The six-day, clean-eating challenge: Why this cleanse works
Changing the way you eat is a struggle. It requires motivation, inspiration, and accountability. Or, if you live in the 20th century, a friend, an email address and six days. I’m calling it the NOYOKE six-day challenge.
A buddy and I were at lunch one afternoon. He had just read the book by Novak Djokavic, “Serve to Win.” Then, he told me he was taking a gluten-free, dairy-free challenge with his girlfriend.
I said, “Great. I do that anyway, I’ll do the challenge, too.”
He bet me $100 I couldn’t do it.
So we discussed the rules of the challenge. Naturally, I tried to make it more challenging, but more achievable. How?
This challenge needed to be three things.
- Worth it.
So, in addition to gluten-free and dairy-free, we agreed to no-shit. No-shit meant no added sugar, no fried food, no trans-fats, no soda. Challenging, for sure.
To quantify success, we set a daily minimum. Five meals per day is recommended, but hardly realistic. So, we went with four. Each participant of the challenge needed to eat four meals per day.
To hold each accountable, we set up a gmail account, firstname.lastname@example.org. We agreed to send an email after all four meals. An example email consisted of:
- Attachment: Pic
- Subject: Meal #1
- Body: Description.
Meals came in all shapes and sizes. As long as it could be pictured, it counted as a meal.
This was a six day challenge. God worked for six days. Then, he took a break. Why shouldn’t we do the same?
Studies show that pushing oneself is only beneficial, in the long-run, when short periods of rest are mixed in. Deliberate, short breaks. Athletes, executives, and leaders alike all work hard. But the best ones take short, deliberate breaks.
The challenge was six days, but were not six-in-a-row. With dinner plans on Friday and Saturday night, the challenge was Sunday-Friday.
Challenge rules recap
The results of this six-day challenge was astounding. I couldn’t believe how disciplined I became. My energy was through the roof. And knowing it was only six days, there was an end in sight.
-Brad R., Chicago, IL
More specifically, this six-day challenge delivered the recipe for success.
The first day, I straight-up forgot to email pictures. The emails weren’t going to my phone and I wasn’t checking email@example.com.
We restarted the challenge the next day. I was now CC’d on my buddy’s meals. I still forgot to email my meals occasionally, but it was much less than before.
The reminders served as a trigger to make a plan. What am I going to eat now. Next?
We had money on the line, but it didn’t matter. We were in a competition and I wanted to win.
Temptation to cheat was stymied. Anything I ate had to get emailed. Several times I wanted one fry or one chocolate or one sip of soda. Normally, I indulge. During the challenge, I was flawless.
Seeing what my buddy was eating gave me ideas. Simple snacks. Creative dinners. Trays of food for the week.
We shared complaints, too. “Ugh, this is tough today.” Or, “I’m getting tired of email you.”
Best of all, we shared in the success. Completing the challenge was nice. Sharing a feeling of increased energy was also neat.
We emailed each other if something was in-question. Beer, for example, was technically not GF. But we decided that was fine.
On the day-of-rest, we still emailed our meals. That part was fun. Sending “proof of donut” seemed to enhance the joy of taking break.
Sometimes, an email was sent without pic. Forgetfulness or circumstances were usually the excuse.
Breakfast was the same. It was just easiest not to think about it. Same with snacks. There were a lot of repeats.
Leftovers helped a lot. And were the subject of many meals.
It became annoying to do. We discussed ways to reduce the work. It always came back to needing an app. But, it worked. During the six-day challenge, both of us experienced:
- Cleanest eating.
- Easiest execution.
Without question, this was the healthiest either of us had ever eaten.
Taking the challenge
Start today. Or tomorrow if you must. But if you need an excuse, just look at the calendar. Find your next vacation and plan around that. You will:
- Be more productive before you leave
- Enjoy guilt-free eating after
- Feel your best on vacation
My girlfriend and I are starting a challenge today. Join us.
How to start
There are three easy steps to getting started.
- Find a partner. If you can’t find one, contact me. I’ll be your partner.
- Setup a gmail account to share.
- Send each other four meals per day for six days: Meals are GF, DF, and SF.
Go! Start today.
This challenge was eye-opening to my buddy and I. It wasn’t about the food. We both knew how good we’d feel eating clean.
The eye-opening part was how well it worked and how easy it was. The six days, four meals per day, email system was fool-proof.
This challenge came from a bet. But, it also came from hours of research about change.
My hope is that this six day challenge system is useful to others.
Call to action: Find someone to try this with. Then, share your experiences in the comments.