Now that I’ve completed the 21 Day Sugar Detox, I want to share what worked for me and help me succeed in banishing my sugar habit! Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a walk in the park, it can actually seem a bit daunting at first (especially before you start), but if you’re in it for the right reasons, you’ll soon find it’s not as bad as you think.
**Disclaimer: this is what worked for me and these are just suggestions. I am not a registered dietitian, nutritionist or a physician, please consult a professional for a personalized plan for you or to make sure the 21DSD is right for you***
1. Commit. Ask yourself why you want to do this detox and make sure it’s for the right reasons (not just to lose a quick few pounds). Also, do a kitchen purge. This is a lifestyle change, the whole point is to get rid of your bad sugar habits, so why keep anything like candies, potato chips and other overly processed foods. You don’t want to be tempted to cheat or go back to your old ways after the detox. Note: I did keep things I planned on reintroducing like frozen fruit, pasta and oats.
2. Have a good support team. Tyler and my blog readers (you guys!!) were mine. Tyler did the detox with me because like me, he has a sweet tooth as well. You guys helped keep me accountable, and when I first announced I was doing this I got some really supportive comments came in and I can’t thank you enough for that! Even if you don’t have someone to do it with, enlist one of your friends to keep you on track–bonus points if that friend also wants to help you cook!
3. Choose a time when you aren’t traveling/have weddings or parties to go. I chose three weeks in July that I had no travel or weekend plans (except a Saturday shift for work). Remember, you want to make sure you have time to prepare foods and that you don’t have any temptations. I mean who wants to go to a birthday party and not be able to have cake? Not me. Also keep your training schedule in mind. The first two weeks derailed my training schedule because I was so tired. By the third I was getting back into it. The book even warns you to NOT do this while training for an event like a marathon.
5. Prep as much as you can, but expect to log a little more time in the kitchen (especially if you eat a lot of convenience foods). I made what I could in advance, like beans in the slow cooker and meatloaf. Otherwise Sundays were spent int he kitchen prepping for the week, and I still had to make some parts of dinner during the week. Make doubles of recipes you like to make food stretch the entire week for lunch or dinner.
6. Venture out of your food comfort zone and experiment! The book has some great recipes, but I took to Pinterest for inspiration. I also made up my own recipes using foods on the “yes” list, like my sweet potato nachos or quinoa and summer veggies. For a quick lunch, I usually have my tuna with a little bit of Miracle Whip, dried dill and dill pickle relish. Since I couldn’t have any of that (except the dill) and had some leftover guacamole, I mixed the tuna, guac and dill together and was pleasantly surprise about how tasty it was.
Don’t just stop the detox program without a plan for future eating. Have a post-detox plan. You HAVE to, especially if you plan to reintroduce “no” foods from the detox. I meal-planned for the rest of July and entire month of August. Also, have a plan for outings. Both Tyler’s and my birthdays are in August, and we plan to eat out for both, so the meal plans for those weeks are a little stricter than they would normally be.
And there you have it, a few tips to help you succeed during the 21 Day Sugar Detox.
Have a great day!