Dave's Not Here

Six Week Paleo Challenge

by on Nov.28, 2011, under Body Stats, Dave's Must Haves, Workout Logs

The Rules

I just got finished doing a six week paleo challenge with my gym. The rules were very strict. We used the [Whole 30 Plan](http://whole9life.com/2011/06/whole-30-v4/), but did 42 instead of 30 days.

The rules I was most concerned with were:

* No alcohol
* No sweeteners of any kind, including stevia!

I was especially concerned because I had to deal with Halloween, a wine party, and, most importantly, Halloween parties!

Turns out, the parties weren’t that bad . . . but . . . I digress.

Hiding from sweeteners and artificial sweeteners completely was way harder than I thought. I eat 90% [Primal](http://primalblueprint.com), as my normal diet. So, eating paleo only meant:

1. not cheating
1. Getting rid of dairy
1. Really not cheating (i.e. no legumes at all, including soybean oils)

I found out a bit later that sweet potatoes and coconut milk were allowed.

Also, allowed, were pre/post workout nutrition. So, my normal breakfast of a protein shake, and Surge Recovery, or Aftershock after my workouts was ok.

The Scoring

Finally, the scoring and penalties. We got one point for every paleo meal (maxed at 3 per day), one point for every workout (maxed at one per day), and, -2 points for every cheat item. (So, one night of binge drinking could undo a week of points!)

So, at most, four points per day. And, one final kicker: we had to do 10 burpees per cheat item. (On about the 4th week, Andrew raised this to 50 per item)

Contest Results

The first couple of weeks, I had no cheats. But, I then started having a beer when I hiked up runs, and went snowboarding, so I started averaging one cheat a week, towards the end.

I found that I didn’t really lose any weight. I really missed sweets. Giving up Diet Coke was easy, but, giving up the sweet treat of it, was not. So, I started eating 3-4 pieces of fruit a day, which killed my weight loss. Toward the end, I tried to limit myself to one fruit a day, which helped.

Here were the point results:

Date Points Notes
10/12 – 10/23 46 No Cheats
10/24 – 10/30 25 One Cheat
10/31 – 11/06 28
11/07 – 11/13 23 Two Cheats
11/14 – 11/22 29 Three Cheats
Totals 151 Six Cheats

I think I did pretty well. I’m pretty sure I won. But, I could be wrong. There could have been some quiet winner . . . 🙂

Real Results

Outside of the contest, what did I get out of the challenge?

First, I learned that I was still drinking way too many diet sodas. I’m very glad to be done with that. I’ve learned to drink unsweetened teas . . . many different varieties. I may start using a little stevia in some of them, but, for the most part, I drink them w/o sweeteners of any kind.

Second, I did learn that my sweet tooth can not be ignored. I’m not sure how I’m going to get past that one. Maybe a stevia sweetened tea every now and then will help.

Finally, I learned how much I normally cheat. And, how many foods they hide sugar in. Including breakfast sausage — you can NOT buy breakfast sausage w/o sugar. At least, I couldn’t find any.

Body Changes

As usual, I was a bit anal about measuring my body changes. Just before I started the diet, I carbed up a bit. So, I gained the obligatory 7 lbs of water weight. (Went from 215 -> 222.7 for the initial weigh in.) So, that came off almost immediately. But, then, it just sat there. The scale did not move again, until I cut out the fruit. I did, however, get my body fat measured, used my body fat measuring scale, and, whipped out the measuring tape. Here’s my changes over the challenge:

Measurement October 12, 2011 November 22, 2011
Weight 222.7 209.5
BMI (Computed) 32.88 30.93
Bodyfat (Crossfit Measured) 30.3
Bodyfat (Scale) 32.4 30.6
Neck 15.5 15.5
Shoulders 48 46.5
Chest 39 37
Waist 35 34
Hips 41.5 40
Arms 13.5 14.5
Legs 25.3 25
Calves 17 17
Total Inches 234.8 229.5

So, out of losing 5.3 inches overall, I still gained 1 inch in my arms (measured at biceps). That is pretty cool (I’m getting stronger at the same time that I’m losing weight & inches). I’m finally slightly under 36″ pants. Most 34’s fit now. Some 33’s. I’m looking forward to getting back into my 32s.


We did Murph before and after the competition. AFTER the competition, I did my pullups w/o a band, so, I got Rx. That is a huge difference, but, it’s not very measurable. But, I also timed the first mile of each Murph, and I think those stats are even more telling than the overall time.

The first mile of my Murph in October took me 9:27. And, I was VERY proud of that time. After Murph, I paid attention again, and, my first mile was 8:36. That is a good testament of what I got out of Paleo. I did not train running, yet, almost lost a whole minute!


Now that I’ve done my Thanksgiving gorge, I’m looking forward to getting back into my Primal diet (I miss cheese), and finishing my loss, while keeping my strength. Also, I’ve been boarding 4 times this season, and I have yet to get tired.

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