As I mentioned before I started the Advocare 24 day challenge Monday. I have done this cleanse before and the reason I like it is, the eating plan is about eating real nutritious food and while I am on it I feel great. The 21 day challenge is very strict which is what I need when I am starting a healthy eating plan. I will not go into great detail of the plan, because you can find way better information by going to http://www.advocare.com/24daychallenge. I will hit the high points. For starters the food: lunches and dinner are a lean protein, a veggie and a complex carb. (I usually skip the carb at night) Breakfast is a protein, complex carb and fruit. Snacks between each meal can be fruit, nut or healthy fat like an avocado. To keep things easy for me, I basically eat the same thing every day while I am on the challenge. There are tons of ways to get fancy and not bored but right now I do not have the self-control to stick with anything but boring. So every day for breakfast I will eat a hard boiled or scramble egg for lunch and dinner, I either eat grilled chicken or fish, green beans or asparagus and sweet potato or quinoa.
On the plan you eat every 3 hours and drink a lot of water. I have trouble remembering when to eat, and when to take my supplements so I use my alarm on my phone to remind me. Not because I am not hungry, and really I do not need to be hungry to eat but to stick with every 3 hours I need a set schedule.
I am a water drinker by nature. My father had kidney issues my entire childhood so it always scared me into drinking obscene amounts of water. I keep 2 full glasses of water at my desk so that there is always water at an arm’s length. I know that a lot of people have issues with drinking the amount of water they should. All I can say is, make it available. If you can see it, it not only makes it available but it is a visual reminder you need to drink. Drinking lots of water is good for your skin, you digestive system and it makes you feel full so you are not as inclined to grab food when you don’t need it.
This program is so successful because you are eating nutritious healthy food and staying hydrated. Which is how we should all be eating and living all of the time. There is a checklist for you to follow everyday which I think is another very important element to losing weight, keeping track of what you eat. I use the checklist on the 24 day challenge app and I still count my calories in My Fitness Pal app just to keep me in the habit. There are two phases of the challenge with different supplements including a drink called Spark that takes the place of coffee. But it is not like coffee at all. It is more like a crystal light but gives you energy. I particularly like the Watermelon flavor. There are rave reviews of Spark all over the internet. It is one of the advocare products I use even when I am not on the 24 Day Challenge. There is also a fiber drink you have to drink on days 1 – 3 and 8 – 10 that is no bueno. Not because it tastes bad, it taste fine but it has the consistency of sawdust. I get thru the fiber drink by “marinating” water on ice for a few minutes and then straining it into a different cup, without the ice and then mix in the powder. And then the most important thing CHUG. Don’t give your mind or gag reflex time to react. And the longer it sits the thicker it is, so really CHUG.
I like the Advocare 24 days challenge but I am not saying it works for everyone. I think one of the biggest mistakes we make when deciding on eating plans is we think if it worked for one person it will work for you. You see a commercial of a skinny gal standing in what once was her ginormous pants that now swallow her and counld fit 7 of her now newly sculpted body, and we think: It’s a miracle, I need to do that! That just isn’t true. We are all different, thank God, so it makes sense that we all need different eating and or weight loss plans. And FYI there is no miracle plan, drug, work out, or frozen boxed meal to losing weight. There is smart eating choices, hard work and intelligent decisions, that’s what works. I could name a thousand plans and diets that people have found to be successful but I don’t know it all and that is just boring to read. There are common characteristics of successful plans:
1. Plan ahead, we have already discussed the importance of this in my previous post.
2. Keep track, write down everything you eat and drink.
3. Eat nutritious, REAL food. God made vegetables and fruits and animals (that is no shot at my vegetarians out there, I am not saying you must eat meat) Man made preservatives and corn syrups and dyes. Which do you think your body knows how to digest and use correctly?
4. Drink water. Most of us are walking around dehydrated. If you are not peeing every time you have a glass of water (am I going too far?) you are not drinking enough water.
5. Find a plan with food you will eat and that fits your life style. If it does not fit in your life, you will not stick with it.
That’s it, that is all I have. It is not rocket science and I am no doctor or nutritionist. It’s easy when it is just putting it on paper. It gets hard when you are sitting down at the table. That’s when you pray. Or at least that is what I have to do.
My next post will have nothing to do with food or weight loss, I want to mix it up a bit. I hope everyone is having a good week!