Day 17

What to Expect:

“Are we there yet?”

You may experience: Feelings of impatience for the end of the detox. Day 17 is almost like “hump day” on the 21DSD.

Your best bet: Keep checking in with friends who are on the detox with you and with supporters you’ve met online. Think of a non-food reward that you’ll “win” at the end of the twenty-one days—buy that cookbook you’ve had your eye on, get a manicure, treat yourself to a day at a museum, go to a play or concert, buy tickets to a sporting event, or outfit your kitchen with some new tools.

Today's Lesson:

To snack or not to snack?

While there are snack options in the daily meal plan, it’s not something that’s set up as a “need to eat.” You may find on your 21DSD that you truly need a snack every day, or you may find that once you balance your plate differently (see day 16), you no longer need snacks.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to snack, as well as some thoughts on what to snack on if you do need an extra nibble between meals:

  1. Consider whether you’re truly hungry or simply bored, restless, or tired. If you aren’t truly hungry, then the snack isn’t going to help. Take a few moments to assess how you’re feeling and what is at the root of that feeling. If you feel that you are truly hungry, then eat something. This program isn’t about starvation or deprivation!
  2. Pay attention to when you get hungry for a snack. If it’s consistently at the same time each day, could you have eaten more at the previous meal to avoid getting hungry? For example, if you eat breakfast at 8 a.m. and find that you’re hungry at 10 or 11 a.m., maybe an extra egg or sausage can help you stave off hunger until lunch. Or if you’re hungry after you ate a green salad for lunch and skimped on the protein and healthy fats, then consider larger portions next time. The time of day you feel like a snack may also point to whether or not you’re truly hungry: if you consistently feel hungry at 3 p.m. when you’re in a long stretch at work, maybe it’s not that you didn’t eat enough at lunch—maybe you’re bored.
    Your meals should sustain you for at least three hours, if not much longer. This may sound contrary to what many of us were told for years, but if you’re eating well-balanced meals with healthy fats, it’s a good benchmark. You also want to get hungry for your next meal, but not “hangry.” If you need more food, have more food, but I’d encourage you not to plan to eat snacks but rather make your meals to be a bit larger to satiate you for longer. This gives your body time between meals to appropriately digest and absorb nutrients and helps regulate blood sugar and appetite.
  3. Be prepared. Sound familiar? If you’ve got healthy 21DSD friendly snacks on hand, like trail mix, some jerky that’s free of sugar, gluten, and soy, plain roasted nuts, some cheese (Levels 1 and 2 only), or an avocado, you’ll be ready if hunger strikes! Being prepared is at least 90 percent of being able to avoid temptation to go off the rails. Simply having the right foods on hand and ready to go means your snacks will be healthy and balanced.

The Dish from Diane:

This one may hit you hard. At a signing event for The 21-Day Sugar Detox in Texas several years ago, a woman asked, “What can I snack on at work?” Now, to the untrained ear perhaps, this question is very straightforward. She wanted to know what to eat when hunger hit during business hours while on the 21DSD, right? Wrong.

My response shocked everyone in the room, including the woman asking the question. Rather than provide simple ideas like some roasted almonds and an apple, jerky and carrot sticks, or nut butter and a green-tipped banana (all great 21DSD snack ideas, by the way), I asked her if she was truly hungry for a snack or if she might be bored at work, leading her to get up and look for a snack around 2 or 3 p.m. every day. To the surprise of the room, she replied, “Actually, I think I’m bored.”

Not long after that event, she emailed me to tell me she had quit her job and was happily pursuing more meaningful and interesting work, and that she was so thankful for the way that I responded to her seemingly simple question about snacking! I challenge you to discover whether or not you’re truly hungry for a snack while at work, or if you’re simply bored or restless with what you’re doing. If it’s the latter, a snack is never going to solve that “hunger.”

Today's Checklist:

  • Post to social media using the hashtag #21DSD about your day 17 experience and share your own discoveries about snack-seeking and any boredom-based hunger moments.

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