefited tremendously by becoming more conscious of my food intake and I enjoy the self quantification aspects. Thank you to Lauren and Scott for their support.

STEFFI

I lost 2.5 pounds in fat, lost an inch on my waist, and gained half an inch  in muscle around my hips/glutes. I also noticed that my legs and arms got toned.Though it was difficult adjusting to the paleo diet the first week because felt more light-headed.
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But by the second week, I  have more energy and felt better about my health as the weeks went on. My energy levels increased, and I no longer had a sugar ‘crash’ after meals as I previously did. I noticed that I was sleeping about 7 hours a night consistently and felt happier that I was consciously CHOOSING to eat clean foods. For me, it was difficult to do the paleo challenge because of certain stomach and dietary restrictions I have.
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However, I found a way to listen to my body and limit certain kinds of foods that would cause irritation.  Because of the challenge, I also learned about portion control, and tracking protein intake, which I didn’t know how to do before.  My friends and family also noticed that I had clearer skin and better skin.

MATT

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GETTY

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OTHER FINISHERS WE WANT TO RECOGNIZE:

Camille
Brett

 

 

“You can’t outwork a bad diet”

10 Comments on “Spring 2015 Nutrition Challenge Results, Before and After Photos, Testimonials

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