Women’s Only free Beginner Class today, Monday January 12th at 10:30am.
Women’s Only January On-Ramp Course begins Monday, January 19th
21, 15, 9
thrusters (95/65)

Gretchen is the overall winner of the food challenge!

PRYL Food Challenge Results

In November, a group of Roots athletes embarked on a Paleo journey. The prescription was to eat strict paleo for 6 weeks with no cheats, slips, oopses or excuses. The participants were required to have before and after body composition testing and blood work done and log everything they ate for the week leading up to the challenge and the 6 weeks on the challenge.


  • 19 participants stayed 100% compliant over the entire 6 weeks (with an allowance for Thanksgiving day)
  • On average, participants were compliant nearly 5 of the 6 weeks


40 participants submitted before and after results

  • 245lbs of total fat lost
  • Mean body fat change of -5.98lbs with a standard deviation of ±3.8lbs
  • Average body fat percentage decreased from 21.6% to 19.1%


For the challenge blood work, we tested fasting glucose, inflammatory markers and blood lipid profile pre-challenge and at the end of week 6.  The majority of participants saw:

  • Improvement in inflammatory markers
  • Decrease in triglycerides
  • LDL unchanged or increased

Kirk and Molly are continuing to crunch the numbers and looking at food log data to determine possible relationships between increased LDL and intake values.  Keep an eye out for a future post on their findings.


There was a weekly winner drawn from the pool of compliant athletes and a final winner was selected based on overall compliance and body composition changes over the course of the challenge.

The overall winner is, Gretchen Rech.  Gretchen won one month of Roots membership, a $25 Whole Foods Gift Card, and a copy of The 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook. Congratulations!


What does all of this mean?  Kirk, our resident statistics guru, went through each food log and entered the foods into an online nutrition tracker to observe caloric and macronutrient intake. We used these numbers to look for trends between pre challenge and challenge intake.  16 participants were selected at random for comparison and their intake week and week 5 food logs were compared.  Here’s what we found.

  • On average carbohydrate consumption in week 5 was 48% lower
  • On average weekly calorie consumption in week 5 was 1959 calories fewer
  • Decreases in body fat and body weight were statistically significant
  • Reduction in both calorie and carbohydrates were related loss in body fat and overall body weight

While the paleo diet is not by definition a low calorie or low carbohydrate diet, by switching to real foods and cutting out the processed crap, it’s much harder to overeat.  Therefore, it was no surprise to see both calories and carbohydrate reduced by sticking to a strict paleo diet, but it is not for us to say that following any diet of reduced carbs and calories would produce the same results.

Did you participate in the challenge?  What did you learn?  Have you been able to continue applying what you learned post challenge? Post to comments.