Welcome to Results Transformation Center’s 21 Day Detox Challenge! In this three week program, you will rapidly increase energy levels and accelerate weight loss while laying the foundation for a lifetime of optimal health and fitness through building healthy habits.
Not only will you gain more energy and achieve significant weight loss, this program contains tools to improve your mood and sleep patterns and decrease gastrointestinal distress. During this program, you may notice certain symptoms beginning to improve, including bad breath, bloating, gas, constipation, canker sores, difficulty concentrating, excess weight, fatigue, fluid retention, food cravings, headaches, heartburn, joint pain, muscle aches, puffy eyes, postnasal drip, sinus congestion, skin rashes, and sleep problems.
Changing the foods that you eat may also help to fight more serious conditions such as arthritis, asthma, (food) allergies, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, acne, eczema, fibromyalgia, headaches, heart disease, Crohn’s, irritable bowel syndrome, and menopausal problems.
According to the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov), chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in America, with nearly one-half of all adults having one or more chronic diseases. Poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking, overconsumption of alcohol, poor diet, lack of physical activity and chronic stress are recognized contributors to chronic disease. If you cringe at the idea of removing sugar from your diet or not eating some of your “favorite foods” for a mere three weeks, then you DEFINITELY need to do the 21-Day Detox. Not only will you give yourself the gift of health, but you will also recalibrate your taste buds so that real food is what you crave!
Why 21 Days?
Maxwell Marx published in his book Psycho-Cybernetics (1960) that it takes about 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to jell.
This program is all about dissolving your old mental image of a healthy diet and discovering the type of diet that actually works with your own body. This plan is completely customizable, while still being safe and effective at removing toxins from the body.
What are Toxins?
The term “toxins” is a buzzword cloaked in mystery and controversy. Simply put, toxins are substances that may cause harm to the body. The amount of harm these toxins do to the body depends on the type of toxin and the amount of the toxin found in the body. The term “toxic load” is used to describe the total amount of toxic substances in the body. Toxic substances may be external or internal in origin.
There are several ways toxins may cause harm to the body. They may attack the body and cause oxidative stress. They may prevent other metabolic processes from happening the way they are supposed to. Some toxins can’t break down completely and are then stored in the fatty tissues to reduce further harm to the body. Some toxins, like heavy metals, aren’t easily removed because the body doesn’t have a highly effective system for removing them.
Anything can be toxic at high enough levels. People have actually died from drinking too much water, although this requires several liters to be consumed in just a few hours. At the other extreme, a single atom of radioactive material will continue to do damage until it is removed. Most toxins fall between these two extremes. The FDA publishes “safe” levels of substances that are known to cause harm. The problem with these “safe” levels is that they only focus on one toxin at a time. Very little is known about the way toxic substances interact within the body, or how taxing the toxic load is on the body’s systems.
The “toxic load” is the sum of all types and amounts of toxins found within the body, whether those toxins are external or internal in origin. The toxic load is generally correlated with the health of the body. A high toxic load can cause the symptoms of disease, as described above. Whereas a lower toxic load can take the stress off of your body’s systems, especially the detoxification system and the immune system, and allow your body to heal. To decrease the toxic load, we must decrease the external and internal toxins. External toxins are found in the environment and enter the body through the air we breathe, the food and beverages we consume, the cleaning and personal care products we use, and even the containers we store products in.
An extremely toxic habit is smoking – reducing or eliminating smoking may be the greatest step you can take to detoxifying your body. Other toxins are found in foods and beverages, in the form of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, preservatives and other chemicals used to enhance flavor, color, taste or shelf-life.
“What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
What are Toxins? (Continued)
Cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can enter the body through the skin and the lungs. Personal care products, such as soaps and shampoos, deodorants, fragrances and lotions, are full of chemicals that prolong shelf life, enhance texture, color or fragrance. Lotions often contain chemicals that help the “active ingredients” penetrate the skin deeper – thus bringing with these “active ingredients” a whole slew of undesirable chemicals deep into the skin.
Toxins can enter the body through the containers which we store foods and beverages in – BPA is a toxin used to line cans which disrupts hormone function. Although all of these toxins have entered the body, they are not internal toxins because they are not internal in origin.
Internal toxins originate from the body tissues, or microorganisms living within the body’s tissues. These microorganisms (bacteria, fungi and/or viruses) release toxins into the body as they invade the body. In response, the body mounts an immune response, where the immune system attacks the invading microorganisms and tries to restore order to the body.
Many toxic compounds are generated in an immune response – toxins which are designed to kill the invading microorganisms and also produce inflammation which tells the immune system where to attack. All of these toxins must be neutralized and cleared from the body, which happens at the end of an acute attack, such as a cold or flu. However, the body may become chronically in flamed, which means that the immune system will be chronically stimulated, and toxins are continually produced.
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.
The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
- Thomas A. Edison
Being inflamed makes you overweight and being overweight makes you inflamed! Inflammation can be the result of various “triggers” that will vary from person to person. One trigger is overconsumption of sugar. Another trigger may be an identified (or yet-to-be-identified!) food allergy. Lack of exercise (or sometimes too much exercise!) is also known to trigger inflammation. Other triggers include chronic stress and hidden infections.
This chronic inflammation that you cannot see or feel leads to every one of the major chronic diseases: heart disease, cancer, type II diabetes, dementia, etc. The goal of a detox diet is to identify foods that could be the cause of chronic health and weight problems. Let’s give your body a break from battling inflammation, food sensitivities, food allergies, and toxins to see if excess weight and unfavourable symptoms start to disappear. Even if you think you don’t have any food sensitivities/allergies, remember that symptoms can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days after ingestion to “show up”. This ‘delayed response’ phenomenon may be the reason that many food sensitivities/allergies go undetected for so long!
Food allergies can play a HUGE part in chronic disease and weight problems but are not recognized by conventional medicine. Food allergies can cause bloating, food cravings, acid reflux, sleep problems, autoimmune disorders, weight gain, fluid retention, fatigue, brain fog, irritable bowel syndrome, mood problems, headaches, sinus/nasal congestion, joint pains, acne, eczema, and more.
We develop food allergies when the lining of our gut and the balance of normal gut flora get damaged from poor diet, stress, medications, infections, or toxins. This is referred to as ‘leaky gut’. Partially digested food particles then enter our blood stream and the body attacks these foreign molecules, creating an immune response against them which increases internal inflammation. Healing your digestive system and the lining of your gut can reduce the severity and the symptoms of the food sensitivities allergies you are experiencing.
“The foods we eat should promote a healthy psychological response, promote a healthy hormonal response, support a healthy gut, support immune function,
and minimize inflammation.”
-It Starts with Food, Melissa & Dallas Hartwig
Did you know that sugar is a DRUG? Did you also know that sugar can be extremely addictive? Some studies claim that sugar is just as addictive as cocaine, since both substances stimulate certain pleasure receptors in the brain. Many high-sugar foods are also nutrient-poor, high in salt, and carbohydrate-dense, making them all the more addictive. Foods like these alter pleasure, reward, and emotion pathways in the brain. For example, wheat actually binds to opiate receptors in the brain to promote feelings of pleasure and relaxation!
Think about the foods you crave when you are stressed or running on little sleep? Most likely you just envisioned foods that are high in sugar. You are not alone! You are simply...HUMAN! Carbohydrate-dense, high-sugar foods increase serotonin, our “feel good” hormone.
We then overeat these “Frankenfoods” (high-sugar, high-fat, high-preservative foods), but we never reach satiation due to their lack of nutrients. Chronic stress and lack of sleep only reinforce this vicious cycle of stress, food cravings, overconsumption of sugar, and weight gain. Eating delicious foods with the nutrition and satiety that nature intended is the solution to this problem.
Your body is your most priceless possession. Take care of it.
- Jack Lalanne
Promote Healthy Hormonal Response
It all comes back to managing blood sugar. Maintaining control over our blood sugar levels will decrease the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood stream which will, in turn, decrease the amount of insulin our body needs to produce. Insulin is produced by the pancreas in order to keep blood sugar levels from becoming too elevated. When a person has high blood sugar, the pancreas produces insulin to normalize blood sugar.
The higher the blood sugar, the more insulin must be produced. If this cycle continues for years, our pancreas can get tired out from producing so much insulin. This can lead to serious conditions such as type II diabetes. Each time we eat, we are telling our body to either burn fat or store fat. Our body makes this decision based on the foods that are consumed as well as general exercise habits. If insulin resistance eventually results from a “tired out” pancreas, blood sugar levels will be chronically high, triggering our body to store the glucose as fat instead of using it as fuel. By managing blood sugar now, we can reduce our risk of developing serious conditions like insulin resistance or eventually type II diabetes.
Hormonal imbalance starts when you overconsume carbohydrates. Overconsumption of carbohydrates also leads to excess glucose and triglycerides in the blood stream, promoting leptin resistance in the brain. Leptin and ghrelin are important hormones that tell your brain you are full. Leptin resistance means that your brain is not receiving that message of “fullness” and therefore you brain thinks you are starving. This promotes overeating which, in turn, leads to weight gain and decreased metabolism. Leptin resistance also promotes insulin resistance, leading to chronically elevated blood sugar and a high risk of developing type II diabetes.
Cortisol is our stress hormone. Chronically elevated cortisol levels increase blood sugar because our body is in “fight or flight” mode and thinks we need the energy to run from the stressful situation. The elevated blood sugar levels can contribute to insulin resistance and increased belly fat. Abdominal fat--AKA visceral fat--increases our risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. This is the fat that lies deep within our abdominal wall and pads the spaces between our abdominal organs. It is best to focus on reducing fat around our midsection by committing to clean eating and daily exercise because this type of fat storage is among the most dangerous. And a wise person once said: “Great abs are made in the kitchen.”
I really like to sometimes go into food detox and eat very simple.
- Padma Lakshmi
Support a Healthy Gut
Your gut houses about 60% of your immune system. It is responsible for making melatonin (a hormone that regulates sleep) and serotonin (a neurotransmitter that boosts mood) as well as serving as a critical part of the digestive process. If your gut is not healthy, you are not healthy. Our gut is also home to about 3-5 pounds of bacteria, some healthy and some not-so-healthy.
The balance (or lack of balance!) between the good and bad bacteria in our gut affects our metabolism, psychological well-being, and immunity. I mentioned earlier several external factors that can compromise and damage our gut. Abdominal (visceral) fat is one of the direct effects of increased gut permeability. Much like your hormones, your gut health can be restored over time with the proper changes to nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle.
Support Immune System and Minimize Inflammation
We have already talked about sources of inflammation and the effects of chronic inflammation in the body. However, I want to mention one more thing about our immune system. If our immune system is always working and never gets a break, it has a hard time doing its main job of fighting off acute inflammation. This means that our immune system may not be able to effectively fight off that flu that is going around, heal stubborn tendonitis, or keep your arteries clear of plaque.
Every 35 days your skin replaces itself, your liver takes about a month, your body makes these new cells from the food you eat.
What you eat literally becomes you.
- Eat wisely
Grains: This includes wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, white rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, and sprouted grains.
Sugar: No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, etc. You must read labels because food manufacturers will sneak sugar into products with names you may not recognize such as brown rice syrup or evaporated cane juice. Also, products that claim to be sugar-free often still contain artificial sugars which can have a negative effect on the body in the short-term and the long-term.
Alcohol: No beer, wine, hard alcohol, etc. Not even for cooking!
Tobacco: Eliminate any tobacco products from your day-to-day routine.
Caffeine: No coffee, but you can and should have tea! I suggest green tea but try out different herbal teas too. Tea can be a great alternative for habitual coffee drinkers.
Legumes: This includes beans of all kinds including black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, peas, chickpeas, and lentils. Beans are starchy and can significantly raise blood sugar. Also, no peanuts or peanut butter, but almond butter is acceptable. Finally, no forms of soy are included in the detox program which includes soy protein, soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and soy lecithin.
Dairy: This includes cow, goat, or sheep milk products such as cheese, kefir, yogurt, ice cream, butter, cream cheese, half & half, and sour cream. The exception is ghee (clarified butter).
Food Additives: Avoid foods that contain carrageenan, MSG, nitrites, or sulfites.
You don't have to be a wreck. You don't have to be sick.
One's aim in life should be to die in good health. Just like
a candle that burns out.
- Jeanne Moreau
Brown Rice, Quinoa, Sweet Potatoes:
These three foods will be the bulk of your complex carbohydrates during your detox program. Brown rice will give sustained energy, aid in elimination of waste, and keep you feeling full after a meal. It is also rare for someone to have an allergy to brown rice.
Quinoa is a high-protein seed (not a grain) that is a powerhouse energy source, and sweet potatoes aredelicious, nutritious, and fun to prepare!
Vegetables: Aim for at least 6-8 servings per day (1 serving= ½
cup cooked, or 1 cup raw) This includes (but is not limited to!) asparagus, broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, bell peppers, carrots, celery, cucumber, tomatoes, spinach, romaine lettuce, zucchini, sweet potatoes, snap
peas, green beans, yellow beans, string beans, eggplant, jicama, pumpkin, water chestnuts, and onions. THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE WHITE POTATOES, CORN, AND PEAS (all of which are considered starchy vegetables).
Fruit: Aim for 2-3 servings per day (1 serving= 0.5-1 cup or, for example, 1 small apple) This includes (but is not limited to!) apples, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, clementines, cranberries, grapefruit, grapes, honeydew melon, kiwis, lemons, limes, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pomegranates, plums, raspberries, strawberries, and watermelon. Note that tropical fruits such as pineapples, bananas, and papaya have a naturally higher sugar content so be mindful of portion size.
Fat: Learn to love good fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, avocados, nuts & seeds, nut butters, ground flaxseed, almonds, hazelnuts, olives, ghee, coconut butter/manna, coconut milk, coconut meat and coconut flakes.
Lean Protein: Seafood (including but not limited to salmon, shrimp, scallops, cod, and crab), grass-fed beef, bison, lamb, elk, venison, eggs, chicken, turkey, duck, pheasant, and bone broth.
NOTE 1 - The first 3-7 days you can decide to go completely without animal protein. This part is optional but recommended for best results.
NOTE 2 - Another option is to do a 3-day juice fast cleanse to start your detox. We don’t go into juicing into detail here because it’s not for everybody. A great resource for juicing is Chef V, who can deliver straight to your door!
The foundation of success in life is good health: that is the substratum fortune;
it is also the basis of happiness. A person cannot accumulate a fortune very well when he is sick.
- P. T. Barnum
Beverages: DRINK LOTS OF WATER! Consume at least half of your body weight (in ounces) in PLAIN water each day. Alkaline water is preferred! Also, hydrate with herbal tea, green tea, sparkling water, or even water infused with some lemon/lime wedges.
Seasonings: Prepare your food with fresh or dried, whole or ground herbs and spices! Use low-sodium organic chicken, beef, or vegetable broth to add flavor as well as some Himalayan sea salt and black or white pepper.
Condiments: Use fresh salsa, pico de gallo, pure organic ketchup, organic mustard, and hot sauces without added preservatives to add flavor to your meals.
Sweetener: Use Stevia which is a sweetener extracted from a naturally sweet herb.
Supplements: You may consider PhysX: Multivitamin, Essential Fatty Acids (EFA), Glutamine, BCAAs, Detox and Protein.)
* Please check with your doctor before adding any supplements to your regimen.
Pre-Workout: This is going to vary based on when you exercise and what your body can handle. It is ok to exercise without food in your stomach if your body can handle it, but most will do well with a pre-workout snack. A pre-workout snack can be consumed about 30 minutes before the workout.
Examples of a pre-workout “snack” would be:
- two hard-boiled eggs (with the yolk) and an orange
- some turkey or chicken with a sweet potato dollar (the slice of a baked sweet potato)
- few strips of beef jerky (can’t have added sugar; find the most “natural” beef jerky brand with no added preservatives) with trawberries, blueberries or blackberries
- handful of almonds (12) or walnuts (14) with a banana (1/2)
- almond or macadamia butter with an apple
- Protein smoothie - see below! (PhsyX brand recommended)
Post-Workout Shake: Consume this within 45 minutes post-training. Eat a normal meal 60-90 minutes after your post-workout shake.
PhsyX Protein (or VeggiePro) Shake: add 2 scoops of PhsyX protein and water then shake it up in a mixer cup
PhsyX Super-Smoothie: add 2 scoops of PhsyX protein, 1/2 tsp stevia, 1/2 cup blueberries,1/2 cup pineapple, handful of spinach, 1/2 fuji apple, 1 tbsp chia seeds, and water to desirable thickness. Pour over ice and enjoy! (makes 2 servings)
You only need a post-workout meal if you are performing high intensity interval training, strength training, or longer-duration cardiovascular exercise. If you are walking or doing gentle yoga, you don’t need to include a post-workout meal.
Note: The amount of carbohydrates to be consumed post-workout is going to depend on your fat loss goals. If you are new to exercising and eating healthy and have a lot of body fat to lose, just include protein in your post-workout meal.
Timing Your Meals and Your Snacks: The goal is to eat 3-4 meals a day. This obviously changes on the days you engage in high-intensity exercise with your pre- and post-workout meals. On these days, you should eat 4-5 times per day. You might also need to “break the rules” if you work exceptionally long days or have an exceptionally active metabolism. In that case you may end up eating 5-6 meals per day. In general, though, avoid over-snacking between meals as this can disrupt the normal functioning of leptin and insulin. Think about your “snacks” as your meals. It will take some time to gauge how much and what the right types of foods to eat at each meal are.
Timing Your Meals and Your Snacks: (continued) The main objective is to leave 3.5 to 4 hours in between meals to allow your digestive system to function properly as well as to normalize leptin levels. Each meal should be designed to hold you over until the next, taking away your desire to snack on “junk foods” and other foods not on the 21-Day Detox.
As your body starts to use more fat for energy, you will experience less between-meal cravings, energy slumps, and brain fogs. So, in the case that you didn’t eat enough at a particular meal or didn’t eat enough fat to keep you satisfied, have a snack that contains protein and fat...instead of letting yourself get hungry, tired, or cranky, which may lead to over-eating!
Evening Meal Tip: Avoid consuming carbs with your evening meal to accelerate fat loss! Stick with steamed or sautéed veggies and lean protein.
Snack Tip: Don’t just snack on veggies or fruits alone! Pair these with proteins and/or fats to keep yourself fuller longer! Examples would include: 2 hard-boiled eggs & veggies, celery & nut butter, or chicken/turkey and vegetables.
Carbohydrate Tip: Portioning carbohydrates is important to ensure they are being consumed in moderation.
Women should consume about 1/2 cup of carbs at each meal.
Men should consume 3/4 to 1 cup of carbs at each meal.
The evening meal is the exception, at which no carbs need be consumed. When portions are too large, it can be too much for our body to handle, especially for our pancreas to handle. Also, our preferred carbs in this program are natural sources of complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, etc.
Exercise: Continue with your current exercise routine. You may also choose to add in a couple of short 10-minute walks each day or one 30-minute walk per day. Getting outside and connecting with nature and movement helps reduce stress and improve emotional well-being. This might also be a good time to add stretching or yoga into your current routine.
Team Training: This will help you accelerate fat loss! Continue (or begin) team training with Results during your 21-Day Detox. However, intensity is to be slightly lower than normal depending on each individual’s response to the detox process. Listen to your body and do what feels right. If you are not currently exercising, you may consider adding in a 30-minute walk each day accompanied by stretching and/or yoga. Strive to do something active each day!
Breathing: Most people hold a dysfunctional breathing pattern that gives only partial inhalation of oxygen and holds onto much of the carbon dioxide in the lungs.
This creates a toxic breathing exchange instead of a balanced exchange between oxygen and carbon dioxide. This creates more stress in the body and mind, a weakened energetic state, a cloudy mind and a host of other problems, including fat
storage from elevated cortisol levels.
- An important part of the 21-Day Detox is the Breathing Exercise explained below which should be performed 1-2 times/day from 3-5 mins each time:
- Draw the inhale softly and slowly in through the nose. Visualize a feather in front of your nose, and as you breathe in, try not to disturb the feather. Draw the breath all the way down to your stomach (abdomen). Your stomach should expand OUT when you breathe IN. Next, hold the breath for a pause, and try to really feel it in your body. Then breathe out through your mouth as you use your stomach muscles to squeeze out every bit of the breath. The trick here is to do a FULL EXHALE, not a partial exhale like we usually do.
This exercise will engage your diaphragm instead of just the primary respiratory muscles: the intercostal muscles (aka the muscles that lift/expand your ribcage). It’s a much more powerful form of breathing used by singers, martial artists, Olympic athletes, and meditation practitioners. To take this exercise to the next level, visualize and FEEL yourself drinking in new life, new energy as you inhale. Make it a physical, mental AND emotional breath - not just physical. As you breathe out, visualize any tension, anxiety, or stress that you have being expelled from the body. Just let everything go!
Gratitude: Cultivate an attitude of gratitude! Write a list of ten things in your life which you are grateful for and review it every morning. Alternately, upon rising every morning, write five things which you are grateful for at that moment. The things you are grateful for may be as profound as gratitude for the workings of the Universe, to gratitude for a single breath, and everything in between.
No matter how you choose to bring gratitude into your awareness in the morning, be sure that you take a moment to meditate on each thing you are grateful for and feel the gratitude in your heart. Think of the way it feels when someone gives you a gift that is exactly what you have always wanted, and try to feel that for a few moments for each item on your gratitude list.
Journaling: This may help you keep track of your progress during the detox. Journaling can be a powerful technique for identifying what is important to you and finding some inner guidance.
More often than not, you are stronger and smarter than you give yourself credit for. Studies have also shown that journaling reducesstress and inflammation and can have a profound impact on health.
Here are some examples of questions to ask yourself while journaling:
- What can I do today to take care of my body?
- What am I willing to let go of today that is no longer serving me?
- How do I feel today...physically? ...mentally? ...emotionally?
- What am I grateful for today?
- What is my life purpose and how does the health of my body and mind relate to that purpose?
You can't take good health for granted. - Jack Osbourne