I haven’t written much about my 6-month struggle to lose baby weight, but here’s the short version of the story: I gained 50 pounds during my pregnancy with my daughter (not sure how that happened!) and I had no idea how hard it would be to lose that much weight. Before this, I had never had to lose more than 12 pounds at a time, and what I’ve learned is that dropping 5 dress sizes happens very slowly over a period of many months. It takes a lot of deprivation and going to bed hungry and missing out on things like birthday cake at the office and martinis on date night. I dream about bagels with lox. It’s been a long 6 months.
I know there are women reading this who understand what I’m going through. This past week I hit another plateau (that happens often) and it also happened to be the first day of fall, so when I took my skinny jeans out of storage and discovered that none of them fit–not one pair–I had some real motivation. I literally had nothing to wear but a pair of black maternity jeans. That’s when I conveniently got a pitch for the Bikini Cleanse in my inbox. Marketed for women who have an upcoming beach vacation, the 7-day cleanse promises that you will lose enough weight to look good in your swimwear by the end of the week. Substitute “bikini” for “pre-baby skinny jeans” and the program sounded like it was just what I needed.
The Bikini Cleanse: Use code SHEFINDS15 to get 15% off.
What it is: the Bikini Cleanse is not a juice cleanse (I’ve done plenty of those and am over them), it’s a once a day meal-replacement smoothie (they provide the packet, you blend with ice, almond milk and water), twice daily raspberry ketone mix (a packet you mix with 16 oz. of water), and a nighttime detoxifying tea. You still eat two meals a day but the foods have to come from an approved list that is basically organic free-range proteins (chicken, lamb, turkey, etc) vegetables and a few select condiments/seasonings. You are eating very, very clean–Gwyneth Paltrow would be proud. No salt, sugar, alcohol, dairy or gluten.
To be successful on the cleanse, according to the instructions, you need to 1) prepare your food in advance (chop and steam your veggies, grill your meat), 2) do 45 minutes of vigorous activity per day like spinning (full disclosure, I didn’t do that part) and 3) cancel all your social obligations for the week, because you can’t cheat on the diet and you definitely can’t sneak a drink. You are going to be lame for the week.
I just finished the cleanse today and instead of walking you through every boring detail – here’s what you need to know: I loved it. I lost 5 pounds in 7 days (which has got to be some kind of record, right?!), I actually really enjoyed it and except for a headache I had for the first day and part of the second (sugar withdrawal, I suspect) I felt great. I totally got in to the diet–unlike juice cleanses, you actually eat food–and went to Whole Foods the first night and spent $90 on every vegetable you can imagine plus chicken breasts, pre-cooked packages of grilled chicken to put in my lunches, mahi mahi for dinner and almond milk for the smoothies. Every night I’d come home and instead of immediately heading for the couch with a glass of wine, I was bouncing around my kitchen steaming vegetables and prepping chicken for the grill and making my lunch for the next day. I have never eaten so many green things in one meal–steamed asparagus, broccoli, bok choy, I even steamed my first artichoke head. (Per instructions, I took a Bean-o the first night. That was totally necessary! Just sayin’.) I read a book at night instead of sharing a scotch with my husband and every morning I woke up and the scale sang to me. It was fabulous.
Now, I’m not saying I’m going to become one *those* people who doesn’t eat sugar, gluten, dairy, etc. for life or who can’t have fun or drink or enjoy a piece of fancy cheese every once and awhile–BUT, now I know why people adopt these diets. The body physically responds to it and rewards the person with better sleep, better skin, weight loss, the works. It’s a lesson I’m glad I learned, and via a cleanse, no less!
Editors note: Yes, I did receive a sample cleanse free of charge to try, but no the company did not payment for this review and everything written here is true.