Taking on the Challenges

Not to derail my blog to much, but figured this was a good of a place to share my meal replacement experience as any.  

So I announced on my private Facebook page that I’m in the middle of a meal replacement test to find or not find a good product for me.  In this test, I’m evaluating Body by Vi, Shakeology, and Zeal for Life.
My goal is to evaluate all three for Taste, energy levels, weight loss, and cost and either pick one to stick with or non at all.
I have ZERO stake in any product and am not currently selling any of them; honestly, if I dont’ see a value in any of them, I likely won’t continue beyond the test.  If I do like one product, the best pricing for any of them seems to come if you are a distributor, but my focus and passion is my photography so if I sell any product, it’s only because I’ll have the ability at that point and someone comes to me wanting it.
Why am I doing the test?  I’m 40 so weight management is a bit harder, energy seems to be lower, and fitness isn’t what it should be.  I’m not a couch potatoe but my day job and photo processing keeps me at a desk most of the time and on average I make decent food choices, although more food then I generally need.  
Foundations:  I’ve started back on P90x (Lightly, not the extreem stuff!) in November of 2013 and moved to a mix of the original and the new P90x3 as my workouts.  I track my weight and food intake with the Myfitnesspal app (Loving it!).
My objectives and approach to the things I want to know through experience:
1. Taste.  I can’t stand the chalky stuff, I like sweet but not straight syrup.  If you don’t like it, you wont use it.
2. Energy level.  I have cronic boughts of exaustion where I NEED a 15 to 30 minute mid-day nap to recharge.  I also have a 3 year-old and most likely sleep apnia as associated causes.  The diagnostic for energy is going to be number and duration of workouts per week as well as number of days requiring a nap to feel good.
3. Weight loss.  Appetite is always a struggle for me as it is so easy to blow past the 2100 calories per day I’m allotted, I would say that without tracking, I would take in 3-4000 calories per day without even realizing it.  Now that I’m tracking and eating to 1,800, I should loose weight anyway, but curious to see if a week on a shake sees a bigger drop in wieght from one shake to the next?  
4. Cost.  I’m not overly cost sensitive and don’t think cheapest wins for the product it’s self, but I will try to give the bigger picture of cost.  
What I will do/have been doing is:  5 days of a morning meal replacement shake, then 2 days off.  I log my weight, workouts, nap or no nap, and food intake everyday.  
A few quick points:
While I have a degree in Biology and I’m a Lean/Six-Sigma certified process engineer, I am not shooting for a perfect National Institute of Health study.  This is one 40 year old person’s perspective and expect the results to be different for a 20, 30, 40, or 50+ person.
I’m not sponsored by any and not trying to sell any of them.  
I know there are more products on the market but my influense to try these comes from my experience with P90x (Shakeology) and friends that are distributors for Body by Vi and Zeal for Life.
What’s in it for you?
The cost to test all of these is around $250 and that’s with a friend giving me a week’s supply of Zeal for Life for free (Thank you!!!).  All of these products promise you amazing life changing results; well, I don’t really buy all the hype, I just want a quality meal replacement that loads me up with the healthy crap that helps you feel your best because I do a horrible job at eating the things that would naturally do it!  Aside from likely sleep issues, I don’t have knowledge of a cronic medical condition to be resolved by any of the products.
If there is anything specific about the products you are curious about, please comment and I’ll do my best to incorporate it in my testing or share that aspect of this experience.
I’ll post about the difference in taste early next week, so stay tuned!

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