No Grains Challenge Wrap Up
Kaitlynn asked our recent winners of the No Grain Challenge some great questions about their experience.
1) What was the hardest part about completing the Nutrition Challenge?
Paul:By far the toughest hurdle to overcome was resisting the sugar cravings. Before the challenge, I would often finish lunch and dinner with a dessert of the chocolate variety. Replacing chocolate with fruit wasn’t very satisfying at first, but during the last half of the challenge I found I didn’t miss it
Stratton:I thought it would be beer, but I’m going to go with cookies. One afternoon I sat in a tedious 4hr meeting with a delicious spread of cookies. I roughly estimate that I would have consumed 6-7 under normal conditions.
2) What did you enjoy most about participating in the Challenge?
P:Beating Stratton! 🙂
The improvements I made in the gym were really surprising to me. I improved my score in the baseline workout 30% over the 6 week challenge. I also PR’d my Power Clean by 10 pounds while losing 6 pounds in weight!
S:I’d say the small sense of achievement getting through each day without a cheat. In a previous nutrition challenge, Mike F. recommended not getting too wrapped up in the long road ahead. Just get through the meal at hand without a cheat and ‘check the box’. As it turns out, its a good approach for a lot of life’s challenges.
3) Are there any changes in your diet/lifestyle that you will continue with post-Challenge?
P:I think I’ll continue to keep a food journal. Any time I felt like eating something bad during the Challenge, I knew that it would be a black mark in my journal and it discouraged me from eating it. I’ll also work to keep getting 8 hours of sleep a night. My performance in and out of the gym definitely suffered when I didn’t get my 8 hours.
S:I had pretty much adopted a modified reduced grain/sugar diet anyway but was starting to slip – my kids and their cookies & leftovers are a bad influence. Going without sugar definitely reduces the craving. I’ll probably cut it back to a few cheats a week. I have no plans to completely give up rice & beans, dairy, beer, or cookies – but I will certainly minimize.
4) What advice or tips would you give to someone who is interested in a nutrition challenge or changing their diet?
P:If you’re participating in a challenge, write down everything that you eat. I think it will help to keep you on track. Make/bring your own meals whenever possible. Going out to lunch with co-workers is a recipe for derailing any diet. And don’t be afraid of eating fats!
S:I think Paul and I both had success because we weren’t hungry all the time. I have a handful of ‘go-to’ recipes & healthy snacks I rely on to keep myself well fed. I find that as long as I am not ravenous, I am less tempted to eat poorly.
5) What was your favorite Challenge-approved meal or snack?
P:Peanut butter. I’d often eat it straight from the jar. I went through roughly a jar a week during the challenge.
S:Mixed nuts and raisins are my ‘go-to’ snack to fight off hunger until I can get a proper meal. I eat tons of bacon & eggs because they are yummy and easy, but my favorite new recipe it lasagna with almond flour crepes in place of noodles. That’ll definitely replace my traditional lasagna going forward.