What to do now that the Nutrition Challenge has ended

The six-week Nutrition Challenge is over. We have seen some amazing changes and are very proud of what members achieved.

The Nutrition Challenge was designed to challenge current nutrition habits. The do's and don'ts served a greater purpose beyond a way to measure points. The same goes for points earned for water consumption, class attendance, and hours of sleep. The system challenged how we ate, slept, and treated our health. In order to comply with the challenge, we had to make consistent day-to-day changes. Making the day-to-day changes created new habits.

Greater attention to compliance also came via competition. To quote Greg Glassman, "Men will die for points." Utilizing a competitive environment pushed changes that may not have come if left to ourselves. The challenge pushed competition with one another, which pushed an emphasis on adhering to the rules. The result: weight loss, change in body fat percentage, looking better, feeling better, clothes fitting better, etc..

So what happens now that the challenge is over? What happens without the push of competition?

For starters, make sure to evaluate the effectiveness of habits. If you completed the challenge and experienced a large amount of change, heed how the new habits benefited you. If you did not adhere to the challenge and you did not see the results you hoped for, heed how those former habits hurt you. If something was effective, keep it. Results cannot be argued with. If something worked, keep working it! And if it didn't work, scrap it.

Next, make sure to continue to track food intake, water intake, training attendance, and sleep. Knowing these metrics is way more telling than estimating them. It also gives objective data when evaluating progress. If we don't really know what needs to be changed, then we can't really assess and make prescriptions for better progress in the future.

Lastly, keep going so you can see the long-term results. The challenge was six weeks, but life is a lot longer. An inherent part of health decisions is deferred gratification. We won't see all of the benefits of training regularly, eating well, and sleeping adequately until years down the road when our level of health is higher than those around us. Yes, we will lose weight, lower body fat percentage, look better, and feel better now, but we won't experience the true result until we are at a lower risk of disease and chronic pain in years to come.

So let's commit to continuing on with the new habits we have formed. And if your results were not what you wanted, evaluate how to change and start today.