What about reintroducing sugar, coffee, and alcohol after Clean Gut?


Processed sugar, caffeine and alcohol

We call processed sugar, caffeine and alcohol the Big Three. They are Toxic Triggers, but they are different than gluten and dairy. Gluten and dairy are often considered health foods, but no one would encourage us to eat more of the Big Three to get healthy.

Still, most of us either do consume them or will consume them in the future. So it’s important to understand our relationship with them. Here’s our view on the Big Three.

Removing dependency

It’s common for people to become dependent on processed sugar, caffeine and alcohol. Dependency can be physical and psychological. It is the feeling that we “have” to have it and feel off when we don’t. Removing dependency allows us to enjoy these items from time to time without significant health consequences. We approach the dependency on the Big Three in two ways.

Crowd out

We need to eat good quantities of healthy food each day. When we don’t, we feel anxious and irritable. This is when cravings occur. This is also the reason why most diets fail, they focus on eating less rather than adding in healthy food. When you focus on including a lot of fun, delicious, nutrient-rich whole foods into your diet you end up “crowding out” the junk.

For example, if you want to reduce your cravings for processed sugar or sugary foods, you need to eat enough low-sugar foods throughout the day. If you don’t eat enough of the good stuff, cravings arise quickly, especially if you’re tired. It’s best not to depend on willpower alone to deal with these cravings. Crowding out the junk is one of the simplest tools to leverage your own willpower and remove dependency.

Pulse out

To pulse means to add something in or remove it for a period of time. We do this in order to feel the true effects of whatever item we are testing. The Reintroduction Process is an example of a pulsing program that occurs at the end of Clean Gut.

If we want to remain free from dependency on the Big Three, it’s important to take breaks from them for a period of time. Pulsing out coffee, sugar, and alcohol means removing them from your diet for a dedicated period. This could be 1 week or 1 month. What matters most is that you give yourself a break from the item so that you can remind yourself of its true effects when you add it back in. Here is a simple example. During Clean Gut, you removed alcohol for three weeks. Your body is now able to give you a reliable response about the true effects of alcohol on your system. We want to reproduce this effect by pulsing out alcohol throughout the year, not just during your program. If you don’t take a break every so often, you can easily forget the effect this item has on your health. Pulsing out is something you do repeatedly over time to remind yourself of how these foods actually affect you. When we are clear about the effects of an item and are reminded again every so often, we learn how much of the Big Three our system can tolerate and how to enjoy them without the negative health consequences.

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