I FINALLY put this post together!
As many of you know, I (along with a group of lovely ladies) completed the Adovcare 24 Day Challenge from February 3rd – February 27th. I had an absolute blast working through the challenge with my group. It was fun being able to bounce ideas off of each other and reach out for support when we hit those mental walls. Nothing like a a handful of cheerleaders ready to pick you back up! :)
I’m going to structure this post like the Advocare 10 Day Cleanse post, since so many of you found that format helpful. This is a long one with a LOT of details, but if you have any questions please leave them in the comments! If need be, I can do a FAQ round-up.
Here we go!
The AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge
With the Advocare 24 Day Challenge, there are two phases. The Cleanse Phase (which is exactly the same as this Advocare 10 Day Cleanse I’ve previously posted about) and The Max Phase. The products USED to be set for you, but now you can customize your own 24 Day bundle. PICK THE PEACHES AND CREAM FIBER DRINK. Cannot stress that enough. (More on that, below, in the “what I wish could have been different” section)
What AdvoCare says:
Proper absorption of nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals is essential to maintaining a healthy body. However, periodic lifestyle changes may generate the need for a “fresh start” – that’s where the Cleanse Phase comes in. On Days 1-10 of the 24-Day Challenge™, you will take three products (Herbal Cleanse, OmegaPlex®, and AdvoCare Spark® Energy Drink Mix).These products, with a healthy diet and exercise help to rid your body of toxins and prepare your body to better absorb nutrients. This isn’t the kind of cleanse where you drastically reduce calories or consume only liquids – this is the beginning of a healthier lifestyle!
After completing the Cleanse Phase, it’s time to move into days 10-24: The Max Phase. The Max Phase is about fueling your body in order to achieve maximum results. During this phase you will take three products (Metabolic Nutrition System – MNS®, Meal Replacement Shakes, and Spark) that work together to provide you with sustained energy, appetite control, core nutrition and overall wellness. Upon completion of the 24-Day Challenge™, these products can continue to be taken every day as part of a healthy lifestyle.
What comes in the package?
In hopes of keeping this post under 2,000 words … you can read all about the contents in my earlier post: 2014 #AdvocareFFE Challenge. I list the entire package contents with their intended purposes, and links to the nutritional information for each part. Long story short, you get an INSANE amount of product. For the longest time, everything was selected for you (you only received orange and fruit punch Spark, and only the citrus fiber drink). Now, you can build your own Advocare 24 Day Challenge, customizing EVERYTHING.
What I ate
Breakfasts are usually my biggest meal of the day. AdvoCare gives you some guidance for eating, but it’s basically your “eat real food” recommendations and cutting out your high-fats, processed carbs, junk food, and alcohol. This was basically how I was eating, anyway, so it wasn’t too terribly hard. Of course, I struggle with Binge Eating Disorder, so there are still times where I compulsively overeat or cry myself to sleep over wanting pizza. So, you know. ;)
A few examples, from left to right from my 24 day challenge: ** Meal replacement shake, in their vegetarian chocolate formula. ** Corn tortillas with eggs, tomatoes, avocados, and a Laughing Cow Light Swiss wedge. ** Gluten-free oatmeal with pears sautéed in honey and cinnamon. ** Coconut flour doughnuts. ** Corn tortillas, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes. ** Mango Strawberry Spark. **Savory Oats: whipped with egg whites, mushrooms, tomatoes, and dill
Lunch and dinners are pretty interchangeable, as far as the AdvoCare recommendations. My NUMBER ONE piece of advice is to prep prep PREP!! When I prepped my food, everything was right in the world. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re trying to stick to a new routine. Prepping takes the stress and guesswork out of the day-to-day food routine.
A few examples, from left to right from my 24 day challenge: ** Mason Jar Salads. ** Zucchini noodles for “pasta” dishes. ** Peppers and humus. **Hard boiled eggs. **Salad with tuna, hard boiled eggs, bolthouse ranch, pita bread and fresh fruit. ** Veggie burger salad. ** Spark and popcorn (after dinner snack). ** Questbar (pre-workout fuel). ** Salad with light string cheese and veggies. **Quinoa veggie stir fry. ** Shrimp, quinoa, tomatoes with a dill dipping sauce made from greek yogurt. ** cottage cheese, tomatoes, avocado, sunflower seeds. ** Tuna mixed with cottage cheese, veggie burger salad over broccoli slaw, and bolthouse ranch. ** Coconut flour mug cake with peanut butter, bananas, whipped cream, and mini chocolate chips (obviously not “on plan). ** Homemade broccoli soup with sautéed tomatoes and onions.
Clearly, I wasn’t 100% perfect. That mug cake was delicious – I have no regrets. ;) But that’s not what this challenge is about. No one eats perfectly in “real life,” so why would you expect the same during a challenge? That’s just setting yourself up for disaster. I’d rather have minimal results (on the scale/inches) with lasting habits (staying consistent with eating well and working out) than have an epic loss from being 100% strict and have that backlash into a binge.
What my workouts were like
I was crazy consistent with my workouts. Shout-out to my group-classes for keeping me on track; being able to squeeze in 30 minutes right after work and AT work. Seriously, this has made a huge difference in my motivation. My weekly activity looked a lot like this:
Monday: Abs & Toning (back, shoulders, core)
Tuesday: Circuit Training (lots of legs)
Wednesday: Resistance Band Training (lots of arms, some leg work)
Friday: Just Dance / Dance Cardio (at home)
I’m pretty pleased with the amount of strength training I was getting in (and am still getting in!), but my cardio was severely lacking. With the -30 degree temps, I just haven’t been feeling the whole “lets go jogging on my frozen treadmill in the garage” scene. ;) I know I probably could have seen a bit more weight loss if I had kept up with a cardio schedule. C’mon warmer temps!
My AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge Experience
First off, I apologize for the excessive watermarking, but progress photos get stolen like WHOA. But LOOK! Look at that belly progress! (I have a full body before/after at the bottom of this post, in a vertical/pin-able format) My body has such a weird way of showing progress, so I always feel like I need to write a disclaimer on any progress photos or weight-loss. I can lose 5 lbs and my body will look INSANELY different. Then, like this case, I lose almost 10 lbs, and I do not notice much of a difference at all. I love that my belly has lifted a bit, but it also seems to just be moving OUT and UP instead of IN and UP. (Does that make any sense?) I know that my body puts on muscle very easily, so perhaps I’m building giant abs below all that belly fat. I doubt it, somehow.
Despite my confusing over my pictures, I did lose inches, especially on my hips. I think you can tell (from the pictures at the bottom of this post) that excess around my hips have gone down a lot and my butt is starting to shrink and perk up. I’m always a fan of that. ;) I was also measured at the local University for body fat %, and went from 49% to 48%, which I definitely attribute to the clean eating and strength training!
Bust: – 1.5 in (as if I need this to go down, lol)
Waist: – 1.5 in
Belly/Hips: – 2.0 in
Upper arm: – 1.0 in
So, take my progress pictures with a grain of salt, as you should ANY progress pictures. It’s hard to recreate the same pose (distance from the camera, lighting, clothing positioning, stance, etc) but I did try my hardest to get them close. I could pick my body apart for hours (why do I stand crooked? Why do I look so small from behind and so LARGE from the front? Why does my belly look super lifted in one shot but hardly at all in another?) but it is what it is. I feel the changes more than these photos show, and I suppose that’s the important part.
What I liked
The 10 Day Cleanse is by far my favorite part of the 24 Day Challenge. I can really feel the difference with the fiber supplements and probiotics (I posted about that here). To be honest, the best part of the 24 days was simply the challenge itself. Meaning, it was exciting to do something I’ve never done before, and to push myself to complete a goal. I loved having my group of #AdvocareFFE girls, and that has really inspired me to start doing more group support projects.
I was also really surprised at the Meal Replacement Shakes. I am NOT a fan of shakes. At all. Unless they’re made in my kitchen with protein powder and greens. I fully expected to eat these as a snack or with other food to keep me satisfied. Oddly enough, they were very filling! I had them as my breakfast option during the Max Phase and never felt deprived. I might order a box to keep on hand at the office, for days that I forget my breakfast or need a pre-workout protein boost.
What I wish could have been different
READ THIS NOW: DO NOT ORDER THE CITRUS FIBER DRINK. It has a texture like someone shredded tree bark into a glass of lemon water. What. The. Heck. The girls and I got a good laugh out of it, but seriously … it was the worst thing ever. PLEASE order the Peaches and Cream flavor. It tastes amazing and has practically zero grit to it. Why are they so different?!
In addition, I felt a little disappointed in the MaxPhase of the 24 Day Challenge. I lost the majority of my weight during The Cleanse phase, and seemed to stall out during the last 14 days. I think I’m my problem on this one, because I really didn’t focus on cardio, which the program recommends. It’s just my personal experience, I suppose, because many people have loved The Max Phase and built long-lasting healthy habits because of it. For me? I think I’ll stick to The 10 Day Cleanse in the future (Again, in peach. Can I emphasize that one more time? ha! ), since that’s what my body responds best to those supplements and regime.
The #AdvoCareFFE Winner’s Experience
I was thrilled with our little Advocare Challenge group. There wound up being six women that I created a FB group for. It was so nice being able to rely on each other for support and inspiration. Overall, the group lost over 50lbs and 30 inches. AMAZING! I also got to hand out over $400 worth of prizes, which the girls definitely deserved.
The winner, who I’ll call “S” to give her a bit of privacy, lost 11.6 lbs and 10 inches!!!! In 24 DAYS!! During the challenge. S worked her BUTT off, and was so supportive of all of us. She took advantage of the help, too – texting when she was in a pickle, and posting regularly in the group!
Her Before and After
(Purposefully cropping her face out, for her own privacy.)
Look at that profile shot difference!! *standing ovation* S nabbed over $200 in cash and prizes!
“I went into the challenge with a “”well what could it hurt”” attitude and it really has changed so many things. The 24 days really help you make some real changes. I’ve realized the value of planning ahead and sticking with it (meal prep saved me so many times!). It seemed daunting at first, but it was the easiest thing I have ever done – I felt like it focused on sustainability and not weight loss.
The results were also more than I have ever hoped for. I don’t usually lose a lot of weight or anything in challenges but there is no denying what I saw. I lost about 10 pounds and 11 inches!
Emily was so supportive the entire time! I could even text her with an emotional eating/food dilemma and she was there to help out! She was a great cheerleader (especially because she was going through it at the same time!”
Way to go, S! I’m like a proud mama-bear. Obviously she had a GREAT experience, and is a true testament to hard work paying off.
I have a lukewarm response to the full AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge. I think, in the end, it just wasn’t the right fit for my body at this weight/point in my life. That’s just me being honest, guys. I think a lot of times (especially AdvoCare brand advocates, like I am) always have the same conclusion: everything is 100% amazing all the time! Well, that just isn’t reality, right? :)
I’d love to try it again, maybe when I hit a major plateau, because despite my body not changing much – I DID see some results and felt great. My girls had major successes, too, so something must be going right for other people. I would, without hesitation, do The 10 Day Cleanse part again, as I stated above.
I would still highly recommend the full challenge, since I’ve seen so many HUGE successes and experiences that on a smaller scale, personally.
What about you? Ever fell a bit short during a challenge (of any kind)?
With any kind of supplementation program, you should always check with your physician before starting a new routine. There are some shady companies out there, so make sure that you chose a company, like Advocare,that’s verified by First Choice. Even popular companies sold at retail stores like GNC don’t have this verification, and are subject to recalls for their bizarre ingredients. Do your homework!
ALSO, all the Advocare links feed into my distributor store. The percentage I make from these sales helps my family’s financial health, and for that I am beyond grateful.