Last week, when most were in the midst of the holiday hustle, I was by myself not doing too much hustling at all, actually. I was bored with my eating, and so decided to shake things up nutritionally for a bit. While I have no regrets in doing it, I don’t exactly have a desire to repeat the experience.
A full recap follows but basically, I was miserable. That said, read on to find out why you may not be.
What I did: I set out to move from solid food to shakes for a week, but called it quits after just four days. My ‘plan’ looked something like this:
– 4 shakes/day
– 12-hour fast
– Carbs (CHO) post-workout (PWO), only
– More protein in my first shake of the day
I had a few of my favorite ThinkThin and Quest protein bars on hand in the event that I found myself really needing, or thinking I needed to chew something. I didn’t. It might be worth mentioning that the original plan included eliminating coffee for the week. Let’s just say the world is a better place when I have coffee. I abandoned ship on that
genius dumbest idea ever after the first full day. I was a grouch, and made the executive decision that to remove coffee was trying to change too many things at once. I took my own advice and chose to focus on ONE thing at a time. 😉
*NOTE: What works for me may or may not be what works best for YOU. Each of us has a fat loss formula that is uniquely our own. So, if you choose to repeat my experiment bear in mind that you may need to adjust higher/lower according to your activity level, hunger, energy, cravings, etc.
Why I did it: I eat, and I eat a lot. Just to maintain. And honestly, I was just sick of food- both prepping it and eating it. And so to take the guesswork out of the experience that is food, I chose to simplify my life by moving exclusively to shakes. As a secondary reason for my “week” of shakes, I was having huge stomach pains after eating and thought this would be a good way to give my digestion a break.
What it was/was not: It was an experiment. It was NOT a diet, or an excuse to eliminate major foods groups. Obviously, you need other things in your diet besides just protein and water. Clean CHOs, healthy fats, fiber… all have vital roles in an efficiently functioning system. To cover my bases, I incorporated foods like berries, pumpkin, sweet potato, all-natural peanut butter, avocado and greens. Obviously, not all together.
What worked/didn’t: As you know by now, I don’t count calories, macros or anything like that. Instead, I use biofeedback clues like hunger, energy and cravings to monitor my hormonal balance. From that standpoint, my shake experiment mostly worked. I was never hungry, my energy was ok (though it tended toward the low end of the spectrum) and the only cravings I experienced, if you can call them that, were for grilled chicken and vegetables. lol #fatlossfoodie
– Takes the stress out of meal prep; a great convenience option if you’re short on time
– No prep, minimal clean-up
– Easy on the digestion. I had virtually no stomach pain after my shakes and identified (I think) the culprit of said pain when I threw rainbow chard into one of my afternoon shakes after having run out of spinach. A new-to-me green that I’ve only recently discovered (for no reason other than that it added color to my BAS ), that shake threw my stomach into a tailspin within minutes of its consumption. Be your own detective! For now, it’s no chard for me.
– A good [temporary] fix if you’re tired of chewing your food
– Every meal tastes like dessert. I felt like I was eating a giant bowl of ice cream at every ‘meal.’ You might be like, “That’s awesome!” or “What’s the problem with that?” But as someone with a real aversion to most sweets, I started to dread sitting down for each shake. I do enjoy my PWO shakes and didn’t want to start to dread those, too, after shake week had come to an end.
– I am very content eating the same kinds of foods day-to-day, but I tired of blended everything real quick. Everything started to taste the same.
– Didn’t have the greatest workout week, likely due to low-ish energy and lower CHO. Workouts happened, just not my best.
– Pretty sure I chewed more gum and drank more coffee in the last four days than I have in a long time. This isn’t necessarily a con, but I also pounded the cocoa drink, drank green tea (and water, of course) like it was my job.
– My body does much better on real food.
– I enjoy shakes, but prefer them PWO and for the occasional breakfast/meal on-the-go.
– Rainbow chard is a no-go.
– Blended spinach is…
disgusting not something I’ll do again. I’ve never taken chlorophyll shots, but I’m pretty sure this is about as close as you’ll get. I know everyone says you can’t taste it, but I much prefer to chew my greens.
– If nothing else, it was a good willpower challenge. All I wanted to do was chew something, but it’s not because I was hungry. I was just missing what has, for so long, become habit.
Have you done a shake week? If so, how did it go? If not, are you more/less inclined to try it after reading about my experience. Let me know what you think!