The Whole Life Challenge Food Component is basically a modified Paleo diet…modified in that you can eat beans even on the strictest level.
The 3 levels of “play” are essentially levels of strictness. The very strictest level, for example, permits no grains of any kind. That’s not an option for me; I would not last a single day. You should pick a level that stretches you, but that you can sustain – ideally sustain beyond the 8-week challenge time.
People ask me what I can’t eat. The eating plan is designed to eliminate all the things that are generally known to cause inflammation in people. (It actually takes quite a while for our bodies to de-inflame [I may have just made that word up], which is why, perhaps, many people don’t see actual weight loss for many weeks. Do not be discouraged. Your body is healing so it can start using nutrients and burning fat efficiently, something it probably has a hard time doing in its current “inflamed" state.)
In a nutshell, here is what I don’t eat:
• Sugar – of any kind, except for Stevia, which is a plant-based sweetener.
• Anything with flour in it.
• White rice
• White potatoes
• Dairy products with the exception of plain yogurt, butter and kefir. (Some people think eggs are dairy – they’re not. Eggs are fine to eat.)
• Soy (I think getting rid of soy is about the gluten, so gluten-free soy sauce might be ok, but you’d have to check the website.)
• Corn (I think now you may be able to eat it in the new version; not popcorn, though.)
• No artificial or processed ingredients except for a few they "ok."
The Whole Life Challenge website has a sheet about exactly what you can and can't eat. I don't know if you need to sign up to access it (I can't link to it here for some reason). Go there and try clicking on HOW TO PLAY and the list should be accessible from Number 2.
The intermediate level is now way more lax about sugar. I will tell you this: sugar is a drug, not a food. You will go through withdrawals from it. Having “a little” may make it harder to not have “a lot,” so it’s up to you how strict you want to be. I say get off it completely. I really believe that single thing has been most responsible for how good I feel.
I believe you can now have one glass of wine or spirits per day at the intermediate level. As I’ve said, when I did it, it was one per week. I am not a drinker, so this was not difficult for me; if you can limit alcohol as much as possible, you’ll probably lose more weight – just saying.
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