Lisa's Thirty Day Nutritional Challenge
We talked to The Trim Gym's member, Lisa, who recently completed a thirty day nutritional challenge, and we think you'll find her results interesting.
Q: What was the name of the challenge and what were the confines of this challenge?
A: The challenge is called whole30 (Whole30.com), and is based on the book "It Starts With Food," recommended to me by my friend & CrossFit 870 coach, Christy Jeffery. The goal of the challenge is to break addiction to sugar and cut out all foods that could possibly cause chronic inflammation, digestive issues, and other health problems. I removed grains (gluten and non-gluten), dairy, legumes, as well as added sugars. Basically eating whole, non-processed foods (fruits, veggies, meats, nuts) with focus being on organic and as natural as possible for 30 consecutive days. At the end of the 30 days, I added back in each group, one at a time, and then go back to the whole30 for 2 days to reset. This gave me the opportunity to note how each made me feel as they were added back in my diet. Then, I’d take another group I’d removed, and add it back in separately. This is done to determine which foods I react to. Isolating the variables helped me feel the way the nutrition performed in my body.
For complete details, visit online http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/.
Q: Did you purchase the book?
A: Yes. I am a person that needs to know “why” while understand all the details. Plus, I enjoy reading. However, purchasing the book is NOT necessary to do the challenge. There’s plenty of information online at no cost.
Q: Do you have progress pictures?
A: I took measurements instead of pictures. I recorded my measurements of my chest, waist, hips, right bicep, right thigh, and right calf. I lost 6.5 inches and gained 0.5 inch in my bicep. I lost 9 lbs.
Q: How did you feel at various points of the challenge (good and bad things)?
A: The first week was rough--regular headaches, irritability, fatigue-- my body was learning to use healthy fats rather than sugar for it's source of energy, and it was not happy!! After day 15, I started feeling a lot better. The main things I noticed were significantly fewer cravings for bad foods, and a clear head throughout the day. I woke up a lot more alert than before. Before the challenge, I would need a few hours to feel fully awake.
Q: What was the easiest/hardest part of the challenge?
A: The hardest part for me was prepping every meal in advance. I had to learn to meal/food prep. Food prep was key for me because I knew that if I didn't have healthy food option ready and available to eat when I was hungry … I could be setting myself up for failure. It was also difficult when I had to be around foods that were heavily processed … watching friends eat fast food, ice cream, etc.
The easiest part, which I think was only easy because I expected it to be so difficult, was sticking with it for the full 30 days. The challenge states if you have one cheat you should start completely over to get accurate results for when you finish the 30 days and start phasing foods back in your diet to learn how your body responds. Each body may respond differently.
Q: How'd you feel at the last day?
A: The last day I felt proud of myself for sticking with it for 30 days. I wasn't as excited to eat processed foods as I had expected. I felt energetic, healthier, and my mood was better.
Q: What was the outcome of your experience?
A: I discovered that legumes are not a good option for me personally. The day I added them back in, I had headaches all day and just felt lethargic. Dairy was okay for me -- in small doses. I didn't notice any sensitivity to gluten or non-gluten grains. Foods, in general, taste a lot different to me now. Grapes became one of my absolute favorite foods, and were like a treat to me! After adding back in some processed foods, I was ready to go back to eating on the whole30 plan again. I just feel so much better without all the junk. I know I won't be 100% strict for the rest of my life, but after seeing how different I feel now, it's a lot less tempting to indulge when I'm around junky foods. I want to keep feeling this good.
The Trim Gym is not a physician or registered dietitian. The contents of this blog entry should not be taken as medical advice. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem - nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health.
The Trim Gym is not promoting the book or purchasing the book associated with this entry.