Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dissection: The RESET Program

Don’t you wish your body had a RESET button?  Well, the good folks at USANA Health Sciences have created one for those who can’t seem to break away from those gluttonous cravings.  I pressed my own RESET button two weeks ago and posted my results daily on Facebook.  Several people asked exactly how it works, and here’s the long awaited response!

There are two ways you can purchase RESET; purchase a RESET kit and it has everything you need in it, plus a light workout DVD, a daily chart and some extras.  It also has a variety of different flavors of the Nutrimeal shakes (5 Dutch Chocolate, 5 Strawberry and 5 Vanilla).  I personally am not a fan of strawberry or vanilla shakes, so I purchased each item separately.

RESET Kit contains:
  • 15 servings of Nutrimeal™ (available in a variety pack of Dutch Chocolate, Wild Strawberry, and French Vanilla)
  • 5 Peanut Butter Crunch Nutrition Bars
  • 5 Oatmeal Raisin Bars
  • 5 HealthPak 100™ AM/PM packets
  • 1 RESET program guide
  • 1 RESET magnet

I’m a self-proclaimed chocoholic and I’m pretty proud of it!  Since I mentioned that I’m not a fan of strawberry or vanilla shakes (even the real milkshakes, too), I purchased a couple pouches of USANA’s Chocolate Whey Nutrimeal.  It costs a couple dollars more per bag than the other flavors (which include a blend of soy and whey protein), but I’m crazy about the rich chocolatey taste!  All of the Nutrimeal shakes contain 230 calories, 6 grams of fat, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of fiber, and 15 grams of protein.  I’ve also gotten big on natural foods and there’s no artificial ingredients in Nutrimeal which is a huge plus for me.

What I began the RESET program with:
2 Bags of Chocolate Whey Nutrimeal
1 Box Oatmeal Raisin Bars
1 Box Chocolate Fusion Bars (yeah, I love my chocolate...)
1 Box HealthPak 100 AM/PM packets (I get this every month anyway)

In addition to the kit or purchasing separately, whichever method you choose, the directions also state that you eat one serving of fruit and one serving of vegetables each day you’re on the program.  However, you have some leeway here - if you’re hungry, grab some fruit or veggies.  Make sure they’re low-glycemic, though.  No potatoes!

Each day, your meal plan (according to the directions) is as follows:

Breakfast Shake with AM HealthPak
Snack (Nutrition bar)
Lunch Shake
Snack (Nutrition bar)
Dinner Shake with PM HealthPak
Bonus Snack

I ate everything to the letter each day, adding fresh fruit to my shakes (a handful of strawberries or raspberries and blend with shake).  Lunch, I supplemented my shake with an organic salad mix with cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach and a light splash of Italian dressing.  Dinner time, I had a shake and depending on how I felt, I either had another salad or a chicken breast.  In between meals, I had one nutrition bar.  I also drank 3-4 litres of water each day (something I do every day regardless) with no other drinks, not even juice, soda, or tea/coffee. did I feel?  First day, I’m not gonna lie - I was hungry as hell.  But that’s to be expected since I’m so used to eating whatever is available without any thought to the consequences on whether if it is nourishing me or just filling me up with empty calories.  Thank god for eating as much fruit and vegetables - that helped me.  Whether it was physically helping or psychologically helping, I’m not sure - that’s up to science.  As each day went on, my body adjusted and I noticed that I wasn’t feeling tired or sluggish.  Not even in the least bit.  And something interesting happened, not something I had planned for.  Mentally, I was scrutinizing each food that entered my mouth - is this good for me?  Where did this come from?  Is it as natural as possible (minimally processed)?  Will this make me feel good or like a fat slob?

Now, before you freak out at this whole mental aspect of interrogating each piece of food that enters your mouth, think about this: food is fuel for your body.  Nothing more, nothing less.  So many people put an emotional attachment to food, cultures revolve around food, food is an integral part of people’s lives.  Once the emotional attachment can be separated (and granted, this may be harder for most), you will be able to see food for what it truly is: fuel for the body.  After all, you’d put the best possible fuel in your car, right?  You wouldn’t put sludge in your car because it’ll wreck your car.  And yet people constantly put sludge in their bodies!  See my previous post on Fast Food Nation and Dr. Dixon’s experiment with fast food and its affect on his blood.

“Okay, just get down to it - what were the results??”

I weighed myself first thing each morning after doing my business because I wanted to be consistent.  Weight fluctuations can simply be water weight and not your actual body weight, so I wanted to expel as much as I could before weighing myself.  Probably TMI for you, but if you’re looking for accurate results, you’ve got to be consistent and this is how I attempted to be consistent each time I stepped on the scale.

In my bathroom, I have a digital scale which is kinda cool.  Here’s a breakdown of my weight each day:

Beginning: 192.8
Day 1: 189.2 Loss: -3.6
Day 2: 188.4 Loss: -0.8
Day 3: 187.6 Loss: -0.8
Day 4: 187.8 Loss: +0.2
Day 5: 187.0 Loss: -0.8
Total Weight Released: 5.8 lbs in 5 days

Despite actually GAINING on Day 4, I released a total of 5.8 lbs in 5 days - not a bad start!  This release, coupled with a newfound mentality of scrutinizing the food that I put in my mouth, has helped me continue to release weight.  Two weeks later, I’m down to 185.2 lbs and I have been preparing my own meals every day.  Only twice I ate crap - one was because I was at a bachelor party and my choices were pretty limited so I figured I’d enjoy one of the best burgers I’ve had in months, and another was what I consider my free day.  I actually gotta say - its been pretty awesome!

So how the heck does this work??  Calorie deprivation?  Nah - not in that sense.  For the scientific stuff, I’ll let USANA explain:

How RESET Works

It’s no secret that the key to effective weight loss is making positive changes in diet and exercise. That’s why USANA scientists developed the RESET™ weight-management program—to help people jumpstart healthy eating habits and begin to make a clean break from unhealthy, high-glycemic foods.*

Low-glycemic foods often provide greater satiety and sustained energy. By virtue of their slow digestion and absorption, low-glycemic foods can help control appetite and delay hunger.* All of USANA’s foods are clinically proven to be low glycemic. The glycemic index is the key to controlling your cravings.  It isn't necessary to starve yourself to lose weight. In fact, consistently eating less than 1,000 calories a day may actually slow down your metabolism and make it harder to lose weight. You do, however, need to make smarter choices about what you eat.

When you eat high-glycemic foods it can cause your body's blood glucose levels to quickly spike and then crash, leading to feelings of hunger sooner and seemingly uncontrollable cravings.
A better choice is to eat low-glycemic foods which keep blood glucose levels more stable, helping to reduce carbohydrate cravings, leave you feeling satisfied longer, and control your appetite more easily. All of USANA's Macro-Optimizers are clinically tested and guaranteed to be low glycemic, and nearly 95 percent of RESET participants report significantly reduced carbohydrate cravings after completing the five days.

More information can be found here. In addition, for those of you who are really into clinical studies and scientific charts, bars and graphs, Dr. Ray Strand, author of Releasing Fat: Developing Healthy Lifestyles That Have a Side Effect of Permanent Weight Loss has a 12-week clinical study with participants beginning with the 5-Day RESET program and moving into the transition phase. The results are here and his website is

The first couple days were hard for me, but any time you make a big change, it will be hard at first.  Soon, you gain momentum and it gets easier.  

Til next time,

Regular Joe Cool can be reached at Shoot him an email - he'll think you're cool.

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