I seem to have much more consistent energy throughout the day. There is no sluggishness after lunch.
My front squat increased by 50lbs, squat clean by 20lbs, thruster by 30lbs, and the list just goes on!
The biggest thing I noticed though was that I started to recover much quicker than I used to.
I’ve also noticed that I have much more energy after WODs, and am able to be more productive since I am no longer fatigued.
Doing this paleo challenge has taught me so much more about grocery shopping, meal prepping, and eating healthy!
Within the first two weeks I had lost around 1.5% of body fat, while at the same time gaining overall mass.
Throughout the day I felt more grounded
In terms of strength and performance, I saw significant improvements
Congratulations to everyone who participated in the Spring 2016 Nutrition Challenge! This was our thirteenth 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
- Nutrition Challenge #7
- Nutrition Challenge #8
- Nutrition Challenge #9
- Nutrition Challenge #10
- Nutrition Challenge #11
- Nutrition Challenge #12
Below you will find some before and after photos and testimonials from those who completed all eight weeks of the Spring Nutrition Challenge (2016). 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.
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: Congrats to Sierra and Felicia! They were both extremely diligent with their food logs and sticking to the guidelines of the challenge, and also had some amazing results. It was difficult choosing winners this year because the small group of finishers all had amazing results, so I want to congratulate everyone for their hard work and dedication.
My weight actually stayed the same, but losing weight wasn’t really my goal. I wanted to lean out and gain muscle, which I did! I gained about 5.5 pounds of muscle resulting in my body fat percentage going down 3%! I also lost 3-4 inches on both my waist and hips—enough that I went down two pant sizes!
I was already eating mostly paleo, but didn’t realize until the challenge just how much I was undereating. After committing to being 100% paleo, and eating more (even though that was really hard at first), I definitely have noticed a change!
My performance during WODs has significantly improved! During the challenge, I RX’ed my first workout, and have been PRing left and right! My front squat increased by 50lbs, squat clean by 20lbs, thruster by 30lbs, and the list just goes on! While I did see the biggest changes in my strength, I also noticed that my endurance had improved as well. I was able to maintain a more consistent pace in longer WODs, which was something that I definitely struggled with before.
Aside from all the changes I was seeing in workouts, my self-confidence has also drastically increased! I’m much less self-conscious! I’ve also noticed that I have much more energy after WODs, and am able to be more productive since I am no longer fatigued. As far as sleeping goes, my sleep didn’t really change—I’ve always slept for 7-9 hours each night.
Overall, I didn’t really notice how much of an impact the challenge was having on my day to day life outside of the gym until I had my first “cheat meal” when the challenge ended—I didn’t really want those kinds of foods anymore, and I felt extremely bloated and sluggish afterwards. As a result of the challenge, I learned what works for me, and plan to stick to it! Even though I was already eating fairly healthy before the challenge, the challenge definitely showed me the importance of nutrition, and taught me how to properly fuel my body to reach my goals!
I noticed changes in developing better muscle tone. I also noticed changes in my core area. I leaned out a little in the middle, losing about 5cm on my hips and 3.5cm in my waist.
I noticed a big difference in this challenge (my second one) when it came to timing foods. I would feel good all day but especially noticed my body recovering when I had protein right after my workouts.
I seem to have much more consistent energy throughout the day. There is no sluggishness after lunch. My sleeping patterns have not changed, but I am a fairly regular sleeper at about 8 hours a night.
I am using the paleo diet and C’ville Burn as my diet and cross-training regime as I prepare to do triathlons. I have my second one coming up in early July and am hopeful I will meet my goals!
I lost ~5 pounds, but based off the InBody test, I gained 4-5 pounds in lean mass. Wasn’t expecting to lose weight but was definitely hoping and happy to gain muscle mass.
After a couple weeks of paleo, I definitely started to feel more alert and clear-headed throughout the day. I didn’t have a mid-afternoon crash like I used to and had more energy throughout the day. I also started sleeping better- even though I was getting the same number of hours that I used to, waking up and getting the day started was much easier.
In workouts, I gradually felt stronger and my times/weights improved measurably. The biggest thing I noticed though was that I started to recover much quicker than I used to. Immediately post-workout, I wasn’t as drained. In the days after workouts, I wasn’t as sore which allowed me to string together back-to-back, high-quality workouts- something I wasn’t able to do before starting the challenge.
Eating higher quality food meant that I saw my grocery bill increase but the more I planned ahead, the easier it was to stick to a budget. I certainly wasn’t excited to start the challenge and it wasn’t easy but I’d definitely do it again. The benefits in terms of both mental and physical health were well worth both the time and financial investment.
The biggest thing that I noticed was that I stopped get headaches while eating paleo. I usually get some sort of headache everyday and within the first week of the challenge, I didn’t get them anymore! I also noticed that my midsection got thinner and that really motivated me to stay strong on the challenge because stomach fat is very tough to lose for me!
I actually had more energy throughout the day and was more awake in the mornings! During workouts I felt more energized and motivated to work harder.
I have more energy during the day and as a first grade teacher, having energy is very important! As far as my sleeping patterns, I’d have to say I have started to sleep better and I think that could also be helping my headaches!
Doing this paleo challenge has taught me so much more about grocery shopping, meal prepping, and eating healthy! Meal prepping had made my life so much easier! Mike and I meal prep for the entire week on Sunday and that has been so helpful for freeing up our nights and making mornings much easier! Mike has become a master griller!
After the challenge was over I indulged in some Chick-fil-A and pizza, my favorites, and felt horrible! That really showed me how important eating healthy foods is and now I’d much rather prefer eating paleo!
I definitely felt a change in my body composition. Within the first two weeks I had lost around 1.5% of body fat, while at the same time gaining overall mass. I wasn’t able to be as committed to the challenge over the second half as I would have liked, with graduation and everything going on, but when I was really committed to it I definitely noticed a change.
I felt significantly less hungry. I snacked a lot less, but I felt full throughout the day. I was felt significantly stronger in my workouts. My lifts definitely went up, but perhaps the biggest change was in my endurance. Whereas I usually finished in the middle of the class on most days, I found that I was consistently towards the top of each class, especially on the longer WODs.
I was definitely less tired throughout the day, which went hand in hand with the fact that I was snacking less. Usually when I feel lethargic is when I feel the need to start eating. As a result of the challenge then, I not only felt more full throughout the day, but my energy level was a lot more level and stable than it normally is.
The thing that surprised me the most about the challenge was how relatively easy it was. I was expecting it to be a miserable eight weeks, but I actually found it to be fun. No doubt, there was definitely a learning curve in the first week or so. But the challenge got me back into cooking again and every other night I was trying new recipes. Overall, I thought the challenge was eye opening and was definitely a success for me, though it could have been even better if it weren’t for graduation and all of the other things going on in May.
I noticed a significant difference in type of weight lost. About halfway through the challenge I was at my lowest weight after losing both muscle and fat. After adjusting, my macros (more fats less carbs) my body responded well and was able to put regain muscle without putting fat back on. I measured this using the Complete Nutrition InBody scale 3 times and it really helpful since my changes were all within an 8 pound range and thus difficult to visually track during the challenge.
Throughout the day I felt more grounded. Doing the challenge the second time around made me really notice how important it is the timing of meals during the day. It became much easier to sustain energy the more I ate protein earlier in the day. I noticed a significant difference in energy during a workout when I timed something as small as a banana or protein shake either an hour before or right after a WOD.
Energy-wise my levels have stayed mostly same. I was able to keep nearly paleo since the last challenge in the Fall which helped. It’s probably for that reason that mentally and sleep wise I didn’t notice any considerable difference during the challenge.
Don’t be afraid to play around macros and when to eat during the day. Halfway through I readjusted my macros (Thanks for the help with this, Scott!) to more fats less carbs because I suspected my body preferred more fats to convert to energy since I felt fine energy wise. Also, personally I found it easier to quickly snack on fats during the day. This helped almost immediately lose two pounds of just fat without taking away any muscle which actually made a noticeable visible difference across my abs.
I also recommend experimenting with the timing of meals. I used to think this wasn’t a big deal as long as I ate well enough eventually. I’m not a huge breakfast guy and don’t like to eat anywhere close to a workout.This challenge I experimented with timing at least some of protein earlier in the day and shakes/bananas/carbs pre or post workout. I noticed that this gave me a supplemental boost during WODs and recovery that I don’t think I was maximizing as well even earlier in the challenge when I was eating just as paleo. I’m not a huge breakfast person, but it was not as unpleasant of a shift as I expected since I never really factored maybe the reason I didn’t like eating in the morning in the past was not the timing but the fact that it in the past I probably was not choosing from the most paleo options.
This was the second nutrition challenge I’ve participated in, and overall, I found it much easier to eat “real” food and plan and track to meet my macro goals. Once again, I found that eating well and balancing everything in the right proportions had positive effects in other areas of my life–I felt like I slept more soundly; that most aspects of my life seemed more “even”. I definitely leaned out–I think I ended up dropping around 3-4% body fat, I could see muscle gain and more overall definition, and could absolutely tell a difference in the way my clothes fit. In terms of strength and performance, I saw significant improvements as well. I increased my 1RM deadlift and set a PR for my 5k time (even compared to when I was running exclusively!). Overall, this was another great learning experience in terms of what works well for me nutrition-wise.