Friday, June 20, 2014

21-Day Fix & Shakeology

I've been hearing a lot about the 21-Day Fix program and Shakeology, particularly from my little Sister, Candi, who has been doing the program for about the last month and a half. Since she's had pretty amazing success, I decided to give it a try. I ordered last week and got my kit today--my Shakeology should be here tomorrow.

Now that I have it, though, I'm both thrilled and nervous to get started. Particularly so because this program requires that you work out 7 days a week for 3 weeks (each cycle is 21 days). My sister has had success only working out every other day or so, but I'm going to give the 7-day workout cycle a try. What's the worst that can happen? I can't do it? Considering how much I have to lose and the terrible shape I'm in, there's a very good likelihood that'll be the case.

Without the workouts, though, the program doesn't really work. Especially because they have me on a 2,100 -  2,300 calorie a day diet (which is a LOT of food). That's too many calories for someone who isn't working out. Fortunately, the program comes with 7 different workouts so it doesn't get boring and so that you're able to work your whole body. Some will come easier than others, I'm sure.

What I really liked about this program, though, is that there's really no calorie counting on a day to day basis. You calculate what range you're in using a very easy formula and the booklet tells you how many of each color container you can have per day based on your bracket. Then, you can eat anything on the approved list of foods for each color/food group as long as it fits into the container.

Because I'm in the highest bracket, I can have six green (veggies), four purple (fruit), six red (protein), four yellow (carbs), one blue (healthy fats & cheese) and one orange (seeds & oils), and 6 tsp of healthy oils and nut butters per day.

I'm going to repeat what I said earlier because it's really important at this point: This is a lot of food!

In fact, it's almost too much. I've never seen a diet plan that expects you to eat so much. In order to get things straight I decided I would make a meal plan and a menu, which ended up taking me all evening because I can't quite puzzle together how I'm supposed to eat SIX proteins per day, let alone six teaspoons of oils and nut butters. Here's what my week one menu looks like:

Click to see it larger

Okay, so. I have no idea if I've done this correctly, but there it is. I've color coded it to correspond with the containers to make things easier on me. It's three meals and two sizable snacks per day. I'm literally going to have to start eating at 8 o'clock in the morning in order to get all this food down and I'm still not sure how you fit in breakfast and a snack before lunch without getting too much too quickly.

I'm actually considering going down one bracket during week two if this proves to be too much food. The only thing stopping me from doing it now is that under-eating and working out a lot is a big problem. Not enough nutrients for my current weight will stunt my progress, which will already suffer from my 35 year olds metabolism.

The only issues I've run into so far (other than trying to figure out how I'm going to eat so much) are those pertaining to what foods I can actually eat. The booklet allows for oranges, but what about mandarin oranges? It allows for apples, but what about applesauce? It allows for olive oil, but what about olive oil mayo? I struck the mandarin oranges and included the applesauce, which I'm hoping will be okay. I can't find answers to those questions one way or the other.

I start the plan on Monday, which gives me the weekend to grocery shop and prepare. I'm really hoping this program works and I shed some pounds and learn better eating habits/portion control. I really need this and can't seem to do it on my own, unguided. It's going to take much more than 21 days to reach my weight loss goals, but for now I'd be happy with small goals. Maybe 7 - 10 lbs over the 21 days. When I get to the end of each 21 day cycle, I plan to take a few days off to recharge before starting the next, though I read somewhere that some people take up to a week. We'll see what happens when I get to the end. That seems like forever from now.

Anyway, wish me luck as I get started. I'm definitely going to need it!