I’ve been asked to evaluate a detoxification program. Here’s the basic premise of the 21-day program;

“Removing sugar from your diet is the fastest way to lose fat and increase your energy. When your blood sugar is out of balance it causes depression, causes you to store sugar as fat instead of using it for energy, causing you to have highs and lows in your energy, and leading to diabetes.”

I applaud every effort to cut back on simple, processed carbohydrates. These substances are a common part of every meal and snack in the Standard American Diet (referred to as SAD). The literature for this detox plan provides a list of over 40 sugars/carbs that must be eliminated from the diet for twenty-one straight days. If a person slips up once, they go back to day one and start over.

While the goal is laudable, the process to achieve it is laughable – and for all practical reasons, IMPOSSIBLE. I can’t come up with any legitimate reasons why anyone would publish such a program – unless the goal was to assure failure and then steer the person into a different form of treatment or therapy. That would despicable, but I can’t rule it out.

Let’s start over with the idea that processed carbs aren’t good for us and couple that with the fact that they’re everywhere we turn. The goal should be to eliminate them, but it can’t be achieved. Now what?

Let’s be real and make a conscious effort to avoid those kinds of FAKE FOODS as much as possible. Perhaps we can consume fewer of them, less often, and in smaller amounts.

Instead of eating empty carbs every meal of every day (21 per week PLUS SNACKS AND DESERTS), do you think you could eat them only 10 meals a week (half the time), or even four meals per week (under 20%)? The key to my suggestion is that we should be consciously aware of foods that can be harmful and choosing NOT to eat them just because they’re on the plate in front of us.

Instead of large orders of fries, eat part of a small order. There’s no sin in leaving some mashed potatoes on your plate – regardless of how many starving people in the world would love to have them. Eat some plain yogurt instead of the packaged ones with fruit and sugar (a lot of sugar). No, don’t switch from sodas to diet sodas – skip the soda altogether and have a glass of water or iced tea without adding sugar. I’ve become a fan of La Croix Sparkling Water even though it is just faintly flavored water. I LIKE IT.

The critical pieces are;

  • KNOWING the dangers,
  • UNDERSTANDING that they can be avoided, and then
  • CHOOSING to cut back.
I use an 80/20 rule. As much as I would prefer to be perfectly healthy and always eat what’s best for me, I’ve decided that if I’m good at least 80% of the time, I’m doing well. Everyone can use this 80/20 approach to live a long, disease-free life – and still enjoy pizza and cake ONCE IN A WHILE.

What do you think?