The beginning of a new year is typically accompanied by increased gym memberships, resolutions to get fit, and goals to lose weight. For me, I knew that I wanted more than a resolution, I wanted and needed a lifestyle change. It's no secret that I want to lose all my baby weight, but even more than that, I want to get back to eating clean and exercising frequently.
So, I decided to start my lifestyle change right after Thanksgiving - call me crazy, but I couldn't wait until the new year. I knew I didn't want to start with a fad diet, but rather change the way I approached food and eliminate those foods that did not benefit my body nutritionally.
After speaking at length with my friend, personal trainer, and coach, Whitney Carrion, I learned the benefits of kickstarting my clean eating with the Advocare cleanse. I was hesitant when I first heard the word "cleanse" because I immediate thought of cleanses I've done in the past that have let me tired, hungry, and showed fleeting results. She promised me this was not the case; rather, this cleanse was meant to be a supplement to clean eating and set my body up for optimal nutritional intake and weight loss as an added benefit. You can read more about this cleanse here.
Well, I gave it a whirl and completed the 10 day cleanse and not only did I lose weight, but I lost 8 inches total! So, I wanted to share my experience with you.
What does the cleanse consist of:
This cleanse is amazing because you still get to eat! You eat breakfast, a snack, lunch, a snack, dinner, and a snack if needed before bed. Even better, there is an app you download that tells you exactly what types of foods you should eat for each meal and it gives recommendations. For example, one meal might say "eat a complex carb, a protein, and a fruit," then, it will give you examples of complex carbs, examples of good proteins, etc. Basically, you're being spoon fed.
In addition to eating strategically planned meals and snacks, you start your day with a SPARK drink (that tastes amazing...I chose the mango strawberry flavor and it was delicious) that gives you a little energy boost since you aren't drinking caffeine, you drink a fiber drink that helps to promote regularity and aids in appetite control. If you are already regular, it only helps to keep you regular. Nothing crazy happens. 😉 You also take probiotics in the morning and evening and an amino acid supplement 3 times a day to support muscle tone and enhance strength and energy.
What were my results:
- inches lost: I lost a total of 8 inches all over my body! I have to admit that I was shocked at this as I didn't think I would lose that much. I lost 3 inches on my waist, 2 inches on my hips, 1 inch on my thighs and 2 inches on my chest.
- weight lost: I lost a total of 5 pounds, which I thought was great as my main goal was not weight loss but to set my body up for a new, cleaner way of eating!
- energy: truthfully, I thought I would feel tired especially since I wasn't drinking coffee and I was adding work outs, but I was pleasantly surprised that with each day I gained energy!
- lost cravings for sweets: Okay, this is the biggest gain for me. My coach had not mentioned this part to me, but the absolute best part of this cleanse was that I lost my cravings for chips and sweets. If you know me, then you know that not only am I a snacker, but I have the biggest sweet tooth, which can be a challenge when a two-year-old lives in your house. Y'all, I truly lost all of my cravings to grab some gummy bears for a snack instead of a banana. And, here I am almost 2 months post and I still don't have these cravings.
- I (re)learned how to eat clean: I could not get over this unexpected result either. Because the app tells you exactly what type of food to eat and because you follow this plan for 10 consecutive days, you are training your body to eat clean all the while learning about what each food group is - proteins, complex carbs, fruits, etc. - and why they are good for your body. If you have a coach like I did, they are a great resource too to explain why certain foods are paired with other foods and different times of the day. I just loved this part because if you don't have a lot of knowledge about eating clean, this is a great way to gain information and jump start your new eating lifestyle.
What helped me be successful:
There were not one, but two main things that helped me successfully complete this cleanse:
- a coach: I was definitely prideful enough to think I could complete this on my own, but after day 1 I quickly realized what an asset it is to have a coach to walk through this with you. By the end of the first day I felt tired, so I called my trainer. After sharing with her the foods I had eaten so far, she encouraged me to add a complex carb to my evening meal to give me some more energy. I also texted her in a moment of weakness on day 8 saying that I had a hard day and desperately wanted a glass of wine. She encouraged me not to indulge and reminded me how great I would feel after 10 full days of sticking with the cleanse. She was right! Is the cleanse doable on your own? Of course. Do I think I was more successful with a coach? Definitely. I loved having someone I could text throughout the process for encouragement or advice and it's nice to have a source a knowledge that can help you make small adjustments to your nutrition plan or your workouts to help you achieve success. I highly recommend Whitney, so if you are interested in working with her you can email me or find her information below.
- meal prep: this is the other piece of the puzzle that helps you be successful; Because you are eating specific food groups for each meal, it helps to look at your week in advance, do a big grocery run, and have lots of healthy food on hand so that you don't grab some chips in a moment of weakness. Since my days can be crazy with a 2-year-old and a 3 month old, it helped me to already know what I would be eating the following day so that I could quickly and easily prepare my meals and snacks.
Where am I today? Am I staying on track?
I completed my cleanse a couple of weeks after Thanksgiving and I am happy to report that I did not gain (or lose) any weight over the holidays. I maintained, which is huge for me since Christmas is filled with cookies and sweet treats. Since the cleanse I have continued to lose weight (4 more lbs), I've lost several inches, and I still don't have cravings for sweets or snacks, which is unbelievable to me.
But, once you complete your cleanse then what do you do? This is the exact question I asked my trainer when I finished, and this is what she had to say....What to do AFTER you have finished a cleanse? At the risk of sounding uneducated, the best response is an old and simple saying, “if it aint broke, don’t fix it!” Now, some cleanses, are a little bit more intense, and require a lot of juicing, and liquid consumption. Those types of cleanses aren’t exactly lifestyle changes and require a whole lot of concentrated dedication. In other words, I wouldn’t recommend continuing on with a liquid diet, after its initial cleanse phase. However, If you were following a cleanse that allowed for clean eating and a normal lifestyle change versus a restrictive diet, than continuing on with that clean eating would certainly benefit you in the long run. Is it easy to always eat clean? Absolutely not! Life happens and by that I mean responsibilities, travel, long meetings, and well….cookies and pizza can get in the way of your goals. There are 100 reasons to jump off track, but there are 100 more to stay ON track. I encourage you to refrain from quickly reverting back to old habits; you know, the kind that caused you to partake in a cleanse in the first place? Remember the icky, post-Holiday feels that you experienced?? You don’t want those coming around again. If you ARE going to cheat, PLAN your cheats. Don’t do them sporadically and don’t do them all day long. Doing a full day cheat is called a “Blow Out.” Pick a cheat treat, or a cheat meal. Enjoy it, savor it, and be done with it. For example, I have two days a week I cheat. I sometimes cheat each day or maybe one of them. And again, I do NOT cheat the whole day. I choose a treat or a meal. Doing this, and looking forward to my cheat(s), keeps me on point the rest of the week. It also ensures that I don’t undo everything I just worked hard for with the cleanse. The other important step you can take post-cleanse, is to get on a good clean vitamin and supplement line. Unfortunately, not all vitamins are created equally. I recommend anything with the informed choice check mark of approval. This ensures that the products in question have gone through a specific 3rd party testing, guaranteeing that no impurities, additives, nor toxins are in the vitamins. Again, my favorite are the Metabolic Nutrient System vitamins by Advocare. I also really enjoy the Coreplex as well. Taking these will provide you all the assurance that you’re body is getting all the nutrients it needs. We cannot get enough nutrients from our foods to support all of our systems. If we could, vitamins would not exist. But they do serve a great purpose, and they are simply in existence to help us fill in our nutritional gaps. Eating good clean foods, and taking good clean supplements, is the best way to ensure that your body has all the nutrients it needs, vital to helping all systems operate at optimal levels. Just to recap, as discussed in the previous blog post (“What is a cleanse and Why should I do one?”), doing a cleanse helps open up the nutrient receptor sites in your small intestine. In doing this, you do not limit the nutrients in your food from being properly absorbed, and thus being carried off in your blood stream to support the functions of the various systems in your body, such as your immune system. If your immune system, for instance, is not getting all the nutrients you keep intending it to receive, your immunities weaken and you can become rapidly more susceptible to various infections and illnesses. And you already know how your brain functions, when you don’t get enough fuel, aka food, right? Lastly, I recommend you enlisting the help of a Coach or professional to ensure proper instruction during/after the cleanse. Simply purchasing a cleanse offline and following the directions may not be enough to help you have an efficient cleanse. Having a listening ear, and someone with the knowledge to help advise you through your struggles and also to help you celebrate your successes, is SUCH a vital piece to this puzzle. As a matter of fact, if you think you’d like to do a cleanse, shoot me an email! We can discuss your goals and I’ll help guide you toward the best cleanse for purchase and I’ll coach you free of charge! Just mention this Fleurdille blog post, and I’ll take care of you! So, friends, what’s the overall take away here? -It’s safe to do a cleanse every 60-120 days -Ensure the cleanse you choose is clean and supports a healthy lifestyle change -Do your best to continue on with your clean eating, post-challenge -If you’re going to cheat, schedule your cheats, and don’t do a “Blow Out.” -Ensure that you start a good clean supplement/vitamin line, post cleanse to ensure your results last longer -Enlist the assistance of a Coach to guide you on with your healthy eating Whitney Carrion email@example.com www.advocare.com/120931248 IG: mdub_fitness_whitney
Thanks for reading, friends!!! Please email me if you have any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave your questions in the comments!
xx - anna