Now that I’m a little more than half way through Beachbody’s Ultimate Reset (a 21 day detox and cleanse that slowly transitions you onto an all natural vegan diet), I wanted to share what I’ve learned thus far. It’s crazy how something like this can completely change your perspective on food and your relationship with it! While I won’t continue to cleanse or restrict my diet as much when I finish the program (I miss my meat and protein!), I certainly will be implementing a lot of what I’ve learned and continue the habits I’m forming now. I think what I’ve discovered on my Ultimate Reset journey can actually be helpful to anyone that’s trying to lead a healthier life, so I had to share!
My Approach to the Ultimate Reset
But first, I must warn you: I slightly modified the program. WHAT?!?! Some people call what I did “cheating,” but I call it taking an approach that is realistic for me.
When you do the Ultimate Reset, you’re not supposed to work out because of all the work your body is doing internally and also because you are consuming a smaller amount of calories and protein. I’m a fitness instructor, so working out is part of my job. It also keeps me sane. I knew if I couldn’t work out while following this program, I wouldn’t be able to do it at all. So, I decided to go about the Reset in a way that would allow me to actually finish the program. I approached it as if I was starting a new, healthier lifestyle that I can stick to.
In order to keep my calorie intake at a healthy level to sustain exercise, I added the optional snack each day, which for me was vegan Shakeology — because I love it, it’s healthy, and it has the protein I need for working out. On the days when I burned a lot of calories, I also added an additional small snack that followed the Reset guidelines.
Typically when I work out, I go balls to the wall. For me, it’s not a workout unless I’m drenched and completely spent when I’m finished. However, while doing the Ultimate Reset, I did my very best to scale it back a little while teaching, and on the days I wasn’t teaching, I kept my exercise on the lighter side.
Overall, I did my very best on the program, and I learned a lot (and I lost weight), so I feel like it was a success! I still have a little less than a week to go, so I’ll share my before and after shots then!
6 Healthy Rules I Learned from Beachbody’s Ultimate Reset Program
So here it is… Here’s what I’ve learned thus far… While some of these things are pretty common sense, and you may have heard them before, this program proved them completely true and changed my thoughts about food for good.
1.) Processed foods slow you WAY down. — Even if it’s seemingly healthy, if it’s processed, it’s going to slow you down. I used to think I was eating healthy by having things like protein bars for breakfast and Lean Cuisines for dinner because they’re low in fat and calories and high in protein… but WOW was I wrong. Being off processed food for 2 weeks now made me see whole foods in a whole new light. Eating whole foods has given me WAY more energy and has helped me sleep more efficiently.
It’s funny — you’re not supposed to work out while doing the Ultimate Reset, but I had so much energy, I actually wanted to work out more. Typically, after work, I bonk. It can be a struggle to keep myself from taking a quick cat nap when I get home. However, on a whole foods diet, I kept going all day, and slept better at night. I wear a calorie and sleep monitoring armband from Bodymedia called the CORE. My sleep efficiency went from an average of 80-85% to 87-95%. I was amazed!
2.) You’re not hungry, you’re thirsty. — Drinking water keeps you from unnecessary snacking. Before doing the Reset, I was in the habit of having a midmorning snack at 10am every day. If I didn’t have my snack by 10am, my stomach would be growling and going off like an alarm clock. On this program, I drank twice as much water than normal, and amazingly, the alarm clock in my stomach stopped going off at 10am. In fact, I was FINE until lunch. The more water you drink, the fuller you are, and the less food you’ll consume.
3.) Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. — In addition to the extra water keeping me full, I really believe the quality of my breakfast set the tone for the rest of my day and helped me consume less food, too. Like I said, my usual breakfast is a protein bar. I thought this was pretty good. However, after having oatmeal and fruit or whole wheat toast with eggs and spinach for breakfast, I saw a big difference in my energy level in the mornings as well as my feeling of fullness and satisfaction. I woke up much quicker in the mornings with this breakfast spread. AND I really think a filling and satisfying breakfast with REAL food had a big effect on my level of hunger and enabled me to eliminate my mid-morning snack.
4.) Exercise makes you happy. — I tried to follow the Ultimate Reset’s no workout rule the first few days of the program, and I was MISERABLE. Most people know that exercise stimulates endorphins, which make you happy, and this is SO true. Getting yourself moving makes such a difference in your mood. You might not feel like working out, but once you get moving, you’ll have more energy and be in a better mood for the rest of the day. Just try it for a week and see what happens!
5.) A healthy lifestyle requires preparation. — When you’re in a hurry or hungry, you’ll grab the first thing available to you that looks good. If you want to eat healthier, you have to have healthy food prepped and ready to go. I learned this on the Ultimate Reset because I almost broke down a few times and went off the program when I was super hungry and in a hurry. Once I got into the habit of prepping all of my meals the day before, it was much easier to follow the program. It takes time. I suggest taking one day to chop up fruits and veggies and prep healthy meals and snacks for the entire week (for me it’s Sundays). Having healthy food ready makes healthier decisions much easier to make.
6.) Sometimes, eating is just a bad habit.— I never considered myself an emotional eater until I did this program. On the Reset, my meals were scheduled at certain times, and I did not snack in between unless a snack was scheduled. Not
eating whenever I felt like it made it very clear that I turn to food when I’m feeling stressed.
At work, if I got stuck on a project or had to figure something out, I found myself fighting the urge to get up and snack. I didn’t realize how frequently this urge came up until the past two weeks. If you pay close attention to when and why you’re eating, you too may realize that you’re not as hungry as you think. Instead, you’re just turning to food to avoid something else out of habit.
To conquer this, replace the habit of snacking with another activity. For me, it was walking. If I found myself really stuck on something at work and wanting to grab a quick snack, I started getting up and doing a quick lap around the building instead. Almost every time, I came back to my desk feeling refreshed and often had a solution to whatever it was I was stuck on…WITHOUT food. Crazy how that works!