This year I have been doing the 300 challenge. That means that for 300 days this year the only thing I will eat will be raw food. Being that there are 366 days this year, I have 66 cheat days that I can take. The way how I keep track of my cheat days is by using “raw bucks”. So I went on the computer and designed 66 raw bucks. I printed them and cut them as fake dollar bills. I always keep one in my wallet or bag so in case I am in a social situation and people want me to eat with them I would pay the person who made the food one of my raw bucks. They would look at it a bit puzzled, then have a good laugh and we would eat together. It would also start up a conversation about the whole 300 challenge thing. By paying up a raw buck it would give me a free pass for the day.
Normally when I do a raw diet it is straight. I don’t do any cheat days. Now doing cheat days, it really did mess with my momentum. My digestion would slow down for the next 24 hours but then get back to normal. So in a way each cheat day set me back 2 days, because on my cheat day I was not eating raw food so I was held back one day. Then it takes another day for my digestion to catch up. That’s two days.
Now on top of that I barely worked out this year. I have been so busy. Like I would go a month at a time without going to the gym. And now with the quarantine I couldn’t even go to the gym. I should have done home workouts, but I have never been good at that. Then I got curious. How much difference has my workouts been to reaching my goals? But the biggest question was if the 300 challenge was actually working. Ever since I first started doing cycles of raw diets, I tried not to allow myself to go above 10% body fat. Whenever I got close or past it I got on a raw diet to bring it back down. Normally it takes 3 months to drop below 6% body fat. So about 3-4% drop in 3 months. But again I would do that with a strict raw diet. No cheat days.
Now, I just want to say that if you are above 13% body fat as a man or 20% body fat as a woman then you would drop body fat much quicker on a raw diet that what I am describing. The lower you are on the scale the slower the body fat loss is.
So now I was curious. How would the cheat meals I was having on the 300 challenge affect my fat loss? So after three months I took my measurements. I used a tape measure to check the size of the different areas of my body. I used a caliper to check my body fat percentage. In another blog I will go more in detail on how to check your measurements.
As to be expected, I had not reached my goal of being below 6% body fat. I was at 6.97% body fat. When I compared my progress to years before, I was about 24 days away from breaking below 6%. This made sense. I had taken 12 cheats so far this year. Remember each cheat day set me back 2 days. So it didn’t come as a surprise that I was 24 days behind schedule to drop below 6%. So I thought to myself, ‘if I don’t take any cheat days in the next 24 days then I should reach my goal.’ Well, being that we have been quarantined I have not been in social situations where people would want me to eat with them. This was the perfect opportunity to get to where I wanted to be. And today I took my measurements and sure enough I am below 6% body fat. I am at 5.69% body fat.
So its official the 300 challenge works. It will take you a little longer to reach your goals, but having a cheat day is better than quitting all together. Now the fastest way to a destination is a straight line. So if you want to go hard core, try going without any cheat days. However, I know that for most people it is so much easier to have that cheat day once a week. It gives you a sense of reward for being good for the weeks before. No need to feel guilty if you are planning your cheat meals in advance.
Now the thing that really surprised me was the fact that I was able to get below 6% without much working out. Usually on the last week or couple of days work out twice a day just to break below the 6% mark. I didn’t do that this time. I simply ate right and made sure my protein intake was 80 grams a day. You know what this tells me? Truly diet is the best thing to loose body fat. Its leaps and bounds over working out. Now working out is not a waste of time. Aesthetically your muscles will look more tone if you have been working out. But even in that department, when I measured my different body parts they were up to par as compared to last year. Granted I had worked out quite a bit in years past.
Now aesthetics isn’t everything. Exercise also helps your heart as well as your strength. I am not belittling exercise in any way. But if you are in the gym all the time but you are neglecting your diet don’t expect to be losing a ton of body fat.
So join the 300 challenge. It doesn’t have to be a raw diet, but commit to eating better food than you are eating today for 300 days within the next year and see the type of progress you can make. If you would like to receive a the plan I put together for people interested in trying a raw diet subscribe to this blog and I will email my plan to you.