For those of you new here, I occasionally add to my animal-based posts by writing on triathlon-related themes.
I am a keen triathlete, training continually, and my first event this year is a Half Iron Distance event at Lough Cutra Castle in County Galway, at the end of May. My training was going well till I came off the bike on the way home from Newstalk 6 weeks ago. I was bruised and grazed and I had to stop training for a month.
During that time, unfortunately I was foolish enough to continue to consume food at the level that I eat when I’m training (as in eating heaps), and so naturally I gained weight – around 4kg (over half a stone). I also fell into poor habits (not training does that to you) so once I was back and ready to train, it was not easy to get going again.
So that’s where this fast/cleanse comes in.
A fast/cleanse is a bit like restarting a computer
Basically, to make it easier for myself, I used a set formula known as the C9. The idea is that this is a well proven, nutritionally balanced way of reducing calorie intake and increasing exercise levels for a nine day period, which is long enough to cleanse your body, and to set your mind free from established bad habits.
It’s not just triathletes that use this – anyone who wants to get set back onto a path of healthy living can find it helpful. You get an instruction booklet that includes a daily diary, and you just work through it, ticking the right boxes every day.
The C9 involves an initial two day complete fast (taking only one protein shake a day, plus drinking aloe vera gel), followed by 7 days of strict calorie reduction (a 200 calorie protein shake twice daily plus one 800 calorie meal in the evening). The programme includes taking capsules and tablets: the well known weight management supplement Garcinia which may help reduce any sense of hunger, and vitamin supplements which help to reduce tiredness and fatigue, which is important when you are on such a restricted diet.
Daily exercise is as important as reducing calorie consumption
As well as the restriction on eating, the C9 programme obliges you to do at least 30 minutes moderate exercise every day: for me this meant swimming, running or cycling, but some people walk, go to the gym, or do whatever they enjoy the most.
Today is my final day of the cleanse/fast, and I feel great. It has given me the kick start I needed to be in proper condition for the triathlon season. I have regained my healthy eating and exercising habits over the nine days.
My maxim is “always exercise on every day that you eat” but it is easy to get out of that habit. I’m back into it now….
An important part of the C9 is the support given to you by the supplier. I have had daily texts to ask how I’m getting on, and I have been included in a Whats App group of six other folk doing it at the same time. This support made it much easier to stay on track with the discipline.
The C9 is not for everyone, but for anyone trying to kick bad eating/exercise habits and get started onto a healthy new commitment, it can be a rapid and direct way to reach that goal.