Last week I completed a five days reset diet and boy, oh, boy was it an exercise in willpower and patience! As I talked about it on Instagram, I got a lot of inquiries about why, what I could eat and more so today I’m sharing all the details plus what got me to this place!
Why a Reset Diet?
During my most recent acupuncture appointment at the onset of June I was telling my acupuncturist (I see Liz at Common Point), how I was feeling extra bloated and sluggish lately. She asked me about my diet, in which I shared that it was pretty awful. I told her a bit more about what I ate (way too much pasta, way too much cheese) and she replied “Oh, you’re on a celebration diet all the time.”
What she said immediately made sense to me. I was eating whatever I wanted all the time and treating myself way too often. My sweets intake was suddenly almost every day and my body was also seeming to reject the milk in my morning iced latte. (A new habit I had taken up in the previous weeks.) All my bad eating for the year seemed to catch up with me and these habits I had honed so carefully last year felt like a distant memory. I felt, in short, like $h!t.
Celebration diet = the eating you do when you’re celebrating or with other people for special outings/occasions. The rest of your diet should = Foundational diet. My foundational diet and healthy habits seemed far in the review mirror so my acupuncturist recommended I go on a five day reset diet. Given I was leaving for France in a few days when we discussed this, we agreed I would do it for two days before my trip and for five days after.
I also wanted to use this reset as a means of listening to my body and also hopefully setting a stage to see further results from my workouts. I’ve been pleased with what BBG has done so far but imagine if I didn’t eat so much pasta!?
What does the reset do?
The reset is designed to get your body back to baseline. It focuses on eating “foundational foods” and it helps to flush your body, detox it and eliminate cravings.
How Did I Feel?
For the first two days I was dragging and easily distracted. Focusing on anything was so hard and I kept thinking about my next meal. I also majorly missed my morning coffee ritual.
By day two, I began to recognize how often throughout a day I thought about sweets or rewarding myself with food. It was eye-opening! By Tuesday afternoon my headache from the withdrawals of caffeine and sugar had set in. I also experienced this last time when I cut out caffeine and sugar during my mini-two day reset. I experienced horrific headache pain throughout the night and only fell asleep after covering my temples in Tiger Balm to help ease the pain. By Wednesday my headache had largely subsided following my BBG workout. That being said, by Wednesday night my headache was back and persisted through Thursday morning.
By Thursday I finally felt less bloated and more like myself. I was definitely missing my morning coffee ritual and finding myself yawning quite a bit by early evening. I leaned on workouts heavily to distract myself and ensure my body was moving throughout all the dietary changes (this was recommended by my acupuncturist). In hindsight, I think my body was signaling it needed change both with my eating habits and work out habits. I’ve been doing BBG for almost a year now with weekly hot yoga but I think I’d like to add in a bit more cardio at least once a week. I took a Soulcycle class last week for the first time in a long time and it felt good to move my body in a different way.
What couldn’t I eat?
Caffeine. All dairy. Legumes. Gluten. Fruit. Alcohol. No corn or potatoes with the exception of sweet potatoes.
So what did I eat?
Every morning I started my day with lemon and hot water. It helps to detoxify your liver and wake up your digestive system gently. (Your body prefers warmth vs. cool first thing in the day).
I didn’t have breakfast any of the mornings and truthfully didn’t miss it which I found surprising given it is typically my favorite meal of the day. I think I missed the ritual of it more so. Instead, I opted for an early lunch most days.
For lunch and dinner, I largely leaned on salads with a lot of roasted veggies. Once a day I allowed myself brown rice (which is gluten free) to make a rice bowl. (More strict would be zero grains.) An example of what I was eating: turkey and pesto brown rice with red onion and avocado. Or: kale with roasted peppers, red onion, sweet potato and avocado. Or sweet potato mash with avo and half a baked chicken breast + roasted veggies. Or grilled or roasted fish with seasoning and veggies.
All proteins and veggies, nuts (but no peanuts) & seeds, herbs and oils were allowed. I also drank a TON of water. Typically 12 glasses a day. This helps with the detoxifying and helps to minimize cravings.
Making my meals at home was helpful as the few meals I had scheduled out made options very limited. My acupuncturist also recommended detox tea throughout. It has dandelion in it and is formulated to help with digestion.
Did I do it to lose weight?
I got this question on Instagram and no, I did not. I did it as a reset to my digestive system and my eating habits and to rid myself of unhealthy cravings. If I can keep up the healthy eating I do hope to lose the 5-7 odd pounds I’ve managed to put on this year due to my unhealthy eating habits. I’d like to get back to the weight I feel most comfortable with. I did lose 3lbs by the time the reset was done but by Sunday morning had gained back a 1lb of that which was to be expected as I ate with less restrictions through the course of the weekend.
What Did I Learn?
Eating healthy doesn’t mean sacrificing. I actually never felt hungry and didn’t miss cheese as much as I thought I would. (I looooove cheese.)
If I were to do the reset again I would make an effort to better plan and prepare recipes so I had more variety. By Thursday night I was so bored of the flavors I’d been eating and sick of the salad and rice bowl ordeal. If you take on a reset, I’d also recommend meal prepping some baked and marinated chicken; toasted nuts and chopped veggies. I learned that half the healthy eating battle is the work it feels like to prepare the food. I also can’t recommend the Primal Kitchen Dressings & Marinades enough. They are free of any bad stuff usually found in dressing and marinades (no sugar! no gluten! no dairy!) and added a lot of flavor to my food. I used them to marinate chicken and to dress my kale.
By the end of the week I was certainly looking forward to a weekend without eating restrictions but I also realized my sweets cravings had largely subsided. As I ate in the days that followed the reset, I was fuller faster and always trying to be more cognizant of portion sizes and how fast I was eating. I also tried to keep my water intake levels high to ensure I was hydrated and continuing to minimize sugar cravings.
Overall, I was proud of my willpower for the five days. In the past when I’ve tried to do something similar, I have always given into temptation. The five days certainly felt MUCH longer than five days but I was happy to have stuck with it. (I think I was able to do so because my pending next acupuncture appointment would involve discussing my attempt at the diet! Being held accountable is always a big factor when I set out to form healthier habits.)
I plan to move forward using my healthier eating habits by eliminating sweets during the week (with the exception of special occasions), eating less dairy overall and trying to eat less gluten. Instead of making lazy choices when it comes to cooking at home, I want to plan things out more carefully so it is easier for me to make healthy decisions. I’m also going to see about adding in one cardio-focused workout a week to my routine such as spin or boxing to see if it can help boost how I look and feel.
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Have you ever done a reset diet? I’d love to hear your experience with it or how you maintain healthy eating habits!
[Top image via this post]