It’s pretty controversial, giving up food for 21 days. While the below post documents my experience with the 21 Day Herbalife Challenge, and shows you how to do the particular challenge I was advised by a distributor to try, I’ll start off by urging you to rethink this idea. What is much healthier, more sustainable and more tolerable, is a short juice cleanse like the one I’ve just come off (5 years after this Herbalife challenge). I lost 7.7lbs in 5 days and felt amazing. Read about my juice cleanse here 🙂
Common sense tells us that eating a balanced diet is a million times better than drinking meal replacement shakes, no matter how many nutrients the brand claims are in there.
The problem is, I’m really greedy. I love food. For the past couple of months I haven’t been in the slightest bit strict with myself. I hate to think how many packets of M&S seriously chocolate chocolate biscuits I got through over Christmas. It’s shameful.
In fact there were a couple of days after Christmas where I started to really wonder if I was pregnant. I felt rounder, bloated, like my body was expanding in order to host the growth of a human being. It turned out that it wasn’t a human being growing inside me after all, just the fatty by-product of too much wine, ale, chocolate, cheese and crisps with dips.
Like the rest of the world, I’m preparing to purge after the binge period. Some members of my Bootcamp group are trying the 21 day Herbalife meal replacement shake challenge, so I’ve decided to join them. Not only will it actually be much cheaper than buying food, a definite plus point in my current state of unemployment, but it will also give me the moral support I need to go against my body’s every instinct to eat EVERYTHING.
I know it’s controversial, I know it’s a bit extreme, but I’m treating it as an experiment and I intend to log my body stats along with how I’m feeling day to day to see how it affects my body and mind.
After the 21 days is up, I will go back to my normal pre-Christmas diet, in which I try to avoid ‘bad foods’ and eat lots of protein and veg.
My main concern is that while existing solely on Herbalife, I won’t have enough energy to carry on with my usual exercise and the additional runs I’ll be doing for half marathon training. Actually no my main concern is that I might break into M&S at night and eat myself into oblivion at the bakery counter.
Anyway, today is the ever-optimistic DAY ONE of my ‘challenge’. I’ve charged up my Fitbit wristband so I can properly track my calories, activity and heart rate. I’ve weighed in and measured myself, and I’m feeling positive – but then of course I’ve only been awake for five hours.
Rules of the Herbalife 21 Day Challenge
- 3 shakes a day
- No food
- No tea/coffee
- No alcohol
- One serving is 26g of powder with 250 – 400ml of semi-skimmed milk
- 4 pints of water a day
Disclaimer: this is the method I tried. There are other, less extreme forms of the 21 day Herbalife challenge. It’s much safer to only replace two meals with a shake, and still have one healthy balanced meal. Please don’t do anything as crazy as not eating for 3 weeks – at the time of this blog I was young and I really wanted to be skinny. Anyway, continue…
This morning I had trouble opening the milk and I thought about giving up. I don’t have very good grip when I’ve just woken up so I had to use the bread knife, as demonstrated below.
I used the blender I got my boyfriend for Christmas to make it all frothy.
Then I poured it into a mug and heated it up in the microwave as I was feeling a bit chilly after my morning walk in the rain to get grass for my guinea pigs.
It sort of erupted in the microwave and it looked suspiciously frothy like I might not have washed the washing up liquid out of the blender thoroughly enough. It tasted fine though. A taste I’m sure I will come to loath as the days go by.
My Current Body Stats
- Weight: 76kg
- Height: 5ft 11
- Fat percentage: 28.5%
- Muscle percentage: 27.2%
- Water percentage: 52.7%
- Waist: 31.7 inches
- Tummy: 38.1 inches
So, one shake down – 62 to go…
It’s been a few years so since I posted this blog, but as it’s still my most-read post on Whalebeings, so I thought I’d give you an update.
The Herbalife 21 Day Challenge was a bad idea. Don’t do this version – it’s too extreme. I was rendered bed-bound and physically sick by the end of the first week. It’s an extreme diet that will make you lose weight but you’ll also lose your mind from the pure boredom of drinking the same shake three times a day. ALSO there is so much sugar in it. Just don’t do it. Some people who sell Herbalife will tell you to swap two meals for a shake and eat one small meal a day.
Over the last few years I have gradually lost 3 kg, an inch off my waist and two from my tummy with exercise and healthy eating.
The moral of the story: find an exercise you love, do it most days, don’t beat yourself up for having a little extra chub and avoid Herbalife and other well-marketed, money-spinning extreme diet fads because they’re not sustainable.
OVER AND OUT.