The focus of this program is getting you moving in a safe manner. Weight loss is not the focus of the program, but for many people it is a desired “side effect”. To maximize the weight loss benefits of this program there are a few added things you can do.
Make a pledge to avoid energy disruptors for 21 days. What are energy disruptors? These are foods that cause rapid increases in blood sugar, temporarily raising your energy level and then causing it to crash.
Examples of energy disruptors include:
Why is it important to avoid these energy disruptors? All of them are absorbed quickly and cause blood glucose to spike. In response to this the pancreas releases insulin, which clears the glucose from the blood stream and stores it in the muscles for future use. Once the glucose is cleared from the blood your body senses the lowered blood glucose level and the brain releases neurotransmitters which make the body want more sugar. This is why eating sugar is “addictive”, the mechanism to store it for future use makes us crave it more! Since increased consumption of sugar has been linked to increased inflammation and inflammation is one of the hallmarks of autoimmune disease avoiding sugar can lead to a decrease in symptoms.
Alcohol makes this list because of its adverse effects. Alcoholic drinks contain empty calories and can also stimulate the appetite. Alcohol also lowers inhibitions, reducing your will power to avoid energy disruptors. For this reason please abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages during the 21 days.
Other inflammatory foods include fried foods, processed meats and refined carbohydrates. Some people may also benefit from eliminating gluten, nuts or dairy from their diet, but I would not advise cutting all of these out of your diet at once. Eliminating too many foods too quickly can make you confused and unsure of what to eat, eventually you may even get so hungry that you just reach for the closest thing! Remember that you need to fuel your body properly to help it heal by eating lots of fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and lean protein.
Why do I think it is important to swear off all energy disruptors for the entire 21 days? The totally unscientific reason is because I find it easier to avoid something completely rather than just “cutting back”. In a previous paragraph we have discussed how eating simple sugars causes your body to crave more sugar, so quitting them all for a period of time helps break this cycle. If you find yourself craving candy or processed foods you can remind yourself that you have taken a pledge to avoid it for 3 weeks. It’s unreasonable to expect that you will never eat another piece of cake or have another drink for the rest of your life but after the 21 days are over you will no longer be consuming it on a daily basis. Instead you will have established the habit of snacking on healthy, nutrient rich whole foods like nuts, vegetables and hummus or fruit. By combining this with your new exercise program you will be well on your way to a totally new, healthy lifestyle!