Life after the 10000 Calorie Challenge
I honestly didn't expect it to happen this quickly.
I was able to return to my beginning weight of 188.6 pounds just 5 days after attempting the 10000K Challenge. Now disclaimer, I did NOT complete the challenge and only consumed 7500 calories. For a recap of my attempt at this challenge, please check out the MAD FIT Podcast (which can also be found on itunes). I want to use this blog to discuss the after affects of attempting such a rediculous challenge, and why I did it in the first place.
Why attempt to eat 10K in Calories Anyways?
I get into this point more in depth on the podcast, but I've come up with 3 reasons. First of all, I've never allowed myself to eat whatever I want without restrictions on quantity for more than a meal. This was the first 24 hour period I allowed myself to be a kid in the candy store without any limitations. If my mind wanted it, I gave myself permission to have it. I was curious to see how I would react mentally as well as physically. Second, I've seen countless attempts at this challenge online. While many use this as a cheat day with a target or goal in calories to hit, I was fascinated by the challenge/competition aspect of this phenomenon. The thought of saying I was able to consumer 10000 calories is something not many people have done (which is probably a good thing) and that was weirdly appealing to me. Finally, it was my birthday! Why not allow yourself 24 hours to indulge on your birthday? Besides, I figured I shouldn't wait too many more birthdays to attempt this challenge. I'm not getting any younger!
How I felt after the Challenge
Immediately following the attempt, I felt pretty gross. Although the desire to fall asleep came naturally, my breathing was labored and stomach pains came throughout the night. My midsection definitely felt like it was stretched to its limits. This feeling didn't really subside until 24 hours later. This may be too much info, but bowl movements were not as regular following the challenge as I had hoped. Part of this is my fault, I know my body doesn't handle extremely large quantities of food in a short amount of time very well. Considering that my attempt at 10000K was condensed into a 12 hour period, I was eating at least 2000 calories every 3 hours. For any brave/misguided souls out there thinking about attempting this challenge, I recommend started as early as possible in the day. I tried to stick to my normal Saturday workout schedule and that was a mistake. It wasn't until 3 days later that I felt normal again. The day following the challenge, I skipped breakfast but otherwise returned to my normal eating habits. Tried to stay away from highly fatty and processed foods while hitting the gym in some way each day. Doing high intensity workouts following the challenge was itself a challenge. Breathing through the extra weight I carried those first few days was like wearing a weighted vest. Luckily, it turned out most of the 6 pounds I gained was water weight. I lost 3 pounds in the first 48 hours after a few work outs. By the end of the week, I had returned to my starting weight.
Additional Thoughts on the 10000 Calorie Challenge
While I may have returned to my starting weight, I definitely believe my body composition is still different. Although I haven't tested it, I would imagine my body fat percentage is still increased from where I started, so I have some work to do in that department.
I don't think I would attempt this challenge ever again. At the time of this challenge, I was looking for something to reinvigorate me. I'm always looking for ways to challenge myself and although this wasn't exactly a healthy one, it definitely gave me a reason to step up my gym game going forward. Besides, I think if I truly allowed myself 24 hours instead of 12 hours, I could have completed it. Knowing I could do it, I don't have much incentive to try it again.
The idea of a cheat day is something I still contemplate with personally. Historically, I wouldn't say I follow a very strict diet but I do follow general rules that allow me to remain consistent in just about any situation. With that said, I'm not a professional athlete or looking to join fitness competitions that require a regimented diet. I wonder if I increased the restriction my everyday diet, if cheat days would be more appealing. As it stands right now, I'm afraid that planning. Limitless cheat day every so often would cause more harm than good. At least now I know what it feels like to be over satiated and the affects of overeating on the body, mind, and soul.
Grilled chicken and broccoli never tasted so good. Until the next time!