Week to Week Expectations of Paleo Challenge

So we are one week in to the nutrition challenge and for most of us, some crazy stuff is happening to our bodies!  Undoubtedly you are wondering things like – Is everyone else feeling this way?  Is this normal? Does it get better? Hopefully this little article will put your mind at rest.

Weeks 1 & 2 – First Date to Honeymoon to Hangover

Week 1 starts off like a first date.  You are excited about this new thing but also nervous.  You think things could be magical but still have so many questions to answer.  Regardless, it’s new so you are pumped and ready to roll.  You try it out for a day or two and mentally you feel so positive! You are mentally honeymooning – it’s new, you are finally paying attention to your nutrition, you are working out.  I mean, what’s not to love?! The hangover, that’s what. For the next week or so it all starts to set in.  You may become a little groggy/foggy in the head.  You may even experience some light headaches.  Energy levels are wavering and man that doughnut looks good.  You’ve eaten 4 times today and you are still starving!  It’s terrible!!  Is it really worth it?  Do these feelings go away?

Absolutely!  Fear not, week 3 is upon you.

Week 3 – Adjustment and Revelation

After 2 weeks the hangover should dissipate.  By week 3, your body no longer relies on bad fuel and has begun to efficiently process the good food.  If a little of the hangover lingers, then we start looking back over our two weeks and make tweaks.  If our energy is still low, let’s take a look at the quantity of food.  Are we eating enough? Should we add a few more paleo starches (e.g. sweet potatoes)? Are we still always hungry? If so, maybe we amp up our fats and green veggies.  By the end of week 3 we make the tweaks and the revelation happens.  We find this euphoric point where our definition of “feeling good” is completely redefined.  When the coach yells 3, 2, 1, go we turn into the hulk and start crushing the workouts.  We even notice some changes in our body and the way our clothes fit.  Man life doesn’t get any better than this!

If you need help with the adjustments, please talk to Doc, myself, or your coach!

Week 4 – Temptation and Staying the Course

All the positive feedback we feel and see makes us want to continue this course for life! And then the Pats play.  That beer and those nachos look so good.  It’s been sooooo many weeks.  Should I? Shouldn’t I? I have two entire weeks left – Holy Moly!  Do I binge eat? Cheat a little? Stay straight as an arrow?

This is when you have to reflect back on your goals and WHY they are your goals.  The goal of this challenge isn’t to remove all fun from life.  The goal is to jump start our fitness and create some new life habits.  You know yourself.  If those two beers with your buddies is important to you and it doesn’t lead to 10, then maybe one or two isn’t a big deal.  If as soon as you cheat once you’ll do it again, then stay away.

Week 5 – Creating Sustainable Habits

This thing has gone on for 4 weeks already.  The honeymoon phase is over and there is one week between you and “freedom”.  Now it’s no longer about the competition, it’s about what happens after.  After 4 weeks, you know if strict paleo is something you can live with in your life style.  You also know if you need a “cheat” or two a week for your sanity.  I, for instance, crush it on Friday nights – pizza, beer, the works.  After that, I’m pretty good (mostly haha).  Use this week to figure out what you will take away to keep you successful AFTER the competition and start practicing it.  At this point, the points are trivial, it’s the habits that matter.

Everyone’s journey will be slightly different, but these are the typical stages from my experience.  I hope this comforts you a bit and inspires you to keep on trucking.  As always, the entire staff is here to help you out so please use us!

Keep living healthy!




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