This 21-day challenge was pretty incredible for me; I was given a chance to see how sugar affected my body, had no result-expectations, & didn’t know I would feel this big of a difference!
Physically, not much happened… no miraculous muscular definition from this challenge – at least for me personally - probably because I wasn’t eating a lot of sugar to begin with. For those that start off eating a good amount of sugar & then suddenly transition into a cutting it out like this, will most likely experience noticeable results.
Mentally, for me… wow! How do I explain it?
- On my no-sugar days: I felt absolutely amazing! Alert, energetic, strong, fast, happy, the list can go on and on!
- On my trick days: not so good. I have a history of vertigo & have been free of an episode for almost 6 months now… not that it came back, because it didn’t… but I felt like some of the early symptoms were there, i.e. dizziness, lack of balance, fatigue… as well as the whole-nine-yards - grogginess, bloating, brain-fog – that goes along with eating not-so-optimal food. I just didn’t feel 100% like I did the other days. I always thought a little dark chocolate daily was okay, but this crazy insulin spike really exacerbated the negative feelings.
Although most of my cravings went away during the week, I’ve noticed that I craved sweets directly after my trick days. Sugar is undeniably addicting, but I was surprised that it usually took me a day or 2 at the start of each week to reduce the cravings since I was completely fine without for the remainder of the week.
I didn't do much out of the ordinary this month - no AMRAPs like Anthony - & if it were on my trick day or the day after, I would be a lot slower, weaker, lazier, & just simply not as motivated. Wow, sugar really is a big deal, & this challenge opened my eyes to see that.
So what DID I do for exercise this month? I stuck with mostly sprints & other high intensity workouts. If running outside, I run in my VFFs (Vibram Five Fingers); if on a treadmill, I run barefoot with socks - & THIS I LOVE! Running barefoot has strengthened my feet, calves, legs, & I've experienced much less knee pain than when running in my college-years. I'd recommend it to anyone. Sprints work for me because it can be a quick high-intensity workout that doesn’t consume much of my time. Instead, I literally do intervals of sprinting/walking for a total of 10-15 minutes in the morning which has turned out to be one of my favorite & greatest workouts to do.
The Verdict: Not sustainable.
Once this 21-day-challenge ended, I ate all the [Paleo] sugar I wanted; dark chocolate, fruit, honey, etc.; I couldn’t help it!
This shows that this 4-Hour-Body way of eating isn't completely sustainable & is not meant for long-term; however, this challenge definitely allowed me to lessen my overall sugar intake, leaving no doubt in my mind that I benefitted from it. Although short-term, I now have long-term benefits there are carried over & extended into my future. I've made myself that much more sensitive to sugar & am now quick to notice any slight change or reaction I have to foods that are not the most optimal for my body & health.
By lessening my overall sugar intake, I am taking one more step in improving my health & well-being; now, THAT is awesome & is what this is all about!