The Experiment – Shake, shake, shake…

Ever thought about meal shakes and what the buzz is about…?

We did as we were motivated by:

  • Not having time in the mornings
  • Family & Friends who have High Blood Pressure and want to lean up the right way.
  • Wanting to, ourselves, be healthier and improving our chances for avoiding later complications
  • Wanting to build general awareness about focusing on the effects of what we eat on our bodies.

My wife found something we liked and have since replaced breakfast and lunch as well as made a few more tweaks here-and-there…

It’s important to point out at this time that we didn’t jump in blind, of course – We did our research and found various products with a varied degree of both positive and negative reviews and even some that weren’t fond of even switching to shake at all. I mean, why would they? It’s not like there are millions of <insert currency here> tied up in manufacturing, farming and processing, etc…!!
Digging deeper, I uncovered benefits that include:
  • More complete nutrition and vitamin intake – great for busy people (Students/Professionals) so you get more of what need than what you would from coffee and a muffin from <insert major coffee franchise here>.
  • Greater sense of feeling amazing – You know that your body is getting everything it needs without the crap.
  • Less waste – less packing manufacturing, means less packaging and less pressure on landfills and recycling plants = good for the environment.
  • Reduced need for animal farming.
  • Saving money – with most shakes, you’ll spend less for breakfast and lunch than you would from said coffee shop franchise.
  • Saves time  – Great for those busy individuals who little to no time for breakfast… And, no queuing or staff spelling our name wrong (!!).
  • Just to name a few…
Yep, for the busy or healthy lifestyle, meal shakes are looking pretty good and socially responsible. What to do, what to do, what to do…
So, we took the plunge, deciding that, on paper, it was a good idea and have now replaced 2 meals – Breakfast and Lunch, and have solid focus on leaning up our dinners – the aim here is to get healthier and change/control our behaviour towards snacking and eating in general – right now I know that on the inside, I could be leaner, especially knowing the health issues the men in my family have faced in their later years. I’d like to give myself the best shot possible. So, if that means making/trying a change like this… Well then that’s just that, I guess… If you don’t try, you’ll never know. Right? And if people we know can benefit, then it’s even more worth it.

Note: The products we chose to run with are EFSA (European Food Standard Authority) approved – They are the regulating body UK and EU and are separate to any political entity.

Getting back to it…  We’ve literally totally adapted to this nutrition 
plan.
Changes and expected benefits:
  • Little to no dairy – reduced bloating.
  • no coffee or tea (unless herbal)
  • Lean and still tasty meals – Low carb, low-fat
  • Reduced visceral fat – Please see the bottom this post to learn more about this the dangers of this.
  • Lower BP
  • Protein Bars to control snacking
  • Increased water intake (2+ litres/day)
  • Increased energy and sense of health
  • More consistent mood and mindful state.
  • And my wife and I haven’t killed each other…
Side-effects:
  • Nothing really.  Just the expected detox our bodies went through, like cold turkey for a couple of days, as we got used to the new routine and not getting the quick ‘fixes’ that some foods were giving us.
What’s involved?
The Preparation:

Before we begin, we did the old before photos and weighed in using the Tanita BC1000 scales which gave us readings like:
  • Current weight
  • Body Fat %
  • Bone Weight %
  • Body Muscle %
  • Body Water %
  • etc… 
The nutrition plan:
  • Wake up have an herbal tea and a fibre supplement to kick-start your digestion and help you to process and pass unwanted fat.  15 mins later – meal shake time.
  • Mid morning – Nuts, Protein Bar or Protein Shake.
  • Lunch – Fibre Supplement and Tea, Then Meal Shake (I’m looking to gain muscle and add whey protein and a meal like a Salad with Chicken, Tuna, Mackerel or Sardines in it.
  • Mid afternoon – Nuts, Protein Bar or Protein Shake.
  • Dinner – Tea/Fibre combo and a normal home-cooked meal (focused around no white carb, low saturated fat, high protein).
The Exercise:

In additional, we found a boot camp that offers a free programme for 4 weeks of fitness coaching in a local group environment – school gym and local parks. Min 2 days a week – I was losing too much weight, as the sessions are very cardio intensive and targeted at those losing weight, so I hit the gym instead and upped my protein intake (as above).
So, what have the results been so far..?

Now we’re getting down to it – What has the whole point be for doing this?
Again, using the Tanita BC1000 body composition scales, here are our readings, Day 1 to last Reading, and the difference so far:
My reading (Male, 36 years):
Reading
12th Nov 2015 (Day 1)
23rd Jan 2016
Difference: Day 1 to Latest)
Height
169cm
169cm
0 (Damn!!)
Body Fat
25.3% / 18.3kg
22.7% / 16.2kg
– 2.6% / 2.1kg
Visceral Fat
Level 8
Level 7
– 1 level
Fat Free Mass
54.0kg
55.2kg
+ 1.2kg
Muscle Mass
71% / 51.3kg
73.4% / 52.4kg
+ 2.4% / 1.1kg
Bone Mass
2.7kg
2.8kg
+ 0.1kg
Body Water
53.2% / 38.5kg
54.6% / 39kg
+ 1.4% / 0.5kg
Metabolic Age
51 Years (!!)
43 Years
– 8 Years
Weight
72.3kg
71.4kg
– 0.9kg

My wife’s readings (33 years):

Reading
1st Nov 2015 (Day 1)
23rd Jan 2016
Difference (Day 1 to Latest)
Height
170cm
170cm
0
Body Fat
35.7% / 27.1kg
32.4% / 23.7kg
+ 3.30% / 3.40kg
Visceral Fat
Level 5
Level 4
– 1 level
Fat Free Mass
48.8kg
49.3kg
+ 0.5kg
Muscle Mass
61% / 46.3kg
64.1% / 46.8kg
+ 3.10% / 0.5kg
Bone Mass
2.5kg
2.5kg
0.0kg
Body Water
45.6% / 34.6kg
47.9% / 34.9kg
+ 2.3% / 0.3kg
Metabolic Age
48 Years (!!)
40 Years
– 8 Years
Weight
75.9kg
73.0kg
– 2.9kg
 
Our general overview:

As you can see, it green across the board for both of us (apart for my height – that could do with getting taller!!) –
  • I have traded 2.1kg of Body Fat for 1.1kg of muscle and
  • my wife has traded 3.4kgs of body fat for 0.5kg of Muscle.
  • It’s also pleasing to see that our visceral fat has gone down (Level 1-10 indicate healthy levels, but you want to get this as low as possible.  I’ve been advise that 5 is a good bench mark), this directly reduces the risk of Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure and onset of Type 2 Diabetes – I have a fair way to go to catch up to my wife’s Level – For more info on the dangers of visceral fat, see the end of this post for links.
  • I recommend others to try it however, ensure the products are regulated for this region and, if you have health complication, always consult your doctor first.
  • I think it’s also worth noting, the we did exercise however, even if exercise isn’t your thing, you’ll still improve your health but having a meal shake that ensures you get the right base nutrition for your body and, if you stick to the nutrition plan you’ll be cutting out all of unwanted fats and sugars from breakfast and lunch anyway! That’s gotta be good for you!!
  • Even if you’re like us and love to both cook and eat – with a bit of balance you can enjoy both worlds and still benefit from improved health.
  • In the least, please focus on your visceral fat level – It can cause you some serious issues later in life…

 I feel like I’m in the best shape I’ve been in for a good while!!

Please, in the least, please focus on your visceral fat level – It can cause you some serious issues later in life…

 
Note: Results would’ve been better however, we did throw the plan to the wind over the Christmas period, we are human after all and there’s so much good food around this time of year!!
In addition, we are participating in a 6 week challenge with 1 week left to go, so I’ll be dropping you an update here once we’ve h.ad the final composition reading done.
Boom there you have it…
Thanks for reading

If you who wants similar results or are just looking for some healthy alternatives, please send your contact details below.

What is Visceral Fat (Active Fat) and Why is it Dangerous.

Please visit these links to learn more – You’ll see that, just within these few articles, there are plenty of reason for you and your loved ones to action:

Daily Mail

Diabetes.co.uk

LiveStrong.com

 

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