Friday, March 8, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Results

Not to long ago as part of my 13 Skills for 2013, I set out with a 30 Day Challenge, no sugar(cane or hf corn syrup), soda pop(full sugar type) or fast food.  I really wanted to explore what effects these foods were having on my body.  After 30 days I have had some interesting results and some unexpected ones.


Cutting out the soda pop I really had to make a conscious effort to drink more water.  Initially I had issues with being a bit dehydrated.  A large issue I have with soda is the high fructose corn syrup that is used in most of them.

Fast Food

Cutting out the fast food was a little difficult, because most days I am not in the office or close to home.  My work takes me all over the area, so fast food is convenient.  I addressed this by choosing to eat a places like Subway or Schlotzky's, where I was able to make good sandwich choices.  Eating at these places can be no better than fast food, but there are good options to be had.


It is surprising how much sugar we eat, even when as a whole we are eating pretty healthy.  So many of the everyday foods we eat has sugar in them.  I did allow myself to eat honey and homemade jam on homemade bread.  I did eat more of this the first week or so, but towards the end of the 30 days I didn't have much all all.  My body did not crave the sweetness as much. 

Surprising Results

I was not sure what improvements I would see but I expected to find more energy and be able to sleep better. I was surprised at the results that I received. 


I ended up with 14lbs of weight loss, I did not exercise beyond yard work.  I expected loosing some weight but not 14 pounds!  It feels good, I am down a notch on my belt and 14 lbs is enough my wife can see the difference.  I didn't exercise because myself and the whole family were sick, and some other things came up that made it hard to do.  If I had been exercising I would have seen more results.      

Acid Reflux/Heartburn

This is one of the biggest surprises, I had no heartburn during this experiment.  I tend to have acid reflux or heartburn most of the time.  On the 2 days where I did eat sugar I had heartburn.  There is no doubt a connection, I know drinking soda can increase the heartburn but I never expected sugar to be the main cause.  I eat a lot of hot food, I love my hot sauce, so some heart burn is expected, however during this experiment I did not have any from the spice or hot sauce.   

Energy / Stamina

I found myself able to go for most of the day without the need for food.  I would find myself late in the afternoon not really hungry but having skipped lunch.  If I had a good breakfast, I could go till dinner no problem.  Yes, I would be hungry but not with painful hunger pains.  In the past, I would find myself shaky and unable to focus.  When I would get to this point I would often reach for the sugar or soda to satisfy the "hunger".  Looks like that hunger I would experience, was merely my body starving for nutrition, by eating all of those empty calories, my body was missing out on the good nutrients it needed.  Cutting out the sugar, soda and fast food forced me to eat better foods with far better nutrition.

30 Days Down, Now What?

So it has been about 2 weeks since I completed the 30 Day Challenge. Yes I have returned to some of my previous trends.  Though now that I have returned to the sugar, soda and fast food, I find myself feeling not as good as before.  The heartburn is back here and there and a few days I have felt that shaky feeling.

So I need to return to the 30 day challenge, I expect I'll go back to about 95% of my previous commitment.  Make far better food choices, eliminate 99% of soda and keep my sugar intake to minimal levels.  By this time next year my honeybees will be well underway, and I plan to replace most of our home sugar use with honey.

For me at least, sugar needs to be consumed at a minimum.  Soda pop needs to be gone forever, on the rare occasion I do drink it I'll try to stick to the cane sugar stuff.  Obviously fast food needs to be a rare occasion and when I do eat it, I will stick to the better options.

Give it a try on your own, 30 days is not long, but long enough for the body to show the effects.


Anonymous said...

I can relate. I took Jack Spirko's paleo challenge and lost 20lbs. Mostly, that meant cutting out soda, bread, and drinking more water. I would still get fast food, but would ask for no bun on my burger, instead I ate it (along with the pickles, onions and condiments) as a side salad topping. Gotta say, I felt GREAT!

Jacob said...

I am glad paleo's working out for you.

I couldn't cut out the grains, but if I had more fresh fruits and veg on hand I would eat far less than I do.

This is why we are expanding our garden.