On the path to better health, it’s not always easy to stay on track. Life has an annoying habit of getting in the way.
Maybe you’re surrounded by tempting foods at the office. Perhaps it’s drizzling, so you skip your morning jog. Or maybe your bedtime keeps sliding backward thanks to a captivating television series.
That’s where the Carb Manager Challenge comes in. The Challenge helps you stay accountable to your health goals while tracking the metrics that matter most.
In this article, you’ll learn the what, why, and how of the Carb Manager Challenge. (What it is, why it’s effective, and how to crush it.) Keep reading.
What Is the Carb Manager Challenge?
The Carb Manager Challenge is a monthly point-based contest for Carb Manager community Premium members. A new 28-day challenge starts every Monday, and you can join an existing challenge at any time.
When you join a challenge, you score points for logging your foods, hitting your macros, staying under your carb goal, hydrating, exercising, and getting enough sleep. (You can earn up to 130 points per day.) If you’re a top individual scorer, you’ll see your username on the leaderboard.
Since you log your metrics, the Challenge relies on the honor system. We trust our members to play fairly and honestly, and all signs suggest that they do.
The point of the Challenge is to get you competing—not just against other members—but against yourself. Everything about this competition is designed to boost your motivation and accountability.
More on that later. First, let’s talk about starting a challenge.
How To Start The Challenge
Joining a challenge is easy. Open the Carb Manager app, select “Connect” in the main menu, select the “Challenges” tab, and join or rejoin a challenge. (Note: you must be a Premium member to join the Carb Manager Challenge.)
If you want to leave a challenge, you’ll also find that option in the Challenges tab. See this post for more on joining or leaving the Challenge.
Each contest lasts for four weeks, with a fresh challenge starting every Monday. You can join whenever you like.
Why Do The Challenge?
Beyond the joy of competition, there are two main reasons to do the Carb Manager Challenge:
- It boosts your motivation and accountability
- Tracking health metrics leads to tangible health benefits
Let’s take a closer look.
#1: Motivation and accountability
Don't be secretive about your plans to adopt better health habits. When you make your plans public, you’re more likely to stick with them. An example will help illustrate.
If you want to nix your nightly bowl of ice cream, tell everyone in your family—including your pet hamster. Their mere presence will help you stay accountable because you’ll want to remain consistent with your proclamation.
The Carb Manager Challenge leverages this principle on a massive scale. With thousands of participants in each challenge, you’ll feel the force of consistency pulling you towards better health like a tractor beam.
The Challenge also leverages the principles of human motivation. Every time you do something healthy, you accrue points. And every time you accrue points, you get a hit of dopamine (a rewarding brain chemical) that reinforces the behavior.[*]
Think of the points like doggy treats for your brain. Give your brain enough treats, and soon you’ll perform the behavior without them.
#2: Health benefits
As you settle into the Challenge, you may notice improvements in your energy, mood, athletic performance, appearance, and mental acuity. These health benefits are a consequence of managing your nutrition, exercise, and sleep (the big three!) with the Carb Manager app.
Limiting your carbs, for instance, helps promote the fat-burning state called ketosis. Being in ketosis drives fat loss, mental sharpness, stable energy, reduced cravings, and many other Keto benefits.
You’ll also track your calorie intake during the Challenge. Even on Keto, it’s possible to overeat—especially when mixed nuts are involved.
Exercise is crucial too. Regular exercise keeps your body strong and functional as you age and reduces the risk of dementia, heart disease, cancer, and many other chronic diseases.[*]
Then there’s sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be your best self. You’ll be hungry, unfocused, and irritable—plus, you’ll struggle to lose fat.[*]
The perfect diet and exercise routine won’t save you if you aren't sleeping well. But when you dial in your Zs and rack up those sleep points during the Challenge, everything else becomes more manageable.
Top 5 Tips to Crush The Carb Manager Challenge
Ready for the Carb Manager Challenge? These tips will help you succeed.
When you join a challenge, set an intention to take it seriously. This is your month to build better health habits—a chance for fundamental transformation.
Plan to see it through. If you don’t take your health seriously, who will?
#2: Understand the point system
Take a moment to review the point system in the “Challenges” tab. Meeting your net carbs goal scores you 50 points, your calories goal 20 points, your sleep goal 10 points, and so on.
To approach the maximum of 130 points per day, you’ll need to take a holistic approach to your health. As a side benefit, you’ll also feel like a million bucks.
#3: Tell others
Tell your family and friends about the Challenge—and what you’re trying to achieve by embarking on it. Telling others will strengthen your resolve to achieve those goals.
#4: Make it about you
We’re all for healthy competition. The point system creates a competitive format that motivates better behaviors.
But don’t be discouraged if you don’t make the leaderboard. The real competition is with yourself, not with others.
Aim to improve upon your points total from yesterday, from last week, or from a prior challenge. That’s how you’ll know you’re improving, and self-improvement is the desired outcome here.
#5: Monitor how you feel
As you progress through the Challenge, pay attention to how you feel. How’s your energy, alertness, focus, mood, digestion, exercise performance, etc.?
If these are improving, you’re winning—even if your name isn’t on the leader board. See you at the next challenge.