I like to read a lot and because food blogs are one of the things I enjoy reading I had been hearing a lot about body cleansing, juicing, and nutrition hacking. I have also been fascinated by CrossFit, which inevitably led me to hearing about AdvoCare at various times. So flash back to a month ago when my wife tells me that a friend of ours was starting the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge.
Being the supportive person I am I told my wife that I thought it was awesome that her friend was doing this (and here is where I really surprised here) I told her that if she wanted to try it out I would do the challenge with her. I figured I love doing challenges like this, I definitely have a health conscience, and I thought it could be fun to be supportive of my wife during her challenge with the foods we ate.
So on May 8th, 2014 we started Day 1 of the challenge. See the first 10 days are a cleanse (not not really a cleanse in the poop your brains out way sort of way); the way I see it the first 10 days is really about 3 things:
- Developing a schedule/routine – Drink this first, eat this second, take these third… I think you get the point. Thankfully AdvoCare provides resources like a challenge book and a smartphone app that helps keep track of things nicely.
- Following a strict No list – This may have been the most difficult part. Here are a list of foods to avoid:
- No Alcohol
- No Coffee
- No Dairy (milk, butter, cream, cheese, etc.)
- No Fried Food
- No High Fat Foods
- No Processed Foods
- No Preservative-Based Foods - You know all those crazy things on the labels that you either can’t really pronounce or have no clue what it really is like High Fructose Corn Syrup, Monosodium Glutamate, Sodium Sulfite, Sodium Nitrate, etc. well they are all bad when you’re taking the 24 day challenge.
- No Soda
- No Sugar – It really doesn’t matter what kind, try and stay away from all sugars
- No White Bread
- No White Flour
- Establishing a healthy balanced diet – I don’t know if I have ever eaten this healthy in my life. 100% natural fresh meats, veggies, fruits, whole grain, etc.
After the cleanse phase you go into what AdvoCare calls the max phase. As I see it this is really about continuing the 3 points above, while adding specific supplements and vitamins in order to support your body.
Being the stat nerd I am I kept very detailed logs of my food, weight, fat mass (thanks to my awesome Withings Smart Body Analyzer!!), and even blood pressure (using a Panasonic Blood Pressure Monitor).
Ok now if you have made it this far in the reading you’re probably wondering, DID IT WORK??? Well I found it did for me! Stats Summary for my 24 Day Challenge:
- I lost 11 lbs going from 213.5 lbs down to 202.5 lbs.
- I had a 14.6% reduction in Fat Mass dropping from 54.7 lbs of fat to 46.7 lb of fat
- I saw a 7 point drop (using first 5 day average – last 5 day average) on both my systolic and diastolic measurements.
- I lost 7 inches on my BWHT (chest-weight-hips-thigh) measurements (4 on waist/belly and 3 on thigh, my chest and hips stayed the same).
The above data is just a summary, here is a detailed log of my weight, fat mass, fat mass % of total weight, and blood pressure. Days that are identified as n/a no measurements were taken usually because I was traveling for work:
I don’t want to turn this into a commercial or advertisement, but wanted to realistically address some questions:
Would I recommend AdvoCare? Overall I think I would. I saw positive results. It really wasn’t that difficult. I successfully completed the challenge.
How did you feel during and after the challenge? I have heard a number of people who said they feel so much more energy when on AdvoCare, but that just wasn’t the case for me. I had a morning caffeine ritual that worked well for me prior to starting, so if anything I felt less energy due to the change in my habit. I also have felt more emotionally sensitive during and now for the first few days after. It could all be in my head, it could be seasonality (it did transition from spring to summer here), it could be anything, but I strongly feel it was influence by the diet.
Would I do it again? Yes, because in a way I am still doing it. I am taking the AdvoCare Spark (as a replacement to my morning caffeine drinks), AdvoCare Catalyst (before working out), and taking AdvoCare OmegaPlex (as a omega-3 supplement). I have also significantly hacked my diet by cutting out crap that was bad for me and overall I have changed out a lot of the bad foods for good ones.
What was the most difficult part of the challenge? The most difficult part was finding reliable information. What can I eat? What can’t I eat? There is a lot of contradictory data out there. I also struggled to find recipes. It was such a challenge that my wife and I created our own AdvoCare website called AdvoHelp.org where we post helpful hints and recipes that we have enjoyed while on the challenge.