Monday, March 9, 2015

Week 32/33: The 3 Day Refresh

I'm combining these two weeks due to holding off on posting until I finished the 3 Day Refresh.

I shared previously that I haven't been as disciplined in my eating as I had been when I first started getting healthier. While I know how to fix that overall, I wasn't doing it. I wanted to get a kickstart with Beachbody's product, the 3 Day Refresh. It was something that I had wanted to try anyway, just to see what it was like, so I figured that it was a good time to do it. I also had a friend who was doing this, so we kept in contact a lot through the week.


I used the weekend to plan what I was going to eat. I have to say, it was a little stricter than I thought it would be on the food, but once I planned for it I felt ready. Before I started, I got a cold or something, so I don't know if that impacted how I felt while doing the Refresh. I also want to note that I've never done any kind of restrictive diet, like the grapefruit diet, or anything like that. The most restrictive I've ever done is counting calories and things like that, but I've always allowed myself treats when I do those types of things.

The Plan

The program comes with a guide book, which is really regimented about what to eat,  and when to eat it. When you first wake up, you start by drinking about 8-10 oz of water. Within the first hour of waking, you have your Shakeology, (they recommend using the vegan formula) and a fruit. And you make the Shakeology with water, and not milk, which is different than what I normally do.
You can have some green or herbal tea later in the morning. Then about an hour later, you have what they call the Fiber Sweep. It's a powdery-ish fiber that you mix with water and drink IMMEDIATELY, before it thickens too much. After at least another hour, you can eat your lunch, which is their Vanilla Fresh Shake (a plant-based protein powder mixed with water), plus a fruit, vegetable, and healthy fat serving. For an afternoon snack you can have another vegetable and healthy fat serving. Then later, for dinner, you have another Vanilla Fresh Shake and one of the dinner recipes. You continue to drink water and can have more herbal tea throughout the day if you'd like.

Day 1

I started on March 3, a Tuesday. I chose the middle of the week because I'm more disciplined anyway during the week than I am during the weekend. The night before, I didn't sleep very well, because of my decongestant. All I could think about was how my eating was going to go the next day, and I just couldn't sleep. So I woke up for Day 1 kind of tired. However, even though I woke up tired, I felt pretty good when I got up and drank my water and then my Shakeology. I was surprised that it tasted okay with just water. It filled me up more than I thought it would. And the tea kept me fuller, too. I did start to get hungry a couple of hours later, which is when I would normally have my morning snack. The fiber sweep filled me up a little bit, but not for long. I could see why they say to drink it immediately. The taste was okay, but the texture was a little weird. When I had my lunch, I was surprised at how full I felt. The first day I blended my fruit into my shake. The serving sizes were so much smaller than I am used to, and I pretty much eat good serving sizes. But my veggie serving was 5 baby carrots, and my healthy fat serving was a little bit of hummus. I wasn't hungry again for a couple of hours. Overall, I was feeling pretty good. I could do this.

Then I had  my afternoon snack, which was the same vegetable and healthy fat. That didn't last me as long, and I started to get hungry again in just a little time. So it was here that my attitude started to change, and this started to feel hard. I was hungry, and I started thinking about all sorts of foods that I would like to have and couldn't. If someone had told me that I didn't have to continue this, I would have gladly complied, EXCEPT I wanted to see the results from the entire three days. Plus, I had blogged about doing this, so I needed to finish, right? Dinner was better, since I got my Vanilla Fresh Shake again, plus a salad (the recipe that I decided on), so I felt full again. But all I could think about was that I had to do this again for the next two days. And I was really exhausted, so I went to bed early on Tuesday night. And even though it says mild to moderate exercise is okay, I knew that I was so tired, that I did not want to get up at my normal 4:30 in order to get my workout in.

Day 2

On Wednesday morning, surprisingly, I did not wake up hungry. I felt rested, but I was still a little foggy. I did everything the same as I did the day before, except that at lunch I ate my blueberries solid rather than add them to my Vanilla Fresh shake. I found that after I had my lunch, I felt a lot better than I had earlier. I decided that this thing was doable, just not ideal.  I also noticed, like the previous day, that after my lunch I was actually kind of full. So I wondered if spreading it out a little bit more might be better so that I was eating a little more evenly across the day. So Wednesday was a lot better, especially by the end of the day. I wasn't as tired Wednesday night as I had been Tuesday night, so that helped.

Day 3

On Thursday morning, I did wake up hungry. But my Shakeology satisfied that. All day long I was excited that it was my last day, even though I realized that still meant that I had to go to sleep, and THEN I could wake up and eat unrestricted again. But it was good. Thursday was much like Wednesday, where I was feeling better. Oh, and one thing I noticed was that the small portion was enough to fill me up now. I did spread out my lunch more, eating my carrots, hummus, and blueberries first, and then drinking my Vanilla Fresh shake about an hour later. I guess that helped

Results and After

So, I knew I would drop some pounds, because this was basically around 900 calories, which is obviously not sustainable. From Tuesday morning to Friday morning, I lost 3.6 pounds and about an inch in my waist. However, I also knew that I would gain some back just by going to my "normal" diet. And I did. I was careful on Friday, sort of. I knew that I wanted to retain some things that I learned from the Refresh. Namely, beginning the day drinking 8-10 oz of water. They say that gets your system going, and it really does. I also knew that just drinking the Shakeo in the morning was enough to keep me full until my morning snack. Previously, I've been eating eggs with veggies right after I work out, and then drinking my shake an hour or two later. And then still having a later morning snack. I also could probably get by with adding less milk and more water to my shake. (I've been doing 8 oz of almond milk and 4-8 oz of water, because I like the consistency.) I ate a spinach wrap with turkey for lunch, so my first meat in a few days. I could only eat one of the halves, though. But, I did cave and eat my peanut M&M's that I had been given from our Sunshine team for my birthday this month. (I got it on Wednesday, so I am proud of the restraint that I showed in waiting until Friday when I "could" eat them!) And Friday night, we got takeout from one of our new favorite barbecue restaurants. So, Saturday morning, my weight was back up a little bit, but it still is the lowest point that I've been since beginning this journey in July. I've now officially lost 28 pounds. Woo-hoo!

So would I do the Refresh again or recommend it to others? I'm not sure if I will do it again. Maybe. I'd say if you have something that you're trying to lose weight for, it's good if you can handle how restricted it is for 3 days. You also have to realize that the weight loss will most likely be temporary. It would be really good for a kickstart, which is what I wanted to use it for, but I didn't plan for the "next stage" as well as I should have. Although, there will be more in another post about what I'm doing now. But overall, I'm glad that I tried it, I'm proud of myself for sticking with it and not cheating AT ALL, and I'm hopeful that the things that I can apply toward a normal eating plan will begin to make some differences in my progress.

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