Monday, October 19, 2015

The 24 day challenge

I started my Advocare 24 day challenge on September 25. Here is the summary of the challenge:
I know that's a lot to take in, but the main point is eat more fruit, lots and lots of fruit. 

The main point of this one is add more protein!

It's important to note, that the whole plan can be done product free, just follow the food recommendations and it will be a great thing! Because I'm breastfeeding I'm not supposed to take the herbal cleanse tablets or the MNS packets, but it worked great without those! If you want to use just one product, I recommend Spark.
You mix spark into your water in the morning, and the B vitamins and caffeine and other stuff gives you tons of energy! For me, that energy made it easier to say no to cravings. If you're willing to buy a second product, I recommend Fiber
Also a drink mix-in, after drinking this first thing every morning, I was shocked at how few cravings or hungers I had throughout the day. The probiotic and Omegaplex are also products that I liked, but there are lots of similar products on the market. 

Now I'm going to tell you all my fears about doing this whole thing, and my resolution of these fears. In the past, caffeine and B vitamins have made me jittery and not able to sleep at night. Also, sometimes babies can be sensitive to their breastfeeding mom drinking caffeine. So I started out with a half serving just to be careful. Everything was fine, so I went to the full amount and felt great! In fact, I started getting tired at the right time of night to go to bed, when before I always had the problem of accidentally staying up too late.  I was also afraid that "dieting" would mess up my milk supply. Then I realized that I would be eating way more nutritious food that would make me and my baby healthier. My third fear was that I would miss all of the food I denied myself and gain even more weight than I lost when the 24 days are over. It turns out that I love feeling good and being used to making good food choices! I learned that eating all this healthy food made me not so hungry for other things. What fears do you have about trying a "diet"?

Here are my tips for a good 24 day challenge:
1. Don't calorie count the first time you try this! It's stressful and too much to think about. Just eat all you want of the foods that are allowed and not the ones that aren't. (Unless you are already used to calorie counting) 

2. Put reminders to eat (and what you will eat) on your calendar in your phone. Unhealthy eating often means skipping breakfast or lunch and then binging at dinner or after dinner. Remembering to eat needs to be a top priority!

3. This isn't specified in the challenge, but I ate a banana for my morning fruit the first 10 days, even though it doesn't have a low glycemic index. (My trainer told me to)

4. Also not specifically mentioned is the dressing on the salad for lunch. Ranch and other creamy dressings are full of saturated fat and not allowed. Many vinaigrettes are loaded with sugar. Balsamic vinaigrette usually doesn't have much added sugar or any other bad stuff, so it is your best choice! The olive oil in it is so good for you, so don't even think about skipping it even if you feel like you don't need it. 

5. Keep it simple. If you want to try some new recipes, go ahead, have fun. But you don't have to make something elaborate every day, that will wear you out quick. I made a batch of brown rice and then portioned it out and kept it in my fridge to reheat quickly at each meal. Grilled or baked chicken or Salmon with your favorite seasoning sprinkled on top tastes great! Add 2 or 3 steamed vegetables and you have a meal everyone would envy. A quick and simple dinner for yourself means that if your kids or husband need foods that you're choosing not to eat, making that for them  isn't too hard. 

6. This tip changed my life: it's ok to eat the same thing every day! Your body appreciates the consistent fuel. If you're eating good food that you like, you won't mind. It's so much easier to eat healthy if you don't have to come up with and decide on something different every day. 

Other tips that I've heard include: COMMIT! And plan ahead. Those are good too :P

Now for the results, drum roll please
On October 18 I weighed 257lbs, that is 13 pounds less than when I started!
And I was down 39.5 inches since starting Bootcamp in June!