Everyone is happy - and doing really well on the detox maintenance programme. We are now starting our 4th week, and although the speed of weight loss has slowed down a little, this was to be expected, and still the overall weight loss on average is around 10 lbs in three weeks. Meeting together once a week has proved so supportive and motivational to everyone.
(photo features antioxidant smoothie - blueberries, avocado, Swiss chard leaves, banana, grated ginger and orange juice)
Some of the group have had long-term sleep problems, so I did some research on how to get better sleep, and what foods to eat to aid a good night's sleep. It is very important to sleep well - to allow your body time to rest, recuperate and regenerate. Not only that, there are two hormones - leptin and ghrelin - that affect and influence our appetite, and whose production is closely related to the amount and quality of our sleep. This means that lack of sleep on a long-term basis could cause weight gain.
The detox programme releases toxins from your body, and helps it to function normally, both day and night, so the first thing to do to ensure a good night's sleep is to eat a healthy diet, and avoid a heavy meal late at night. It is better to eat early in the evening, and take a short walk, or some other kind of light exercise after your meal.
Keep to a regular schedule, make sure you have plenty of exposure to light during the day, and then at night keep the lights down low. Don't stimulate your brain and eyes with the computer, iPad, cell phone or any backlit electronic device. Take a warm, relaxing bath, play soft music at a very low volume, and when you are in bed, visualise a restful night. Don't stress about not sleeping, but make relaxation your goal.
Foods to eat that may help with sleep problems include almonds and bananas, which contain magnesium and potassium - promoting sleep and muscle relaxation - and proteins that help maintain a stable blood sugar while you are asleep. Try taking half a cookie bar (oats) with half a banana and 4 or 5 almonds, about an hour before going to bed. (You can find the recipe for the cookie bar
on this website, and in the Breakfast chapter of the Detox Maintenance Recipe Collection
, or in the kindle version Book 1: Breakfasts from amazon.com
Everyone reported that they have had absolutely no problem keeping to the dietary restrictions of the programme. They do not miss the "forbidden" foods, feel very satisfied with their meals, and are all experiencing a great improvement in their overall health. One member reported that she felt that starting the day with the hot water and lemon, and the body scrub set her up for the day - "doing the deal" - and prepared her both mentally and physically for another detox day, and another step towards her goal of healthy weight loss.
Another member of the group felt that exercise was a very important part of her weight loss. She swims one and a half kilometres three times a week, and on the other days goes for fast walks, or does heavy work in the garden. The others were very motivated by her example, and determined to take more exercise.
Everyone agreed that socializing is the biggest problem. It is so hard to resist "forbidden" foods and alcohol, when everyone around is enjoying them. However, they have all been extremely strong minded and motivated, and have been working out strategies for dealing with this situation. When the weight loss goal is achieved, then they can live the 80/20 detox maintenance lifestyle, but during these first few weeks they are 99.9% adhering to the programme.
Four important health issues that have improved since starting the detox maintenance programme include the disappearance of acid reflux for one member, most probably due to giving up wheat, and hot flushes, which another member used to suffer from and now has many fewer.
Eliminating coffee has been a big problem for one member, who used to drink up to eight cups a day. She is suffering from withdrawal symptoms, but although feeling quite miserable sometimes due to the lack of caffeine, she is determined to continue. Having managed to survive two weeks with no coffee, she is convinced that her blood pressure is lower because of it, and is motivated to eliminate coffee completely for at least the first 30 days of her detox programme.
Another member reported that her fingers are no longer swollen, and are much more flexible, and that all her painful joints feel much better.
So there is every motivation to continue with the programme - this is not a diet, rather a change in lifestyle. I congratulate everyone for their motivation and persistence, and for the mutual support. It has been SO helpful to share our achievements, and tips and advice for how we can make the change in lifestyle change easier - and permanent.