What does it take to lose body fat and keep it off? How do you cross the threshold of knowing what you should be doing to get in great shape, to actually doing it?
These are the questions we've wrestled with for the last few years running PrimalPal.
In the paleo community, the 30-day "challenge" promises to have the answer to these questions. But from our experience, and the experiences of thousands of people we've talked to, they miss the mark.
Sure, it's great to eat healthier for 30 days. But then what? Did you actually create lifestyle changes that are going to stick?
So to fight against the dogma, perfectionism and lack of accountability and support in other paleo challenges, we created the 28 Day Reset. It's about resetting what's happening in your mind and letting your body follow the lead.
At the heart of our 28 Day Reset is the FREE philosophy. This idea came to us while venting about all the things we see wrong with the typical, perfection-driven 30-day challenges.
The whole idea of the FREE philosophy is to free yourself from dietary dogma, perfectionism, short-term thinking and short-term results.
So what is the FREE philosophy? We're glad you asked, here it is:
F = Functional
Your diet and exercise program needs to work for your life. It needs to be a functional part of your lifestyle. If you try to stick to a program that doesn't work for you lifestyle then you're going to struggle.
That's why most challenges end up being short-term endeavors. How realistic is it to ask someone to cut out enjoying a glass of wine with a friend or enjoying the occasional ice cream cone with your child?
The reality is that everyone has different responsibilities and roles that they play. By developing your program to be functional and fit in with your lifestyle is a huge win.
R = Realistic
This is pretty straight forward, you have to use a program that is realistic for the goals you're trying to achieve. Someone who has the goal of competing in a bodybuilding show is going to follow a different program from someone who just wants to lose their love handles.
Also, think about time. If you have 80 pounds to lose then you probably need more time to achieve that goal versus someone who just wants to lose 20 pounds. So be honest about what you want to achieve and then follow a program that is realistic for that goal.
E = Economical
To stick to something long-term, it's probably a good idea to be able to afford it. The most affordable way to eat and take care of yourself is to prepare your own food. You shouldn't have to pay for pre-made meals at $12 each if you don't want to. We'd actually suggest you try to get some staple meals under your belt that you can prepare at a fraction of the cost of pre-made meals or all the meal delivery options.
It also means you don't have to buy a bunch of expensive supplements. Some supplements do have some potential benefits, but you'll get more bang for your buck by just focusing on your diet. Don't believe for a second that you have to take supplements to see results. Your wallet will thank you.
This also comes into play when you're deciding about what type of workouts you want to do. A lot of workouts are free. Walk, run, stretch or do bodyweight exercises.
If you want to work out at a gym you can. But realize you don't have to hire a personal trainer for the rest of your life or commit to investing in every flashy new workout DVD that comes out.
Think about the type of stuff you truly enjoy and get value from, and invest accordingly. Being economical isn't about super-frugality. It's about cutting out the non-essentials.
and the last piece of the FREE philosophy...
E = Enjoyable
This is your life we're talking about! Spend some time and invest in yourself and enjoy life. In the 28 Day Reset, we're going to focus on solid principles and strategies to help you create lasting change. Our focus is to help you create a lifestyle of health and fitness that you love. We're not here to make you suffer through a "30 Day Perfectionism Challenge" just to say you did it.
In order for you to stick with most things, you need to enjoy them at some level. If you absolutely hate riding a bike, then you're probably not going to make it a big part of your exercise program. Pick things that you enjoy doing and work them into your program.
That goes for food too. There is definitely a template for eating that is good for you. We believe that is a paleo/primal template. It's well researched and people achieve great things by cleaning up their diet. But it doesn't mean you have to say bye forever to some of your favorite off plan foods. Enjoy yourself. Food and exercise should be a source of enjoyment for you, not a constant test of your willpower.
We'll be focusing on ways to help you work in off-plan foods into your diet the right way so you can get maximum enjoyment from your nutrition plan.
As an endnote, we almost made 'R' stand for responsibility but we thought that 'realistic' was a better word for what the point we wanted to make. We still believe that taking responsibility for yourself and your results is the only way to achieve your goals.
We want the 28 Day Reset to be an empowering program that helps you create the change you need to create in your life. You will get results if you stick with it and focus on setting yourself up for long-term success.
To help you during the 28 Day Reset, we've made sure that accountability and feedback is at the core of the program. Every day we will check in with you to see if you took positive action and to see how you're feeling. You'll also have a 28 Day Lifestyle Tracker to monitor how you're feeling and track your exercise, nutrition, hydration and other key metrics. We believe that "what gets measured, gets improved" so we'll provide you with the tools and support to help you do succeed.
We hope you'll join us on this 28 Day Reset journey. It's going to be fun and it's going to help you create lasting health and fitness results.
Get off the "paleo challenge rollercoaster" and join the 28 Day Reset early bird list. We'll notify you as soon as the doors open.