Shakeology Cleanse Day 3–the Rematch!

I’m nearly done with day three of my Shakeology cleanse rematch, and this time around, I have a confession to make…I didn’t follow the cleanse instructions 100 percent. I did eat clean all three days, but I had sushi for dinner on day two and I mixed two of my shakes on day three with soy milk. Overall, I feel like I followed the spirit of the Shakeology cleanse even if I didn’t follow the exact rules. 😉

Now for the weight loss after two days of the Shakeology cleanse, I’m down another 1.5 lbs for a total of 6 lbs! Only 1 lb more and I’ll be back at my pre-binge weekend weight.

Gotta go. Need to go chug some more water!

Fave Snack Ideas for Weight Loss

I’ve shared here before that getting my food under control is my biggest struggle in living a healthy and fit lifestyle. I’ve done Weight Watchers, I’ve done South Beach, I’ve done Primal, I’ve yo-yo’d, I’ve given up, and I’ve moved on. What I’ve learned is that food is fuel. Food fuels my body and gives it the power to perform. Crappy food fuels crappy performance. Good food fuels good performance. And in my life, performance means being a productive, energetic mother, runner and writer.

I stumbled across this listing of 30 snack ideas with fewer than 100 calories, and thought it was too good not to share.

What’s your favorite among this list? What are you going to try that’s new

Strawberries and chocolate: Dip 4 or 5 (depending on their size) strawberries into 2 squares or melted dark chocolate.

Mini quesadilla: Melt 1 tablespoon of cheddar onto 1 small corn tortilla. Top with shredded cabbage or diced tomato if desired.

Chocolate banana: Dip one-half of a banana into 2 squares of melted dark chocolate.

Greek yogurt with honey: Mix one teaspoon of honey into half a cup of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt.

Cinnamon apple: Sprinkle an apple with cinnamon for a treat that tastes more decadent than it is.

Bitter chocolate: Enjoy 1 large block or 3 small squares of dark chocolate.

Hot chocolate: Mix 2 teaspoons of chocolate syrup with 6 ounces of nonfat milk.

Almost apple pie: Try 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce with a hint of cinnamon.

Jicama: Chop one and a half cups of jicama and add a splash of lemon juice and a pinch of salt for a tangy, refreshing treat.

Café Au Lait: Enjoy 8 ounces of skim milk with a shot of espresso.

Carrots with hummus: Crunch on 9 or 10 baby carrots with a side of 2 tablespoons of hummus.

Nuts: A handful of 25 pistachios, 14 almonds, or 16 peanuts will provide you with the protein and fat your body needs.

Eggs with guacamole: Hard boil an egg and replace the yolk with 2 tablespoons of guacamole for a protein-packed snack.

Edamame: Boil or steam one-half cup of unshelled edamame with a pinch of salt for a fiber-rich snack.

Mediterranean tomato: Dice one medium tomato and top with 2 tablespoons feta cheese and a pinch of salt.

Bell peppers with balsamic vinegar: Drizzle 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar on top of 2 cups of sliced bell peppers.

Eggs with spinach: Scramble 3 egg whites with one-half cup of raw spinach and 1 tablespoon of feta cheese.

Corn with garlic: Coat one-half of an ear of corn with a 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1 minced garlic clove. Grill until tender.

Santa Fe black beans: Combine one-quarter cup black beans, one-quarter teaspoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of nonfat Greek yogurt for a hearty snack.

Tuna salad: Mix together 2 ounces of water-packed tuna with 1 tablespoon of fat-free mayonnaise.

Sweet potato: Enjoy one small baked sweet potato plain or with a pinch of salt.

Caprese: Top one ounce of mozzarella cheese with half a cup of cherry tomatoes and 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar.

Popcorn: Munch on 2 cups of all-natural popcorn.

Olives: For a salty snack, enjoy 9 kalamata olives.

Watermelon twist: Top 1 cup of watermelon with 2 tablespoons of crumbled feta.

Peanut butter: Even on its own, peanut butter makes for a protein-rich treat.

Cottage cheese and melon: Combine three-quarters of a cup of melon with one-quarter cup of nonfat cottage cheese for a sweet dessert.

Strawberry and spinach salad: For a savory and sweet salad, mix together 1 cup of baby spinach with one-half cup of sliced strawberries. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.

Shakeology: Mix one-half serving of your favorite flavor of Shakeology with water.

Losing weight is easy, right?

So what do you think? Is losing weight easy? 

The one conclusion I have from my years of popular research and personal experience is that the science of weight loss is complicated.

On the one hand, you have the calories in/calories out folks who say weight loss is a matter of math. Burn more calories than you take in over a period of time, and you’ll lose weight. On the fingers of the other hand, you have the folks with fringe beliefs. There are the Paleo and Primal folks that follow a diet based on what our ancestors would have eaten thousands of years ago. Lots of animal protein, fats, non-starchy vegetables, a little fruit, some nuts and dairy, and no grains. You’ve got the vegan crowd. Plant-based foods only. No animal products at all. You’ve got the Weight Watchers followers that subscribe to the ever-evolving WW plan which claims to be based on the latest nutritional science. There’s the South Beach and Akin diets which now seem old school in light of the trendier Dukan diet. We can’t forget the French Women Don’t Get Fat hype, nor the Eat Right for Your Type diet based on our blood type.

Is your head spinning yet? 

Over the years, I’ve done the fad diets. I’ve been a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers, and rejoined a handful of times to help lose weight I’ve regained. I’ve done short jaunts on South Beach. I ate a primarily Primal diet for nearly four months last year. I’ve dabbled in mainly vegetarian eating. With all of these, I’ve lost weight. I’ve regained it. Lost it again. And gained it back again. 

Last year, I decided the yo-yo had to stop. I made the decision to focus on building a healthy, strong body through exercise. I committed to training for a few running races, but I didn’t change my diet. I went from a couch potato to running a half marathon in 6 months. And I didn’t lose a single pound.

Here, let me repeat that for you. I.didn’t.lose.a.single.freaking.pound. 

How does that happen? And what does that tell us about effectively losing weight?

Well, I think this happened to me because I sometimes rewarded myself for my workouts with food. I let myself have the cookie because I was going to run that night. I had the Blizzard or sundae over the weekend because, hey, I just ran 7 miles. I didn’t do this every day, but it was enough to stall any weight loss impact my increased activity could have had.

And ultimately, I think this tells us that exercise alone will not get us to an ideal weight. We need the combination of the right foods to fuel our bodies along with the right activities to strengthen and work them.

For me, I’ve had the most success when I view food as fuel. I think first about fueling my body with the nutrition it needs. This means I’m more apt to choose a salad as the base for my lunch rather than a sandwich because I realize my body needs the vitamins in leafy greens more than the carbs in whole-wheat bread. Similarly, I try to make my snacks work for me, nutrition-wise. Crackers don’t do a whole lot nutritionally. But fruit and some peanut or almond butter, that’s providing me vitamins, minerals, healthy fat, fiber and protein. Also this is why I love Shakeology. It packs a ton of nutrition into an easy-to-make shake that I drink daily for breakfast. (Ask me about Shakeology in the comments if you want more info.)

The other thing I’m striving to do is to “eat clean” when possible. There’s no real definition of clean eating out there, so I’ve kind of made my own. For me, eating clean is avoiding packaged, processed foods. It’s shopping the perimeter of the store and focusing on whole foods. 

Don’t be fooled…I’m not perfect by any means. I struggle with this every day. I cheat and get fast food with my kids on the weekend. Sometimes I eat entirely too much dry cereal in the evenings while watching TV. But no one’s perfect. What matters here is that I’ve found a way of thinking about food that is generally working for me, and one that helps me avoid the fad diet mentality, yo-yo weight loss and emotional eating. (Oh yes, my friend emotional eating. You’ve met her, right? When we use food as a reward, like I did when I started running, that is emotional eating at its finest. Craving chocolate when you’ve had a bad day…that’s emotional eating too. Conquering emotional eating deserves its own post, and I have to say, I don’t have all the answers there.) 

It’s not producing mind-shattering weight loss. (So far, just about 10 lbs over several months.) But I feel good. I can tell my body is getting stronger. I am healthier. And that’s what really matters to me.

3 Day Shakeology Cleanse Results

You want to know my results? I’ll give you the run down. 🙂

First, I was not hungry during the cleanse. This part really surprised me. I had wanted to do this cleanse back in November but was too chicken to go for it. I’m really glad I gave it a try because it was not some awful experience to be endured like I thought.

Instead, I found myself feeling really physically good during the three days. I lost all the bloat in my belly. I had no indigestion, and I did not miss that overly full “oh my god I ate way too much at lunch” feeling I get sometimes. My energy level was pretty good too. I was able to workout each day, although I cut my run on day two a little short because my legs felt tired.

Since I’ve done the cleanse, I’ve gotten my sugar and junk food cravings under control! I resisted cupcakes and ice cream at work yesterday and wasn’t even tempted! That is huge for me. I feel like I got my willpower back, and that I’ve conditioned myself back to craving a fresh salad with vinegar/oil rather than heavy ranch dressing.

Now for the measurable results. This is my starting weight on day one.

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And this was my weight on the morning of day four. (The morning after the cleanse ended.)

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Yep, that’s 5.5 lbs gone. Also gone are 3 inches from my waist!

(Excuse the yucky feet picture. I know I need a pedicure. I’m a runner, remember? We have gross feet!)

Other things to know about the cleanse…It is not one of those things where you’re going to be running to the bathroom all day long. I was drinking a lot of water, so I did have to pee more than usual. But there was no upset stomach, cramping, loose stools, etc. I was just totally normal in that regard. 😉

Overall, I’m glad I did it and I got the results I was wanting. I’ll update next week to see if any of those pounds fined me again.