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Fall Fuel Challenge

EDITORS NOTE: Put this on home page in case other regions should want to participate.


Gentlemen, it’s that time again! Whether you have hit the dreaded plateau and just need to break past it, or you’re in tip top shape but know you could stand to eat better — it’s time to ready our brains and bodies to conquer the holiday food frenzy.

Let me preface this by saying that I am not an expert nor nutritionist. I am just a guy who has had success in F3 — especially during previous Fuel Challenges. Also, allow me to remind you that the Fuel Challenge is NOT meant to be a crash diet. It is about re-training your mind and body to eat the right foods in the right portions. The 30+ lbs I have lost through previous fuel challenges was a by-product of conditioning my mind that FOOD is FUEL — not just a party for my taste buds — and once the tank has what it needs, the rest goes to the spare tire. The fact that I kept that weight off (until the 10 pounds I put on in the back-half of summer) was because of that mental training and changed habits. But oh how quickly it will come back when you let your guard down.

Most of the material below is pulled from previous fuel challenges with just a few slight modifications. As with everything, this is completely voluntary. There’s nothing official and I haven’t even assembled a team, but there is a core group of guys here who are ready for another challenge. So, I offered to take the helm and get it rolling. Here goes:



The Challenge will give you a chance to test yourself with the support of your fellow men of F3.  And maybe after this month, you will stick to the plan (or much of it) in order to live a healthier lifestyle. The program has a base list of items that are prohibited as follows:

  • No Fried Foods
  • No Fast Food (including Pizza)
  • No Red Meat
  • No Breads (including white starches: rice, pasta, potatoes. However, whole grain pastas and brown rice are allowed in moderation.)
  • No Cream based sauces/dressings (this includes fat-free options)
  • No Potato Chips, Snack Foods, Etc.
  • No Desserts
  • No Sodas (including “diet” drinks)
  • No Sweet Tea (This kills me!)

This leaves many food and drink items available – no one will go hungry!  Just eat/drink better. Check out this post for some suggestions! Plus, here’s a list of some DOs

  • Veggies
  • Protein: Chicken, Fish, Pork (except during the pork challenge week), Eggs, Nuts (high in fat so moderate)
  • Fruits (in moderation as they are high in sugar)
  • Grains: Whole grains, Oats
  • Dairy (except during dairy challenge week)
  • Hydration: Lots of H20, 100% fruit juice (moderate), coffee, unsweet tea, milk (moderate)


The Cheat

You will receive ONE free pass per week also known as “The Cheat Meal” – this could be a steak dinner, a pizza, or a drinking occasion, an entire bag of halloween candy, etc. – no carryovers though, the pass can only be used that week – try to use your weekly pass in moderation. (And remember, a free pass is for a MEAL not an ENTIRE DAY!)


5 Day Challenges 

Since this is a 25 day challenge, the challenges will take place every 5 days. They are NOT cumulative (unless you want them to be). I can’t stress enough the importance of logging in your food and exercise on something that’s trackable & accountable to your F3 brothers. You’ll be surprised how much some of your favorite foods cost in terms of calories vs. nutrition, and you’ll also be surprised how many of you may actually need to eat MORE good foods per day than you think. Many of us use MyFitnessPal.com for this and I would recommend it to you as well.

  • OCT 27-31  : : Take this first week to begin The Challenge. No special assignment, just get your body used to the new intake.
  • NOV 1-5  : : NO Pork
  • NOV 6-10  : :  NO Dairy
  • NOV 11-15  : :  NO Food before 6:30 am or after 6:30 pm (feel free to shift this 12 hour window if necessary to fit your sleep schedule. The goal is no food within 3 hours of bedtime.)
  • NOV 16-20  : :  NO Fruit juices, only H20 (and coffee or unsweet tea if necessary) to drink


Again, this isn’t sanctioned, just a group of guys trying to better themselves. This should end just before the GoRuck. If any of you participating need to change it up to make sure you are ruck-prepared feel free. As always, this is a “Do what you can to do” situation — but also remember, you can almost always do more than you think you can. If you want to join us in this Fuel Challenge, hard commit in the comments below with your email or write to [email protected]


My Personal Favorites (some of which can be seen in the post image)


  • Steal cut oats with walnuts, pecans, an apple, and a banana.
  • Green Smoothie: Water, Spinach, Kale, Fruit (usually pineapple and banana), Greek Yogurt, Whole Grain Cherios
  • Greek Yogurt with real fruit and real granola


  • Grilled Chicken, Cooked Spinach, 3 Bean Salad
  • Subway Salad: Lots o’ Spinach, Turkey, Cucs, Toms, Pickles, Banana Peppers, Oil & Vinegar
  • Lizard’s Thicket: Low Carb Plate with Grilled Chicken, Green Beans & Collards
  • Left-overs from my delicious dinners


  • Green Machine: Spinach Pasta, Collards/Cooked Spinach, Green Beans, Grilled Chicken
  • Grilled Veggies & Grilled Chicken/Fish
  • Pickle Sandwich: flat sandwich pickles top & bottom, turkey bacon, humus, tomato, spinach


  • Celery Boat: Celery, organic peanut butter, grape (your brain thinks its a PBJ — sweet)
  • Nuts (but check your portion size. Nuts are high in fat.)
  • Nature Valley granola bars


Other Tips From YHC

  • Keep track keep track keep track! You monitor what you measure.
  • Advance plan! It’s easier to hold strong if you already have a plan for meals and snacks.
  • If you mess up, don’t give up. (I’ve made this mistake many times before and that’s part of why I still carry this extra 30lbs around.) People will mess up. We’re human. What makes us MEN is that we don’t give up. If you fall off the horse. Get back on — as soon as possible. #F3strong
  • My ideal day schedule and calorie breakdown for 1500 calorie diet:
    5am // Pre-workout // 50 cals (fruit juice or half banana)
    7am // Breakfast // 500 cals (breakfast is where I put the most calories since it fuels the start of the day)
    10am // Snack 1 // 150 cals
    12pm // Lunch // 400 cals (slightly fewer calories than breakfast)
    3pm // Snack 2 // 150 cals
    5-6pm // Dinner // 300 cals (even fewer calories as there are only a few hours left in the day)


0 thoughts on “Fall Fuel Challenge”

  1. Go time!! Might I suggest, too, that you use myfitnesspal.com to track your food and exercise, and you can “friend” those of us using this as well. Works well with smart phones but Blackberry – not so much.

  2. I’m in. I use a Fitbit to track steps, exercise and food, but for this challenge, I’ll log food in myfitnesspal. It just doesn’t do what I need when it comes to tracking activity.

  3. I’m In but this is a huge change. I’m Also on my fitness pal and tracking steps.
    How do I find you guys on my fitness pal?
    My username is jcopeland1

  4. Some other really good foods:
    Avocado with some lime juice (good fat), sliced tomato with maybe a dash of sea salt. I love some carrots in some roasted red pepper hummus for a snack or in between. Also if you crave some potato chips make some kale chips, surprisingly good. Tree nuts are okay, but stay away from peanuts as much as possible. You need good fats, which nuts have. Also stay away from dried fruit, they have tons of added sugar. They look and sound healthy, but tons of sugar.

    For the no dairy week, though it’s already over, please don’t use non-dairy creamer in your coffee. Go for some unsweetened coconut milk/cream.

    I just completed the sugar detox a few weeks ago. I had it through the site but it was kinda pseudo official. Good luck to all of you completing this right now. You can do it.

  5. I appreciate the 1500 calorie, eat right diets.

    My goals are a little different.
    Has anyone at F3 done a “gain muscle diet challenge”? Hoping to put on 10-15 lean muscle in the next year and want to know the best things to eat, when, etc.
    Maybe it’s this diet + an extra chicken breast and 4 eggs every day or something similar?
    Deserves its own post, no doubt.

  6. Complete a Chelsea each and e’ry day and lots of protein I would guess, and only having sugar right around workouts I would also imagine to really deliver the protein to the muscles. I tried ultra amounts of weight gainer in college, which according to my “research” didn’t start to make me gain weigh until 10 years later. Then it worked really well. Paleo lifestyle works for lots of the crossfitters.

    The real challenge with a mass challenge will be to add lean mass. You can bulk up the arms big time by just doing pull ups, or so I’ve heard. Perhaps we’ll start tomorrow, on the exercise part. Just remember you asked for it. Once you can do 20 strict slow pull ups start training for a one handed chin up, which only 1 in 100,000 can accomplish. I am not yet one of them.

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