Heads Up: 21-Day Sugar Detox

Obviously, I’m a very devoted Whole30 kind of girl. But it’s also important to stay on top of the other good ideas and plans out there. I love seeing what the other nutrition leaders are up to, and I always learn something new, useful, amusing, or helpful. With that in mind, I’ll be reviewing a handful of new books over the next few months — including Chris Kresser’s Your Personal Paleo Code, Tara Grant’s The Hidden Plague, and Michael Olajide’s Sleekify (horrible book cover, but I’m a fan of his from way, way back). I’m starting my “let’s explore!” adventure with the The 21-Day Sugar Detox from Diane Sanfilippo.

Confession: I’ve never met a salty snack I didn’t want to put into a container I could strap on like a feedbag and eat until every limb was bloated from the salt intake.


So… salt issues! But I don’t have much of a sweet tooth.

I do, however, have many people I love who are stalked by the sugar demon, so I was interested in what Diane’s book had to say. Before I dig into my highlights, I asked Diane a few questions to help you put her book into context with the other paleo, clean eating, detoxing options out there.



Q&A With Diane Danfilippo

Who/what kind of people should consider doing the 21-Day Sugar Detox?
Anyone who is struggling with sugar and/or carb cravings should consider doing the 21-Day Sugar Detox. Whether you currently eat bread and pasta regularly, or follow a Paleo or Primal type of diet, if you still find yourself leaning on sweets, struggling with energy and/or blood sugar peaks/dips, or you’re looking for improved moods and sleep quality, this program can help you. On the flip side, if you’re training for a marathon, all-day CrossFit event, or other type of very intense competition, my motto is, “don’t be a hero!” I don’t recommend taking on the 21DSD while training for those types of events, and you can simply wait until another time that may work better for you.

What can people expect during and after the 21-Day Sugar Detox?
This is covered in the new book, in a section I call “What to expect, day-by-day.” But, to give you something to go on here, what to expect varies a lot from person to person! Throughout the program, there are always lots of high points and revelatory/a-ha moments, as well as some dips and some moments when you question why you’ve decided to take on the challenge. The latter of which end up fading into your distant memory when the amazing benefits of the program all begin to kick in. Those benefits include:

  • How your tastes change – your sensitivity to sweet foods is heightened and foods that were once not sweet become far sweeter! After the 21DSD, your desire for fruit as often as you had it previously is often diminished.
  • The way you plan ahead and build your plate when refined foods, sweets, and even fruits are limited – you’re forced to focus on quality proteins, fats, and vegetables. After the 21DSD, you’ll keep the habits you’ve created and will be a lot more aware of where to find healthy choices all around you more easily.
  • Improved energy, mental clarity, sleep and moods! Though this may not happen week 1, it happens over the course of the three weeks across the board.
  • After the 21DSD, eating some foods you feel aren’t your best choices may result in a stronger negative impact on your body, which will help inform your choices the next time around.
  • Support! There is SO much support for everyone on the program – whether in the book, on my website, in the forums, on Facebook, or even from a friend or relative who has decided to jump in as well. Support is one of the things that truly sets you up for success. Often folks think they’re fine on their own, or they don’t want to bother signing up for the free Daily Detox Emails, but once they see what they’ve been missing, they quickly get on-board, and online for the information.


Can you explain how your program differs from other elimination diets like the Whole30, anti-inflammatory diets, or the autoimmune protocol of paleo?
While the 21-Day Sugar Detox is not specifically a Paleo-centered approach, it is gluten-free, soy-free, sweetener-free, and what I would consider to be an anti-inflammatory/elimination type of diet since Level 3 is also dairy-free. It’s different from most other programs out there in that it:

  • Focuses specifically on reducing or eliminating sugar and carb cravings is a tiered-level program and allows the participants to identify themselves within one of three groups, then select a Level of the program to follow thereafter (1, 2, or 3)
  • Is designed with the public-at-large in mind. Most programs your readers (and mine, for that matter!) may have seen before have been designed for those who are actively seeking more and more strict programs to hone in on their nutritional imbalances or to alleviate some health challenges.
  • Conversely, I created the 21DSD as a program that is for literally anyone who wants to figure out how to stop eating sugar and refined food, but simply needs more support/help/hand-holding along the way. Many challenges provide a list of foods to eat and avoid along with the rationale, whereas the 21DSD is an all-encompassing program that includes meal plans, recipes, and resources at your fingertips to support your success from the get-go!

Highlights From The 21-Day Sugar Detox

One of the things I like a lot about this book is that it’s got a “handbook” feel to it. It’s a friendly size — around the same size as Well Fed and Well Fed 2 — and the way the information is arranged is like a workbook. The information is presented in bite-sized chunks so you can spring into action. Here’s what you’ll find inside:

  • the science of sugar: an easy-to-understand overview of what sugar does in our bodies
  • what to expect: a day-by-day account of what you might be thinking and feeling on each of the 21 days
  • supplement recommendations
  • a detailed FAQ
  • handy tip sheets: they can be copies or cut out of the book and tucked into your wallet for fast reference
  • the 3 levels: detailed explanations of the “rules” for each of the three levels of the program
  • recipes: the last 100+ pages of the book are recipes that are compliant with the program

If you’ve been eating clean but still find yourself being stalked by the sugar demon, The 21-Day Sugar Detox might be a good experiment for you. Get yourself a copy of The 21-Day Sugar Detox now!


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