Seven days ago I embarked on the challenge of going sugar free for 21 days. I normally adhere to the Paleo meal plan but the Holidays took me off track a bit. I was eating a lot of fruit, lacked the energy I used to have and found excuses to eat food that wasn't good for me. So a week ago I decided to try the 21-Day Sugar Detox from the great resource Balanced Bites and author/expert Diane Sanfilippo.
After 7 days here are tips for a successful detox:
Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. - Great tasting, real food cannot be heated up in 10 minutes. The first week was tough but I was glad I cooked every meal last Sunday to get ready for the week. Just like the book says, when you are hungry, drink water and if you are still hungry, eat. Different events and meals threw tests at me all week and I was able to fight off the urge to cheat on the detox because I had prepared the food ahead of time. Today, I spent over 2 hours cooking and preparing food for this week and have every meal and snack ready to go. I feel like I can really attack week 2 now. Keep Snacks Close - As you go through the first couple days, you will feel like you could eat a dozen donuts at times. Your body is craving that sugar that you once had and days 2-5 will be your test. Find the snacks that work for you...I chose sweet bell peppers, grape tomatoes, almonds and lemon tea close by at all times so that as soon as someone broke out the danishes or apple pie, I was ready to fight the cravings. Warn Friends/Family - Days 2-5 being the toughest, you will not be in the best mood. I personally had a slight headache during some of the days and at times felt very lethargic. Reset yourself as you start to feel agitated or sensitive to non-important things. This will pass and it has for me at this point. I feel like after making it through the weekend I can handle it all now. Stay Positive - so you will have some mood swings etc. You will be experiencing some changes that a drug addict does and that's hard work. That old saying one day at a time holds true here and I'm proud of the fact that I didn't give in once. After a few days you realize you are onto something special. I'm looking forward to seeing how many days I can go sugar free after day 21. Use Available Resources - purchase the program from Balanced Bites. Keep reading great recipe sites for your meals like The Primal Palate and Nom Nom Paleo.
One week into and on day 7, I feel great. I set a PR on a CrossFit workout this afternoon cannot wait to attack the week with work, workouts and CrossFit. Most importantly, recruit friends and family to support you in this challenge. Get them on board. I'm offering to be anyone's sponsor so if you find yourself ready to cheat on the plan, contact me and I can help.