This weekend I completed the 3-Day Refresh which is a nutritional program designed to help you break bad eating habits, get a jump-start on a new routine, or just for the fun of it…clean out your digestive tract in a way that doesn’t require emergency trips to the bathroom!
It’s totally healthy and safe and unlike other “detoxes” or liquid diets you get to chew stuff and eat REAL food. Last week I wrote up a more “brass tacks” type of post on how the 3-Day refresh works so feel free to check that out if you want! My post today is going to cover more of my personal experience with the program.
Quick weight loss??
I know a lot of people use the 3-Day Refresh as a way to lose weight…but to me, that really shouldn’t be the point of doing it. Although, I understand for some people seeing the scale move dramatically in a short amount of time can be very motivating. You MAY lose some fat doing this program but the majority of weight lost is going to be water weight and the junk that’s been sitting around in your digestive tract. #gross
However, if you’re someone like me, just doing THAT is enough to make you feel better and less bloated! I just don’t want people to get discouraged when some of the weight starts to come back a few days later. Based on the research I’ve done so far, it seems like men and those with a higher percent of body fat are those that lose the MOST weight when they do this program. Of course that’s typically the case with any “weight loss” program. But you know me…I’m always more interested in BODY COMPOSITION vs. weight. I just wish MORE people would embrace that concept!!
Before the Refresh
Before I share with you the experience I had with the 3-Day Refresh I just want to share with you a little bit about where I was before I started.
Before the refresh I was kind of in a funky state. You know how sometimes you just get stuck in a rut? You get tired of making the same old recipes and you’ve lost motivation to prep your meals or experiment with new recipes? I could really feel myself falling back into some of my old habits and honestly it was beginning to scare me just a little bit. I was totally aware of what I was doing but at the same time I didn’t have the motivation to do anything about it. A “treat” meal once a week had turned into more of a daily habit…not good!! I also didn’t need to step on the scale to know that I was experiencing a setback…my pants told the story loud and clear. And thanks to the Dumbo Double Dare in Disneyland I had coming up the following month, I was still clinging onto a running routine, but even that was kinda shaky.
In other words, I totally needed a REFRESH…both mentally and physically. I needed it BAD!!
I did the program with a few other people in my test group and we decided to start on a Friday. Some people were concerned about possible issues with gas and bathroom trips and they wanted to be at home instead of hanging out with clients or co-workers.
My 3-Day Refresh Experience
On the first day of any new program there’s always the sense of excitement that comes with doing something new. I didn’t have to go on a big shopping trip, mostly because I already had the majority of items that I needed. However, I did need to get a couple things, and that was a weird trip to the grocery store. I kept looking at everything and saying, “Nope, can’t get that, or that, or that, or that, or that….!”
For breakfast I got to try the new vegan chocolate Shakeology formula and I LOVED it. I was a little worried because I normally mix my Shakeo with almond milk and 1/2 banana but it was perfectly delicious with just water, and ice. SCORE!! We also got a serving of fruit so I had my 1/2 banana but I ate it whole after I got home from my 4 mile run instead of mixing it in with the shake. BTW I had a REALLY good run that morning…LOTS of energy and I finished with a 10:46 pace which is REALLY good for me at this point. I think it was that run that really put me in a positive mental state for the rest of the refresh!
And then the fun begins during mid-morning…FIBER SWEEP! Everyone seemed to be all a buzz about the fiber sweep but not in a good way. Yes, the Fiber Sweep has chia seeds in it so it’s going to gel up a bit when you mix it with water. On the first day I emptied the packet into my empty shaker cup and then I added water. Oops! Don’t do that. It doesn’t quite mix up very well when you do it in that order. There were still some chunks left so my drink was kinda chewy. Ew!! I got it down though…luckily the taste is decent…light and lemony.
Now, the Fiber Sweep isn’t one of those supplements where as soon as you drink it you need to go run off to the bathroom. No it’s not like that at all! At least that wasn’t my experience or anyone else that I’ve talked to. BUT I will tell you that before lunch on DAY 1 I had done a pretty good job of clearing things out!
For lunch I had some celery sticks, hummus, and pineapple. I waited a little while and then I had the Vanilla Fresh protein drink. Now, I won’t tell you that the Vanilla Fresh tastes AMAZING, but it was pretty decent, especially since we could only mix it with water and ice. I will say that it tastes way better than any other protein drink I’ve had with just water, and I’m kinda hoping that Beachbody makes it available as a stand alone product sometime in the future. I do like it better than vanilla Shakeology which has too much of a Stevia aftertaste to me. A person in my test group said that Vanilla Fresh tastes like cake batter. I guess you could kinda say that…
Before dinner we had the option of having another veggie + healthy fat OR a juice. I asked my husband to make me a juice (he likes to play with the machine) because I hadn’t had a juice in a LONG time. I don’t think he used as many carrots and green apples as usual, because WOW…this thing was POTENT! They give you juicing recipes in the program guide but our favorite juicing recipe is green apples, carrots, kale, and spinach.
Dinner on Day 1 was stir-fry veggies. I went a little rogue from the recipe that was in the program guide but it was pretty much the same! I took a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies and added some bok choy and red pepper I had in the frig. I cooked it up with a few sprays of coconut oil (the recipe called for EVOO) and use the same seasonings they had listed in the guide. I made extra since I was sharing with hubby and I wanted leftovers for dinner on Day 2.
Day 1 overall was a good day. I seemed to have a lot of energy in the morning, but after dinner I really started to get tired. I think I went to bed around 8PM. I had a very minor headache, but nothing major. I don’t drink coffee, so I think the majority of people who have bad headaches doing this program tend to drink a lot of caffeine otherwise. I know some of the coffee drinkers in my group said that they had BAD headaches.
When I woke up on DAY 2 I felt GREAT! I slept like a baby! Lately I haven’t been sleeping well and I have a habit of waking up several times during the night. But I woke up feeling VERY well rested. I weighed myself and was down 2 lbs. which was pretty much what I expected based on the way I felt that morning.
I went for another 4 mile run but it was a little later in the day. I was curious since I felt so good if MAYBE I could beat my time from the day before. But it was hotter and even though I felt good I could feel that my storage tank was running a little low. I still did pretty good though with a 11:18 pace.
I had all the same snacks and meals as Day 1, except my husband didn’t feel like playing with the juice machine so I had cherry tomatoes with hummus instead. I also tried a fun little experiment with the Fiber Sweep. I mixed it with less water, let it sit for a minute, and then I ate it with a spoon! It really wasn’t all that bad…it had the same consistency as Cream of Wheat. It was a little weird though because it was cold, but totally edible and WAY better than trying to choke down chunky water.
Something strange happened right around dinner time…all the energy I had earlier in the day was completely gone. It was like my body was an iPhone and the window popped up that says, “LOW BATTERY: 10% of battery remaining.” The only thing I wanted to do was go to bed. It hit me hard and it hit me FAST! I felt great earlier in the day but by 6:30 or so again…ready for bed!! Both mentally and physically, the evening on Day 2 was definitely the most challenging part of the program for me!
Again, LOTS of energy in the morning on DAY 3! Another 4 mile run and same pace as DAY 2. Same weight as DAY 2 so no changes there. I was pretty excited about Day 3…especially since I knew I was on the home stretch and only one packet of Fiber Sweep was left in my box! I did a different approach on Day 3 with the Fiber Sweep. First I filled my shaker cup with water and ice. Then I added the packet and mixed it up like crazy! That was probably my best experience with the Fiber Sweep. It was kind of weird drinking it fast with ice (you need to drink it as fast as possible before the chia seeds start to get chunky) but it seemed to make a big difference to add the powder LAST instead of FIRST like I did on Day 1. I also think the ice prevents it from getting chunky when you shake it up. I mean, this stuff gels up QUICK!! You gotta work FAST unless you want to eat it with a spoon. 🙂 I was kind of disappointed that no one else in my test group was brave enough to try the spoon method!!
UPDATE: I’ve done the Refresh a couple more times since writing this post and I’ve figured out my favorite way to mix the Fiber Sweep is with my Magic Bullet which is one of those mini-blender type deals. I blend it up with a cup of water and a little bit of ice. This really seems to improve the texture and it goes down easier…and I think it tastes better nice and cold. However, I still think eating it with a spoon isn’t all that bad. So you may want to experiment and try both methods. 🙂
On Day 3 I was expecting to be craving all kinds of food but it wasn’t that way at all. We had the TV on in the background while I worked around in the house and the food commercials weren’t even appealing. I think mentally I had crossed some hurdle. It’s hard to explain, but I almost had an euphoric feeling the entire 3 days because I knew I was putting myself back in the drivers seat. But Day 3 was definitely the best feeling ever! We had my favorite cucumber and tomato salad for dinner. Again, I had to wait a little while before I drank my last Vanilla Fresh because I felt too full.
I took a short nap earlier in the day on Day 3 (Sunday) so I didn’t experience the huge crash I had on Days 1 and 2. If you can, I recommend taking a short nap in the middle of the day to help you recharge your batteries during the refresh. That may be another benefit to starting the program on a Friday or Saturday. I also think it’s good to do the refresh on the weekend because once Monday rolls around you’re ready to start the week with a whole new outlook and positive attitude!
Here’s a few lessons that I learned (or re-learned) during the experience:
Lesson 1: You are hardly ever as hungry as you think you are.
I think in our society today we’ve been programmed that unless we feel “stuffed” we’re hungry. Seriously, it’s OK to feel hungry every once in a while. It’s not going to kill you! You might get the urge to eat and your tummy might start talking to you, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need FOOD. In fact, all you might need is a glass of water! Would a handful of carrot sticks, celery sticks, or a small apple make you feel better? Let me tell you, if a handful of celery sticks sounds like the most amazing thing in the world, YOU ARE HUNGRY!! If not, what you’re experiencing is a craving for some type of comfort food.
Lesson 2: Your taste buds can be trained in a very short amount of time.
Your taste buds are funny creatures. They crave whatever you put in your mouth, whether it’s good or bad. It’s funny, after a week or two that “treat” meal that you thought sounded so amazing just a short time ago may not even seem appealing to you anymore. I know a lot of people talk about how certain types of food (sugar for example) can be addicting, and that certainly can be true. However, when you say something is addicting you are more or less saying that you have no control over the situation. If you make the choice, you can give up certain foods pretty quickly. Your taste buds will adapt! We have a bar of Hershey’s dark chocolate sitting in the pantry and I thought it was going to be trouble but I’m not even interested. I think the chocolate Shakeology helps a ton too!
Lesson 3: Water is amazing. There’s a reason why the earth is over 70% water. And water does amazing things for your body! Drink more water and I guarantee that you’ll feel better. I know it’s kind of a boring lesson, but sometimes it’s the simple things that make a big difference.
Three days doesn’t seem like a very long time. I mean seriously, it’s only 72 hours! But really, you can accomplish A LOT in 3 days! I think I might look back at this experience as the turning point for the next chapter of my fitness journey…kind of like P90X. I’m back to running on a regular schedule and I feel FOCUSED for the first time in a long time.
If you want the physical results I lost 3 lbs. total (mostly from the first day) and 1 inch from my waist. However, to me the MENTAL results I gained from this program mean SO much more than what I saw on the scale. Like I mentioned before, I feel like I’m back in control again. You know how when you’re driving and you let go of the steering wheel for just a second and then you start to go WAY off course? We all know how quickly that scenario can happen with our eating habits right?!? All it takes is one split second and all of a sudden we end up in the ditch! For me the 3-Day Refresh was my way of grabbing the steering wheel and getting back on track with no loss of momentum.
Everyone else in my test group had very positive experiences (other than the headaches and feeling tired). One woman was very excited about losing 6 pounds and breaking a plateau, and another participant could tell her clothes felt loose because she lost 12 pounds and several inches. Everyone agreed that although it was definitely a challenge, they all gained something positive from the experience and would definitely do it again.
As people ask me questions about the 3-Day Refresh I’m going to answer them in the FAQs below…
Did you cheat at all while you did the 3-Day Refresh?
Well, I guess it depends on your definition of CHEAT! Like I mentioned above I changed up the stir-fry recipe a little bit based on what they had in the guide so I didn’t follow the recipe EXACTLY but it was the same portion sizes of veggies and healthy fat. Also, you get two servings of fruit during the day…one for breakfast and one for lunch. I gave myself an extra serving of fruit between breakfast and lunch which I ate after my run, which I guess some people might consider cheating. But I felt my body needed it, especially since running 4 miles might fall outside the category of “mild to moderate exercise.” However, everything I ate during the entire 3 days fell into the options they had listed for fruit, veggies, and healthy fat. So if you’re asking if I ate a piece a pizza, a pint of chocolate, or stuffed my face into a bag of Cheetos…the answer is no. 🙂 And honestly, I never felt the urge to do so at all!
Did you have bad gas?
Again…what is your definition of BAD gas?! LOL Yes, I did have gas! Was it BAD? Well, if you asked my husband he would probably say YES. 🙂 But really, the worst of the gas seemed to be during the evening of Day 1 and each evening it was progressively better. Although for some reason I didn’t really experience it at all during the day. I’m not 100% sure but I think the Vanilla Fresh may be the major culprit for this one, at least for me. Some members of my test group stated, and I quote, that they had “HORRIBLE” gas. So again, maybe another reason to do to the refresh during the weekend??
The program guide states, “If gas is an issue for you during the Refresh, it usually means that it’s doing exactly what it was designed to do in cleaning out your system…”
So there you have it.
Will I do the 3-Day Refresh again?
YES! I don’t know if you noticed, but the title of this post is My First 3-Day Refresh Experience…
I can see myself doing this program once every month or at least once every quarter just as a way to help me stay on track and focused on my goals.
If you plan on doing the 3-Day Refresh I highly recommend doing it with a group of people or an accountability buddy. You can contact your Beachbody coach to see if she has a group you can join or if you’re currently not working with a coach I’d love to help you! There are currently several different options available so please contact me and I’ll help you decide which 3-Day Refresh Kit is the right fit for you!