Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
10 Sep

The 2012 Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge Begins Now

primal 21day challenge

If you want to lose weight, gain muscle, reduce stress, increase energy or just generally look and feel healthier you’ve come to the right place. Oh, and you can win lots of cool Primal gear, too. That’s right, it’s the annual Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge!

Before we get to all the details, let’s kick things off with a simple contest. Share this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email by using one of the icons at the bottom of this post AND leave a comment in the comment board below that finishes this sentence: “My Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge is…”. (Example: “My Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge is to completely eliminate grains from my diet, and to lose 5 lbs of body fat.”) That’s it! Help spread the word about this year’s challenge and publicly commit to achieving your own health goals, and you’ll be entered to win a $200 gift certificate to PrimalBlueprint.com.

This contest ends at midnight (PDT) tonight, Sep. 10. A winner will be selected at random and everyone around the world is eligible.

Now, on to the challenge details…

What Is the 21-Day Challenge and Who Is It For?

What’s the challenge? To get Primal, of course! I hold this 21-Day Challenge every year to encourage Primal beginners to give this way of eating, moving and living a try because I know it works, I know how empowering it is, and I know it changes lives.

I also do it to motivate those that have been dabbling with the Primal lifestyle for a while, but haven’t fully committed or still have some room for improvement (myself included!), to go all in and resolve to finally tackle whatever it is they want to address in their lives.

There’s something here for Primal veterans, too. It’s a good idea to revisit the basics from time to time. And hey, the chance to win free stuff isn’t half bad either.

The actual challenge itself is pretty straightforward. The details can be found in the image below. I recommend downloading the 21-Day Challenge flyer here, and clicking on the links to learn more about each of the topics. (And maybe print a few copies to hand out to friends!)

No sign-up required. Anyone can participate. Just commit to the challenge, and check back every day for motivation and guidance. Articles over the next two weeks will be about taking steps to align your lifestyle with the Primal Blueprint. The third and final week of the challenge will be entirely comprised of reader-created content. That’s right, MDA readers (you!) will be running the show. Stay tuned.

Above and beyond the challenge as outlined below, I encourage you to make your own personal challenges. Whether it’s eliminating or adding a certain food to your diet, losing weight, playing more often, getting better sleep, or anything else, customize your goals to fit your needs and commit to 21 days starting now.

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Why 21 Days?

You may have noticed that this year’s challenge is a departure from the 30 day format of previous challenges. Why? After many years of training clients and interacting with hundreds of thousands of Mark’s Daily Apple readers, my team and I have found that 21 days is the sweet spot for eliminating old habits and replacing them with new ones. It’s long enough to make legitimate progress toward reversing years of adverse lifestyle habits, long enough for most people to get past the low carb flu (if you experience it at all), and long enough to give the Primal Blueprint a fair shake, but not so long as to be seen as a daunting undertaking. In other words, anyone, including you, can give this a go for three measly weeks, and in that time you are bound to see results. If you have weight to lose, it’s reasonable to expect a reduction of three to seven pounds of excess body fat during this period, and to continue at that rate safely until you reach your ideal body composition.

I’m confident that you can transform your life in just 21 days with the Primal Blueprint. So confident that I wrote an entire book about it…

The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation

21Day 3D BookcoverB 1This 21-day Challenge perfectly complements The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation. The Total Body Transformation is all about making Primal living easy – distilling the philosophy of The Primal Blueprint (detailed in the 2009 hardcover volume) into 8 Key Concepts, 5 Action Items, and a lively 21-Day Challenge of daily endeavors in the areas of Diet, Exercise, and Lifestyle – with corresponding journal exercises. You’ll be shown exactly what to do and when to do it – eliminating any guesswork – to get and stay Primal for life.

If you can spare an hour a day for just 21 days, I guarantee that you will reprogram your genes and transform your life with this guidebook.

Order a copy today to enhance this year’s challenge, and for added guidance and direction.

The 21-Day Challenge Contests

The main challenge itself isn’t competitive, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some friendly contests along they way!

Over the course of the next three weeks Mark’s Daily Apple and sponsors will be giving away thousands of dollars in prizes.

Here are some rules and answers to FAQ:

  • There will be new contests every day for the first two weeks (through Sep. 23) of the 21-Day Challenge, so check back daily!
  • All contest prizes relate in some way to the Primal lifestyle. You won’t find any miracle weight loss pills, tummy crunching sling-a-ma-doo-dads, or whole wheat health blast jazzer snackers.
  • Some contests will require a bit of leg work while others will require something as simple as commenting on a blog post.
  • There is no limit to how many contests you can participate in.
  • The duration of any one contest depends on the nature of the contest. Some will last a couple weeks (to give you time to complete the contest task) while others will be as short as one day. All deadlines are Pacific Standard Time.
  • Contest prizes will be awarded either by a random drawing, by reader voting/polling or by an executive decision (who I think should win!).
  • Some prizes will only be available to United States residents. If you live outside the U.S. and win a prize that can’t be shipped internationally an alternate prize of equal value will be awarded.
  • I’m not being paid by any company for being featured in a 21-Day Challenge contest.

To track all the contests visit the 2012 Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge Contest Page for daily updates.

New to the Primal Blueprint and Mark’s Daily Apple?

Blackboard grok2

If you are new to the Primal Blueprint and Mark’s Daily Apple and don’t know where to begin, here are some resources to get you started:

1. Not sure what it means to “Go Primal”? Check out these articles for the basics:

2. The Primal Blueprint 101 Page

3. The Forum – I highly encourage you to use the forum during the challenge. In it you can start a “Primal Challenge Journal” to publicly state your goals and track your progress. Create a journal to receive positive feedback, advice and help along the way from the Mark’s Daily Apple community.

4. The Books

5. What to eat? – Primal Blueprint Recipes on MDA, The Primal Blueprint Cookbook and Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals

6. The Newsletter – Sign up on this page to get 6 free eBooks, a 7-day course on the fundamentals of lifelong health, and more.

7. Have a question? – Contact Me

Tell your friends and family about the challenge so they can get Primal too! And don’t forget. Click the icons below to share this post, and leave a comment telling the world what you are committing to do over the next 21 days, for a chance to win a $200 gift certificate to PrimalBlueprint.com.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. My Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge is to become a fat burning beast.

    Willy wrote on September 10th, 2012
  2. My Primal Blue Print 21 day challenge is no cheating on any grains and to start lifting heavy.

    Cassie wrote on September 10th, 2012
  3. My goal is to play daily, get my exercise on track, and improve my body composition.

    Rhonda wrote on September 10th, 2012
  4. My Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge is to stop drinking energy drinks at work (0 calories is not an excuse, they have to be bad for you) and to add 15 lbs to my bench.

    Brian M. wrote on September 10th, 2012
  5. My Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge is to lose 3-5 pounds of body fat.

    Alyssa Lang wrote on September 10th, 2012
  6. I am learning to move my body without pain. I know this will help me keep on track. Committing to 4 hours a week of easy movement as well as time in the sun and play.

    Vicki wrote on September 10th, 2012
  7. My Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge is to give up corn. I’ve been able to stick to all things primal, except for giving up corn. Corn tortillas and tortilla chips keep sneaking into my diet. Once I’m able to wean them out, I can officially say that I am grain free :)

    Emily wrote on September 10th, 2012
  8. My 21 day challenges are to eliminate cheat days and get to sleep earlier!

    Amanda Sweat wrote on September 10th, 2012
  9. My Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge is to to get more regular training habits, stay away from sugar and lose some more weight :D

    Isabel wrote on September 10th, 2012
  10. I always start out with a great 80/20 ration of primal to on-primal food. Then it slips to 75-25, then 70-30, then 50-50. My goal this time is to stay at 80/20 for the entire 21 day period. My starting weight is 286.00 lbs. Lets see what happens.

    Hurd wrote on September 10th, 2012
    • Have you considered going for 100/0? Sometimes that’s easier.

      Sofie wrote on September 10th, 2012
  11. My Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge is to completely integrate into the Primal lifestyle by carving the difficult components (avoiding hidden sugars, reducing fruit, avoiding all dairy and adding IF). I also want to introduce the Primal Lifestyle to two new people and get them active in the challenge.

    Thomas D wrote on September 10th, 2012
  12. Firm up that “lose skin” in the belly by shrinking the fat cells that remain from losing 102 lbs already :)

    Preacher wrote on September 10th, 2012
  13. My goal is to tighten up my primal eating habits while being a good role model with said habits.

    Cat wrote on September 10th, 2012
  14. My Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge is to break my post-thyroid removal surgery stall — to get my eating clean again and to start losing weight again. I had lost almost 50 pounds since June of 2011, but had thyroid cancer last winter and gained 15 pounds back after my thyroid was removed. The Challenge is going to get me going back in the right direction!

    Kim wrote on September 10th, 2012
  15. Mark always has something cooking!

    Groktimus Primal wrote on September 10th, 2012
  16. My Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge is to stay away from grains completely.

    Hanne wrote on September 10th, 2012
  17. This is great! I eat Primal already, but this is definitely a chance to tighten things up, cut out treats for a bit, and get to working on adding sprints and walking.
    Mu challenge is to eat WHEN and just enough. Go to bed by 10 and add a sprints day. Let’s do this!

    Jen wrote on September 10th, 2012
  18. I already posted one thing, but it was flippant and without much thought. My true Primal challenge is to move towards eating seasonally and locally, incorporating as much wild food as I can. AND doing dialing in my sleep and eschewing sugar, dairy, and all grains.

    jenny wrote on September 10th, 2012
  19. My Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge is to increase the variety of workouts I’m completing and to go grain-free, not just gluten free.

    Jen wrote on September 10th, 2012
  20. My Primal Blueprint 21 Day Challenge is to not carb binge once, and to feel much more secure and stable with my eating habits.

    Kevin wrote on September 10th, 2012
  21. My Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge is to rid my dependence on grains an suger and to fully commit to a Primal lifestyle!

    Kathleen wrote on September 10th, 2012
  22. My PB 21 Day Challenge is to STOP making delicious almond flour treats:) I want to eliminate all sweeteners, even honey, for the 21 days. I want to have only moderate amounts of fruit, zero alcohol, and zero sugar (even d-choc). I am so, so guilty of using the system to cheat the idea of what primal is supposed to be all about- almond flour treats, hunks of d-choc consumed w/ reckless abandon, wine in excess- time to lose the last 15 lb! And no more perusing ‘paleo’ blogs that are all ice cream and cookies and cakes! My pet peeve and biggest fault;)

    Christina208 wrote on September 10th, 2012
    • Also- less coffee, more sleep.

      Christina208 wrote on September 10th, 2012
  23. My Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge is…to completely drop grains and added sugar. Also, reduce stress and get more sleep!

    Rob wrote on September 10th, 2012
  24. 21-day Challenge – break my addiction to Rockstar Energy drink. I don’t think I even enjoy it anymore. But I’m having a really hard time not drinking them. While I’m at it, no sweet drinks of any kind. And more play, too!!

    Matt wrote on September 10th, 2012
  25. My Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge is to incorporate more play. The hot Texas summer is about over and it’s time to enjoy the nice fall weather outside with some play!

    shane wrote on September 10th, 2012
  26. My Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge is to prioritize sleep/rest and stress reduction.

    Ware wrote on September 10th, 2012
  27. My Primal Blueprint 21 Day Chalkenge: to lose as much weight as I can in that amount of time but to focus on overall well being such as proper and optimal nutrient intake, playing more, and sleeping more!

    ShannaR wrote on September 10th, 2012
  28. My 21 day challenge will be to transition from 70/30 to 90/10 (or better), trim off 4 more pounds of fat(currently at 106)and hopefully unbury that elusive nice ab area!

    Jessica wrote on September 10th, 2012
  29. My 21 day challenge is to be 100% grain and sugar free, to increase my veggie intake and to start strength training. Goodbye bad habits!

    Karin wrote on September 10th, 2012
  30. My goal is to drop that last 5 lbs.

    Carter wrote on September 10th, 2012
  31. My Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge is to fully ditch the grains and start walking to work, not just from it. My mum will be joining me in the grain-goodbye too.

    Zilvoran wrote on September 10th, 2012
  32. What perfect timing! It’s become very apparent that I really need to commit to living the grain/sugar free lifestyle. No more half-ass attempts. My challenge to myself is to commit to actually walking the walk instead of just talking the talk. No more grains, no more sugar, and hopefully no more joint pain. Here’s to a happier, healthier me!

    Megan wrote on September 10th, 2012
  33. I turn 35 tomorrow and begin to work towards a 35lb weight loss goal. My 21 day goal is to eliminate wheat and sugar from my diet.

    Jenny P wrote on September 10th, 2012
  34. My Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge is to get back off all the excess sugar! :) This came at the perfect time for me to reevaluate. I’ve been 8 weeks grain free and starting to slip on the other things.

    Holly wrote on September 10th, 2012
  35. My Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge is to make the workouts part of my daily routine

    Michele wrote on September 10th, 2012
  36. My challenge will be to cut down the cheating and go from 70/30 to 90/10. cut down on cheese and wine and hopefully find my abs before the holidays!
    Grok on!

    Jessica wrote on September 10th, 2012
  37. I’m primal for 7 months now, but i think i allow myself too much cheating – i still have nice progress(lost 37 pounds) but i can improve a lot more :)

    Plamen wrote on September 10th, 2012
  38. I’m in…I’m incorporating Lee Haywards 12 week workout…gonna be a fun 12 weeks…

    mike wrote on September 10th, 2012
  39. My Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge is to reduce my sugar intake and to add more variety to my food. Also to exercise more!

    Tori Kean wrote on September 10th, 2012
  40. And My 21 day challenge will be to finish my 1st post before posting :D My challenge is to get stronger, faster and ripped :) And cleaning more my diet

    Plamen wrote on September 10th, 2012

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