Written by Sophie
The first week was the hardest, with cravings and some low energy….but as it was the first week I had the most motivation!
I managed to stick to the detox throughout, didn’t have any alcohol whatsoever and towards the end I only had a couple of (good quality) ‘cheats’ such as the odd piece of high cacao dark chocolate.
I found that the biggest benefit was definitely weight loss. I found that because I was quite restricted in what I could have, I didn’t stray too much from the diet and therefore was able to keep my calories down without getting hungry. I am a creature of habit, so in order to try and stick to it even more I replaced my ‘treat habits’ with other things, such as rather than grazing whilst watching TV I would have a cup of tea or paint my nails.
Overall, I think that I benefitted from the detox particularly as I didn’t drink any alcohol at all. I would do it again for a shorter amount of time in the future, but would also recommend it to anyone who wanted to kick-start a weight loss plan in a healthy way (i.e. without starving yourself!)
Here is my meal plan and diary for week 1 to give you a bit of insight to how I felt throughout the hardest bit…
Week 1 Diary:
Having definitely stretched my stomach in Sri Lanka and starting the day by sleeping through my alarm (was planning to get up and do a workout first thing), I’ve coped well and by 6pm I’m feeling pretty good!
After work, I ran home (it’s only 3km but managed to do it in 18 minutes which is better than usual for me, especially in the heat) and then did a 6 minute HIIT workout with the new exercise reference cards I bought from Workoutlabs.
Overall felt pretty good throughout the day, a bit sleepy but nothing unusual after a 2 week break! Made sure I prepped all my food for the following day so there are no excuses to break the detox.
Slept really well and accidentally turned off my wake up call to go and do exercise again. Not beating myself up about it is important to listen to your body and rest when you need to. I don’t think this is to do with the detox, but just the return from holiday and 2.5 hour time difference! Plus I felt a bit run down at the weekend.
The thing I noticed was that I didn’t wake up hungry in the night! I’ve tried a lot of diets which often cause me to wake up hungry so am wondering if the fact that I’m including more (good) fats in my diet is the reason. Felt very full again after breakfast so starting to believe it…
Lunch satisfied me, wasn’t that filling but because of the slow release energy in the lentils, I lasted until my afternoon snack at 4.30pm.
Had a headache in the afternoon but this could have been a bit of a coffee withdrawal. I had been having a lot of (strong) coffee throughout the holiday so even though I’m still having one a day I’m getting a lot less caffeine than I’m used to.
Slept terribly (I’m blaming the full moon) but my restlessness meant I finally got up to go and do some exercise! I did a home-made work out which was fairly straight forward and targeted all areas of my body as well as getting my heart rate up.
Even after the workout I had a good level of energy throughout the day, I was a bit sleepy in the morning and had slight headache again. I do think this is due to the caffeine and also sugar withdrawals (I think this has been heightened by my indulgence over the past few weeks, particularly pre-detox day. I probably should have built up to cutting it out completely but still glad I did it).
Cravings are subsidising now though! All I wanted on Monday was chocolate and again would have killed for something sweet last night. I have found that having a couple of almonds along with a fruit/mint herbal tea actually really helps to make me feel satisfied.
After work I went to hot yoga, despite feeling a bit tired (lack of caffeine?), I felt physically strong and energised.
I went out for dinner with some friends, we went to a healthy vegetarian cafe so I had a grilled vegetable salad with avocado and nuts. Usually I feel deprived if my meal doesn’t include meat/fish or carbs, but I knew that the olive oil dressing and nuts would fill me up and it really did! I still felt very satisfied when I went to bed.
Slept well, but woke up with a bit of a cold (there is a lot going around at the moment so don’t think it’s anything to do with the detox!) so decided to have a bit more sleep and skip the workout. It really is important to let your body rest when it needs it and having had times when I have been very burnt out in the past, one of my rules for 2015 is to listen to my body. The best thing about waking up this morning is that I’ve already lost 2 pounds! It may just be water weight at this stage, but I’m someone who gets very motivated by this and as I won’t be drinking and eating healthily over the next month I’m hoping the pounds keep dropping.
Throughout the day I didn’t really get hungry at any point, but made sure I ate my planned meals and snacks so that my blood sugar didn’t drop. Headaches have pretty much gone and actually didn’t really notice the cold at all so must be healing quickly!
Something which has taken getting used to is not having that ‘rush’/energy bust after eating. It isn’t a bad thing, I think this is the sign of not having sugar in my meals as it’s a slower energy which is much more sustained over the day.
Woke up very energised! Had to be at work early so had a protein filled breakfast with eggs to keep me full for while.
Didn’t feel like I needed to have a coffee like I have done on the other days.
Lunch was slightly tricky as we went out for a team lunch, but we went to a Japanese so I had sashimi and miso soup…so still on track! Phew! We had chocolates at an afternoon meeting, but managed to resist these as well. Now I’ve done the hard bit of breaking the sugar habit, I refuse to be drawn into temptation.
Treated myself to a nice relaxing foot massage in the evening, vegan salad and Skype session with my lovely sister followed by an early night. Didn’t mind having an alcohol-free evening! Usually I get that Friday feeling and get tempted by a couple of glasses of wine, but this week all I wanted to do was to relax and wind down.
Set my alarm to go and do a bootcamp. Didn’t eat anything beforehand but still felt like I had a lot of energy! I decided to have a meat-free day so soaked some oats with chia seeds, maca powder and cinnamon so that there was something tasty waiting for me when I got home.
For lunch I had chickpea flour wraps (bought in Oz, but you can see the recipe to make them on Madeline Shaw’s blog here: http://madeleineshaw.com/recipes/chickpea-flatbreads-yoghurt-dip/) with tahini and a vegan salad….and another vegan salad for dinner! They were so delicious.
I went to the cinema in the evening and had 2 slices of Deliciously Ella’s superfood bread with tahini beforehand (recipe:http://deliciouslyella.com/recipe/almond-quinoa-pumpkin-seed-bread/). I was totally full and didn’t even crave the popcorn (which is a miracle for me – I love the popcorn! Especially at the cinema)
Can’t believe I’ve made it to day 7! To be completely honest, I do still have cravings but I do get satisfied by the meals I’m having and am rarely hungry. If I am hungry it’s very different too – I don’t get that big dip in energy and almost desperation to eat asap. I have also lost another pound which is always so motivating!
Still not feeling 100% so decided to have a lie in rather than go for a hike with my friends, but went out for a little walk to the local shops later on to get some fresh air. There is a lot going around at the moment and I do believe that this detox is the reason I’m not bed-ridden! Aside from that I am feeling that my skin looks much clearer and brighter.
I’m still enjoying my morning coffees and would often love a piece of chocolate but I don’t have the same ‘need’ for it as I did before (that irrational craving). The big thing is that I haven’t craved a glass of wine once!
Week one done!!
What I’ve learnt this week:
- Start your day with hot water and lemon. I have IBS and really find that this makes a big difference to me! It also helps to alkalise your body which has a lot of health benefits.
- Cravings are so annoying and it takes a lot of willpower to overcome the urge to have a bit of chocolate or that extra coffee in the afternoon, but when your body gets used to it you (which doesn’t take as long as you’d think) it really does become easy to get healthy, especially when you start seeing results!
- Find alternatives that suit you. I’m very much a creature of habit, so as soon as my dinner is finished I find myself wanting something to pick at or a little something to crunch. Usually I would have a piece (or two) of chocolate or cheese, but on the days where I’ve felt like I’m being deprived I have a hot herbal tea to give myself the taste of something slightly sweet (peppermint, ginger, fennel or liquorice flavours are great for this and all have great hormone balancing and positive digestive properties), and a couple of almonds for that texture.
- Healthy foods in moderation. Oils, nuts and avocados are so good for you and very healthy but it is so important to make sure you don’t overeat these as they are high in calories and if you eat more calories than you are burning then your body has no choice but to turn them into fat. I agree that if you’re going to have those extra calories then something like a raw piece of cheesecake is better than a pastry, but if you want to lose weight then you do have to exercise portion control.
- Listen to your body. When you need to rest, rest. I’ve learnt the hard way that it’s easy to get burnt out and will just hinder you in the long term. If you need that extra sleep in the morning, see how you go through the day and perhaps do a bit of exercise in the evening, even if it’s just walking part of your journey home. Here’s an interesting article about not pushing it: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-16375/is-your-healthy-lifestyle-damaging-your-well-being.html