Ok. So it's been 11 days now that I've been doing the Advocare thing and I'm feeling good! The first part of the program is an herbal cleanse. You eat well (no processed foods, no sugar, no coffee or soda, nongluten grains, high lean protein, etc.) eating every 2-3 hours or so which is something I'm not generally consistent with. In fact, I think I probably don't eat enough calories to lose weight on any given day which may be part of my issue when it comes to losing. You replace one meal a day with their meal replacement shake which meets your requirements for calories, protein, and other key nutrients. You drink a TON of water (they suggest a gallon a day, but I drink so much anyway that I've just been doing what I normally do and average about 90 oz a day anyway). For eight of the first 10 days, you do a fiber drink, and also do a probiotic for most of that time also. There are supplements to take for extra energy that contain herbs, vitamins, minerals, and other goodies. And that's it! It's pretty simple.
Here's the breakdown:
I feel good! (said in the voice of James Brown). I wake up wide awake (though that may still be the hypnosis I did a while back!) I'm at my desk working by 0630 every morning, and I haven't physically missed my coffee in the sense that I haven't had any caffeine withdrawals at all. I've been using an Advocare product called Spark, a drink mix that tastes a lot like KoolAid, in watermelon (my favorite), grape, and citrus, and it's kept me going. Though I've gotta say, I sure miss the smell of that delicious stuff brewing every morning. And I'm guessing that the coffee place in Oregon where I buy my favorite coffee beans that they roast and ship on the same day, Cafe Mam, is missing me just as much! I'm sure that the added supplements are helping in this area also. I have a nice, steady energy throughout the day with no crashes. The one thing I've noticed though is, come bedtime, I'm wiped out. As in last night I got in bed to read and fell asleep before I could even turn on my iPad. And the night before, I was crashed out on the couch by 7. Not sure what's up with that as I haven't been working more than usual or been stressed about anything. Actually, this week has been less hours put in at my desk than the past four weeks. So it may just be coincidental.
I seem to be sleeping okay, too. I haven't noticed a difference overall in the quality of my sleep when I do sleep.
Not noticed any change at all in my mood. No highs or lows. Just my usual self :)
I weighed yesterday at 10 days and found that I've lost a little over four pounds. That's a nice, steady weight loss that isn't the product of 'crash dieting' and when I do lose weight like this, slow and steady, I tend to keep the weight off. I'm pretty excited about that only 10 days into the program.
Here's the part where I'm the most excited. I've not only lost the 4+ pounds, I've also lost 2 inches from my chest/upper back (which is where I tend to carry extra weight), two inches off my waist, and a half-inch off my hips and thighs. THIS is the biggest difference. I'm starting to see a change in how my clothes are fitting which was my biggest goal.
Honestly, the first few days on the program I was SO hungry. But there's a good support system on Facebook that the friend from whom I purchased the program hooked me up with, and they suggested that I just eat more which I did. That helped a lot. I lost weight, so I'm guessing that I didn't do any actual harm by going outside of the recommended amounts to consume. It was strange for me though as on any given day, I don't generally get hungry in the sense that my stomach growls. And this leveled off after the first few days and didn't continue to be an issue. I'm guessing that a lot of it was psychosomatic: My brain saying, "Oh! You're not gonna give us exactly what we want whenever we want it? Here: Take THAT!".
If you follow the blog, you know I do my cooking on the weekend, so it hasn't really taken me any extra time. I've had to make some extra brown rice and quinoa this week to get me through as I didn't make enough on Sunday when I did my cooking. But that's super easy. Both of the two meals that are eaten (rather than the meal replacement shake) consist of 0.5 cup of complex carbs (for me that usually means brown rice), 4-6 oz of lean protein (I grilled chicken with different rubs and seasonings on Sunday and also grilled some tofu), and either 1 cup of vegetables and/or fruit (raw or cooked) or 2 cups of leafy greens. This gives you quite a bit of leeway for variety. I've made turkey burger/beef hamburger meatloaf, pot roast, and last night was a nice, hot chicken soup with a little bit of rice noodles. It's actually quite a bit of food for me considering how I normally eat, and the crock pot has been my biggest friend this week. I'll throw something in right after lunch and it's ready by dinner. We even went out to dinner to a Mongolian grill one evening before a movie and I just made sure to load up more on veges than anything and try to keep my sauces on the lighter side. But it hasn't taken any more time for me than eating well usually does.
The bottom line is that this has been very easy. I seem to be getting results. And that's really all that matters!
Today started the second half of the program which means b'bye to the fiber drink (not gonna miss that one!) and hello to more and different supplements. These came in a box full of two weeks' worth of supplements that come in four packs per day with each pack's instructions written on them for how and when to take them. Before breakfast supplements consist of two separate metabolic enhancers and a probiotic. Before lunch it's three more supplements for metabolism, three different vitamin/herbal mixes, and an omega-3 softgel. This will be added to the usual metabolic caps that I take three times a day (breakfast, lunch, and right before bed), and the two omega-3 capsules with dinner. Like I said, it's a lot of supplements (about 25 total per day!). But it isn't a lot of hassle.
Almost halfway through the program now, so I'll keep you posted. Will try to add some new dessert recipes that I've come up with this week to combat my sugar cravings, though those seem to be getting fewer and further between. See ya in a few days!