Well, I some what finished. I did the challenge for 3 weeks and I ate what I was suppose to only eat maybe 85% of the time. I cheated mostly on the weekends. I gave up the weekend before my last week on the challenge because it was Memorial Day weekend and yeah who wants to eat a strict diet when you are hanging out with friends and family having fun. I decided that I will keep up with the diet plan during the week as much as possible and probably just switch over to the paleo diet because its not as strict. I hate for the 3 weeks that I did do go to waste so I figure it can be my Monday - Friday meal plan and then on the weekend I can splurge a tiny bit.
My overall results from the challenge. At 85% I noticed a lot differences in my body and how I felt while doing the challenge. The first week was the hardest because I was coming of off all the carbs I was eating so I was tired a lot and slightly cranky. I really did eat a lot of processed foods and sugar so those weren't for hard for me to give up as well as legumes. By the second week I was in the habit of eating the whole 30 approved foods and I started to notice a change in my energy level. Instead of having that high than low feeling I had more of a steady energy level. It actually felt better to have a steady energy level and my workouts felt a bit better. I noticed a decrease in my stomach and I wasn't bloated a lot anymore. I think by eliminating the foods that agitated your digestive tract you have a big decrease in bloating and stomach issues. My belly did not go down completely but it did go down enough for my pants to fit better and for people to notice a difference in my size. As far as weight lost I don't really know if I lost any weight. I did not weigh myself in the beginning because they tell you not to weigh or measure yourself because the challenge is not for weight lost but is for jump starting a healthier way of eating. I do feel like I probably lost about 5 lbs. I'm assuming mostly water weight due to my water intake, a decrease in complex carbs, and beer. I do recommend if you do this that you don't do it for weight lost purposes but to make a lifestyle change. If your only focus is to lose a few pounds than you will not get from this diet what you expect and once you finish you will immediately revert back to your old ways.When you do something as a lifestyle change then you tend to be more successful and after a few months of following a healthy diet you will see the results. I will say I probably did have some weight lost and it was probably due to working out 4-6 days a week.
So, will I recommend this challenge? Yes, but only to people who are looking for a healthy lifestyle change and not just looking to lose weight in a short period of time. I did in fact do this challenge to lose weight but also to change my eating habits. In order to lose weight you have to change your eating habits and avoid the foods that are not good for you. I was already eating pretty healthy on a daily basis but some of the stuff I thought was healthy was actually bad for me. I now know what my body likes and what it hates and what agitates my stomach and intestinal track. I say give it a try if you a looking for a long term lifestyle change but for those looking to only lose weight quickly in a short period of time don't even bother.
Those of you just starting out I suggest you meal plan weekly. I was meal planning before I started because meal planning saves me money at the store but it also helps organize your meals because you have to do a lot of cooking at home on this challenge. I also suggest that you join the whole9 forum for support and google whole30 recipes and meals online. You'll be surprised at all the bloggers like me that have done the challenge and posted about as well as posted yummy recipes you'll like. Lastly, be creative because you have to. You'll get bored just eating the same thing all the time so you have be very creative with your meals and experiment.You'll soon find stuff you like better than the stuff you can't have. For me it was using cauliflower for a rice substitute and spaghetti squash for a pasta substitute.
Good luck to any new whole 30 challengers. I hope you get from it what I did...a whole new way of healthy eating and living.