Hi everyone, Dr. Junger here.
Helping people build long-term healthy habits is one of the major goals at Clean.
To do this, I’ve created a system that includes our books, the Clean Program kit, the 7-Day kit, and our daily maintenance products. Each one of these items is a tool to help improve your health and inspire some fundamental changes to the way you live.
But as you’ve probably experienced, changing our habits isn’t always easy and what motivates us to change is different for each person. We may know what to do, but we have a hard time actually getting ourselves to do it.
So to help with this question, I asked our recent Group Cleanse participants about which habits they have continued after their program was finished.
Their responses were a wonderful reminder that small changes stacked over time can produce powerful results. Little by little, these benefits build up year after year.
Here are the top 5 habits that people continue after finishing the Clean Program.
The daily shake is the number one habit change that participants keep long term. It’s one of the simplest ways I know to get easily-digestible nutrition into your diet. Whether you have it for breakfast or as a snack during the day, the daily shake gives your body the nutrients it needs.
“I've continued with the morning shake as well as making sure I get enough water. Plus I'm pretty much sticking to the Clean diet - haven't really had a desire to introduce most of the foods I used to eat on a daily basis.”
“I’ve kept up with the daily shake. I don’t have it for every breakfast like on the cleanse but I rotate it. Sometimes I have it for breakfast, other days I have it in the afternoon or after a workout. But I’ve found having a shake once a day helps me make healthier food choices.”
#2 Twelve-Hour Window
The Twelve-Hour Window supports the body to clean house during the night. The body sends the signal to go into deep detox mode approximately eight hours after your last meal. Then the body needs another four hours to do a deep clean. Whether you’ve done the Clean Program or not, this is a simple habit you can easily incorporate into your daily life.
“I've kept the 12-hour window. I find it extremely helpful in keeping my digestion regular.”
“I did the cleanse with three of my neighbors (and spouses). We all continued with morning shake, the 12-hour window and very clean eating.”
#3 Improved Food Quality
Eating quality food is one of the most important actions we can take long term for our health. While it’s not necessary to eat from the Clean Program Diet forever, it is a wonderful base to start from and go back to whenever you are feeling off.
“I have definitely improved the quality of my eating, and I am more cognizant of not just eating mindlessly because I'm bored. I'm enjoying finding new ways to cook that are mostly clean and involve quality, organic, local ingredients.”
“Many of the new foods we tried are now ongoing residents at our house. I am a much more mindful eater. I take the time ask think about what I really want and why, then respond with cleaner choices more frequently than before. “
#4 Reducing Emotional Eating
We often eat because we are bored, angry, annoyed, or some other emotion, not because we are hungry. Over time, we numb our feelings with food, especially processed foods. When we do the Clean Program, we get a chance to remove these foods and work through our emotional eating.
“I noticed the urges, i.e wanting to eat sugar or wanting to have a glass of wine when I felt stressed, sad or bored.”
“I was able to get control of my emotional eating primarily stress eating. With eating clean combined with the cleanse itself I wasn't getting as stressed as I used to. I felt great like I did back when I was a kid - people said I found my smile.”
#5 Reducing the Big Three
We call the sugar, caffeine, and alcohol the Big Three because they are often the trickiest foods to get under control. Removing them all at once during the Clean Program helps you see how these foods are actually affecting you and gives you a few weeks to learn how to live without them.
While it may not be necessary for you to remove them forever, taking a break from them during the program will help you remove the dependency and free you to make better choices.
“I was able to break the sugar habit; tried many, many times before failing miserably until the Cleanse.”
“I no longer drink Coke!!! I continue to have a smoothie every morning. That was a habit I embraced even before doing the cleanse, so I was happy to continue it. I also continued the 12 hour window and staying away from gluten and dairy.”
“I’ve finally been able to stop eating late and eating sugary processed foods. I’ve also continued cutting out wine during the week and staying off of caffeine. These are all big lifestyle changes for me."
To your health,
Alejandro Junger, M.D.