Why the First 3 Days of Rebooting are the Hardest

By: Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND

Rebooting is a fantastic time to reduce unhealthy cravings, lose weight, improve well-being and start eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. We as a society often eat too much sugar, salt and other highly refined processed foods to help cope with our busy lifestyles, stress, fatigue, irritation, emotional upsets, boredom and much more which is why there are many reasons people may struggle during the initial stages of a Reboot.

1. Our Emotional Connection to Food

We eat for many reasons! We eat when we are hungry but more often than not we eat because we are bored, stressed, anxious, worried, happy, excited or just for the pure pleasure of the act itself.

Why do we emotionally eat? When we eat food, particularly the processed varieties, it causes a chemical reaction in our brain which gives us a momentary feeling of contentment and satisfaction. Food can temporarily sedate our emotions. When eating processed foods this effect is very short lived so then we then feel the need to do it again to keep getting that feeling of satisfaction. Then an addiction is born along with health problems and possibly unwanted weight gain.

During a Reboot our hunger signals are more commonly emotional hunger as you are still receiving adequate calories.

The first few days on a Reboot can be the toughest because we can no longer use food as a feel good tool, we can’t reach for that donut, cake, cookie or bag of crisps because we feel stressed, tired or annoyed. During a Reboot it is important to learn how to cope with stress in a more productive healthy way.

2. Food Addictions

Food industry designs processed foods to be highly addictive so you continue to buy more. Once you pop you can’t stop always plays in my mind when I think of all the chemical additives and salt to sugar ratios they add to get the customers hooked. MSG, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, sugar and salt are all highly addictive. Processed foods also give us a pronounced blood sugar spikes which then causes a crash shortly afterwards, this then stimulates our desire to eat these foods again.

Once Rebooting you may be struggling with these addictions and blood sugar irregularities but as you commit yourself and continue through you will break these addictions and come out the other end.

3. The Body Forgets What it Needs

If you do not consume enough fresh fruits and vegetables prior to your Reboot, you may not experience fruit and vegetable cravings due to lack of exposure. Eating a diet high in processed foods distorts our natural food desires and cravings. This makes the first few days difficult because we are still stuck craving the wrong foods.

4. Energy & Convenience Food Ruts

Even though packaged foods are cheap, our bodies pay the price.  Their low nutrient content can cause us to feel fatigued, tired and lethargic. Due to this lethargy our bodies will automatically start craving easily digested empty calories for a quick pick me up. Our bodies want to work as little as possible to get as many calories as possible in this state. Unfortunately, we are now exposed to so much junk food that our hunger, craving and satiety cues are disorientated.

This cycle needs to be broken thus making those first few days during a Reboot more difficult due to those energy slumps, but as your energy improves from consuming so many nutrients, so will your desire for the right foods.

Short on time? Here are some tips for finding the time to eat healthy.

5. Not Staying Hydrated

Not drinking enough water is one of the leading causes of hunger. Even slight dehydration can stimulate hunger pangs rather than our thirst. On your Reboot, the minimum amount of juice and fluids you’ll be consuming each day is:

  • 4–6 glasses of fresh juice (16–20 oz each)
  • 8 glasses (8 oz each) of additional fluids, consisting of water, coconut water, tea and broth
  • Your non-juice fluid intake will look something like this:
    • 1 cup of hot water with lemon/ginger – first thing in the morning (8 oz/250 ml)
    • 2 glasses of coconut water as a mid-morning snack (8 oz/250 ml each; 16 oz/500 ml in total)
    • 4 glasses of water – spread throughout the day (8 oz/250ml each; 32 oz/1 litre in total)
    • 1 cup of herbal tea – in the evening (8 oz/250 ml)

The amount of fluid each person needs on a Reboot varies, so if you have headaches, are feeling dizzy, or are exercising more than you usually do, drink more coconut water or juice.

6. Not Drinking Enough Juice

This can cause fatigue, cravings, irritability, blood sugar crashes, headaches and many more symptoms due to the lack of calories and nutrients so drink up! It can be very difficult to break away from poor eating habits but a Reboot is a very fast and effective way of breaking this cycle.

Have a Successful Reboot with these Tips

  • Drink plenty of juice! You really can’t have too much! Make sure your ratio of fruit to vegetables is 20% fruit to 80% vegetables.
  • Drink plenty of hydrating fluids such as water, coconut water, herbal tea and vegetable broth.
  • Deal with emotions in a positive productive way rather than eating. Go for a walk, talk to a friend, take some time-out, meditate, write in a journal, take a nice long bath, get a massage, watch a movie. Here is more on how to break free from emotional eating.
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables if you have to! Don’t resort to processed foods if you need to chew on something. Try celery or carrots instead.

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Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND

Claire Georgiou is an Australian Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist who has completed a Bachelor of Health Science (Compl. Medicine) and an Advanced Diploma of Nutrition, Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine. She has more than 14 years of clinical experience specializing in liver disease, autoimmune disease, thyroid conditions, diabetes, insulin resistance, digestive disorders, chronic infections, children’s health, fertility and pregnancy care. Claire consults in private practice in Sydney and also offers consults out of area and is an accredited member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society. Claire has worked closely for many years with Dr. Sandra Cabot, who is known as the “Liver Cleansing Doctor” and has written more than 25 health related books. Claire writes health related articles, creates healthy recipes and is one of the nutritionists who runs our Guided Reboot programs.

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