Why I went into meal replacements. It’s fun, I promise.
By Max Ignacio
I’ve been running Big Day Brews for a month now and realize that not a lot of people know what to expect from my brand-child. I’m at the grips of an educational marketing plan as we speak to mend this but I feel compelled to tell you my story before everyone else starts sharing theirs.
I work two jobs. Three if you count Big Day Slim Team and Big Day Brews separately (which they are). Apart from Big Day, I run our family business all the way in Rizal. I live in QC and Big Day Headquarters is located in Pasig. My days comprise of mainly to-ing and fro-ing from these places, which is a colossal hassle if you’re a Metro Manila commuter. I waste a lot of time in the car jetting from A to B, and this doesn’t even include all the house errands and work-life balance activities I try to squeeze in (like going to the gym or taking my poor time-deprived boyfriend on a date). As I zip across Metro Manila living my life, I often have to eat: a) in the car or b) where I wind up.
I rarely have the privilege of sitting down and digesting a meal like a normal, blessed with time kind of person. I’m usually eating plus doing something else. It’s also hard to go on a diet when you have no packed lunch with you and are forced to pick from the slew of fast food joints nearby. It’s equally as tough when you do have baon but it’s chock-full of rice and dinuguan from home. So I tried two things…
Diet Delivery Plans, Welcome to Your Tape
So in my attempt to lose some weight and to eat better, I subscribed to those weekly meal plans with 1,200 calories provided daily.
I’m the type of girl who likes to eat what she wants BUT is amenable to compromise. Say, I’m craving KFC tonight but I know that’s a finger-lickin’ sin. So I take a step back and tell myself, “I’ll opt for a grilled lemon chicken breast then!” Not bad, right? Better than KFC at least. So when meal plan suppliers tell me that they are serving tortang talong for dinner that day, no questions asked, you’ll more likely see a one-piece original recipe swimming in gravy in front of me than any other time.
The fact that I pre-paid three meals a day for five days and am at no liberty to choose what to eat gives me “food fatigue”, which is my fancy way of saying, nakakasawa naman. At the end of the week, my cravings get crazy and I end up binging on the weekends for I would dread the Monday to come when the diet delivery man will pay me his next visit.
So dreading and binging complete, I conceded to how maybe meal plans are not for me. If food fatigue was the problem, maybe a shorter but torqued up diet would work…
Detox and Juice Cleanse, You’re Next
This doesn’t need a long explanation: I was hungry 24/7.
Now I really died.
Gulping down six bottles a day of cold-pressed juices just wasn’t enough to give me the energy to keep on going. Yes, I was supposed to be cleansing and I wasn’t supposed to be doing anything strenuous for the duration of the cleanse but after losing the pounds, how do I sustain the weight-loss? I observed that my body needed energy crucially. The busy life I lived took up more energy that these juices provided so I got dizzy spells, hunger pangs and was very unlikeable for a few days.
Don’t get me wrong. I lost around four pounds while on meal subscription plans and really enjoyed the taste of those yummy detox juices, but it felt like they weren’t tapered towards me, otherwise I wouldn’t have thought of something else.
Here’s Where I Try to Close You
I created meal substitute drinks so that they could fill the need I was yearning from the two weight-loss methods I tried. A chef and nutritional coach joined forces together with me in order to bring out what’s here on this website.
Our meal substitute drinks are not as smooth as cold-pressed juices because we fortify each recipe with fiber and protein. If you’ve tried our drinks, you’ll notice that there are seeds, pulp, and fibrous bits in them which account for the fiber and protein you’ll need. Cold-press juicers purposely leave out the fiber from fruits, vegetables, and nuts—and that’s the main difference. Don’t worry though, our drinks aren’t extremely fibrous, so much so that they look like a mush of fruits and veggies or the green monster from the blue lagoon. They are still predominantly liquid with happy bits in inside. We also add some healthy calories to give you the fuel to burn for hours without going beyond 400 calories per bottle.
I formatted the subscription plan to be a once-a-day kind of thing because every human being needs to consume at least one solid meal a day. If I have a sausage McMuffin for breakfast, a meal replacement drink for lunch and a salad for dinner, I still create a deficit for my calories for the day (if you’re curious, a sausage McMuffin has 333 calories. You’re welcome). If you factor in the three days a week I work-out, I actually have the freedom to eat some baked salmon along with that salad. I wouldn’t be able to work-out in the gym like that on a juice cleanse, nor will I have felt as happy to eat that sausage McMuffin in the morning because I would have felt the guilt of straying from my meal plan.
The beauty of meal replacement drinks is I get to decide how to arrange my diet meals for the day. Plus, if I’m lucky enough to spend one dinner with my friends, then no meal is chucked to the dark side of the refrigerator (this happened with my meal plan run; a bunch of containers with uneaten food piled up in our refrigerator due to the nights I had dinner out, it was an unfortunate waste of food and money).
But the best thing about meal replacement drinks is, you’ll be surprised at how long you can stick to it as a diet. For me, getting to choose what to enjoy for breakfast and dinner helps me stick to a healthy and yummy meal substitute drink every day. I found that I had less cravings on the weekends, I had all the energy I needed from the drinks and the solid meals I partook daily, and I can easily consume the drinks at my convenience. This has saved my life countless times during my drive home at 6PM, tired, starving and in traffic.
I’m not claiming that this is what you should do. I’m saying it worked for me after several other diets didn’t, but try to know how you react to diets in the first place. Maybe that holds the key to finding out if the diet that worked for me, will work for you.
HOW OLD SCHOOL EXERCISE
I think people have a certain idea of what I should look like when I tell them I own a slimming and now diet facility. The truth is, I’m not thin. You won’t see a Kendall Jenner-esque figure in front of you when I approach to shake your hand.
Big Day provides the tools to help shape your body and health towards a lifestyle that’ll better your being, may that be in confidence, health or both. I’m not selling a short-cut to being skinny, let’s get that out of the way.
The most common question I get asked is, “how fast do I see results?” Although technology has come a long way and yes, you do get measureable results in each session, I caution my customers against counting the inches. Non-invasive slimming is best used to usher in your best body. It’s best seen as an introduction, not the finale. And just like any story, you’ve got to work your way towards the best part.
Keeping your body looking the way you want is a matter of sustainability. It’s a constant and conscious choice to keep fighting the good fight. And by that I mean habitually eating better and staying fit. Done with your 6-round cavitation session with our machines? Now it’s time for the real work.
I want to dedicate our website’s first blog entry to the other force that has helped me, at least, achieve the body fit for me, more confidence and a generally happier life: exercise.
I wish I could say I’m a wunderkind in the gym but I’m not. I used to abhor it completely but I’ve managed to bring it to a love-hate relationship. The hate still being there. I’m not devoid of bargaining with myself as to what else to do with my time than spend an hour and a half tumbling around in a padded space. I still do that, and I’m getting more creative at it. But I go anyway, and I gut it out each time. I condition myself to just do it, no questions asked.
It’s easier now, I suppose, than when I signed up for the membership. I wasn’t sure how long I wanted to pay for a retainer that I wouldn’t use. Needless to say, I doubted I could keep it a habit.
Back then, I was frustrated at how I let myself go. Thinking, “I’m getting old, my body ain’t what it used to be” when truth was, I just wasn’t the same. I didn’t have the same discipline and motivation. Life has a way of doing that, you know? It’s a shame, but what ultimately kicked me into high-gear was a boy telling me, “yeah, you did let go”.
I don’t know what made hearing it from a boy different from the mornings I told myself the exact same thing. I guess I half hoped that what I was telling myself was all in my head. But hearing it from an actual human being realized it. Long story short, I kicked myself in the ass and kicked that boy out of my life. The first step to a happy life is getting rid of the bad juju.
I went to the gym three times a week. I hired a trainer and bought a ton of good sports bras to force myself to use them (those things are not cheap!) After maybe four months of keeping the habit, my friends started to notice me getting slimmer but I noticed something more than that.
It wasn’t the slimmer physique that jolted my confidence, it was how far my body has come along. I remember starting with a kneeling push-up on a high box. I remember the mental and physical struggle. My lungs contract as I remember the hustle, but I get to do full push-ups now while I blabber about how I apply my eyeliner to my trainer. It’s still my favorite milestone to date. I’ve come a long way, and I’m here to tell you it gets easier.
This post isn’t about sharing my stats or showing my fitness program. That’s for a future blog post, maybe. It’s me telling you, the struggle is real but most especially, the struggle will take long. The best advice and lesson I learned after my year of fitness is, if you are not prepared to make a life-long commitment, then your life (and body) isn’t about to change. If you’re not ready for a fitness or diet regimen yet, then that’s okay. Most things that are forced only have short lifespans anyway.
Your body has limits in strength and in so far as how thin it can get based on the lifestyle you have. The key is to feel love and happiness with the body you’ve got, and I for one, got that through diet, exercise and a bit of maintenance from non-invasive slimming treatments. I know my body thanks me for the year I dedicated to it, and I thank my body and mind for not failing me either. It’s gotten me to a point of confidence that doesn’t necessitate a Kendall Jenner-esque physique. Just regular me, Max, in all my Max-glory in my own Max body that I worked very hard for. Pleased to meet you.
The Big Day Brews blog is mainly authored by Max Ignacio, founder of Big Day Slim Team Inc. She enjoys stressing about life (especially work), lattes with her friends, kettle bell swings and Boston Terriers. She also acknowledges that the struggle to keep your body in check is very real. This is her way of helping and venting.