The 21-Day Challenge

21 cd editMost of us can negotiate the idea of a 21-day challenge. Heck, it’s only 3 weeks, not even a whole month, but 21 days is enough time to break a habit and make a lifestyle change. Did you know that taste buds recycle every 21 days as well? Committing 21 days to health, leads to a lifetime of reform, as prior foods you ‘couldn’t do without’ become distant memories,

I have sat with thousands of people over the years, who behind the conciliatory nods as I promote the value of a healthy diet, cannot obscure what I know they are really thinking. Relieved to have the excuse of family, work commitment, children, and the big one – lack of time, they continue to grin nervously while scoping the nearest exit.

It is important to understand that your body does not crave foods out of its desire to look good or be healthy. Your body is simply designed to adapt and survive. If you have a nutritional gap you crave your habitual quickest fix. High fat, sugary foods are calorically dense but temporarily satiating, leading to the inevitable crash. They are the root cause of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other diseases.    

The problem is that if your daily routine consists of stopping by your local coffee shop to get your Triple Venti Caramel Macchiato Two Pump Extra Hot with Whip Cream and a Cheesecake Brownie, then when your energy level drops that is exactly what you will crave. Our bodies form habits quickly so when we fill the nutritional gaps during energy lapses with healthier foods, our bodies quickly crave those better choices. Poor diet is directly connected to energy levels; when lethargy kicks in we fill our faces in an attempt to alleviate symptoms, but what we really need is vitality only achievable through diet, exercise, and quality sleep.

I have not always eaten a healthy diet. In fact my diet was horrible. To justify it I would tell myself that I enjoy food way too much to limit myself the way those other people do. Since I changed my eating habits my diet has expanded greatly, and I can assure you that I enjoy my food infinitely more now than I ever did eating foods that were literally killing me.

Having said that, I understand that telling someone to just simply stop doing everything they are accustomed to, for the rest of their life is a lot to ask.

So let’s make it easy. Let’s focus on 21 days and don’t worry about the rest. As your energy increases, you lose weight, your mind clears, aches and pains disappear and you find yourself managing stress more easily. All you need is one small success to build on, and the rest will come naturally.

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