One of the easiest and yet hardest things to do in the clean program is to “Mind the Gap”. The Gap in this case is the 12 hour window where you are NOT EATING. The idea, and I think it makes LOTS of sense, is that our body expends a tremendous amount of energy in digestion – and before last year, I barely gave my body a break.
A little background on me — maybe you can relate, maybe you can’t, but I NEVER went to bed hungry, there was always some goodies to be enjoyed as a bed time snack – even if bed time was 2 AM. And then, as soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning, I would scrounge for food – I woke up RAVENOUS – I literally felt like I was starving. Putting a year in the rear view mirror tells me this: ’I was starving’. I rarely fed myself high quality, nutritious foods, it was drive-thru, take out, or something out of a metallic chips bag that I fueled my body with. No wonder I was starving. And add to it that it was rarely more than a few hours between sleeping and waking, my body NEVER stopped digesting, so it could move on to other appropriate bodily functions – like daily detoxification.
In the CLEAN PROGRAM, Dr. Junger asks you to allow your body this 12 hour gap without eating. You can have herbal tea or water, but no food, and here’s why. According to Junger, our body needs 8 hours to digest our last meal – and only after that is digested can our liver go into to clean up mode, which takes another 4 hours. Voila 8+4=12. If you don’t allow your body that 12 hour window (or gap) then it can’t fully process the days intake and outgo needs of your body. Do that day after day, month after month, year after year, and its no wonder so many of us cesspools of illness and obesity.
So if you’re thinking about the CLEAN PROGRAM or some other detox, here’s something you can practice first, that costs ZERO dollars and only commitment from you. Try it for 1 week, MIND THE GAP. If you finish dinner at 8PM – don’t eat again until after 8AM – give it a try what do you have to lose?
Oh and as for my, the “detoxy” and “puny” feelings of Day 2 and 3 have passed and I am feeling great. I still plan to rest as much as I can, and allow my body the ability to purge the toxins and help propel me to feeling fantastic.