Post-Detox advice from Diane Sanfilippo – a Few Important Things to Consider:
If you were completingThe 21-Day Sugar Detox…
Then you’ll want to think about the following before chugging a glass of fruit juice or a pile of candy: What was your diet like before the 21-Day Sugar Detox (21DSD) and were you on Level 1, 2, or 3? How do you feel now that you’ve reduced the amount of sugar or dense carbohydrates you’ve been eating? How has your sleep been? What about your digestive function? Do you think that eating sugary or carb-rich foods will make you feel better or worse? Has the time and energy commitment that’s gone into avoiding sugar and dense carbs added more stress to your life than it alleviated your cravings and how much sugar or carbs has controlled your life and food choices?
Consider how often you used to consume sweetened or carb-rich foods, then decide whether adding some of those foods back in perhaps once a day versus at every meal will be something more livable for you on a regular basis. Fruit, for example, is a great way to enjoy a dessert or a treat, but most of it isn’t included on the 21DSD. Consider whether you previously ate sweets or dense carbs as rewards, as comfort, or even just as part of a habit. Then consider whether or not eating them made you feel your best or helped you to reach your goals. A LOT of people lose weight on The21DSD, but it’s not the primary goal of the program. If you did lose weight, recognize that the bite here or there of sweets that seemed innocent enough before may have been too much for you and for your goals. If your goal was not primarily weight loss but rather to break unhealthy habits and conquer cravings, think about how eating sweets again triggers the problems and causes a downward spiral, then become mindful and conscious when choosing what to eat on a daily basis.
To safely and slowly add some naturally occurring sugars (like fruit) and starches back into your diet, take care to consider portions and the timing of these foods. Fruits should not be eaten alone if blood sugar regulation and cravings have been issues for you historically. Eat small portions of berries or half of a piece of fruit if you’re not a very active person, or larger portions if you are more active. Starchy foods are best added back in on days when you are more active and specifically in the meal following your activity. Keep portions of starchy foods to a minimum otherwise, and don’t allow them to monopolize your plate if weight loss maintenance is your goal. If simply avoiding cravings is your goal and you feel okay/don’t have them when you add back in some starchy foods, then you can enjoy some root vegetables, tubers like sweet potatoes and squash more frequently. Continue to avoid refined foods including bread, pasta, cereal and other products made from flours and purchased in packages- these are never healthy options.
The bottom line: After the 21-Day Sugar Detox, a sugar-bender is not recommended. The first time I completed The Detox myself, I ate candy the following day when I was hungry (note: this means my blood sugar was already low!). I spiked my blood sugar SO high that when it crashed about an hour or two later, I nearly passed out. Seriously. It was THAT intense. I vowed at that point that I’d never let that happen again. Hopefully you can learn from my mistake, and from the questions outlined above, when choosing how to ease back into your regularly scheduled programming of life and food.
A package of Paleo Treats arrived the day after my Detox was completed, and I heeded Diane’s words in that last paragraph. I planned ahead to deal with my sugar-demon temptation – or rather, what I thought would happen. I took out one treat of each variety and promptly placed the rest in the freezer – out of sight, out of mind. Then I shared those morsels with others, thereby limiting my own consumption. I was able to sample each, but not get carried away. I was in no mood to feel sick! Surprisingly, I did not feel the pull of Sugar Love to go back for more. One bite of each was enough. Mission accomplished!