Disappointing results from first challenge

  • Hi-

    My wife & I just completed BFL & came away very disappointed. We did it by the book: planning meals, not skipping workouts (except for 2 cardios because of sickness/injury). We hit our high points & were dedicated & intense throughout the12 weeks. We each stayed away from bars & I used EAS protein powders for 1-2 meals a day. Please do not question whether we worked out hard enough or ate well. We did. In fact, we love some of the new recipes we discovered from doing this, so that was nice. We were both in decent shape before so it is not like we were obese & needed multiple challenges to get in good shape. We did lose some body fat & gained a little bit of muscle but it was nothing like the before/after pictures from the book or even in this forum.

    I would love to know if any of you out there experienced minimal results after your first "successful" completion of the challenge. We are on the fence whether we should do it again & are pretty bummed because of how hard we worked.

    Do you need to do the phosphagen/betagen & all the extra supplementation to get significant results? Do we have to do the challenge multiple times as well?

    What could we do differently? Who out there has experienced disappointment in their first challenge like we have?

    We came to the conclusion that people's bodies just react differently so we are looking into trying something new.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

     

  • I would say that my experience was similar. I had less than 20 pounds to lose and lost 9. I plan to do it again, though, as I do not think it is uncommon to need multiple challenges to be satisfied with the final result.

    Want it. Plan it. Do it.

  • Hi-

    My wife & I just completed BFL & came away very disappointed. We did it by the book: planning meals, not skipping workouts (except for 2 cardios because of sickness/injury). We hit our high points & were dedicated & intense throughout the12 weeks. We each stayed away from bars & I used EAS protein powders for 1-2 meals a day. Please do not question whether we worked out hard enough or ate well. We did. In fact, we love some of the new recipes we discovered from doing this, so that was nice. We were both in decent shape before so it is not like we were obese & needed multiple challenges to get in good shape. We did lose some body fat & gained a little bit of muscle but it was nothing like the before/after pictures from the book or even in this forum.

    That is an amazing start. As said by Saralynn above (and many times to me included) sometimes it takes multiple challenges for the ultimate results to come.

    My advice and lots of times advice given to me... this should become a lifestyle. Embrace it and take it day by day.The results WiLL come. And you are right. Everyone may react differently. Some take 1 challenge, some take 3 or MORE. Either way, this should become a lifestyle and it will work!

    I would love to know if any of you out there experienced minimal results after your first "successful" completion of the challenge. We are on the fence whether we should do it again & are pretty bummed because of how hard we worked.

    I would do it again and work even harder than you "think" you can.

    Do you need to do the phosphagen/betagen & all the extra supplementation to get significant results? Do we have to do the challenge multiple times as well?

    What could we do differently? Who out there has experienced disappointment in their first challenge like we have?

    We came to the conclusion that people's bodies just react differently so we are looking into trying something new.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    You don't need any supplementation. What we all need (I understand) is patience and persistance and a belief in ourselves. You can try something new, but in my experience you may just be spinning your wheels.

    What are your precise goals? Have you written them down?

    Can you share your meal plans and maybe some examples of workouts to get some feedback on perhaps areas that can be manipulated for max results?

     

    I hope this helps a bit. My end advice though is stick with it and be patient. You will never regret making positive changes and doing good things for your bodies... and doing it together (with your wife) at that...HOW AMAZING IS THAT?!?!?

    Good luck and we look forward to hearing good things from you.




  • Well first I have to ask what were your expectations of yourselves? Are you wanting to look lean and cut?

    I don't think you stated how much body fat that you lost, if you knew that would be helpful. Also, knowing your food intake is very beneficial as well. This is where a majority of the fat loss comes from. Not only what foods you eat, as I trust that you know what to eat, but also the portion sizes.

    Many champs not only took longer than 12 weeks, but they had to reduce their carb portions and some had to remove starchy carbs from their last couple of meals.

    If you want a detailed answer to help you get where you want to go, it would be beneficial to know portion sizes.

    Thanks.

  • We wrote down our goals & achieved some of them. We both wanted to lose body fat & gain lean muscle. I was 25% body fat when I started & got it down a few points (barely budged sadly). We were both shocked at such little decrease in total body fat because we actually did look leaner & stronger. Another goal was to "start" to see a six pack. Obviously that is only going to happen when you body fat is much lower. A goal we did reach was to have more energy & feel better about ourselves. We did feel great throughout our challenge ( even though it wasn't a precise measurement.)

    Our food intake was by the book. Fist & open palm portions. We did a ton of chicken & brown rice. Turkey burgers, spinach salads (healthy dressings), quinoa, protein pancakes ( OMG those were amazing & we make them all the time!). @Charlie thats a great tip about reducing carbs for the last few meals. We always wondered about that. Having brown rice or carbs with our last meal made us question the diet a bit. I think this time around we'll reduce the carbs for the last meal. We were so used to having a nice spinach salad with chicken (before the challenge) most nights, so it was weird to force down a piece of whole grain toast or some brown rice with it.

    This whole experience was not a total loss. We learned about ourselves & improved our mental outlook as well as saw some slight physical improvements. We are ready for Challenge # 2. In fact we started today and are pretty excited!!!!!

    This community has really inspired us & we thank you all for your thoughtful responses & encouragement!

    BFL challenge #2 here we come!

  • This is an amazing attitude. You saw some positive changes the first go round and you will see even more now. It takes time and patience. As well as consistency.

    The reducing carbs in the last 2 meals is probably not a bad idea if you want to speed up results. Also if you are both a bit "carb sensitive" it will help.As well, are you measuring carb portions with a measuring cup? 1/3 c for women 1/2 cup for men (approx.) Also, those are cooked portions for things like brown rice and quinoa and sweet potato. Oats are measured dry.

    But either way, the mental changes that you have had are HUGE. Sometimes those need to happen first before the physical changes will. That is kind of where I am at. I am now in my 8th week of my first round and I am seeing changes in my body but really I am trying to focus on improving my mental outlook more than anything else. I know if I follow plan perfectly the changes in my body will come, it is the mental ones that are the hardest to change.

    Good work and good luck!!



  • Looks like you all did everything correct.  Like Charlie I wonder if your expectations were too high?  I'm not sure but the thing that stood out for me was this "we love some of the new recipes we discovered from doing this."  Recipes can be a problem because it's hard to figure portion sizes especially if you are mixing in several ingredients (even if they are healthy choices).  It is one reason why the Eating-for-LIFE book isn't necessarily recommended for while in a challenge, except for maybe free day.  There are a few things in there that are great but IMHO not many.  That would be the only thing I would double check if you plan to do another challenge.

    Congratulations on completing 12 weeks.  That in itself is hard enough. :-)

    Love you some you...PERSEVERE!

  • Looks like you have been given some great advice already. Now is your chance to rise to your own expectations. Napoleon Hill once said, “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” Here is your chance to gain more knowledge and transform into the best you yet.

    In my own personal journey towards success; I learned that my greatest obstacle was myself. I had to dig deeper, push harder and more than follow B.F.L. by the book-live it, breath it.

    I had to alter my diet and workout intensity continuously. Depending on my results for a specific week; I would either add more intensity to weight training, scale back on cardio, alter my carbohydrate intake, or eat more protein. I carefully made changes based on measurements, body fat, and energy level. In order for me to get my body-fat to 12% I needed to follow a very strict diet for the last month and drink ½ gallon of water a day. (No free days) I did take some supplements to help me with muscle recovery.

    Here is an example of my diet: This is what worked for me but results will vary based on your specific needs.

    Meal 1: 6 egg whites with spinach, 1 packet of Oatmeal (plain) water

    Meal 2: Myoplex light protein drink (you can have a meal instead)

    Meal 3: Boiled chicken 3 ounces (plain) ½ cup broccoli, 1/3 cup brown rice, water

    Meal 4: Natural peanut butter, low sodium/ low carb, rice cakes, Polaner jelly (no sugar) water

    Meal 5: same as meal no oatmeal

    Meal 6: Myoplex light protein drink

    Stick to your dreams and see it through and you will ultimately be successful. Stay on task, gather knowledge and go for it in challenge 2.

    Best of luck,

    Lori

  • I can understand your disappointment.  I have a total of 30-35 pounds that I want to lose and am getting ready to do my first challenge on 1/3.   I hope to lose at least half that at least.  

    Do you know if you improved in other areas?  Did you lower your cholesterol?  Blood glucose levels better?  Blood pressure better?  Knee pain or back pain better?  Sleeping better?  Happier??   All those things are important for overall physical and mental health.   Also, I think its really cool that you and your wife did this together.  Did it help strengthen your relationship?  

    Best wishes for your next challenge!

  • SCOJO,

    Lots of good insights and useful information are already given throughout this thread, so my only recommendation would be to do a sanity check on the calorie count.  And yes, I'm aware that technically BFL is not about counting calories, and you're not supposed to do a daily calorie watch.  However, now that your challenge is over, there is nothing to prevent you from reviewing your daily meal entries for 3 or 4 typical days, and add them up.  Compare them to what you used to eat, or compare them using the BMR equations developed by Benedict and Harris (find on Google - search "BMR"). 

    I recall doing a similar sanity check on calories during weeks 1 - 3 and found I was running at 1650 - 1800 cal/day, and thereafter didn't bother checking.  Should you find you want or need to reduce portion size, it helps to drink two or three 8 - 12 oz. glasses of water before you start a meal.

    Having lost about 45 lbs before I started my first challenge (started ~225 lbs), I thought I was done with weight loss.  Surprise! I lost an additional 22 lbs during the first challenge, and ended up at 12% body fat, down from 25%.  Weight loss of 6 -8 lbs per month is a safe, steady place to be.  One of the key things I did at the very onset was to cut my portions in half from what they were before I started the transformation.  My stomach shrank, and the quantity of food I can fit in fell as well.  I am really happy I did that, because in the 20 months or so that have elapsed since the end of C1, my daily weighings have come in the range 163 +/- 4 lbs. 

    Good Luck!

    Jacium

    Once I discovered the joys of weight training, all other passions were transcended.

    Jacium

  • I'm not sure of the age, but I did BFL for the first time 3 1/2 years ago.  I lost 20 pounds.  I've since discovered I have hypothyroidism and for the past year I've been trying to get it straight.  Hormones will certainly slow the loss.

    Be sure to keep close track of what you eat and those exercise routines.  Also, be certain those portions are correct. You may want to consider weighing your meats, etc, in order to be certain your portions are correct.  I discovered I my portions were too big.  It was a bit of a surprise for me when I learned this, but I've never been too good about eyeballing stuff anyway.

    Also, it's not uncommon for women to not notice drastic changes until the around the 8th week and then the changes hit hard and fast (not sure about the men).

    Lastly, don't forget to factor in the fact that you two lost fat but you also probably gained lean muscle.  This will mean your clothes fit looser but the numbers on the scale may not have gone as low as you wish.  This is a good thing.

    Good luck on round 2.

  • The biggest thing to monitor is your carb intake. Since you stated that you only lost a couple % on your body fat, I am certain your carb intake was too high.

    If you could list the portion sizes of your meals, then I could help further.

  • There are a multitude of possible factors and carbs are not necessarily more likely than another.  What is the typical meal plan with amounts?  Did you use Eating for Life as a cookbook?  What was the healthy fat intake?  Oh, many don't have enough and then find when they add it they lose the extra weight.  Are you sleeping enough?

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • Hi Lori,

    I just looked at your pics and read your story...it's absolutely amazing...congratulations and I'll look at your pics for inspiration!!!

  • I love your name!! Bodyforlife36   Thank you very much. I hope you more than achieve your goals and make 2011; the year to make it happen!

    Good-luck Lori