Our resident expert in Paleo/Whole 30 Challenges has shared another phenomenal post, thanks to Kira for supporting our challenge! If you can’t make it Saturday email jara@crossfitinnerloop and begin virtually.
Why should you do a Paleo Challenge?
- Do you wish you knew more about how different food impacted your energy, sleep, skin, or attitude?
- Do you feel like your fitness performance has plateaued and you’d like to find another way to improve it?
- Do you wish you knew more about nutrition?
- Do you eat too many processed or convenience foods?
- Are you looking for an excuse to start cooking more or become a more accomplished cook?
- Would you like to shed a few pounds and lean out?
- Do you have a “complicated relationship” with food?
I can’t guarantee that you’ll achieve nirvana during this paleo challenge, but I’ll be willing to bet that you’ll come a lot closer to being able to respond to some of the above questions thoughtfully and gain some the benefits as well. The paleo challenge is an opportunity to learn more about how much you eat, why you eat, and how to make the best choices of what to eat.
While it isn’t a weight loss or inches loss challenge, you will likely lose pounds or inches. I’m not that big of a person and I lost about 8 pounds during my first Whole30 challenge (I tend not to see such dramatic change now because I eat generally adhere to a paleo-type diet).
It is a challenge because it isn’t easy. It doesn’t happen automatically. Like anything worth doing, it is worth doing well, and worth doing yourself. You will cook more. Sometimes when I’m doing a Whole30, there is a point I am tired of the fact that every morsel of food I have consumed was prepared by my own two paws and I just want call for takeout. But it is worth it. You really don’t learn about your food intake as intimately if you are buying prepared foods. You don’t learn how to read food labels until you spend time in the grocery store learning that the first ingredient in BBQ sauce is invariably sugar and that most rotisserie chicken is soaked in sugar, contains soy and cornstarch, and is marinated in industrial oils.
Think about what it would mean to not eat sugar in any form (except naturally occurring sugar in whole fruit) for a month. If you think it just means cutting out a teaspoon in your coffee, you’re mistaken. A widely cited article found that Americans consume about 22 teaspoons of sugar per day.* Not all of it is coming from your coffee or a cookie here and there. I like knowing that just about all of my actual sugar intake comes in the form of fruit or intentionally consumed sweets.
I don’t mean to focus too much on sugar, it just an example of the kind of mindless consumption you’ll avoid on a paleo challenge. I know that at the end of the challenge, you’ll know more about why you eat, what you eat, and how it makes you feel.
*Rachel K. Johnson, et al., Dietary Sugars Intake and Cardiovascular Health: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association, 120 Circulation 1011 (2009), http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/120/11/1011.full
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