Welcome to Stage 1! The first of seven stages on your journey back to health! This stage of our 20/20 LifeStyles meal plan is designed to act as a meal replacement stage, making your transition towards developing healthy eating habits as effortless as possible. You may have noticed it’s centered on meal replacement shakes, berries and protein. These dietary staples, along with removal of refined carbohydrates, will help assist your body in the detoxification process. Say goodbye to sweets, treats and greasy meats!
As we explore the various stages of the 20/20 meal plan, we will slowly begin to add in the different food groups one by one, gradually transitioning you back to eating more whole foods and less supplements. This initial stage however, is meant to “reset” your system so that you’re no longer battling with cravings or hunger pains. In combination with our Daily Pack Vitamins, it’s meant to provide you with the perfect balance of nutrients to awaken your body’s internal cues to hunger and satiety. And lastly, it’s meant to provide you with the stepping stones to a new and healthier you.
So what is it like being in Stage 1? Many people go into it with reservation, but come back the second week saying it was much easier than expected! That’s because the meal plan offers structure and demystifies the complexity of what normally constitutes a balanced meal. Our stage 1 video offers additional information on the outline of this meal plan as well as cooking inspiration.
Use this first week to get creative with the different protein sources and recipes available to you. Find what you like! For a fun breakfast alternative to our blended shakes, try our 20/20 pancake recipe featured in our stage 1 cooking segment. Don’t hesitate to add a little flavor to your recipes! Fresh herbs and spices can turn a boring piece of chicken into a tasty and exciting dish. Be sure to check out our stage 1 recipes that you can find online.
Given the layout of this meal plan, it is extremely important that you follow it as outlined. Allow yourself to be truly immersed in the program. Make sure to take your multivitamins and fish oil daily. Also, embrace those nutritious berries this week because they can easily be forgotten and trust me, your body needs this energy source to get you through your daily activities!
Now I must warn you, the first 3 days on this meal plan are typically the hardest. It’s not uncommon to experience headaches, fatigue and hunger during this time as your body adjusts to the new diet. Not to worry though! Remember that this is occurring because your body is detoxifying itself from refined carbohydrates. Once you’re over this 3 day hump, you will be feeling much better. In fact, you might even find this meal plan to provide you with too much food!
The goal going forward is to prevent such feelings of hunger and this is usually accomplished by incorporating balanced meals and snacks every 3-4 hours. That’s right, I’m telling you that it is possible to eat throughout the day, feel satisfied and still lose weight!
My biggest tip is to embrace this meal plan and allow it to completely wash over you. You will be thankful you did after you see the first weeks promising results! Use your motivation to give it your all this week and remember your dietitian will be available to you to help answer any questions or concerns!