What to Expect:
“This is close enough to 21 days, right? A little bit of [insert food you’ve been missing here] won’t hurt, will it?”
You may experience: A strong urge to throw in the towel or call it “good enough.”
Your best bet: Keep your eyes on the prize. Remember that this detox is not just about getting sugar out of your life for three weeks; it’s also about changing your mindset toward food and your habits. When you make it through just three more days, the feeling of accomplishment will be awesome!
Don’t get stuck in a goal-setting trap
We’ve talked at length about finding your “why” as well as what it takes to stick to this program you’ve committed to. So what happens when you reach the goal you’ve set by completing this program? How do you move ahead mentally once you’ve reached the goal of completing the 21-Day Sugar Detox?
This is why planning for sustainability and making your goal learning, rather than fixating on the endpoint, is effective. You’ve made a lot of changes to your everyday habits and ways of eating on the 21DSD. Take a moment now to reflect on that, and take in everything you can from this experience. Remember all the situations you’ve faced—lunch meetings, eating out with friends, weeknight meals—and how the choices you made were very different from those you would have made if you had not been on the program. What was your thought process in those situations? Were there moments when you realized that you truly didn’t need to add sweetener to something, or when you were happy to opt for your included fruit rather than cake that might leave you feeling “off”?
All of those thought processes are reasonable and valid, and worth exploring. When you realize that you have the free will to choose to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, you then realize you also have the freedom to say no to foods that you don’t truly want because you’d rather feel great overall—even if you have a moment of wanting those foods.
So far I’ve been cheering you on and keeping you focused on following and finishing the 21DSD, and that’s because keeping focus in the moment is critical. But now, rather than looking at your progress through these three weeks as simply powering through the program and then returning to your old ways, it’s time to transition to a goal of finding your own new way of eating that works well for you.
The Dish from Diane:
As you finish out this program, remember that post-21DSD, you don’t need to put pressure on yourself to eat this way for forever—that can feel overwhelming. Don’t freak yourself out or worry that you’ll fall off the rails. Rather than challenge yourself to “stick to it,” approach your upcoming weeks and days just as you’ve approached your weeks and days on the program. Plan and prep meals and snacks for the week so you don’t leave too much of your nutrition to chance, and include some healthy, whole foods that weren’t included before, like fruits. You already know that if you don’t have any healthy snacks in your purse or desk, the options you’ll find won’t be the best for you. And you knew this before the 21DSD.
Make your choices moment to moment, checking in with yourself as you go and not automatically saying yes to treats you don’t truly want simply because you’re not on the 21DSD anymore. Set yourself up for success by continuing to think ahead about your meals after the detox. You know you still need to eat every single day, so move ahead with that knowledge, and keep it as healthy as you can and want to!
- Post to social media using the hashtag #21DSD about your day 19 experience and share some new ways you’re thinking about healthy foods and sweets.
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