I recently went on a little holiday with my family. Nothing fancy, just down to the coast for a week, self-catering little chalet, just very cosy and just what the doctor ordered.  Mom went with and of course with mom, comes all sorts of goodies and of course you are on holiday so you let your guard down and eat and drink a little more than you should and that is good for your liver. Don’t be too harsh on yourself if you know you are going to do this the rest of the week, we do have to let our hair down every once in a while.

So let us get down to my little experiment. When you eat homemade rusks made with real butter every morning with your cup of coffee and you don’t really mind that scoop of ice-cream after your burger and chips you will start feeling a little bit uncomfortable after a couple of days. Especially if you usually resort to having any wheat on your little banned list when you eat healthy and drink lots of water, on holiday that is a different story. The body takes some vicious shots from the bad food we eat and that is why my husband and I decided on a real radical approach to our eating habits when we came back.

The first thing we did right was coming back on the Saturday and immediately started eating well again on the Sunday. See, so many of us just waste another whole day of dirty eating because: “We will start on Monday.” Why waist a perfectly good day in Sunday and get a head start on everybody else.  Now our radical approach was not an all fruit or all juice diet, we had a variety of stuff on the menu. It was just a bit on the wild side when it came to the phrase. “Eat as much as you want.” But the deeper we got into the diet, it also became very clear that it is not that much and you cannot really go overboard.

The other nice thing is that this diet is only 13 days long. Now a very wise colleague and client of mine, which is a dietician, said to me that anything that says eat as much as you like should ring some alarm bells, but in the same breath she also said that anything that will give you that discipline to get started with something and sticking right through is a step in the right direction. So with her advice we decided to hang in there and start our little quest. No it doesn’t really matter what you call this diet. That is not the lesson I want to teach today. It can be anything. Strange and weird diets have crossed many of our paths and will do so in the future without fail. The lesson is twofold. If you start something, follow it through, luckily for us it was only 13 days and the rewards are awesome.

My mind was literally blown by the results of a meagre 13 days of eating only the prescribed food and drinking only the liquid I was allowed. I did not lose a lot of kilograms, maybe 2.5 at best, that was not my intention when I started this. My whole idea was to get rid of all the junk I have been eating and drinking for a full week and to get myself back on track as quick as possible. I ate when and what they said I had to, I drank water, coffee and lemon tea when they said so. No shakes, no supplements, just food. I followed it to the t and I started my exercise regime in full force again. After the 13 days I realized a couple of things.

There is nothing as good as the feeling of being healthy and able to do the things necessary to give the body a chance to live long into the future. The second thing, and this is the most important of the two, is that there is no substitute for eating the right food at the right time. There is no way you can tone up and lose centimetres as quick as when your diet is totally void of any processed junk, any liquid calories in the form on sodas and juices and any pastries and sweets. This is the key. In 13 days I could see lines on my stomach area that I could never see. I loved what the mirror showed back at me and that empowered me to keep going because this is what I want all the time.

So my little experiment ended on a Friday night. Let me tell you. Our hair was let down, we toasted our success with a bottle of red wine and some goodies from the fridge. Yes, we celebrated. This is also an integral part of sticking to your eating plan, every once in a while, celebrate with your favourite food and your mind will stay sane for another bout of awesomeness when you train hard and eat smart.

Christmas is almost here. Have you been eating smart and training hard for the day of eating? You shouldn’t just give up a week before an event because you feel it is too late know. My very strict diet ended last week Friday. We had an eating feast on Saturday and started eating right again on Sunday. Why waste all that healthy eating and hard work with a week of awful eating and being lazy on the couch? Get going, you have half a week left to do it right and then you deserved to stuff your face come Sunday.  It is never too late to start and you owe it to yourself to live a long and happy life.