Holidays can really wreak havoc with our eating habits. Sometimes it is easy to watch how you eat and other times it’s hard to say ‘no’ to that second Santa-shaped ginger cookie.
Now is the time when the weight-loss commercials ramp up for the New Year resolutions. These either work to motivate or discourage us. I will admit, whenever I saw the commercials in the past, I either ignored them or felt discouraged because I couldn’t justify joining a program to help lose weight. It always was a money and time-commitment issue for me.
As I got older, my personal philosophy evolved to this: diets, as they are, don’t work.
Interesting considering a good chunk of my blog is about “diet shifts”?
This isn’t saying that diets are ineffective, they can work if done properly, but diets tend to imply a short-term change to eating habits. Once a specific goal is met, it’s easy to resume previous eating habits and then find that the weight/health concern comes back.
Diets need to be about making lifestyle changes. Actively deciding that any changes in eating habits are not temporary, but are long-term shifts with the occasional indulgence.
Switching to a low-carb diet will be effective in losing weight in the short-term, but if more foundational changes are not made, all progress will be lost once carbs are incorporated back into the diet.
What are these foundational changes?
I am referring to the deeper reasons why we may eat unhealthy or to excess. For some it is an emotional comfort, for others, portions are hard to gauge. The science is clear that the food industry does make food more addictive and therefore it becomes easy to eat high-calorie foods in large amounts without being aware of it. If you struggle for an emotional or hormonal reason, the food industry isn’t doing you any favors.
But don’t let this discourage you in any way.
**Let me be clear: I am not shaming anyone’s reasons for eating the way they do. Everyone’s eating habits are different and their reasons for their eating habits are unique to them. I am referring to some of the more generalized reasons why we eat to excess.**
Sitting down and identifying what is problematic in the diet will help figure out what long term changes need to be made. Then it’s about making some drastic mindset changes to help keep the motivation through the difficult transition periods and temptations.
I don’t think I am a food addict, but I do know that I had issues with food and eating in moderation. It took a wake-up call over the summer for me to realize that I needed to make some deeper changes with how I approached food. I was addicted to sugar and junk food and I needed to change how I approached these types of food. Cutting these food items out permanently may not be the solution for you, but recognizing the need for moderation might be.
Deciding to make the changes for Jai and for myself was enough motivation to keep me going, but see what changes will help push you through to make long-lasting “diet” change this year.
Before starting down this path, consider taking a few days to prepare your body and your mind by “detoxing” or “cleansing” your eating habits.
Detox as a Reset
There are a lot of opinions about the term “detox.” The scientific community will be quick to tell you that detoxing is completely unnecessary because our bodies do it on their own and don’t need extra help.
I don’t disagree, but I do believe the definition of detox needs to be adjusted to “reset.”
You are giving your body a break from certain foods and allowing it to reset itself for when you incorporate foods back into your eating habits.
The point of a detox or cleanse is less about removing toxins from your body, but giving your digestive system a break from sugar, caffeine, alcohol, bad fats, etc. It allows for deeper reflection on the cravings felt during the break and provides a clearer focus why those cravings exist. Once identified, it might be easier to see how to properly deal with them on a fundamental level.
Ayurvedic Detox or Reset & Beyond
The reset I am choosing in this New Year is the Ayurvedic one. I’ve done it before with great success and it ensures that my body received all the important nutrients I need without starving or putting myself in harm’s way. This reset will be the first step in reincorporating the shifts I’ve previously discussed in my blog.
Once I’ve completed the reset I will shift straight into the no-sugar, no fried foods, vegan, gluten-free, clean and whole food eating diet. Then, as a means to see how it affects me, for good or for ill, I will maintain this “diet” for 6 months. On June 1st, 2018 I will examine how I am feeling, my MS symptoms, and whether or not I believe I can continue eating this way.
At that point I may try to reintroduce certain foods back into my diet to see how I feel.
For the reset, I will be following the suggestions provided by Banyan Botanicals. I have not be compensated by them in any way.
Disclaimer: Because I am still breastfeeding it is not recommended that I do a detox/reset. Because Jai is less dependant on me for milk now, I am not worried about this affecting my supply for his needs. I am going to make sure that I do not consume or do anything that will negatively impact him through the milk. So the reset will be slightly modified because of this. I will make note of it in my future posts.
The 6-Day Diet Reset
The First 2 Days (December 31 – January 1) – Preparation
I will be reducing my coffee/caffeine intake, processed foods, and focus on eating whole, simple foods to help ease my body into the active part of the reset.
The Next 2 Days (January 2 – 3) – Active Reset
My diet will consist mostly of kitchari and oatmeal. Practicing yoga and self-care will be extremely important during this period, along with self-massage and plenty of rest.
The Last 3 Days (January 4 – 5) – Reintroduction
I will reintroduce the foods I want back into my diet. This may not be a lot because I will be doing the vegan, gluten-free, diet, but if I really want to re-incorporate my coffee and salt, now is when I will do so.
Each day will look like this:
- Wake up and drink a cup of warm water
- Eat oatmeal for breakfast with Jai
- Exercise (yoga or running)
- Lunch of kitchari, shared with Jai
- Avoid snacking, but if I do, keep it to fresh food and some nuts
- Drink a lot of water throughout the day in order to help feel full (and possibly help with caffeine withdrawal)
- Dinner of kitchari and steamed vegetables
- No more food after 7pm
- In bed before 10pm
I am hoping to use these 6 days as an opportunity to give my body a break from bad eating, bad eating habits, and get it ready for the 6 month commitment. I do not anticipate losing any weight from this reset.
I will be updating as I go through this reset from the beginning, middle, and the end with my thoughts, emotions, physical feelings, and the food/recipes I use.
Comment below with any plans you have in the New Year surrounding your diet. If you don’t have any plans, comment why and what might be some big changes you want to see for yourself instead.