The NO BS challenge ends today. This has been 45 days in which our members have attempted to go without Bread, Booze and Sugar. Some may have scaled and only removed one or 2 of the 3, others may have attempted 5 days a week instead of the full 45 days but hopefully all of those who participated gained something from it.
In my case the results have been really good. I’ve dropped 5kg and more importantly 4% bodyfat. I’m probably the leanest I’ve been for a around 5 years. This is pretty good indicator that the sugars and starches are what are causing me to hold onto fat for the remainder of the year.
I’ve also had a large reduction in joint pain and inflammation. I’ve always seen the data regarding pro-inflammatory foods but discovering it first hand has really sent that message home.
In addition to just cutting out the restricted food/drinks what I’ve also used this challenge for is to remove some of my bad dietary habits and start to make long term changes. The habits I’ve removed are:
Always eating after meals.
I had a really bad habit especially after my evening meals to always feel ‘hungry’ and need a snack. Before the challenge this could be a yoghurt, some chocolate or just some bread and peanut butter. When I first started the challenge this year I was replacing with cheese and other savoury snacks. I realised that this would just cause me to be in the same position once the challenge ended. I would go straight back into my dessert requirements! What was I eating more for? Often I get home from work at 9:30pm so I was fuelling purely for my sleep.
The challenge gave me the perfect opportunity to break this habit. I still occasionally will have something after dinner but what I do now is wait for at least 30 minutes before I indulge. On the late evenings this means I’m asleep before I can eat anything else and often on the earlier evenings if I wait that period of time I feel full and no longer require extra calories.
I was definitely guilty of grazing too much. This improved many years back when one of my experiments was with various forms of fasting. However it still happened, especially on my work from home time. I’ve the used the fact I’m not eating bread or sugar to help break this pattern. For the majority of the time I try to restrict my snacking to before and after working out.
Relying on starches
Even though I’ve cut bread I was still eating rice every day for my lunches even on days where I didn’t require a large amount of carbohydrates. I’ve replaced these with sweet potato and other starchy vegetables on days where I need more energy and on other days just a huge portion of vegetables. This not only satisfies my hunger but also means I’m created a much better balance of micronutrients into my diet.
Alcohol most evenings
This is something I actually carried across from the last NO BS. I would never drink much during the week but was in a habit of having a single beer or wine every night. Now there is some debate as to how unhealthy this is but I just personally wanted to slim this habit down. I replaced these drinks with a non-alcoholic beer when I fancied a change from water. I will still have a wine or beer when I fancy it, just not every night.
The plan following the challenge
Once the challenge ends, I’m going to resist the temptation to just get straight on the bandwagon with a binge. As stated in my earlier blog I plan on indulging in all three of the booze, bread and sugar but only when I really fancy it and the treat is worth it. That means good beer, good wine, great bread and desserts/sweets. My goal is to avoid the habitual treats.
That being said I know that the two things I will be having this weekend will most likely be Pizza, (My wife Francesca has been hanging on for this one.) and a nice beer. Plus Sunday I’m going to have a sausage sandwich!!.
More challenges this year??
As I’ve mentioned before the future of CrossFit Chiltern is all about getting more people to better results. This means nutrition has to play a big part in what we do. The next challenge is going to be part of this. But you’ll be please to know that the next one will have nothing out of bounds!! Next challenge kicks of Monday April 20th.