Somehow I thought it was a good idea to pick these up before work today.
The good news is ... I never want to see chocolate again. I think you can guess the bad news. The mixed bag of chocolate covered nuts was extremely disappointing. I was expecting raisins and almonds covered in a variety of chocolates but 75% of the bag were these strange gelatin blobs encased in sugary C-grade chocolate. I picked out the almond (GIANT pieces) and cashew (shaped like a cashew) and threw the rest away because they were that gross. The chocolate covered blueberries were also rather disappointing. I saw Nikki post a picture of them on her FB and wanted to give them a try but what I thought were real blueberry centers were actually blobs of juice again. I still went to town on the bag.
I'd estimate I ate 3-4 servings in total, or 750-1000 calories in chocolate! (And that was by 9:15am ... YIKES!!!!) But, in the lesson of yesterday's post. I didn't feel guilty or angry at myself for over-eating. I felt stupid because my head was spinning and I wanted to barf and told myself to never eat that much chocolate before noon ever again!
Anyhow at lunch I went for a walk in the dismal weather and found myself at GNC trying to fit in with all the health-freaks. The store was having a buy one get one 50% off sale on all their protein supplements and the saleslady came by to ask I needed any assistance. I blurted out, barely thinking, "I want to lose weight in a healthy way but without exercising because I don't have time. Is that possible?" If my life were a cartoon, the lady's eyes would've lit up like GIANT DOLLAR SIGNS at the desperate and vulnerable consumer in front of her.
She started telling me about all the various meal supplements they had on special right now, and I told her quickly that I've tried diet pills before (darn you PGX daily) and they don't work for me. She then corrected my foolish ways by telling me that meal replacements are substitutes in place of one's normal meals. (Think Slimfast by 4x more expensive) She then started pointing out the differences in each brand and suggesting how I could incorporate meal replacement shakes in my daily routine.
Half an hour and $50 later, I happily walked back to the office with these two beauties. Myoplex Lite Nutrition Shakes in Vanilla Cream and Chocolate Cream. I wasn't convinced that these would do anything except dent my wallet, but after conducting some research back at the office, I was pleasantly surprised to think otherwise.
Meal replacements - do they work?
A recent meta-analysis published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders May 2, vol 27 (5) 2003 (pages 37-49) by Heymsfield et al showed that meal replacements result in medically significant weight losses - 7% average weight loss at 3 months and 7-8% at 1 year. Along with the weight loss there was also an improvement in some heart disease and diabetes risk factors such as blood glucose and insulin levels, blood lipid profiles and blood pressure.
Two groups of dieters were studied. The partial meal replacement (PMR) group replaced 1-2 meals daily with 1-2 vitamin/mineral fortified liquid meal replacements but included at least one meal of regular foods. The reduced calorie diet group (RCD) consumed the same number of calories as the PMR (800-1600kcal/day) but did not consume any meal replacaments. A significantly greater weight loss was achieved in subjects receiving the meal replacements compared with the RCD group. The former lost 7-8% body weight and the latter 3-7% i.e the PMR group lost 2.5kg more. There were also significantly less dropouts in the PMR group after 1 year. No reported adverse events were attributable to either weight loss regimen at one year.
Many other sites suggested that Meal Replacements were much more effective when compared to Reduced Calorie diets.
On June 17th, a trial was featured in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It focused on a comparison between two strategies for maintaining long term weight loss. This is a very big issue in the arena of weight management. So called “yo-yo dieting” (repeatedly losing and gaining weight) is known to put individuals at greater risk for numerous health conditions and increased mortality. (1,2) Yo-yoing can be a vicious cycle.
This particular examination followed 62 volunteers who had achieved at least 5% weight loss via diet over a period of 6 months. The group was then split into two. One section received a once-daily (liquid) meal replacement in addition to a low calorie diet. The remainder of the participants followed a low calorie diet exclusively. All of the volunteers were monitored for a total of 6 months. (3)
* Approximately 84% of the meal replacement group maintained their previous weight loss or lost additional pounds.
* Only 58% of those following the low calorie diet plan achieved that same goal.
* Those consuming the meal replacement also managed to lose about 2 1/2 times more weight than the diet group alone.
These results prompted the authors of the study to conclude that, “Substitution of a low-calorie diet formula for a meal is an effective measure for weight loss maintenance compared with dieting alone.”
Other recent studies have found similar success with meal replacements, but have also added additional information to the overall picture. A study from February 2009 determined that a high protein shake is more effective at lowering body fat than a “nutritionally balanced conventional” shake. (4) A 2008 study in the Nutrition Journal confirmed these findings and also noted that higher protein meal replacements appear to lower LDL (“bad”) and total cholesterol levels as compared to “standard protein” shakes. (5)
My supply will last 7 days if I replace two meals a day, or two weeks if I replace 1. I haven't decided how to proceed yet but will try replacing both breakfast and lunch with shakes tomorrow. What I'm already looking forward to is not having to time my meals AROUND my classes. I am very strict about not eating during class because it's distracting on both learning AND eating but 3 hours of class in a row often leaves me starving. (Not to mention 486R weekends with 12 hour consecutive classes) I can sip a shake during class much like water and receive constant nourishment and it will also save me the hassle of having to pack a lunch. I thought about eating a normal breakfast and subbing lunch/dinner but it seems like a waste to be drinking expensive meal supplements when I can cook up a healthy meal at home.
I try it out for Breakfast/Lunch tomorrow and it that seems too much then I will just sub lunch. While the concept of drinking "insta-meals" seem like cheating to me, Clifs and Lunas are also one of my favourite ways of sustenance so this is hardly different. I also hope that this will ease my obsessive meal-planning and calorie counting so I can focus on other aspects of the day.
In other news, dinner has been pretty exciting lately.
Last night I stuffed the rest of the "chicken-taco-pasta-stuffing" in a yellow pepper and baked it for half an hour. The result topped with frank's red hot sauce was delicious!
Tonight's dinner was also delicious. Can you tell I craved only salty after a day of chocolate? Half a grilled cheese, pickles, and kale doused in ketchup. The veggies were yummy but I clearly still need to master the art of grilled cheese. (note that the top half of the bread is the wrong way)
Will post thoughts on my first meal replacement day tomorrow!