All over Facebook is a 21 Day Challenge. I have done this 21 Day Challenge for the most part now since Sept 8, 2011. Here is the challenge:
21 Day Challenge!!!
NO DIET SODA
NO WHITE BREAD
NO COOKIES OR BISCUITS
NO FAST FOOD
How I have done this challenge, but my way!
–I have done fast food, but I make choices that involve salad and not-so-fast-foodish.
— I only have chocolate in protein bars or low-carb items. Best low-carb chocolate bars in my opinion, Power Crunch (Trader Joes, Smart and Final and Vitacost.com) and Nature Valley Protein Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate bars (Target and Costco). And this one is delish! http://www.vitacost.com/bionutritional-research-group-choklat-crunch-protein-crisp-bars
–I never have had regular soda, but I admit to diet soda and even though it is bad for ending cravings, I still have a couple a day. You still have to drink water.
— I never do candy or anything made with wheat products, unless they are special low-carb ones that I have purchased through Lindora.com or some low carb outlet, and even then, that is rare. I usually have low-carb frozen yogurt or fruit with whipped cream or low-fat Greek Yogurt.
–I never have potatoes, rice or beans. Just too full of carbs and starches and puts me on a sugar rollercoaster.
The good part of this challenge is to get you to get over craving sugar or things that turn to sugar. It is basically, a sugar detox. But, if you eat sugars and cheat, then you are NOT detoxing.
The bad part of this challenge is that it offers no assistance in dealing with those torturous cravings. Even on a medically supervised weight loss program, like the one I did (Lindora), they offered me appetite suppressants. But, after one day of that and feeling jittery, I researched and found my own way to get over it. There are plenty of books that explain it, like Dr. Mark Hyman, whose book and information is on the blog before this (August 23. 2013). However, how to get over cravings in a nutshell:
1.) Balance blood sugar.
When blood sugar is low, you’ll eat anything. To better balance blood sugar, eat a small meal or snack that includes healthy protein, like seeds or nuts (measured out because they are high in carbs) , low-fat Greek Yogurt, two tablespoons of almond or peanut butter, or eat any meat, a protein bar or drink (check on the ones that are lowest in carbs) and cheese, every 3 to 4 hours.
2.) Eliminate liquid calories and artificial sweeteners.
Sodas are full of chemicals and high fructose corn syrup. Processed fruit juices are awash in sugar. Try sticking with water and green tea. Green tea contains plant chemicals that are good for your health. And, last but not least, don’t succumb to the diet-drink trap. The artificial sweeteners in diet drinks fool the body into thinking it is ingesting sugar, which creates the same insulin spike as regular sugar. I have to admit, I use artificial sweetener in my coffee and soda and I still lost weight, but this can spike cravings….just sayin’. Reason why I also take fiber to feel full.
3.) Eat a high-quality protein at breakfast.
Ideally, you’re eating quality protein at every meal, but, if you need to prioritize one meal, choose breakfast. Studies show that waking up to a healthy protein, such as eggs, nuts, seeds, nut butters or a protein shake help people lose weight, reduce cravings and burn calories.
4. Increase fiber. Helps you feel full and keeps you from overeating.
5. NO wine or beer. If you MUST have a drink, stick with a vodka mixed drink and keep it to a minimum. Wine and beer have sugar and alcohol takes so much energy in your body to be processed, then your body doesn’t have the energy to also burn fat, so you won’t lose much weight if you drink. Remember that.
And as in any addiction, if you fall off the wagon, then get back on! Never give up.