What to Expect:
“I think my cravings are … almost gone?!”
You may experience: An acute awareness of how food was making you feel before the 21DSD; surprise that you aren’t noticing many cravings anymore.
Your best bet: Make some notes about how you’re feeling and recount to yourself some of the struggles and successes you’ve experienced. Reflect on the first ten days of your 21DSD journal and note where you’ve made changes and small successes along the way!
My cravings are gone. But how?!
Cravings have two components: (1) the emotional and (2) the physical. With this program, you change your body’s physical responses to food by only allowing the really good-quality stuff into your body, and that means your physical cravings for carbs and sugar get better. Emotional cravings are a little trickier.
Stress and emotional triggers vary from person to person, and how we handle them also varies. You’re here with us on this detox, so chances are, one of your ways of handling stress has been to reach for something sweet or carby. We get it. It’s so common, and there’s a real scientific basis for it.
The neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine are responsible for feelings of either calm and happiness or compulsion and anxiety. Since eating carbs can trigger the release of both, when either serotonin or dopamine are low, the urge to grab sweets is increased. I probably didn’t need to remind you of that, right? It’s a familiar experience: feel stress or even sadness, reach for sweets or junky carbs, feel better (at least temporarily).
But you’ve just spent the last ten days not reaching for sugar or poor quality carbs! You’ve been forcing yourself to find other means of feeling good—eating better-quality food, cooking, going for a walk, taking an extra yoga class, or calling (or texting, because who are we kidding) a friend. In short, you’re replacing the act of eating sugar or carbs with healthier habits. And as you do so, those cravings are starting to disappear.
Furthermore, there’s an additional phenomenon that our hundreds of thousands of 21DSD participants have reported happening to them: you crave what you eat.
That means that the more you eat healthy foods, the more you’ll crave those healthy foods. And those healthy foods become even enjoyable as your taste buds change and your body feels better as a result of the improved nutrition.
I know what some of you are also thinking, “But, Diane, what if my sugar cravings aren’t gone?” Hang in there! This program isn’t magic. It takes time, and the amount of time it takes may vary for everyone. Some people need continue to reinforce their new healthy habits for several more days, weeks, or even months after the 21DSD before they feel a complete shift in their cravings. For others, the shock to their system and the fact that the 21DSD forces them to find another way to feel good yanks them out of their cravings pattern quickly
Give it time. You didn’t develop these habits and cravings overnight, and they may not all disappear quickly. But I promise you this: they get so much better over time!
The Dish from Diane:
Okay, I’m going to level with you today, because you’re about halfway through this program and I don’t want you getting through the second half and feeling as if you failed at anything. Here it is: all of your cravings may not disappear in three weeks. Yikes. I’m sorry.
Here’s the thing: Only consuming high quality food during the program will help free you from physical cravings for carbs and sugar. That’s a big win right there. But for many, emotional cravings are even stronger. And tackling the reasons why we reach for food in a moment of sadness or stress, well, that can take a little more time.
But the longer you eat real, whole foods, the easier it becomes not to rely on sweets for a temporary little happiness boost. Yes, you will still eat sweet foods after the 21DSD, but you won’t feel compelled to, unable to say no and pulled in so strongly that you almost don’t realize what you’re doing until you’ve eaten half a dozen cookies.
- Check your stress. Audit yourself and your impulses to identify when you find yourself reaching for or craving sweets/carbs, if it’s still happening. Is it when you’re tired, angry, bored? Journal about this.
- Post to social media using the hashtag #21DSD about your day 11 experience and share foods you find yourself craving that you never would have before!
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