Those who are looking to do a healthy-eating reset are often doing so in an effort to learn more about exactly what to do to optimize their health, improve their body composition, boost their energy, and curb their cravings.
And often, most people are genuinely surprised to learn that those they’ve put on a health pedestal — such as fitness coaches, personal trainers, and dietitians — also leverage reset and detox programs for themselves personally.
The best and most seasoned professionals in the health space are on a never-ending quest to expand their knowledge and continue their learning — often through firsthand experience.
Jerod Langess, one of Life Time’s fitness professionals based out of our Colorado Springs, Colo., destination, is one example of that. He recently completed Life Time’s 14-day D.TOX program in hopes of resetting clean, healthy eating habits that had been compromised due to the challenges of the past couple of years.
As an instructor who certifies new personal trainers, a fitness professional with a tenure of almost a decade, and an expert in exercise and nutrition, Langess shares his most impactful tips for D.TOX success from his experience with the program. (You can learn more about Jerod here.)
First things first: What is the Life Time D.TOX program?
The Life Time D.TOX program is a 14-day approach designed to reset your eating habits. Most participants report a five- to seven-pound weight loss, along with other positive changes, such as in digestive habits, complexion, and energy levels.
The program is focused on consuming nutrient-dense foods such as high-quality animal proteins, vegetables, fruit, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats such as olives, avocados, nuts, and seeds. It eliminates gluten, dairy, soy, corn, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine, which can all cause inflammation in the body. There are optional supportive D.TOX shakes with plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals, botanicals, and prebiotic fiber designed to boost your results.
The program comes with a step-by-step guide that includes an approved and non-approved foods list, sample meal plan, grocery lists, recipes, and other guidance on how to execute the detox successfully. It’s complimentary for all Life Time members.
Tip No. 1: Look at your calendar first.
Langess is no stranger to the challenges of a busy schedule. As a student, fitness professional, dad, and husband, he describes the juggling of life’s responsibilities as being mostly about survival. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, he found his habits and his weight to both be out of line with what was usual for him.
Langess, who had done the 14-day D.TOX three times previously, knew planning ahead was key to making the program work.
“At first, my wife and I talked about doing the program between Halloween and Thanksgiving,” says Langess. “But after we sat down and looked over our calendar, we knew that timing would be too hectic, and decided the ideal time for us was after our oldest daughter turned 21 in January.”
While there’s never a “perfect” time to do the D.TOX, it can be helpful to look ahead and plan around any significant commitments and social activities so that you’re not thrown off track when they come around.
Tip No. 2: It’s significantly better to D.TOX with a partner.
Although both Langess and his wife had each done the D.TOX in the past, they had never once lined up their programs to do together. “I can remember one of us having to eat differently than the other,” says Langess. “We still did well with improving our health, but this time when we could collaborate on meals and trips to the grocery store was so much better.”
Langess shares that the entire program felt more positive than the times he had done it solo, and that it came with built-in accountability out the gate. Plus, the consistent communication with his wife throughout the program on how they each were feeling helped him stay on track.
“In my nine years of working at Life Time, I had never done the D.TOX program together with my wife — I had no idea how much better it would be to do so,” says Langess.
He shares that “from here on out, we will always do it together.”
Tip No 3: Decide on your meals ahead of time — and get creative.
Langess says that planning meals with his wife was key to his success, but also surprisingly fulfilling.
They not only decided on program-provided D.TOX-specific recipes to make together, but they also got creative using the approved foods list. “We thought about meals we currently make and if they would work,” explains Langess. “If not, we’d figure out what changes could be made to make the meals D.TOX-friendly.”
As a result, they were able to keep some favorites from their usual routine in the plan, such as Langess’ chili recipe and his wife’s homemade bacon avocado salad. Plus, he was also able to discover new options at his local grocery stores he never noticed before, including a D.TOX-approved ramen noodle, which made it possible for them to create a new stir-fry recipe using coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
Langess also had a good backup plan with quick options at the ready, just in case. “We bought in bulk for items like grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, and frozen vegetables, as well as smaller amounts of things that perish faster, such as berries and nitrate-free deli meat.”
Tip No 4: You don’t have to be perfect.
Our daily routines and habits are powerful. They initially can be tough to change, especially for times where we feel like we’re operating on autopilot.
Langess experienced this firsthand when, despite all his D.TOX planning and preparation, his first day started off rocky.
“I woke up and started my day as usual,” says Langess. “I then got a text from my wife telling me about how she was already missing eggs, but found a great alternative breakfast with oatmeal and berries. I felt awful! Here I am, day one, and I forgot this was D.TOX time. I immediately switched gears and thought about my eating for the rest of the day.”
A lot of people who have a perfectionist mindset find that as soon as they slip up, it’s time to throw in the towel. Langess’ experience is a perfect example to show that the whole process is about progress, not perfection. When — not if — there’s a misstep, pick up with the program again at your next eating opportunity.
Tip No 5: Have an after plan.
It’s common for people to struggle with long-term nutrition changes — and having a plan for the longer-term helps make the most of any D.TOX experience. The program is designed to be a catalyst to healthy change.
“We often eat foods for reasons of convenience, desperation, or emotion,” says Langess. “This can lead to a vicious cycle of inflammation.” He goes on to share that with the recent need for and focus around building health and resilience, “there is not a better time to get all systems at their best.”
While following a strict eating approach at all times is not expected or feasible, Langess has been known for promoting an 80/20 approach with nutrition. This philosophy encourages 80 percent of choices to be health-promoting, while allowing 20 percent for freedom to eat things just for enjoyment or fun.
After this most recent D.TOX, Langess decided to figure out what 80/20 really meant for him. “I did the math, and if you’re eating three meals a day, this would mean that you can have four meals a week of whatever you would like, while being disciplined to eat well the rest of the week.”
He and his wife committed to looking ahead each week to plan those four meals — whether that be taking their high school senior out after a basketball game or a night out with friends over the weekend. Immediately after the D.TOX reintroduction phase, Langess and his wife enjoyed a date at their favorite stone-baked pizza place.
But outside of those planned deviations, they both are taking the approach of eating to fuel themselves healthfully. “We are eating to treat our bodies well with properly balanced meals,” says Langess.
The 14-day D.TOX is a short-term program, but it isn’t meant to be a quick or gimmicky fix. The overall purpose is to efficiently realign healthy habits, kick-start or boost your results, and support health from the inside-out. It’s also meant to be a piece of your overall, longer-term plan.
Even as a fitness professional, Langess recognizes that it “may seem intimidating and all about delayed gratification,” but shares that “beneficial experiences may occur the moment you start.” The program is set up to be simple, doable, and straightforward — especially if you follow the tips Langess outlines above.
If you’re ready to explore the D.TOX program, you’re welcome to check it out right here.