Monday, July 10, 2006

USANA Reset Program--I lived to tell the tale!

(I started this review on Saturday but it's taken me a few days to finish it up.)

So my five day long Reset program is over and this morning I celebrated with a low-glycemic breakfast of scrambled eggs.

The Reset program is a 5-day plan that includes three meal replacement shakes plus two snack bars per day, plus you are supposed to have one serving of fruit and one serving of veggie each day. The shakes and snack bars are low-glycemic, and the whole idea of the plan is that diets high in hig-glycemic index foods create a situation where your body holds onto fat.

Included in the kit is a DVD that explains the science behind the system and the information there resonated with me. I have definitely noticed that I never feel full after eating a meal based on potatoes, for instance. Now that I have gone through these five days I have realized that high-glycemic foods probably have a lot to do with my inability to lose weight, and even my recent weight gain when I was eating mostly raw foods for two months. (I gained 7 pounds doing that!) Even when I ate all raw, there was a lot of fruit and grains in there, and the non-raw food exceptions I allowed myself were almost always high-glycemic items.

As you know from reading my day-by-day journaling, at first I really didn't like the shakes. I actually considered dropping out of this review because I felt so distressed by my hunger and the limited choices. However, by day three is was easier, and I think if I had had only chocolate shakes I would have been just fine. (chocolate covers a multitude of sins!)

USANA rep Anne Marie Litz told me that I didn't have to only eat the shakes and bars, and that I could add to the plan if I wanted to. I did, adding one or two additional fruit/veggie servings to each day plus one serving on a protein in the evening.

I did do some exercise as the plan recommends, but did not manage to get it done every day. Still, I lost 9 pounds and one inch from both my waist and my hips! Not bad for five days, eh?

It would have been helpful if the DVD had reminded me that the first day or two on any dietary change is usually the hardest. Sometimes it is so hard that you feel like you can't go on. In every case when I have radically changed my eating I have experienced that after the hardest days it gets much, much easier.

It would have also been helpful if I was single and could have just had no temptations around my house. It is hard to do a diet like this when you still have to cook for everybody. If I could have just done other things and stayed away from the kitchen altogether it would have been way easier.

The Reset products have a lot of soy in them, and I do not believe soy is a good thing for most people to consume on a regular basis. (menopausal women would be the one possible exception) Soy can mess with your hormones in some unpleasant ways so I would encourage you to do some research on the subject before making soy a regular part of your diet. is one good site for getting a lot of information about why soy is not a healthy food. However, for a short-term situation, I felt reasonably ok to go ahead and use it.

Would I recommend Reset to you? Well, that depends. Some things to consider:

Are you comfortable with the idea of replacing your regular food with a shake?
Are you comfortable with adding soy products to your diet?
Do you feel that you can dedicate 5 days to the ups and downs of feeling hungry, withdrawal from high-glycemic foods, etc. so that you can have optimal results?

Since Reset wasn't something I was specifically looking to do I wasn't as great a test case as I might have been under different circumstances. However, losing 9 pounds in 5 days is losing 9 pounds in 5 days! It is over and I can't complain about that!

Obviously now that I have lost some weight I would like to keep that going, rather than just gaining it all back right away. I am going to try out low-glycemic eating and see what kind of results I get. USANA has a nice page about that on their site, so it gives me a good starting point for knowing what would be good choices. (Unfortunately the individual page links don't seem to work for this site, so I am including the information at the end of this post as well.) I also found a really great little workout place near my home that is also inexpensive, so once the kids get back into school I am going to start working out and hopefully dropping another 30-40 pounds.

Anne Marie shared a little about getting into USANA:

I am married, and mom of two kids ages 7 and 5. I work part time as an engineer and got involved with Usana after speaking with Lynn Allen-Johnson. I told her that I had been looking for a home based business, tried a few things, and they didn't work. She told me it was because I didn't have the team support required to build a business. She told me everything offered by her team and I joined right then! It was the best decision I ever made!

I plan to replace my income and quit my job by next summer - I can't wait!
Anne Marie has a special offer for my readers:
Anyone who becomes a preferred member this month will receive a free Sense sampler pack. It has trial sizes of all the Sense products. Retail value: $19.95

I don't know what all is involved in setting that up, so go check out her site or email her at

Low-glycemic breakfasts
Start your day with a healthy breakfast to boost your metabolism. Eating low-glycemic foods will give you energy to get through the morning and won't leave you feeling hungry again an hour later. Try these suggestions for a healthy breakfast:
  • 100% stone-ground, whole-wheat toast topped with low-sugar, natural peanut butter and sliced banana
  • Light yogurt mixed with fresh fruit and low-fat granola or bran buds
  • Steel-cut or old-fashioned rolled oats cooked in fat-free milk mixed with dried apricots and nuts
  • Low-glycemic cold cereal (look for whole grains, oats, and bran) with low-fat milk and fruit; hardboiled egg
  • Whole-wheat pita stuffed with scrambled egg; fruit
  • Sourdough French toast topped with natural applesauce
  • All-bran muffin with low-sugar fruit topping; fruit
  • Buckwheat pancakes topped with fruit
  • Multi-grain waffles topped with natural applesauce
  • Pumpernickel toast topped with melted low-fat cheese; fruit
  • Rye toast topped with light cream cheese, fruit
  • Vegetable omelet; extra lean turkey bacon; whole-grain toast
  • Low-fat cottage cheese with fresh fruit and almonds
Low-glycemic lunches
A light afternoon meal will help you get through the day. If you order out, substitute vegetables or cottage cheese for high-glycemic sides such as chips or fries, choose whole-grain breads, and include some low-fat protein. Here are some other ideas for lunch:
  • Homemade or canned soups--vegetable, lentil, black bean, split pea, minestrone, or barley (feel free to add extra vegetables)
  • Sandwiches made with lean meats on whole-grain wheat, rye, pumpernickel, or pita bread; fresh vegetables; fruit salad
  • Veggie burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, and mustard on whole-wheat bun; cottage cheese
  • Pasta salad with vinaigrette dressing; assorted fresh vegetables and low-fat cheese
  • Mixed green salad with grilled chicken and vinaigrette dressing; whole-wheat toast topped with natural peanut butter
  • Vegetable quiche; sliced tomatoes; fruit
  • Light yogurt with fruit; whole-grain muffin with melted low-fat cheese
Low-glycemic dinner
Enjoy the many low-glycemic possibilities available for dinner. Watch out for high-glycemic side dishes and large portion sizes that could sideline your weight loss efforts. Here are some tips to keep your dinner healthy:
  • Limit intake of high-glycemic starches--baked or instant mashed potatoes, fries, instant rice, boxed side dish or stuffing mixes, refined white breads
  • Choose low-glycemic starches like pasta salad, whole-grain or sourdough breads, baked sweet potatoes, small new potatoes, corn, peas, or basmati rice
  • Fill up on fresh, non-starchy vegetables and leafy green salads
  • Include lean meats, such as chicken and fish, or substitute legumes for protein
  • Try any of the breakfast or lunch suggestions for your evening meal
Low-glycemic desserts
You may not be able to have your cake and eat it too, but you can eat some tasty low-glycemic treats. Try some of these sweets for dessert:
  • Sugar-free jello or pudding layered with fruit
  • Natural applesauce with light whipped topping
  • A small piece of dark chocolate
  • A few chocolate-covered strawberries
  • A few chocolate-covered almonds or peanuts
  • A couple oatmeal cookies with low-fat milk
  • Poached fruit
  • A root beer float with low-fat vanilla ice cream and sugar-free root beer
  • Baked apples with dried fruits and nuts
Low-glycemic snacks
Snacking can be the quickest way to undo all of your weight loss efforts. You can stay on track by grabbing some healthy alternatives when you get the munchies. Try these smart snacks:
  • A small handful of mixed nuts or trail mix
  • A small bowl of low-fat popcorn
  • A few whole-wheat crackers topped with low-fat cheese
  • Celery or a banana topped with natural peanut butter
  • Some whole-wheat pita chips topped with hummus
  • A handful of baked tortilla chips with fresh salsa
  • String cheese and an apple
  • Fresh or dried fruit
  • A hardboiled egg
  • Fresh cut vegetables
  • An oat bran muffin
  • A 100-percent-juice bar
Tips for maintaining a low-glycemic diet when eating out
Let's face it, everybody loves eating at a restaurant now and then, but it seems almost impossible to make good food choices when faced with so many options. Here are some suggestions for eating well when you're eating out:
  • Avoid buffets and other all-you-can-eat restaurants
  • Don't go when you're starving; eat a small snack first
  • Limit alcoholic beverages
  • Keep your hands out of the breadbasket, or even better, ask the server not to bring it
  • Go for the salad bar
  • Order items that have been prepared healthfully: steamed, broiled, roasted, etc.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for substitutions
  • If portions are large, split yours with someone
  • Keep low-glycemic foods in mind and order the best choice available
The following are some tips for specific types of restaurants: Chinese
  • Order traditional dishes that feature moderate portions of proteins (meat or tofu) stir-fried with an assortment of vegetables and flavorful sauces
  • Avoid the fried foods and white sticky rice, order brown rice if available
  • Broth-based soups like hot and sour, egg drop, or wanton are good choices
  • Order foods cooked in black bean, oyster, Szechuan, or hot mustard sauce
  • Look for Mediterranean-style items
  • Avoid the bread and high-fat sauces
  • Order broiled, steamed, or poached foods
  • Choose tomato/wine sauces, broth-based soups
  • Choose roasted lamb or chicken dishes prepared with lemon and yogurt
  • Order gyros and Greek salads
  • Avoid the filo-dough, mounds of feta cheese, and puddles of olive oil
  • Try baked fish and chicken dishes that are healthfully prepared
  • Order healthfully prepared legumes, chicken, fish, and vegetables
  • Choose basmati rice--as a side or in biryanis--and chapati bread
  • Try the tomato-based sauces and tandoori dishes
  • Avoid sauces made with large amounts of coconut or coconut milk
  • Steer clear of the white bread and cheesy, creamy sauces
  • Choose tomato or marsala sauces
  • Order a half-portion of pasta and combine with a salad
  • Go for the thin-crust pizza loaded with vegetables and low-fat cheese
  • Try miso soup and edamame (soy beans) for an appetizer
  • Limit the sticky rice (ask if brown rice is available) and avoid tempura
  • Choose sashimi, yakitori, teriyaki, sukiyaki, and grilled dishes
  • Order udon or soba noodles
  • Stay away from the cheese and refried beans
  • Order grilled seafood and chicken dishes: tacos, burritos, fajitas
  • Ask for low-fat cheese, whole-wheat tortillas, and light sour cream
  • Limit guacamole if watching your weight
  • Order dishes that combine proteins (meat or tofu) with vegetables
  • Choose curry, chili, basil, lime, and fish sauces
  • Opt for long-grain rice over white rice
  • Try pad thai and other stir-fried noodle dishes, ask for less oil to be used in the preparation
Stocking the refrigerator
The grocery store may seem overwhelming when you are trying to eat a low-glycemic diet. Shopping for food shouldn't be stressful. Keep the following tips in mind next time you are at the store:
  • Don't go hungry; eat a snack to avoid impulse buying
  • Shop the outside edges of the store first, which is where you will usually find the better food choices
  • Check out the ingredients. Limit foods with large amounts of sugar, flour, salt, refined grains, and hydrogenated vegetable oil.
  • Peruse the "Nutrition Facts." Look at calorie, carbohydrate, and fat amounts for each serving. Also look at the fiber, sodium, and sugar content. Evaluate them against your weight loss and nutrition goals.
  • Focus on making healthy choices of whole, unrefined foods.
    • Stock up on legumes, whole grains, nuts, healthy oils, fruits, and vegetables, low-fat proteins, and light dairy products.

    What Counts as a serving?

    • 1 cup raw or cooked vegetables
    • 2 cups raw, leafy green vegetables
    • 1 large whole tomato
    • 1 large pepper
    • 1 cup whole fruit juice
    • 1 medium apple, orange
    • 1 cup whole grapes
    • About 8 large strawberries
    • 1 cup diced melon
    • 1 regular slice of bread
    • 1 cup cereal flakes
    • 1/2 English muffin
    • 5 whole-wheat crackers
    • 1/2 cup cooked pasta or rice
    • 1 cup of milk or yogurt
    • 1 1/2 oz. natural cheese
    • 1 oz. meat, poultry, or fish
    • 1/4 cup cooked dry beans
    • 1 T. peanut butter
    • 1 egg


abundanceinsimplicity said...

Wow...this is great! Congrats on the 9 pounds!

Mimley said...

Kudos on the weight loss. You are a better woman than I would be on that plan!

Last Girl On Earth said...

Congrats on the 9 pounds. I don't think I could make it on shakes. But I'm glad it worked for you. I appreciate your post explaining how it all works.

alana said...

Low GI eating is what I've been doing since Noveber, 2004. I've lost 40 pounds. It is an excellent way to control blood sugar swings/Hypoglycemia and gives the dieter that extra edge needed to be able's the key...EAT FEWER CALORIES!
Low GI eating won't do the trick if one over-eats. BUT, combined with eucaloric eating (eating a normal amount of calories to sustain your goal weight) it helps a person feel great and stay on track.

My low GI day yesterday:

shredded wheat and bran with 2% milk
Lunch: 2 egg spinach and mozarella omelet
3 pm: low carb tortilla quesedilla and baby carrots
6:30 pm: vegetable stir fry with black soybeans (cabbage, onion, zucchini, broccoli, garlic) and cottage cheese
1/4 cup homemade low GI granola
10:30 pm-a small bowl of the veggies from supper

Congrats on the nine pounds in one week. I'm trying not to be envious.

alana said...

Oh, yeah, and I had an orange at lunch, too. Amazing how easy it is to forget the food we eat.

DollyMama said...

Have you found any books that are particularly helpful with low GI stuff? I am wanting a chart or something so I know what choices to make. Right now I feel paranoid looking at every carb, but I know that's not really right. I am not sure what to eat!

(Don't be jealous--it's 9 pounds out of 40 or 50 I need to lose!!!)

alana said...

Sugarbusters is a decent place to start. I found sugarbusters too "liberal" for my own pesonal physical needs.

Alot of it comes down to eating low carbish and then introducing something a little bit higher on the glycemic index to your body and seeing how you react. Getting sleepy a hour or so after eating is a great indicator that the load was too high. Craving for more, more, more, is also a good indicator that the load was too high. Dizzyness, grumpiness for panic attacks tell you that that food is absolutely too high.

For instance, I can eat some butternut squash, but I am aware that when I eat it I tend to want more of the same. So I strictly limit my amounts.

Portion size can also make a huge difference in glycemic load of foods, as can whether or not that food is coupled with fat or protein.

Another good resource, and this is where I got my diet from, is, click on the link about hypoglycemia. Dr. St. Amand designed the diet to take care of hypoglycemia, which 40% of fibromylagics suffer from. It is low GI. I count calories on the liberal version since I can't seem to loose well on the strict although many do. Check it out.

If you are interested to get a list of products I use or more details, send me an e-mail. Sorry this is so long.

The Diaper Lady said...

Hi! I've done the Reset about 3 times so far in the last two years and wanted to say that it is a great way to lose weight, and/or improve diet. Even though I only had 5 lbs. to lose, that's what I lost in 5 days. And even though I didn't stick to the low glycemic diet very well afterwards, I kept it off. When eating low glycemic, the general rule is to eat more fruits and veggies, and less breads/pastas. And we all know the no-no's that we sometimes can't say no to. As long as you only have those 10% of the time, you will do well. Best of luck to you all in getting healthy!

Anonymous said...

I think usans is great and I successfully used the reset programme and lost a total of 3 inches from my waist and felt geat. I recommend usana to anyone who wants to lose unwated inches and become healthier.

Anonymous said...

Great information and inspiration. I hope lots of people take your advice and get on the usans programme.

Katydid said...

I just began the Reset program on Monday and it is now Wed. So far, so good except for all the time spent in the bathroom. Anyone else have alot of trouble with this? Good thing I am retired. No way could I do 5 days of this and have to be more than a few feet from the "library". I already am noticing more energy and hope to make it through the 5 days and then onto the next step. Thanks for any encouragement you can give me. KCD

Anonymous said...

dollymama....a good book to help with low GI foods is the GI Diet. It has a list of foods each ranked as green light - low GI
yellow light - mid GI
red light - high GI
You can also get an additional book that has a more extensive lists of foods and tips for eating out.....I'm in Canada so I"m not sure if is available in the States but I think it should be!!

** I'm an amateur boxer and just completed Reset to jump start my weight loss to get ready for a fight. I find that following the GI Diet keeps me with enough energy for the amount of training I do if anyone is concerned about that....

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just finished the reset program. I feel more energized, I'm actually walking on the treadmill as I am typing this comment. You're right the first 2 days are the most difficult. I'm a fulltime employee with 2 kids. If I had to do this I would have started on a Friday, I thought I was going to pass out at work the second day. Anyway, I'm glad I did, I lost my cravings for sweets, I've been eating more fruits and steamed veggies, this morning I used my bike to get fruits from the farmer's market. I don't know how long this will last but I think I'm off to a good start. Thanks -Lori from Stockton, CA

Anonymous said...

Just ordered my reset kit. I am very nervous, I hate being hungry. That being said, with my second pregnancy I craved sugary foods and a year after having my son, those cravings have only increased. I am a sugar junky and hope that RESET answers my prayers. I am sick of being tired and lathargic all the time. Thanks for the positive news on the program!

Anonymous said...

DollyMama, thank you for the low GI food info for restaurants, very helpful....if I live through this week to go to restaurants again!!

I started the Reset program , egads, only yesterday. I have now survived two days but I am starving. I am craving sweets like never before! And yes, Katydid, I have spent disproportionate amount of time in the bathroom. Yesterday was worse than today so hopefully tomorrow is better than today.

Anonymous said...

Update on my last post....4 days and 4 pounds! yay, it's working!! I do still get a bit hungry but losing weight is so encouraging!

okiegirl said...

Thanks for your story, I am very depressed as I am at my heavist ever! My husband told me that even my ankles are bigger!!! I feel terible.... So I am started RESET Monday! wish me luck!

Anonymous said...

Another good book about low glycemic is the GI diet by Rick Gallop. He has a nice simple way of listing foods as green light, yellow light, or red light foods, which refers to how low GI they are. Quite helpful and easy to understand and remember.

Anonymous said...

i started this the week of 4th of july last summer. to tell you the truth, i didnt like it. my parents bought it and made me drink it, BUT im glad i did.
i was 178 and i dropped to 170? somewhere around there but by the end of the summer i was 161
after using the usana reset for 5 days. i stopped drinking pop and i didnt eat when i wasnt hungry. it just changed the way i eat, in a good way.

and i lost more weight because i changed the way i ate, and i like playing sports and i would bike around a lot with my friends.

its been a year and i gain like 5 pounds because when school started. i didnt have time to eat healthy. school lunch = fattening
i started to drink pop again and eating a lot of junk =[

Mi said...

I lost 8lbs with Reset. I am two weeks into the Transform phase and I have lost an additional 6lbs since then. I'm not gaining weight anymore, just losing. I love USANA!

Grace Medeiros said...

ongratualtions on your weight loss . I just came across this today . I think it was some ago when you did the Reset. I love the detail of your blog on low GI. It's even more important now for everybody to follow that or at least be aware is what I always encourage people to know. Sugar is jus as bad as cocaine we just dont think so cause its legal. I am also a distributor of Usana in brampton, Ontario. So if anybody has any questions or would like to try the Reset or any of other amazing products feel free to msg me. Lets get healthy one person at a time .

In health
Grace Medeiros