It’s astounding what 6 weeks of clean eating can do.  We knew coming in that organizing a challenge like this was going to be a lot of work, but it’s been more than worth it, to see everyone looking and feeling so great. Hats off to all the participants, you guys look amazing.

Your last daily bonus challenge is to tell us about your experience. What was the hardest?  What was the easiest?  What did you learn about nutrition? What did you learn about yourself? How has this changed your body, your energy, your life?  We’ll be doing the Spring Leaning Benchmark this week so we’ll give you the rest of the week to think about this and to leave your testimonial in the comments below.

So now that the challenge is officially ending, what now? How can you balance your new healthy eating habits and indulge once in a while without ruining all the progress you’ve made so far? Instead of planning “cheat days”, I recommend continuing to eat more or less the same way on a day to day basis, if that’s what feels good.  I say “more or less”, because you might find that you can be a bit less strict on condiments or mildly processed foods or perhaps you can try reintroducing foods you suspect you aren’t sensitive to.   However, if you plan full on cheats with brownies and pancakes and ice cream and chips, all on the same day, you are probably setting yourself up for disaster. Instead, consider indulging only when it’s too good to pass up, maybe an important social or cultural event, or maybe a loved one’s special recipe.  If it’s really worth it, then go for it, but enjoy it, savour every bite, and don’t beat yourself up about it – no shame or guilt or remorse.  As a general rule, the leaner you are, the more often you can allow yourself to indulge without it having too much impact on body composition. Now is a great time to play around with those details to see if you can improve on it even more…