Plexus Day 6

First Drink: 10:30am
Once again, I ate my breakfast before taking my slim. The taste is just too sweet for me on an empty stomach, even when I mix it with the max amount of water.

I felt fine afterwards. No headache like the other days.

I still skip the second mix today.

Skeptical Thoughts:

I don’t feel any increase in energy. In fact, I was quite lethargic yesterday and today despite sleeping fine. (We can blame the rainy weather if you like.) There has been no change in my daily routine to warrant this feeling. I’m a bit disappointed because slim is supposed to boost your energy levels, yet I still have not felt a positive change and I am half finished.
I will take two slims for days 7, 8 and 9 to finish the trial.

(Note: I did a 7 day trial, but because I had such awful symptoms the first few days I stopped using 2 packs per day … hence the extra 2 days of my trial period.)

Plexus Day Four

First Mix: 8:45am

I still am not loving the taste. I mix my slim with 20oz of water, which is the max of the range recommended. And still I have to force it down. The aftertaste is interesting and I always drink my regular glass of water right after finishing the slim.
I haven’t noticed any difference in my body yet. I get a slight headache immediately after finishing slim. It abated yesterday at lunchtime so if the pattern holds, this won’t last long. I likely will skip this afternoon’s slim as well and stick to one a day.
Skeptical thought:

I’ve seen many people say the slim has reduced their craving for caffeine in the morning so they don’t feel the need to have their coffee.
I have a few thoughts on this.
1. In the morning, I know reaching for a cup of coffee is a habit for me. It’s routine. It is enjoyable and comfortable to start my day with a sweet coffee. Perhaps people don’t crave the coffee because they have replaced their routine cup of joe with a routine cup of pink. Placebo? Maybe.
2. The slim does contain some amount of caffeine. Maybe those who claim to have a reduced craving for their coffee get enough of a fix from the slim.
3. Maybe it does work in reducing caffeine and sugar cravings. Im not sure.

Conclusion:

For now, I am leaning towards a combination of 1 and 2. I have a reduced urge to buy my dunks coffee in the morning because I already have a 20oz beverage and my 32oz water bottle. Putting more liquid in my stomach first thing in the morning just isn’t happening. Also, I am a creature of habit so having the to-go cup of slim is a similar feeling to me.
Has my urge to eat sugar decreased? Barely. I have had slightly less of an urge to eat sugar, but I believe that is due to my mentality using this product. I am trying to be “healthier” while taking slim, right? So I’m drinking my water and adding the slim and working out…. eating soft serve ice cream or having chips kind of feels like cheating. So is the reduced urge for sugar a real result of the product or a result of a determined mentality to commit to be healthier? Despite my doubts of the product’s effectiveness, I WANT it to work. I obviously would love to see results and be healthier. But I want to be factual too… Hmm. I’ll be keeping an eye on my cravings and get back to you on that.

Alcohol & Metabolism

Did you know alcohol is a carbohydrate? And not the “good kind” that is packed with nutrients, like fruit. It’s the “bad”, empty kind of carbohydrate that gives you very little nutritional value for the calories it packs. Alcoholic drinks tend to have a lot of calories in general, which can contribute to weight gain in itself. But there are more ways that alcohol affects your metabolism.

Alcohol causes your blood sugar levels to rise drastically simply because it is a carbohydrate.  This is not great for your metabolism and weight related goals.  As mentioned in my post about why it’s important to eat every three to four hours to maintain stable blood sugar levels, blood sugar levels that are too high or too low contribute to fat storage.  Since alcohol causes a spike in blood sugar, you can see how any other consumed calories would contribute to fat storage.

Additionally, your body views alcohol as a toxin. Since your body can’t store alcohol, it must metabolize it right away, meaning your body tries to burn it off and use it as fuel in order to get rid of it as soon as possible. Metabolizing the alcohol takes priority over all other metabolic processes (like digesting food, for example). This means that after two drinks, any other nutrients you might be getting from the food you are eating aren’t going to be absorbed properly because the alcohol is being processed in order to rid your body of the toxin fast.  Therefore, any calories that you do consume will mainly be stored as fat.

DRINK RESPONSIBLY

Alcohol often leads to dehydration as well, since it disrupts hormones in your body that enable you to hold onto water. (Ever notice how much you have to pee once you start drinking? That’s alcohol affecting your normal body processes!) Dehydration has no place in your diet if you are trying to build muscle, maintain weight, or lose weight, since water is crucial to all your metabolic processes associated with muscle building, weight loss, and more.

Another fun fact about drinking alcohol is that it can quickly mess with your sleep.  You probably think you sleep better after a drink or two…but in fact, you don’t.  Alcohol can disrupt your body’s ability to fall into REM sleep, which is the deepest stage of sleep that contributes to feeling well rested.  Alcohol reduces the amount and quality of REM sleep, which leaves you feeling sluggish and lethargic the next day.  If you didn’t know that sleep and weight maintenance are closely related, then you need to read up on why inadequate sleep can contribute to weight gain.

Also, keep in mind that over-consumption of alcohol can have serious long term affects to your health. Since it’s a toxin and your liver is the primary organ to clear the alcohol from your system, over consumption over long periods of time can cause permanent damage to your liver, as well as affect your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels in general.  Many other diseases have been linked to alcoholism and over consumption of alcohol, and these are matters to discuss with a physician if you have concerns about your health.

In short, alcoholic drinks should be enjoyed in strict moderation, one to two drinks here and there, and only when you have had a proper meal beforehand. Remember to drink plenty of water the day of and morning after if you choose to indulge in alcoholic beverages. And of course, be responsible!

Questions? Leave a comment!

Tips & Strategies for Healthy Eating & Weight Loss

While I could go on and on for dozens of pages about the science behind healthy eating, accountability, calorie intake etc. etc. etc… here is, instead, a short summary of all the ways you can strategize to be healthier starting today!

1. Prepare for your day!
If you know you will be traveling or won’t have time to cook a proper meal, cook ahead of time or on the weekends. Pack smart snacks in your bag or car so that you can grab them and go. This way, you never get “too hungry” and approach the fat storing stages. Use your support system to help with meals as well when they can.

2. Keep a food journal! Every day, write down exactly what (foods + calorie totals!) and when you eat. This will help you tangibly see how much/little you have consumed in a day. You’ll be able to see what times are hardest for you (during the week at lunch, or maybe you snack too much on the weekends). You’ll spot patterns and then be able to address any changes you need to make. It will keep you accountable!

3. Hydrate! By ensuring you are drinking enough water, you will be less likely to overeat at meal times. Remember, most of the time when you think you are hungry, you are really just thirsty.

4. Eat slowly. Really take your time with your meals. When you multitask while eating, it is so much easier to overeat! You aren’t focused on what or how much you are consuming, so it takes you longer to realize when you are full. Focus on your meal – put your fork down between bites, talk to your spouse/family while eating to prolong the meal. This gives your brain time to catch up to your stomach and say “Yup, I’m full! No need for seconds!” IMG_4496

5. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. This is where the most natural, healthy foods are! Avoid the middle aisles as much as possible.  This is where the processed junk is kept.

6. Moderation. Don’t totally cut something out of your diet cold turkey – that’s setting yourself up for failure. Try cutting out your comfort foods slowly and replacing them with a healthier alternative that still gets you the sweetness/saltiness you are craving. (Craving sweets? Try a yogurt or chocolate nut trail mix instead of ice cream. Craving salt? Try peanuts or wheat thins instead of potato chips.)

7. Goodbye alcohol! Alcohol, while only a beverage, still packs a lot of empty calories! You’re drinking hundreds of calories without even getting the satisfaction of being “full” from a meal. Additionally, it dehydrates you and disrupts other processes your body tries to maintain to help you build muscle and lose weight. So before you drink, ask yourself if it is really worth it, and how you’ll make up for it.

8. Brush your teeth. After you eat, brush and floss. Then you’ll really ask yourself if you NEED that dessert right before bed, or if you’re just snacking because you’re bored.

9. Support. Make sure you surround yourself with people who will respect your goals. This is hard! It’s a lifestyle change. Tell the people you live or work with of your goals and get them to help and encourage you, rather than tempt you.

10. Knowledge is Power. If you don’t know if you should be eating something, or have run out of healthy snack ideas, ASK! Use the internet, ask your friends, ask your trainer, etc. for new recipes, or advice, or about technical questions regarding calories, fat in foods, etc. The more you know, the better you’ll do.

Good luck!