My 6 week diet and fitness challenge ended on Sunday with a final workout and weigh in. The challenge is a program that my beloved gym Atlas Performance runs several times a year, and after indulging a bit to much while writing my cookbook/celebrating my 30th birthday/Thanksgiving/Christmas, it was time for me to sign up. Here is how it worked. I signed up to join a team of 8 people, and we were assigned a trainer to lead the team and give us lots of encouragement along the way. On day one we weighted in, got measured, and then did a baseline workout of 7 exercises plus a 500m row. Then we were told to go Paleo and cut out dairy, carbs, and sugar from our diets. Instead we were to eat like cavemen and eat meats, vegetables, and fruits – this part of the challenge was chronicled here on The Kittchen. We were also told to hit the gym 4 times a week. In addition, our trainer Matt gave us extra homework too – we were told to do planks and burpees everyday, and to practice our rowing and box jumps.
This challenge might sound a bit intense – but having a team made it so much easier. The biggest thing for me was that my husband was 100% on board to participate in the diet portion of the challenge. He filled the house with Paleo approved snacks (like nuts and fruit), and committed fully to eating Paleo. We did allow ourselves two meals a week off from eating Paleo – and this was ok according to Matt who told me to eat Paleo 80% of the time. The last requirement was cutting back on consuming alcohol. We were allowed the occasional glass of wine or beer, and one night a week were we were allow more than that.
So for 6 weeks I ate like a caveman, only went out to eat once a week, cut back on the booze, worked out 4 times a week, and did the homework Matt assigned. Last Sunday I went in for the final weight in and workout and was very pleased with my results. Here is a breakdown:
Total Number of Reps Improvement in Checkout Workout*: 49
Total Number of Inches Lost: 6.25
Total Weight Loss: 6.2 pounds
And my husband? He has lost 13 pounds – in 6 weeks! He has also been hitting the gym, but a different gym.
*The Baseline and Checkout Workout was 7 exercises each done for 40 seconds with 20 seconds rest inbetween. These exercises included air squats, burpees, box jumps, pushups, sit ups, etc.
Charles and I are so impressed with our Paleo Diet results that we want to keep going. To give you a bit more information on my experience, I will let you know that I lost those 6.2 pounds in 10 days. I know. It sounds nuts, but it was so easy. I had been living off doughnuts and beer – so changing to a totally pure Paleo Diet was effective. My body freaked out a little during the first 2 days, and I had some headaches. When I didn’t feel great I just ate a small serving of carbs since I figured that was what my body was craving. Why didn’t I keep loosing weight? I suspect that is because I was gaining muscle; even though I didn’t continue to loose pounds, I kept loosing inches – which is really how you should be measuring progress.
My overall goal for the future is to eat REAL food. If I don’t understand what is in it, I shouldn’t eat it. Right? What do you think?
Have you ever found success with a diet? Anyone in Chicago want to do the next Atlas Performance Challenge with me?