Saturday, 22 June 2013

My Bodytrim journey: the carb detox

I was originally only going to post weekly updates but Week 1 would end up being too long as it encompasses two phases - the carb detox phase then the weight loss phase. I'll discuss the carb detox on it's own, here, so that I can go into more detail.

What is the carb detox phase?
Well, for three days you are to eat nothing but protein. You have three protein main meals that are 100-150g and three protein snacks of around 50g protein. Anyone who regularly reads my blog would probably be thinking right now 'hey, didn't Sarah just write a post on how detoxes are a waste of your time and money' (post here if you missed it). Before you start thinking that I am a hypocrite and have jumped on the detox bandwagon let me explain a little bit more about the carb detox phase.

When I first read that I had to do the carb detox, I got a bit worried about Bodytrim. I know that weight loss in these high protein crash diets is just water, and now I was being made to do it and this made me dubious. But my respect for Bodytrim was regained when Geoff (Jowett - founder) came right out and said that in this phase you will mostly just lose water weight. He is not trying to trick anyone into believing that it is true fat loss and I respect that.

So why the hell would you do the carb detox then if you are not really losing fat weight? Three reasons:

  1. The main reason is that this phase depletes all of the carbohydrate stores in your muscles. Your muscles preferentially turn to carbohydrates as their energy source. When there are no carbohydrates available then your muscles burn fat as their fuel source. The carb detox phase sets your body up for the weight loss phase in that it has your body primed to burn fat.
  2. By completely cutting out carbs you stop craving sugar, which would be one of the biggest enemies to people trying to lose weight. In the Bodytrim DVD's, Geoff guarantees that after this phase you would no longer crave sugar. I didn't believe him. Sugar is my evil master, one that I thought that I'd never be rid of but by day 3 I was no longer craving it. Amazing stuff!
  3. For a psychological boost. I never considered the power of this but have found it to be quite true. If you see awesome results on the scales it makes you more inspired to stick with the diet. 
So, whilst a crash carb detox on it's own is terrible for weight loss as, if you return straight back to your previous eating habits it just sets you up for immediate weight gain, the carb detox followed by the healthy eating plan of the weight loss phase should result in fat loss.

How did I go?
I'm please to say that I was 95% compliant throughout this phase though it was bloody hard. Much harder than I was expecting. To be perfectly honest, part of the reason why I was so compliant is because I am doing this publicly. I am not sure how I would have gone if I was just accountable to myself. This is how I found it:
Day 1: I went really well. I had all my snacks of lunch meat, smoked salmon and hummus laid out in portion sized packs. I actually had to have more snacks than the three recommended but that is ok, as long as you leave at least an hour between snacks and meals and as long as the snacks are all protein. I am not sure whether it was because I was starting a diet so it made be a bit obsessed with food but I was very hungry on this day. I had no problems sticking to the diet, until I had to pick The Crazy Kid up from preschool. It was then that I realised just how much I snack and graze around the kids. As I was leaving to get him I remembered thinking to myself 'Crazy will want a Kinder Surprise from the servo (we live across the road from a service station that we have to walk past most days) - I wonder what treat I will get myself' then I suddenly remembered oh yeah, I can get any treats. When I did pick him up we went to Thomas Dux to get some more lunch meats for my diet and he wanted a packet of raspberry lollies which I said that he could have. When he asked me to open them, the first thing I did was grab two for myself until once again I realised nope, can't have them. When both Crazy and Kiki were having their dinner I caught myself a few times going to eat the last mouthful, slurp the last sip of yoghurt, finish the unwanted banana. It actually shocked me to suddenly be consciously aware how often I graze on their food without realising it. I caught myself before actually doing it so I was 100% compliant on day 1.
Day 2: This day was my hardest day. I had a headache all day which I initially thought was due to tiredness because Kiki woke at 5.04am but then realised that I was actually having a sugar withdrawal headache. In the videos Geoff promised that you would no longer crave sugar. I craved sugar BAD on this day. One thing, not helping my cause was that my monthly cycle has only just returned after breast feeding (best thing about breast feeding is not the benefits to the babies but no periods...woohoo!!). After being pregnant for 9 months then breast feeding for a year, it had been nearly two years since I had had a period and, of course, had my second one during the carb detox. All women know that you crave sugar terribly during that time of the month but, somehow, I made it through day 2 100% compliant. By the end of the day I was SO sick of eating meat. I couldn't stand the texture of protein any more. I remember having to force a tin of tuna down as my afternoon snack. I did pick up a packet of the Bodytrim Choc Nut Delights from Coles (I think they were $3.50) and that helped with the sugar cravings. I had that fr dessert and I have to say they were quite nice. Not in the league of a Snickers Bar but a way better dessert option than ham or tuna!
Day 3: By day 3, much to my amazement, the sugar cravings had completely gone. This was the only day that I wasn't 100% compliant. During the carb detox phase you HAVE to have three snacks and three meals to keep your metabolism pumping. I only had 2 snacks this day so had no morning tea. Also, I had a snack of cashews after dinner. Nuts are high in protein and low in carbs but are not allowed on the Bodytrim diet as they are also high in fat, plus most people have issue with portion control when it comes to eating nuts. I was very careful, weighed out 30g, put the rest away before I was tempted to eat more and just ate my portion. I just could not stomach meat for dessert again. So, although I wasn't completely compliant I still think that I did pretty well. I was really craving vegetables by the end of this day, which was a nice change from craving chocolate!

What I ate:
Day 1 I pretty much just stuck to deli meat, smoked salmon, tinned tuna, hummus to go with the deli meat then I made roast beef for dinner for the family and I just had the meat whilst the family had vegies with it.
Day 2 More lunch meat, BBQ chicken, for lunch I invented a delicious soup that only took 5 minutes to make (I'll post my recipe below), fish for dinner, Bodytrim Choc Nut Delight snack.
Day 3 Sausage for breakfast, the soup for lunch, deli meat, salmon for dinner then cashews for dessert

One of my favourite snacks - smoked salmon with hummus
and dill, rolled up like sushi

Soup Recipe
This really helped me vary up the textures of what I was eating and it only took 5 mins to make. I ate it over 2 servings but think that they were probably a bit big (ie more than 100g protein) so it prob should have been three meals.
1L chicken stock
BBQ chicken
1 tin brown lentils
Fresh lemon juice (1/2 lemon)

I simply put the stock in a pan and brought it to the boil. then added come cooked BBQ chicken (approx one breast, no skin), tin of lentils, squeezed the juice then added the dill (I am seriously obsessed with dill at the moment!). That's all! And it was bloody delicious.

Tips to get through this phase
  • Variety, variety, variety. Get as many different protein sources as possible to keep yourself sane
  • Be prepared to spend more money than usual as protein is expensive
  • Buy protein sources that you love so that you look forward to eating it. I love the Sunshine Chili Chicken deli meat from Thomas Dux but it is expensive at $37.95/kg so I usually only buy a couple of slices. This time around I bought 250g as I get excited about eating it. I also bought smoked salmon as that is a real treat to eat and for dinner had fish two nights in a row which I wouldn't usually do. Hummus really helped add some excitement to plain deli meat as did my beloved dill which I would have with the smoked salmon.
  • Study the list of protein recipes on the Bodytrim website and make a few snacks that are more dessert like so you don;t have toe at non stop meat. Or buy some Bodytrim snacks to spice things up (I have only tried the Choc Nut Bites but will be reviewing some more next week so I will let you know how they go).
  • I was incredibly thirsty during this phase - probably due to the high salt content of all of the deli meats. Drink HEAPS of water - it also suppresses the appetite (most people confuse thirst with hunger and so snack when they really just need a drink).
You are not meant to weigh yourself until after week 1 but of course I was curious to see if I lost anything after this phase (I'm a bit scared of publicly failing...of doing to the diet but achieving no results - but my aim is to review it honestly so, if that is what happens then so be it). It looked liked I lost about 2.5kgs during this phase as my weight was down to 69.7kgs. This is where I understood the psychology of the carb detox - even though I know that I have pretty much just lost water weight, I was pretty chuffed to be back under 70kgs and to see that I had made some progress.

 So, there you go. That was the carb detox phase. I will be reviewing week 1 on Monday, including a formal weigh in, measurements and progress photos.

Have you done a carb detox before? How did you find it?

You can follow the rest of my weight loss journey here:

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. The Bodyytrim kit was provided for consideration but all other items were purchased myself, unless otherwise stated.