By Jason Yun (Originally Published 2/10/2013- Edited 8/23/2020)
The why?Â I started to turn myself into a human Ginea pig starting back in July 2013. I had pretty much all my life been one. Moving from one thing to another to see what is the best course of action to take, in regards to workouts and nutrition, but I have now taken part of planned and timed challenges.
It is always good to challenge yourself
You tend to get into a zone that makes life easy and you trot along in life not living the greatest of you but also not living the worst of you. The thing is getting complacent can be the worst thing you can do. It's known as the comfort zone— and this zone for a lot of people will turn into a habit. And in my opinion it is an extremely bad habit.
I'll admit it's happened to me, which is why I always try and stretch myself and look for ways to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone. I do this for our clients as well. Always trying to come up with new challenges (check out our latest one here) and workouts and exercises that will stretch them to grow and reach out of their trot and into the area of greatness (sprint).
The first challenge was my 30-day cleanse challenge. I had been looking for a cleanse to do for a long while but never found a company or product that had the combination of high quality ingredients (no soy, gluten, grains or any other crap), actually tasted good, and had a proven track record.
I found it with Isagenix.
The reason I had wanted to do a cleanse was because I absolutely knew I needed to do it.
EVERYBODY NEEDS TO CLEANSE
I'm about as healthy a person as you find. But trust me— you, me, and everybody are exposed to 1000s of toxins daily and those build up. Little did I know just how much they were building up inside me.
I followed a pretty standard paleo diet while on the cleanse challenge. A typical day was seen below, the first video was a Â cleanse day the other a ‘shake' day.
My next challenge was the keto challenge. 30-days. Keto is short for ketogenic. Meaning your body switches from glucose and/or glycogen as the primary fuel to ketone bodies. Glucose/glycogen is basically carbohydrate (CHO).
This comes directly from Nora Gedegadus book, Primal Mind Primal Body, which I highly suggest:
‘Ketones are perfectly normal constituent of human metabolism. They are energy producing by-products of the metabolism of fats. They are used safely and effectively for energy by all tissues in the body, including into the brain. In fact, ketones are the preferred fuel for every organ and tissue, and current research shows that they are a far less damaging source of energy than glucose, far more stabilizing, less excitatory, and may, in fact, even help extend your life span.'
I had first heard about ketosis and the ketogenic diet in my body building days back in college and stayed away from it because I was told it was extremely damaging to the body and not good for you at all.
People saying that ketone bodies were a toxic substance and should be avoided at all costs. I have since stopped listening to the masses and do my own research. Because these same people also say that saturated fat, cholesterol are also bad for you. Or that LDL cholesterol is the ‘bad' cholesterol– hint, it's not ‘bad'— you and I would both be dead without it– but that's another blog post 🙂
To get into ketosis you need to cut back severely on carbs. I consumed less then 50 grams of carbs for the entire 30 days. I think the first week I went over 2 or 3 times but after that I was definitely under 50 grams.
So basically I was eating protein and veggies and a whole lot of good fats throughout this challenge. Down below is a a few days of my diet.
Please note this is quite different from what I do now (2020). When you start anything you are always a beginner. I usually only eat 2x a day now.Â
A few days example of my food:
I think the most positive experience from the challenge was incredible focus. I was able to laser in on things that needed to get done and DO THEM. Energy levels were extremely high, even on days when I got less then 5 hours of sleep. Another positive was I was not as hungry as I usually am. The no carbs and high fat and protein was very satisfying to me. Plus I dropped another 1.3% body fat. The Ketogenic Diet is basically how I live now (since July 2014). My weeks basically consist of 95% ketogenic and the other 5% Paleo.
This was the typical diet that I was on for years before I turned to the paleo diet. This was the type of diet that I thought was the absolute best for you because that is what the FDA and all the so-called experts say you are supposed to be on.
High carb, low fat, moderate protein.
Now my carbs consisted of ‘healthy carbs'.
Rice, oatmeal, cream of wheat, sweet potatoes, fruit.
Here's an example of what I typically ate:
Day 1 of challenge:
Day 2 of challenge:
Day 3 of challenge:
Days 4-7 were pretty much same.
Now the 30-day challenge ended up only being 7-days. The first 3 days I was fine. Energy, sleep, workout performance, work performance, etc……
Then something happened.
The biggest thing I noticed was my focus during the day. I couldn't focus like before. It was harder to stay on task of everything I had to do that required my mental focus. My workout performance stayed the same throughout.
Another thing that happened was my sleep. During the keto challenge I slept like a baby. The carbs I found it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
The last thing and the ultimate reason I felt on the carb challenge was I felt I was getting sick. So I started the challenge on Monday and that Sunday I woke up with a sore throat and a little bit of a headache. I never get headaches. And sore throats is usually the symptom I get at the start of a cold– which I haven't had one since 2011 🙁
The next few days developed into a full blown cold. So I officially stopped my carb eating that Sunday night. I switched back to paleo and a whole lot of green juice, apple cider vinegar and ginger and garlic to limit the amount of time I spent not feeling my absolute best.
I didn't expect to get sick as I did eat this way for years but thinking back to it that was a time where colds and sickness were common for me. At least 2-4 times throughout the year. It was never really a major sickness just pain in the ass cold's really.
My ultimate hope with the carb challenge especially right after my keto challenge was to prove one thing—- that carbs make you fat.
Or a lot fatter then I was when I started. In just 7 days I put on just under 7 pounds and 4.8% body fat.
I still plan on doing these challenges but not at the risk of affecting my health. I remember back in 2008-09 I was thinking of doing a fast food challenge, but thankfully one of my clients pointed out an Australian trainer had the same idea and put on like 60 pounds and couldn't lose it because he had damaged his organs and processes so much. The most important one being his mind.
You see I only cheat or have a ‘treat meal' about once a month or every other week. And depending on how much is consumed I feel it. Every single time I feel it. Which is why I have limited my treat meals from once a week to usually not even every other week. I don't have time to feel like crap and not be able to function at 134%.
When you are constantly eating crap day in and day out you have no idea what it's like to function at your full capabilities. Your nutrition influences your mindset/thinking, which influences your emotions and feelings, which influences your actions, which influences your results.
Are you living your prime life?
If not, what challenge do you need to take?
Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.
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