First things first:
If you were part of the detox contest, make sure you enter you weight Monday morning in the comments section. If your MyFitnessPal user name is different from your F3 name, please note that in your weigh in comments too. I’ll announce the winner in this comment section on Tuesday evening.
Detox Wrap Up
During this time, what did you learn about yourself, your eating habits and alternative eating options?
Congrats, you just wasted six weeks.
Hopefully that is not the case though. As I mentioned in week one, there is zero legit scientific evidence that a detox of any sort has any long term benefits and there is actually a case to be made that one can have the opposite effect. Even if you followed this plan legalistically, your body is not really in any sort of “purer” form than it was six weeks ago, undoing years of damage. Unless of course you went from fast food or fried chicken every day to detox. Yeah, you might notice a few differences.
So then, what was the point? Other than potentially reducing our waistline, it should have provided you a starting point to change some long existing eating habits. If the foods that we eliminated were tough or you found them impossible to give up even for three days, there is probably a strong indication that you are indulgent in that area and eating too much of it can or has had long term effects on your body. Many of which were discussed during the six weeks.
Personally analyzing my own diet, I found that fried foods, fast food, deserts and cheese were easier to give up than I thought they would be but breads, pastries and pastas were really hard and the food I failed the most with. Yet, they are high calorie contributors.
If you aren’t going back through your log and looking at the days you failed on your personal goals, you are missing out.
I can look through mine and see the days I had problems with self-control on the detox as I mentioned above. I can also look and see that days where I did the worst were days I was on the road, at a function where I did not have the ability to order food (pot luck dinners included), days where I had an exceptionally long (for me) run and had a super inflated nonchalance about my diet, and a few days where I was situationally depressed and didn’t care enough.
What this tells me is that instead of making an extra effort at good choices such as making a vegetarian plate at a pot luck or picking vegetables over mac and cheese at a restaurant I didn’t choose, I succumbed to my old bad habits. And more often than not, because “the seal had been broken,” it led to another bad decision later in the day or even the same meal.
Another thing I personally noticed is I made fewer vegetable substitutes than I thought I might at the outset. It was incredibly hard for me to just order the salad or make one. Sure I did so from time to time and added more frozen vegetables when I cooked, but overall, I did not add a great amount of vegetables to my diet as I should have. I will be spending some time concentrating on smarter vegetable choices and recipes.
So what now?
Well now that the “detox” is over, I encourage you to take what you learned, positive or negative, and use that information to shape your diet going forward.
Make healthier choices more often. Leave more room for the foods you love, but in better moderation. An example might be, commit to only eating pizza on a day that you run 6+ miles. Or only have a cookies for desert if one meal in the day was only a salad without cheese.
Shape it to what works for you but do something to keep the progress going. I also encourage you to stay on MyFitnessPal and log your daily meals. Sure it is a pain, but it is an excellent way if food is a struggle for you to get metrics that will help you along the way, not just in areas of weight gain/loss but also for cholesterol, sodium, carbs etc.
Also perhaps take more time to plan out meals for the week. I found that when I looked at my calendar and knew what days I would have a harder time completing the detox goal for the day, I did a better job of planning my grocery shopping and cooking to have a meal substitute, or could bring a lunch to work or knew that I needed to eat a salad for lunch because dinner was going to be cheat meal.
Keep it up so that when the next group starts asking for a detox you can share what you learned, the long term impact for you and how to approach a change in eating habits.