Bad eating habits sneak up on me quickly. Or maybe they’re cumulative. Either way, between summer travel and the upcoming holiday season, I’ve taken my eye off the ball diet-wise, and my pants are snug. I realized there was a problem when I stood in front of my closet, desperately hoping my last pair of loose pants were clean. It’s time for a change, which is why I tried Beachbody’s 3-Day Refresh. Here’s my honest review.
What it is
It’s a highly restrictive, three-day diet that gives you a chance to reset bad habits (and hopefully drop weight, fast). Each day clocks in around 900 calories. You’re supposed to drink one packet of Shakeology (a Beachbody-brand supplement shake) with fruit in the morning. Lunch is a protein shake with fruit, a vegetable, and healthy fat. You get another veg with healthy fat in the afternoon. Dinner is a protein shake with a small vegetable salad of some sort (there are recipes in the booklet).
In short, this is a “cleanse.” What sets this plan apart from others, for me, is that you get to chew. I can’t cope with liquid-only diets and juice cleanses don’t include important macro-nutrients like protein and fat, which this does. It reduces the chance of losing muscle and keeps you “sustained” (read: less starving). They even encourage exercise during the three days, albeit light exercise. But don’t get too excited. A “serving” of vegetables in this Refresh is two celery stalks. You won’t be feasting.
I want to say upfront that I’m not a Beachbody “coach” (I don’t sell the product), but I am a consumer of Shakeology and some of the workout videos and programs. I even reviewed the 21-Day Fix a couple of years ago. Obviously I generally like their stuff since I buy it, but I don’t have a dog in the fight.
I should also point out that I’m a practitioner of fasting. I’ve blogged about The Fast Diet, which requires eating only 500 calories a day (a whole day and night, so about 36 hours) twice a week. I’m now modifying that to once a week, and I’ve kept it up much of the year, with the exception of August and September (which is why I’m having to do something drastic again!). My point is: I’m probably more used to severely restricting calories than your average bear.
Did it work?
Let me cut to the chase. Yeah, I lost weight. About five pounds (I don’t have a digital scale). And I’m stoked! The question is…is it water weight or will I keep it off?
This is the third time I’ve done the 3-Day Refresh, and I kept it off for a while the last two times I did it. These are my troublesome five pounds. They’re the ones that haunt me when I take my eye off the ball, so they eventually go back on. I’m hoping this time will actually catapult me in the right direction in the sense of changing bad habits.
I finished it about 10 days ago, and I’m still down 3-4 pounds. I’ve noticed improved digestion and regularity, and my stomach feels flatter than it did before the Refresh. I’m definitely less bloated, and the waistbands of my pants are miraculously no longer “shrunken from the dryer” (lol).
**I actually wrote this two months ago. The weight’s still off! (Hallelujah!)
Is it hard?
Well, it’s not easy.
For most people, 900 calories a day is considerably less than the norm. You’ve got two challenges. One is that you’re legitimately hungry because your body is using more than you consume. The second hurdle is that this Refresh forces you out of your habits, which is a mental strain. Sure, you’re legitimately hungry at noon because you need to refuel, but you’re also just used to eating whatever. Not being “allowed” to do what I’m used to feels like a sacrifice, on principle.
On the other hand, it’s also not *that* hard. The amount of protein and chewing does make it totally doable. If you go in expecting to feel a little gnawing in the stomach region or a little bummed about having to skip a treat or “regular” dinner, you’ll be fine. Know it’s coming and plan around it. I find going for a walk or drinking something carbonated usually helps me get over the hump.
As they say, nothing motivates like success. I needed to see results fast in order to propel me into better, more mindful eating habits. And that is the element of the 3-Day Refresh that I hope to take with me, especially into the upcoming holiday season.
Q: Have you ever tried the 3-Day Refresh? How did it work for you?