I first heard about the 3-Day Refresh about 2 years ago, when I first joined Beachbody as a challenger. I was intrigued with the idea – 3-days to jump start weight loss or get back on track? Sounds like a great idea, right? Since then, I have always wanted to jump on the bandwagon and try it, but I have always been too scared. I’d basically be depriving myself of my normal calorie intake (approximately 2,100 calories on most days) for 3 days. This is especially difficult when I am training. Throw dinners with my family into the mix, and I knew it just wasn’t going to happen. Plus, I am one of those people who gets hAngry if I don’t eat and I tend to pass out due to low blood pressure that’s exceedingly worse when I don’t eat. So, yeah, I really wanted to try it, but was too scared to.
Jump ahead 2 years later. I’ve been following an intermittent fasting + carb cycling program for the past few months. One of those days is a 24-hour fast day. You got from dinner one night to dinner the next night without anything but water or other zero calorie beverages. I’ve done a good amount of fasting days now without any issues, so I felt that I was ready to try 3-Day Refresh. I mean, if I can still drink my shake in the morning, I’m a pretty happy girl.
My plan was to start on Tuesday because Matt was going out of town. I didn’t have to worry about making dinners for anyone except for the kiddos and I could easily just make my own thing with no problem. Plus, I’d be home for the most part so I could easily do the shakes for lunch and dinner without a problem.I started Tuesday with my normal Shakeology shake (I ordered the vegan chocolate with my Refresh kit, but ended up making the Cafe Latte that I still had in the house – it’s my favorite right now!), mixed with a banana and I ended up putting almond milk in mine instead of water because, well, it just tastes better. I figured 30 extra calories was not going to kill me – and almond butter is part of the plan, so why not. Not really Refresh approved, but neither was the coffee I drank either. But, I wanted to make the day as normal for me as possible.
Oh, I should also mention that I woke up at 4:30 AM Tuesday morning to get a 10K in before Matt left for the airport. So, now I would be eating less than 1,000 calories after running 6.2 miles. Probably not the smartest idea on my part, but training comes before food all the time.
I drank the Fiber Sweep around 10:30 AM, before heading out to Monkey Joe’s with the kiddos and my bestie and her kids. This was the drink I was really worried about. First of all, my body does not handle a lot of fiber well. I get terrible gas pains and bloating, and, let’s be honest, I was worried I would spend the rest of the afternoon in the bathroom. I was also nervous of how it was going to taste. I was actually pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t terrible. Note: I did not say it was good. It was a lot easier to get down that I thought it would be. It’s lemon flavored and as long as you drink it immediately, it’s not too bad. If you let it sit for even 5 minutes, it gets thick and nasty, which I found out one Wednesday.
We spent an hour or so letting the kids play at Monkey Joes and then decided to get lunch. MacKenna suggested Chipotle and I am not one to pass up a really good meal, especially when it involves a bowl full of rice, beans, and guac. So, already, by noon, I’ve already failed at my Refresh. I thought, OK, let’s just say this is my dinner, and I’ll just have the Vanilla Fresh shake for dinner.
I did just that, and the shake actually was pretty good. I obeyed Refresh meal plans and only made it with water. I actually was really not hungry for it or the rest of the day, so that Chipotle bowl really filled me up.
Wednesday was a different story. I was DETERMINED to make it through and follow through the last 2 days. I started again with my shake and coffee, followed by the fiber sweep around 10AM again. Wednesday, I met up with some more girlfriends and their kiddos to play a a splash pad for awhile, before going to get ice cream of course. Ice cream for lunch – when dad’s away, mom gives the kids ice cream for lunch…
I did AMAZINGLY well and did not eat any ice cream while we were there, even though I knew neither of my kids would finish theirs. However, by the time we got home around 1:30PM (we went to the library and Dollar Tree after ice cream), I was starving! I made a Vanilla Fresh shake mixed with half a banana and a small peach (which is actually more fruit than prescribed on the plan) and some almond milk, and a handful of baby carrots. Not even an hour later, I was starving again. I drank some water, hoping it would help me with my hunger pangs, but I was to the point of breaking. I knew I could have another snack, but honestly, there was really not much in the house for me to eat that would fit the plan. And I was also starting to think about dinner and the lack of options I had.
By 4PM, I was done. I couldn’t take it anymore. I HAD to eat some carbs. And they were so good…mYup, I failed. Big time. I didn’t even make it half a day, but tried again and made it longer, but failed again. Do I feel guilty about it? Maybe a little. But, I knew that I had a hot stroller run in the morning the next day that was going to be miserable on only 1,000 calories of fuel in my body. I really wanted to be successful with it, but there are a few things that I just did not do to make this a success for me.
Here are my takeaways:
Plan ahead! I honestly didn’t even open the box until Tuesday morning. So, I had no idea what things I could or couldn’t eat, despite all my pins on Pinterest. Had I actually planned my lunches, dinners, and snacks ahead of time, I probably would have had much more success once I got hungry. But, pretzels and cheese were calling my name – loudly.
This would be better AFTER some indulgence. Like I said, I have been following this intermittent fasting + carb cycling meal plan for awhile now with some really good results. I barely ever feel starved, except on fasting days, obviously, and I think it really has helped with my training. I don’t feel bloated pretty much ever, and I’m eating really healthfully, with my daily treat at night (not prescribed but a necessity for me – and never overindulgence).
My goal was to do this right before our beach vacation, knowing I would be spending a week in a swimsuit and wanted to be at my very best. But, with my current meal plan, I don’t really have any weight to lose. Sure, I’d love to not have my mom pooch, but that’s what I get from having 2 kiddos and loving chocolate. I definitely did not NEED a refresh, regardless if it was 1 day or 7 days.
However, I know I usually feel disgusting after our summer vacations. We spend a lot of time eating out, eating ice cream, and lots + lots of carbs and alcohol. By the time we get back, both of us are wanting to eat something that grew and is fresh. This is when I feel I would be much more successful with the 3-Day Refresh.
So, I definitely dropped out, no looking back, but I DO think I will try it again eventually. Maybe when I feel like I actually need a detox and have a little more determination to actually finish all 3 days. I think if you are looking for a jump start to weight loss or have a big event coming up that you want to look your best for, I think this would be GREAT for you. But, in the middle of half marathon training in the summer, probably not the right fit.