Note: This is the original Power 20 diet advocated in 2014. It was updated in January 2015 as we encountered compelling evidence of harm caused by meat, dairy and oil consumption. You can see the current diet here.
The sugar cleanse changes your body faster than any other part of the method. There’s no calorie counting, portion control, or label-reading required. The diet can be summed up like this: you’ll be eating a mostly plant-based diet with occasional clean meats. Each day you’ll eat a high-protein breakfast and have a serving of green tea. You’ll be avoiding sugars and simple carbs. This is really hard because sugars and simple carbs are both highly addictive and ever-present in the modern diet. You’ll follow this diet every day for 30 days. There are no cheat days or cheat meals, but if you miss a meal or two, don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s hard but the results will be worth it.
Just follow these rules and base your meals on the examples provided. This list is not comprehensive, but the gist of the diet is as follows:
No limits: eat as much as you want of these foods.
- Vegetables, steamed, cooked, and raw
- Fruits and berries
- Green tea
- Egg whites
- Healthy fats: Coconut oil, avocado, nuts & seeds, olive oil
- Coffee & other tea without sugar or sweeteners
- Beans and legumes
Ok to eat once a day:
- Eggs with yolk
- Full-fat greek yogurt
- Full-fat cheese
- Whole grains like oatmeal (these are cereal grains that include the whole kernel)
Ok to eat once or twice a week:
- Organic, unprocessed meat (Unprocessed red meat means beef, lamb or pork that hasn’t been preserved with smoking, curing, salting or chemical additives)
- Bread, and pasta, including whole wheat, and anything made with flour
- Rice, including brown rice
- Cereals that are not whole grain
- Potatoes, including french fries
- Processed meats, including bacon and sausage.
- Processed foods that come in packages and don’t spoil fast.
- Sugary drinks, including sweet coffees and teas
- Fake sugar and sweeteners (splenda, stevia, aspartame, etc)
- Regular and diet sodas
- Alcohol of all kinds
- High sugar foods and sweets
- All “low fat” food
- All fruit juices
- Fried foods
*We say totally eliminate for simplicity, but each person has a different tolerance and ability to habituate to this new diet, so your goal should be to reduce sugar and simple carbs in the diet to the extent that you want to lose weight. The more weight you want to lose, the more vigilant you should be about cutting out simple carbs.
See sample meals below.
Why a low-sugar diet?
The Power 20 Method is designed to reduce the size of your fat cells very quickly. Fat cells get larger when they’re filled with triglycerides. Triglycerides are three units of glycerol bound together. When they’re bound together, they are too big to escape from inside the fat cell. Only when they are unbound, or broken down into fatty acids, are these small enough to pass through the fat cell walls to be used for energy. Breaking down triglycerides is the key to shrinking the size of fat cells, which is in turn the key to revealing that six pack or toning up that butt.
Triglycerides form when you eat too much sugar. When you eat a high-sugar or high-carb diet, you’re getting more glucose (sugar) than your body needs. Instead of using all that energy, your body packs it away in the form of triglycerides inside fat cells. If you keep eating a high-sugar / high-carb diet, you’ll never give your body the opportunity to break down these triglycerides into energy, making you fatter and fatter.
How will I feel on a low-sugar diet?
The first week is hardest. During the first three days you may suffer from carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms, or a “carb crash,” where you fixate on carbs and sugar, feel tired, and may even feel mentally slow. Get through these days by eating lots of fat and fiber to stay full. Keep healthy snacks on hand and never let yourself get very hungry, or else you will break the diet.
After the first week these feelings will subside. You’ll feel less hungry between meals and you’ll regain your energy.
Let’s move on to the next section about Socializing.