I’ve completed the 21-Day Program twice at this point, and have learned some good and bad practices for making the most of the program along the way.
Even when I’m not on the program, I try to follow the basic principles of Pure Change’s foundation: lean protein and lots of veggies. I still start my day with a Daily Wellness Shake and snack on the bars between meals.
But this program is not for the faint of heart. You have to be seriously committed to making a change, whether it’s getting your habits back on track or completely turning them around.
To give you a bit of background on myself, I’m a 25-year-old female living in New York City. I have a fast paced job, am always on the go, and love to workout almost as much as I like to eat. I tried the Pure Change program for the first time after being in an unhealthy rut during the spring, and wanted to get myself back on track in time for summer. After completing the 21-Day Program in June, I can happily report that I still stick to the basic principles of Pure Change (most of the time…) five months later.
I still wake up everyday and have a Daily Wellness Shake at 7AM, snack on half a Pure Change Bar (I ave 70 under my desk!) for my mid-morning snack and mid-afternoon snack, and most of my meals consist of lean protein, vegetables and fat.
First things first… Read the manual closely.
This should go without saying, right? Well, I managed to accidentally mix up the Lean Body Protein and Daily Wellness Shakes for the first three days during my first time on the program. Whoops. Don’t make the mistake I did – read all of the details closely.
Meal prep ahead of time.
Even if you think you know what 3 ounces of chicken looks like, you are probably wrong. Portion control was my biggest struggle – I overestimated everything!
The way you’ll see full results on this program is by following it wholly and completely. Prep your meals in advance and use a food scale to ensure accuracy. With time you will learn what 3 ounces of chicken looks like. The easiest meal to prep for is lunch: Throw your vegetables into a Ziploc container the night before and pack with you the next day. Easy as that!
Take it day by day.
Pure Change is about committing to making a real change. Day 1 isn’t going to be easy, especially if you’ve been eating poorly. Day 2 may be just as hard. For me, the turning point was on Day 3 of the first week. I woke up feeling energized, felt satiated all day and didn’t crave any of my usual favorites (including Mexican food).
Have a goal.
Is it weight loss or changing your habits for the better? Are you trying to cut out caffeine and artificial sweeteners? Do you want to just feel your best? Do you have an important event coming up that you want to detox for?
Having a concrete goal and purpose helps keep you motivated.
Weigh yourself before you begin the program.
If weight loss is your goal, this is super important. It will help you benchmark and keep you motivated as the days go on and you start to see results.
Drink water. Lots of it.
Giving up caffeine, especially when you’re an avid coffee drinker, is rough. Giving up desserts, cheese and carbs can be even rougher. Every time you are tempted to eat something that isn’t Pure Changed approved, drink some water. Lots of water. It helps. Trust me.
Don’t treat Pure Change like a quick fix.
I am all for you kicking your health into high gear around special events or summertime. But if you treat the program as a quick fix and run back to your usual eating habits, there’s truly no point in starting in the first place. Embrace the change that the program offers and continue your healthy habits beyond the 7 or 21 days.
Don’t try to do any intense workouts. Just don’t.
I love to workout and you can find me at the gym every day after work… usually. However, during Pure Change, your caloric intake is not enough to support a 60-minute intensive cardio workout. Stick to walking and light yoga during the first week of the 21-day program, and then work your way up from there. I got my burn in by walking to and from work each morning during the 21-Day Program, and taking walks with my friends and boyfriend on the weekends.
Yes, Pure Change requires a strict regimen of eating and supplements, but that doesn’t mean you have to hide yourself in your house with your vegetables for the span of the program.
You can still socialize wisely.
Once you are comfortable with eyeballing portion sizes, you can easily find items on restaurant menus to accommodate the program. Check for steamed/sautéed vegetable side dishes and small salads that feature Pure Change approved vegetables. You may have to ask to remove/add aspects of these dishes, but it’s worth it.
Don’t let social obligations knock you off track! If you’re nervous that you’ll be tempted to veer off the program by going out with friends, start the program when you have a light week in terms of social obligations to ease the pressure on yourself.
Prepare to feel the best you’ve ever felt.
Will there be times that you are hungry, or that you are tempted by a bagel on a Sunday morning? No doubt! But I can assure you the benefits of Pure Change outweigh any temporary struggle you’ll have on the program.
Usually, I snooze the alarm clock at least 3 times before getting up. During Pure Change, I was waking up at 5:30AM ready to conquer the world, totally alarm-less! I never felt bloated, and I completely kicked my artificial sweetener habit. Plus, I lost 12 pounds.
How’s that for Pure Change?