Congratulations on making it through your sugar detox and for committing yourself to consistent healthier eating! While there is something magical about the timeframe of 21 days that is supposed to form new habits, the real work often begins after your nutrition challenge. In fact, I frequently tell my clients that it’s often easier to be on a strict diet with very clear “rules” to follow because it takes the thinking out of your choices that inevitably come up in everyday life. So the true challenge begins post-detox or nutrition challenge when you want to maintain your progress while living a full, balanced life. This is the reason why our Sugar Detox Program includes an essential bonus session to help you transition post-detox…because being healthy is a lifelong process.
Are you feeling the same type of anxiety ending your detox as you did starting out?
Not to fear, this is a learning process, so here are a few tips for you to consider at this stage in your journey:
Don’t fear the Mango. You may chuckle when I say this, but you wouldn’t believe how many clients start to question adding back in “Avoid” foods that are otherwise real food and perfectly healthy in moderation, such as whole fruit. There are some foods that are certainly ones you are better not to re-introduce as regular components of your long-term diet, such as gluten, wheat, inflammatory oils, processed foods and added sugars; but when it comes down to it, the sugar detox is an elimination diet, so it’s not meant for you to adhere to so strictly that you’re not approaching it from the standpoint that you should never have anything other than the “Embrace” foods. Not sure where to start? We include a reintroduction guide in our Sugar Detox Program which is a great resource!
Utilize our Post-Detox Tips. As a member of our Sugar Detox Program, we provide you with invaluable resources you can use to strategically experiment with re-introducing foods and figuring out their effect on you. It's best not go on a sugar bender - not only will you feel terrible, but you won't know what foods are causing your distress if you add all of them back at once. Having a plan is helpful, particularly if you’re coming from an Autoimmune modification and do have foods that do not serve you to reintroduce for health reasons (which can be much easier to navigate with the help of a Certified Health Coach). I am here to tell you that there is no one “perfect” diet, but you can find the one that works for YOU at this stage in your experience.
Want to dive deeper? Listen to our Wellness Warriors Radio podcast episode about this very topic: What to Eat!
I specialize in helping my clients create their own Personal Nutrition Blueprints, but you have the power to do this for yourself with a little time and effort. If you do need more help figuring things out, working with a Health Coach is a great option to make it much easier because it can be time-consuming and challenging to navigate.
Make a list of your successes and embrace your new lifestyle. Write down all the things that improved as a result of your detox experience. There’s something about putting pen to paper that makes it official and easier to remember if you’re tempted to slide back into old ways. Keep this with you at all times in your wallet or on your fridge or your phone if you’re especially tempted so it’s in the front of your mind.
Figure out if you are an abstainer or moderator. We talk about this concept at the beginning of your detox, but it’s even more important now at the end when your options are more open. Moderators can have small amount of healthy treats (or any foods that cause cravings or triggers), whereas Abstainers do better leaving them out of their regular diet entirely for peace of mind.
If you are mostly an abstainer, but want to have more variety on occasion, another strategy is to set very specific allowances for healthy treats, such as “I will only have one piece of gluten free chocolate cake on my birthday, if I decide I want it at that time,” or “I will only have one coconut flour donut on the first Sunday of every month during a special brunch with my family, if I decide I want it at that time.” All other days of the year you’re not having the cake or donut (but still healthier versions of both). If you don’t know which type of person you are, you can take this free quiz here.
Continue to expand your palate. Hopefully, you’ve come to love many new “Yes” foods, but there is no reason why you can’t continue trying new foods and recipes that you didn’t get to in a short 21 days’ timeframe. I like to challenge my clients to try 1-2 new foods or recipes every week and soon they’ve expanded their palate immensely from where they started.
Be a role model for others. I don’t recommend preaching or scolding others for their choices if unsolicited, but if someone has a genuine interest, then share the program and a few of your healthy recipes and you never know who you can positively influence through your choices and actions. You can also share your results to inspire others to give the program a try.
Continue to work on lifestyle factors. Good health certainly revolves around food, but lifestyle factors are almost more important to overall wellness after you get your diet on track; so make it a point to work further on stress management, mindfulness, positive social connections, more play and joy, reducing environmental toxins, getting more proper rest and appropriate exercise. We cover these in the Sugar Detox Program guides and education sessions, but we can never reinforce this enough so I mention it again.
Do another round of the Sugar Detox at a different level. Even though I’m a big advocate of living a sugar-free life, I don’t advocate constantly going off and on nutrition challenges which feeds the “yo-yo diet” mentality. On the other hand, there’s no harm in doing another round of the Sugar Detox Program at another level; for example, start our with the basics and see how your body responds once you are in a better state of overall health and can perhaps experiment with a wider variety of “Embrace” foods and new recipes the next time around. It's a nice way to cleanse with each season too! Want to get more advanced? Join us for our Keto Masterclass!
Work with a Certified Health Coach and keep learning. Even after all the education I received to earn my certification as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I’m still learning something new about nutrition and wellness every single day. There is always more research coming out about health, so we need to use the latest evidence and be open to changing our way of thinking and living. Knowledge is power. When you work with an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, we bring an entirely new experience to helping you realize your health and wellness goals.
Curious about what working with a Health Coach can do for you? Listen to the Wellness Warriors Radio podcast episode: What is a Health Coach?
Could one conversation change your life? Find out and sign up for your free health consultation today!
In the end, life is meant to be enjoyed and we need good health to do it. While I don’t want to minimize all your success during the past 21 days, the journey is only beginning…and remember, we’re always here to support you as a member of our Wellness Warriors Radio Community!