Whole30 Challenge – Day 0

I’m going to do the Whole30 challenge from Whole9Life.com

My goal is to get under 150 pounds (more on that later) and track everything via MyFitnessPal – friend me! I want to eat strictly paleo for the rest of January.

As you’re probably aware since I talk about it literally all the time, I eat to a fairly paleo diet drawing most of my guidance from Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint. The Whole30 Challenge reminds me of a “cleanse” diet but instead of drinking only tea or things like that it is a cold-turkey, deep-end-of-the-pool, no-excuses “eat like a caveman” intake switcharoo.

Why am I doing this? Because I’m so close. From my other posts in the past you know I struggle a bit with my weight. I’m not… or at least no longer overweight. I was a good 30 pounds heavier and it was mostly fat. In 2012 I succeeded in staying within 10 pounds of the same weight with minimal “dieting style” changes. I maintained a weight, a size, and pushed the body fat percentage stuff a bit towards better muscles.

But I’m still just “close” to what I consider my goal weight. It’s not a BMI thing–though I’m close on that too–I think BMI is too blanket of a measure of overweight. It’s purely a numerical barrier. I want to weigh under 150 pounds while retaining as much muscle as possible. I feel like it should be doable. I was able to go from 190ish pounds to just under 150 via Weight Watchers a few years ago; and this was before they started marketing towards men. It was also before I started doing pull-ups, so I was under 150 but I was spindly! I thank them for showing me that I could do it, but I was not a fan of their constant caloric restriction and emphasis on very carby foods. While I know caloric restriction works (it’s just math) I have learned for myself that calories of carbs have a much much bigger effect on my body than calories of fat or protein, and I could get weight loss results by eating a similar number of calories but by just cutting out carbs. Thus, to “prove” to myself that my diet is superior I want to use it to get under 150 pounds.

Arbitrary? Yeah. But some things just are. Also, the Whole30 challenge sounds like a good branch off of my normal “Primal” lifestyle so as a “diet” it is much more acceptable than doing something like eating only bread or all mcdonalds salads or some other fad.

You should read the site, but the short form is to cut all processed foods out and (the cornerstone of paleo diets) that includes foods from modern agricultural farming – i.e. grains – wheat, flours, cereals, corn. The reasoning is that human evolution has been around longer than agricultural farming has (100s of thousands of years vs 10 thousand), and our bodies have not yet adjusted to this change. thus, by eating similarly to early humans, it is more likely too mesh with the body’s natural homeostasis and genes for health will properly express themselves. While I don’t buy into the very hardcore paleo ideas that refined sugars and grains, etc. are genuinely poisonous to us I do recognize that I feel much better in every sense after eating without them in my life.

Where my current eating style and the Whole30 differ is that I eat maybe 90% paleo. The major differences being that I will eat dairy in the form of cheese and I will drink alcohol in the form of… well a lot of forms. I’ll also occasionally (maybe once a week) have a bit of chocolate or eat a dessert with dinner or that kind of thing. I got really good results despite the “lapses” because I think allowing those kept my stress levels low. I’m a little concerned that my stress levels will go up for the month as I try to keep the strictness, but I’m hoping since it is just for a month I can hold to that and really blow it out February 1st when I can.

I know this is a diet, and I know it’s short term, so I know any results I get will be short lived, but if it does nothing else but to renew my internalized commitment to this way of living then I’ll feel better to take on 2013.

2 Comments

  1. Caroline Maniego Doiy

    Good job, Alan! I’m rooting you on, my friend. I know how hard it is to struggle with weight. Both you and Julie have done such a great job losing weight and getting in shape over the past few years. I find you both very inspirational.

    I have toyed with the idea of doing Whole30, but I don’t think I can cut out dairy and carbs.

    I’m on My Fitness Pal now. I will look for you and friend you!

    Happy New Year to you and Julie!

  2. Great, good on you man. Life is short, if this really is just a diet, but you want to be a ripped 150 lbs paleo-man, be about it. Don’t let the haters, (and of course your screaming inner critic) hold you back.

    Ripped 150 lb-er….things could be a lot worse.

    As you wrote, it is just math, if this gets your head and momentum going where you want it to go, shut up, hop on, and get there.

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