No supplements at all?

  •  Hey everyone,

    I am celiac and also struggle with dairy (yeah, it sucks!) so even if I DID find a gluten free whey protein I struggle with dairy (even isolate with very little lactose).  So I am doing BFL with no supplements at all, not even protein powder.  To be honest all the weird things in protein powders is unnerving to me, plus all the artificial sweeteners.  Looks like something invented in a chemist lab vs a real food.

    Anybody else doing this with real food only?  Would love to hear your thoughts and tricks.  I am committed to the 12 week program with real food, week one is done and I lost 5.1 pounds and while it was tough, week one was great but need some ideas for real food snacks.



  • Hi Going Strong,

    Despite the reasons I love the concept, I think a full program without supplements, instead utilizing whole foods would be great.  Please let us know how you end up!!!


  • Thanks Brez, I will keep everyone posted.  So far, 1 week in, I have lost 5.1 pounds with only occasional whey protein...with all the ensuing bloating etc but it stopped me form eating junk food.  

    I did see a whey protein isolate with lactase (digestive enzyme) in it so if it is lactose causing my issues then this could be a good work around.  If not then I will be doing the challenge with real food only, but preliminary results are good considering my goal was only to lose 15 pounds total.

  • Hi Going Strong,

    I started my 1st challenge on 1/2/12.  I lost 7 lbs by the end of week 1 and an additional 2lbs by the end of week 2 for a total of 9 lbs. not to mention 1 1/2 notches on my belt.  I have used NO supplements besides for a once-a-day multi-vitamin, real food only!

    I believe and I'm sure most doctors would also agree that there is NO substitute for the protein/carbs/vitamins/minerals/antioxidants that you get from eating fresh fruit/vegetables/lean meats/low-fat dairy/whole grains/nuts as compared to what you get from processed protein shakes.  Not to mention real food tastes better, it's cheaper and will keep you feeling "full" longer.  However, that is my opinion.  I'm sure some people aren't able to prepeare or cosume 6 well balaned meals due to work/family/school obligations.  Luckily at work I get a 20 min break  every hour which affords me the time to eat 6 balanced meals.  

    To make sure that i'm taking in enough vitamins/minerals/antioxidants I eat fruit (apple, banana, orange, strawberries, cantalope. grapes) as my carb for at least 3 of the 6 meals.  Another benefit of fruit is that there is virtually no prep time and very protable. I also eat fresh vegetables (broccoli, spinach, romains, red peppers, asparagus) with at least 4 of the 6 meals. As far as proteins go, i grill up 6 chicken breasts or salmon fillets on sunday and have a quality protein ready for me all week!  I also eat 1% cottage chz every day and usually combine it with low-fat yogurt for a quick snack.  I also eat tuna salad just about every day which is easy to prepare in a couple of minutes.  I'll be marinating a flank steak tommorrow for dinner on Thursday and will eat the leftovers for a protein on Friday and Saturday.  Last week I made a meatloaf with 97% lean ground beef and was pleasantly suprised at how well it turned out considering the extremely low fat content of the meat. I have also used a portion (1/4 cup) of nuts (almonds, peanuts, pistachios) as a protein and combined it with a fruit for a snack.  I know nuts aren't a great source of protein but u still get about 7 grams plus 4-5 grams of fiber and the healthy fat from them not only protects your heart but also promotes fat-burning even though they are high in fat.  So can't go wrong with nuts as long as you don't go over board and stick to a portion.

    Hope this was some help to you.

  • Pperk, that was a very informative post.  I appreciate hearing how you eat and how you meet your protein needs.  I'm also encouraged by your use of fruit.

    I recently read an interview with a former Body for Life champion who said that she cut out all fruit and that she thinks people, women especially, eat too much fruit.

    I was thinking, "Yeah, that's why America is obese.  Too much fruit."

  • Good info pperk!

  • VillageJen,

    I couldn't agree with you more.  America didn't get fat from fruit!!!  I have also read alot of articles and programs that tell you to avoid fruit and none of that makes any sense to me.  What's not to like about fruit;  1.) Low calories 2.) High fiber  3.) Unprocessed  4.) High vitamin/mineral/antioxidants

    I'll take a piece of fresh fruit over processed whole wheat pasta, bread or rice any day of the week!!  

  • Vilage Jen, If I'm not mistaken doesn't the BFL book state that some fruits are ok to eat during the program and even recommended for their nutrients. (dare I bring up the much aligned banana which does have  a good source of potassium to avoid cramping during workouts later in the day).

  • I just started on the 15th and am also doing the program sans supplements - partly due to money savings and partly due to avoiding the artificial sugars, chemicals, etc. So far (well, two days later!) it's been going ok. I am pretty on track with what pperk said. I try to make my meals when they suggest a bar or shake be something that's pretty much all fruit/veggie and some smaller protein source too (boiled egg white, nuts, turkey jerky). I save my iced tea for a snack time too - seems like more of a treat and it lasts a while. I think it we can be very successful with this approach. I have heard good things about the BLF cookbook - haven't gotten a copy yet, but I wonder if it has other snack ideas...I wanted to find out if all natural popcorn was on option. Happy eating :)

  • Whole foods are the BEST option! The supplements are just that...supplements. They are there to make grabbing a quick meal easy. But personally I prefer real food and if planned ahead, I don't find it hard at all to have a whole days worth of real food ready to go. During my first challenge I used all most all real food with an occasional protein shake (maybe once or twice a week). After reading a lot about the benefits of a vegan diet, and reading so many people asking about doing the challenge as a vegan (yet never seeing any finishers who did it that way), I decided to do the challenge on a completely vegan diet and see how my body responds. In order to get enough protein to build maximum muscle, I am supplementing with rice and hemp protein powders as it is hard to get a lot of protein as a vegan without eating brick after brick of tofu. The nice thing about these protein powders is that the ingredients are natural and don't contain a long list of words I can't pronounce. The hemp powder is 100% Hemp seed with nothing else added and the rice powder is just rice, rice syrup, and cocoa. There is nothing wrong in your case with eating only real food (in fact this is usually best), but if you do want a protein powder that is natural, gluten free, soy free,chemical free, and lactose free, there are some good vegan options out there to try. You can buy them online or at your local health food store.

  • I agree with you all that eating real foods are totally the way to go.  On one of the forums people had issues with bananas and other fruits, because they were not specifically stated on the "The suggested food list", even though they are recommended in the book.  WPBill you are right that fruit counts as a carb choice according to the book.  Real foods meals do take a lot more planning.  I am not opposed to an occasional bar or protein powder, but  try to find the best natural products I can get and afford.  When it comes to the other muscle building supplements, ect.  I think those are not needed.  As far as I am concerned that is my foods job to provide my  body with the nourishment needed to build my muscle and give me the energy I need.

  • Totally do-able without supplements.  I do have a protein drink after my workout, but don't supplement with anything else.  I dabbled with a few things during my first challenge (CLA), and decided that I don't want to rely on any supplements to make me look/feel a certain way.  I do think vitamins, calcium, fish oil, etc....are all good supps to take, but you don't need any of the "sport specific" stuff.  Best wishes and good luck!

    "The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday!"

  • Amazing, thanks pperk!  Great to hear another real-fooder is having success!

  • I agree with you BDMom- vitamins (or better eyt, have your blood tested and supplement where you are low vs a multivitamin) and fish oil are great tools.  I don't really consider them supplements in that they are not replacing meals, nor are they meant too.

    Protein powder makes me feel sick, bloated and stuffed up otherwise I would definitely use it...just too convenient!  When I decided to stop using the stuff and read the ingredients I was pretty shocked so am glad I not only eat things with 1 ingredient (aside from spice blends on my meat and the occasioanal sauce).

  • Hi Everyone,

    Update time:  Real food for 2 weeks of BFL!  I have noticed hunger dropping considerably and food is far less a treat than it is pure fuel.  After giving up the MRP and protein powders, bloating completely gone, energy up and sinuses are clear...woohoo!

    Week 1:  lost 5 pounds

    *Week 2:  lost 1 pound, though oficial weigh in is tomorrow

    * special note about about week 2.  Weight loss is PURELY from diet, not a single day of exercise!  I have an old injury that flared up long before I started BFL again and my doc said to avoid all exercise for 1 week while I stretch, massage, take anti-inflamatories, ice etc.  the only exercise I am doing is stretching (a lot) so of the 1 pound lost so far....10 calories were from exercise, the rest from diet alone.  Not bad for a week of all real food and no exercise.  Starting tomorrow I am back running (Drs orders!) and will be lifting weights again On Saturday which was originally my day off...but I just came off an entire week of free days so am excited to get back into things.