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The 21-Day Sugar Detox DAY 21 Recap, I DID IT!

I did it

Okay, so Day 21 was yesterday, but I just got this email in my inbox today with this cute button because I started a day before I was supposed to and my email updates have been off throughout this entire program.

I honestly feel like I’ve been on this journey for months, not 3 weeks. I would be lying if I said it was easy. But if you can make it through the first 10 days, you’re home free. My husband has not been as dedicated to sticking to the plan as I have, and he is still feeling tired and hasn’t experienced the weight loss I have. Which is weird for him — the guy has metabolism in spades. But I really think you have to go all in if you’re going to do this right and retrain your body to be a fat burning machine and not a sugar burning machine — and all that goes with it (increased energy, increased focus, and all that.)

If you’re considering The 21-Day Sugar Detox, here is my advice.

Plan. Plan your detox for a time when you have a good 10 days with no social functions, no travel, nothing to potentially derail you. The first 10 days are the worst, and you don’t want to make it any more difficult on yourself than you have to.

Prepare. Rid your kitchen of potential pitfalls, and stock up on groceries and recipes before starting. Even making a couple meals ahead, if you’re that kind of organized person, can be very helpful once you’re in the detox because there is a lot of food prep involved. This program is rooted in a real food, paleo/primal diet so there are no packaged meals or bars to go along with it. You have be willing to cook, and you will need a lot of fresh ingredients so it’s best to have a stocked kitchen when you start out.

Go all in. If you’re looking to change your eating habits gradually, this is not the program for you. It is just fine to take things slowly, eliminate offensive foods from your diet gradually, but if you’re doing the detox, you have to be prepared to go all in. I did start making some calculated exceptions after I got over the hump, but I did not deviate at all from the program until I could tell that I’d totally beaten the sugar and carb cravings and trained my body to burn fat rather than sugar, the way we were intended.

Elicit support. If you can, find a friend to do it with you. Ideally, have someone in your household doing it with you. My husband embarked on this journey with me, bless him. Even though he wasn’t quite as committed as I, having him pretty much doing it with me helped a ton — especially in the beginning when I was more tempted to quit.

Keep busy. I always find it helpful to keep myself busy when trying to “diet” or deny myself any of my favorite foods. The more time you have to think about what you’d like to eat, the harder it is. My hardest days were the weekend days when I wasn’t working non-stop and had some time to veg. That’s when I typically snack, and that is when I found myself tempted to get derailed.

Reward. Giving myself little (non-food related) rewards along the way was helpful. I didn’t talk much about this, and I didn’t really do it intentionally, but I did some shopping on the darkest days, and one day I treated myself to a manicure for no reason. That helped my mood immensely. Whatever works for you, think ahead to some rewards that might help you stay motivated or fun things you can do to distract yourself from what you’re missing, and plan to reward yourself for staying true to the program.

Celebrate. Tonight we are going out to dinner at our favorite restaurant. We haven’t avoided eating out entirely while on this detox, but we have had to be very careful when dining out not to sabotage the program. Tonight I plan to be sensible, but I’m looking forward to more freedom in ordering. Dining out is one of our favorite activities so this is a perfect way for us to celebrate.

Going forward, I plan to stick pretty close to a primal way of eating in our home (read yesterday’s post if you want more information on that) but when dining out, I will allow myself small indulgences from time to time. Like maybe french fries or main dishes with sauces that may not be 100% free of added sugars. I do plan to steer clear of desserts and cocktails made with juice and sweeteners (and of course anything with gluten.)

So it’s official. I did it!!

Not perfectly, no. But I feel like I got out of the program what was intended. I can honestly say I have beat the carb/sugar cravings. I feel great. I have more energy than I’ve had in years. I feel like my moods are more stable, although my family may beg to differ, ha! I am still a woman, of course, and hormones rage on… sugar addiction or no. The best part is, I’ve lost a total of 10 pounds as well as one inch from my bust, hips and belly AND a full two inches from my waist. Be gone, middle-aged middle!!!!

While being healthier and kicking sugar/carb cravings was definitely the point of the sugar detox, my weight was the impetus for doing it. I was at the point where I had to either buy a new wardrobe or do something drastic about my eating habits. I know I was touting the real food philosophy, but I had gotten very lax with it. Now I feel like I’m back on track, but even better than before because now I don’t have the cravings to contend with. I’m sure I will have to do this again at some point, but for now I’m feeling quite victorious.

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13 thoughts on “The 21-Day Sugar Detox DAY 21 Recap, I DID IT!

  1. Yea for you!! I have really enjoyed the recaps. It is so much better to watch someone and hear of their experiences with a program like this. I want to do the Sugar Detox so badly. But I have no will power during the afternoons and evenings if there are sweets in the house and I’ve been baking up a storm for recipes to post on the blog….so. I think that I really want to do it but I really need to find a better time of year to do it. Fall & Christmas are my very favorite seasons so I don’t want to feel like I’m cheating myself of all my favorite foods that seem to go along with these seasons.

  2. That is so awesome! TEN POUNDS is the bomb!! I would love a post about how your family made changes along with you and then also how you plan to do “re-entry” into your previous eating patterns.

    1. Well, my family didn’t really make many changes, lol. My kids didn’t, anyway. My husband had an occasional beer and one night he had 2 brownies when the kids made them. When we ate out, he wasn’t as strict with himself as I was. His main goal was to get off sweets. He never took seriously the whole “retrain your body” thing. He has a lot more will power with food than I do, though.

      I’ll definitely do a post on the re-entry after a few days. I don’t intend to go back to my previous eating patterns. I hope not, anyway!! But we will see what reality holds… ha!

  3. Woohoo! Congratulations! It really is quite a feat! I’m on day 9 right now. I totally forgot about a wedding we attended this weekend. It was only day 6 for me so I didn’t want to bail so soon. THERE WAS AN OPEN BAR AND I HAD NO WINE!!! That’s huge for me! Not that I’m an alcoholic, but I do love a social glass of wine. 🙂 Thankfully they had wonderful food (veggies were all from my brother-in-law’s farm) and plenty of g-free/sugar-free options for dinner. I even almost took a lick of the icing from my son’s cake but stopped myself. It really does feel great to have control over sugar and food rather than be controlled by my cravings…be they mental or physical. That’s what I hope will continue for me as I continue on after the 21 days.

  4. 10 pounds is amazing just in time for Costa Rica! Now you have me curious and excited to do this. I think sugar is my downfall but not because I eat processed foods. I think it’s the wine. Wonder if I should do this before our trip? Couldn’t hurt right??

  5. Jo – Lynn I just wanted to thank you for the inspiration/motivation I got from reading your recaps. While currently I am not up to the 21 day detox I am journaling my food, and making much better choices in food. Not just thinking about the calories but the quality as well. I am eliminating as much added sugar as possible. I hope.to try couple of your recipes.

    So if you had any doubts about the usefulness if.your updates…. doubt no more!

    Martha aka Mom on Caffeine

  6. So you inspired me to do this and tonight I signed up for the premium plan too. Woo hoo! However – I am a little confused…. Am I missing something or do you need the printed guide book and cookbook to get started? There are tons of meal plans but include recipes and page numbers. I’m assuming these are not included in the online cookbooks that can be accessed immediately.

    All the meal plans look awesome but again where are the dang recipes?? This program looks totally doable they just need to provide more instructions on how to get started. If you hadn’t posted about listening to the daily audio I would have totally skipped it.

    Excited to get started but the online access seems limiting especially for someone already eating Paleo. How long did it take you to get your books? Wish me luck!!

    1. The books took a little while but you should get a welcome email that has links to all the lists of foods you can and can’t have. I will say, I felt like I had to poke around to find the info I needed. I think they could do a better job of directing you. And recipes – there are tons on her site. And she will send you some in daily emails. I had her Practical Paleo book and found myself using more of those recipes than the ones from the 21 Day Detox books. I also got a lot online. She also has a Facebook page with lots of info and recipe suggestions too.

  7. Just read all of your detox posts. I am in no way heavy, but I have allowed my eating habits to ease and the pounds have crept up by 8 and I either need to lose it or buy a new pants/jeans/shorts. I tend to gain in my hip/thigh area. I commit to being more mindful of my grazing/munching/mindless eating/and going for seconds during the holidays, and start the detox in January.

    My question to you; it’s been over a year since you finished and how is it going now?

    1. Ha. It is not going. I have gained every pound back and I eat like I always have — generally healthy, but too many snacks. 🙂

      I do think I am more sensitive to sugar and don’t care for it as much. But it just wasn’t sustainable for me. Even though I felt amazing when I was done with it. I think of going back on it and I want to cry. LOL. I am more active now than I was then b/c I’ve recovered from my foot injuries, so I feel good, but I do wish I could lose 5 lbs and keep it off. At the moment, my clothes are fitting okay and I’m just coasting. I am also too busy to over eat much, but that is always the way I feel this time of year. January and February will be a different story. That’s when I tend to hibernate and overindulge. So I will have to reassess then.

      I do think it’s a good exercise, but I did it in August, before 3 trips and the holidays, and by the end of all that, I was about back where I started. 🙁

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