Advocare 24-Day Challenge Review {From a Non-Distributor}

So I did my first ever Advocare 24-Day Challenge January 11, 2016 to February 3, 2016.

This was my first experience with Advocare. I grew interested after seeing a few friends posts about it on social media. (Hence – they did their job right to “hook me” since Advocare is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company and the main avenue for selling the products is the distributor’s online/social presence. (You’ve probably noticed a few of your friends selling products online too – i.e. Advocare, Arbonne, Beachbody, even Mary Kay Cosmetics.) I’m not new to the health and fitness industry and I work in marketing myself, so I grew curious how the business worked as well as if the products actually worked. {See how I prepped for the Challenge here.}

advocare-good-yesSo I finally signed up after going back and forth over if I really wanted to drop the cash on this. Advocare is not cheap and I did feel a stab of buyers remorse when the package came in the mail and I realized I had just dropped $190 on it! BUT I wanted to give Advocare an honest shot, so I made sure to start the Challenge with a good attitude and being open to the program.

I was assigned a “coach” and we had a 30 minute phone call the Saturday before the Challenge started to discuss my goals. At first I really didn’t know what my goals were. Like I said before I’m not new to health and fitness. I’m a marathoner and triathlete and I’ve been a competitive athlete all my life. Yes I had some extra winter weight to shake off, but I wasn’t looking to drop 50lbs either. (I love my muscles!) I settled with dropping 10lbs as my magic “goal” number. So I had an initial conversation with my coach and she was thoughtful and nice, but I felt like I really didn’t get a chance to chime in at all during our phone conversation, which was supposed to be about my goals and what I was looking for. She talked almost the entire phone call and even managed to plug in a few sale pitches as to what other products I could buy from her. (And I openly said I was not dropping any more money on Advocare until after I tested the products I currently had!) Being in marketing and communications and having a journalism background, I found it kind of untrustworthy that my coach would so quickly drop sale pitches on me. No rapport had been developed yet and we only talked for 30 minutes, yet here I was fighting off more sale pitches. It was just a little over the top, but like I said I wanted to give Advocare a fair shot so I kept a positive attitude despite a weird initial start.

advocare-1The Eating

For me the eating part of the Challenge wasn’t difficult at all. In fact, I told one of my friends that it was basically the easiest Challenge I had ever done! When I’m in peak training I tend to eat very similar. It really is all about clean eating and getting whole foods in your body, which is a theory I can totally get behind and back up. (Kudos to Advocare on that!)

The Supplements

The supplements were decent. I will say that Advocare Spark is everything and then some that everyone raves about. It is awesome! I have cut out my coffee addiction and even ordered more! It’s the perfect treat after an early morning workout and I look forward to it when I climb out of bed in the morning. Of all the Advocare supplements, Spark is legit.  

With the Advocare Challenge you get a Metabolic Nutrition System (MNS) (the three types are: 3, C or E). I chose 3 since I wanted a good combination of everything. Basically it’s just a variety of vitamins, minerals, probiotics and fat burners. If you bought everything separately it would be less expensive, but I am someone who does pay for convenience, so I liked how they bundled everything up and it was in an easy to take and remember packet. I was surprised to see how fast my skin cleared up too while taking the products and cleaning up my diet. You can’t fake results like that. I also felt like I was “de-bloating” and overall I felt very good. (However I will say that you could probably get the same results with a general clean up of your diet and adding in supplements, which doesn’t necessarily have to be Advocare, BUT I am not dissing anything because I did feel good, which was the whole point.)

sparkSo I sailed through the majority of my Challenge feeling good. My coach checked in with me fairly regularly, although I never got the feeling that she really knew that much about me and I’m not sure if I actually trusted her since she tried selling me products so quickly off the bat. Also she brought up buying more products AGAIN via text messages, which of course annoyed me all over again. (PSA – This is a lesson I would hope any MLM distributor learns at some point! You must build the relationship first! You must develop rapport and sell yourself and your lifestyle first before you start plugging in the products to your clients. If you drop the sales pitch too soon it will back fire and your customer will go running for the door because they can tell you are just trying to push the products! I’m not saying that Advocare products even need to be pushed – in general my opinion of them is actually very high, but this is an important selling lesson that I would hope any distributor from any MLM company understands.)

A Weird Issue

So with about five days left in my Challenge, I started feeling terrible abdominal side pain in the early morning and late at night. I knew this familiar pain though. About two summers ago I went to the ER for this exact same pain and was told by my physician that I had “kidney gravel”, AKA very small kidney stones. I began to do research on the exact supplements I was taking with Advocare and pinpointed that the calcium pill in the MNS pack I was taking was most likely contributing to my “kidney gravel”. My coach checked in with me and I explained what I had been feeling. I explained my research and symptoms in a long, knowledgeable text message and expected to have a decent conversation about it since it was an “issue” I was having. Her response back to me came about 2 hours later and simply said “Yes stop taking that pill then.” That was it!? Not other words of advice or similar experiences or any sort of knowledge or contribution to what I had just explained?! I was a little disappointed and again felt like my coach didn’t really care that much, nor had the time or want to converse with me.

So I carried on and since I am so stubborn I finished out the 24 days with taking my calcium pills and fighting through a few days of weird stomach pain…and sure enough as soon as the Challenge ended my pain stopped! (Has anyone else had this issue?) In my research I found a few forums that talked about it, but nothing really concrete. I totally get that every person is different and all of our bodies respond differently to supplements, but I was a little disappointed by this side effect, especially because I was feeling so good up until about day 19.

Overall Thoughts

Despite the one negative side effect I had with the MNS supplements and not quite gelling with my coach (who, BY THE WAY, I still think is a badass athlete and a fitness inspiration and maybe just not the right fit for “coaching” me), I still did have a good experience with Advocare.

There were a few things that were so-so, but in general I liked the supplements and I can get behind the “clean eating” theory of the Challenge. In total I lost 8 lbs on the Advocare 24-Day Challenge, which is fine by me!

I actually ended up ordering more Spark and I also ordered another MNS packet – without extra calcium pills 🙂 I am exited to see how that works. I felt really good while taking the supplements and I want to continue that.

In general I think Advocare has the potential to really work for some people and for it to be a stepping stone or “guide” for others. For me, it got me back on track after the holiday season and inspired me (which I actually think should have been my goal from the start). I’m not sure if I’ll do an actual 24-Day Challenge again, but if I continue liking the products I can see myself ordering them from time to time.

My advice for anyone who is contemplating doing the Challenge is try it. Go in with a good attitude and try to be open to the experience and your “coach” or team. I think some people are better at coaching then others so don’t be afraid to speak up when things are going wrong or you’re uncomfortable.

The only thing is – don’t forget that Advocare is a MLM company and the general goal of it is to get you to purchase more products. BUT at the same time don’t get so wrapped up in that, that you can’t honestly try and test the products with an unbiased opinion. It’s a slippery slope, but if you are curious just like I was then I would recommend giving it a try to see if it’s right for you. If it’s not for you then you were right all along and can go ahead and silently “block” all your MLM friends on social media 🙂

CHEERS!

Work-Hard-Now

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