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Whole30: Everything You Need to Know About this Diet Trend

Sick of fad diets? Me too.

But here’s the thing: The Whole30 diet isn’t exactly a diet, in the way we think of them nowadays. It’s more like a reset for your body and a reminder for your mind. You can’t function your best without eating your best.

The Whole30 helps you get back on track - when you’ve inevitably fallen off the healthy bandwagon. It happens, you go a week of eating all kinds of junk foods, then another week, then it gets hard to stop. It spirals.

The Whole30 Diet Explained

The whole30 meal plan lasts 30 days. It’s not forever. The goal is to eat only whole foods and avoid alcohol, sugar, soy, dairy, legumes, and grains. And ideally, you want to maintain some of this as your 30 days comes to an end.

While I’m not fully sold on the elimination of sugar and dairy, for some people, it might help reset their digestive system and body. After all, sugar is impossible to fully avoid. Moreso, you want to eliminate the excess sugar found in unhealthy foods with low nutrition, like frozen and pre-packaged foods.

What Can’t You Eat on Whole30?

So, let’s outline this process. What are all the insider details you need to know before starting the Whole30 diet? And should you try it?

Basically, the foundation of this program is elimination. Ideally, this can help you understand what’s causing any digestive upset or dysregulation. When doing the Whole30, you eat real and whole foods. These include meat, eggs, seafood, vegetables, and fruits, while adding flavors using spices and seasonings.

Meanwhile, foods you avoid include:

  • Added sugar.
  • Alcohol.
  • Grains.
  • Legumes (peas, chickpeas, peanuts, other lentils/nuts, and soy).
  • Dairy.
  • Carrageenan, MSG, or sulfates.
  • Baked goods.

The last Whole30 diet rule?

You are not allowed to step on the scale or taking body measurements throughout those 30 days.

This is actually a good thing - especially if you’ve been cycling through diet trends. It’s easy to become obsessed with the number on the scale. And it’s easy for that number to discourage you. Yet, this number can change for a variety of reasons - not just because you’ve suddenly put on fat overnight.

It’s hard to remember this when you’re obsessing over it and measuring it all the time.

How Does Whole30 Work?

Essentially, these 30 days follow the science involved in elimination diets and protocols. Elimination protocols aid doctors in determining whether someone has a food sensitivity or not. This started becoming a common practice in the 1920s.

Today, food sensitivities are even harder to figure out. With so many toxins and chemicals in the foods we eat, a food sensitivity could come down to a small chemical added during the manufacturing process.

The Whole30 diet allows your body time to see how your body responds by eliminating the foods that are likely causing you issues.

It requires effort and a bit of a mindset flip, but it could be entirely worth it. Maybe you come to the realization that the pre-packaged foods you’ve been eating have been causing you digestive problems and mood swings. Maybe you’ll feel less bloated and more regulated. You won’t know until you try it.

Who Should Try It?

Individuals that have been through various diet trends, but have failed to reach their goals can benefit from the Whole30 diet. Others who can benefit include those who want to generally become more healthy and clean up their eating habits. You may also want to try it if you’re worried about food sensitivities and think you benefit from eliminating common causes.

Plus the Whole30 diet has many benefits, including:

  • Helping promote weight loss.
  • Improving headaches or other health conditions.
  • Relieving digestive issues.
  • Clearing skin.
  • Increasing energy levels.
  • Trying new and fun recipes.
  • Improving sleep.
  • Uncovering what foods you may want to avoid and cause discomfort in your life.

Plus, this diet isn’t like other diets. You don’t track calories. There is no points system. Ideally, you eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. It’s all about helping reinforce proper, healthy, and balanced eating habits, so that you can lead your best life.

There is also no cheating. If you cheat, you start back at Day 1. Try to remember it’s only 30 days. You can do 30 days without hiccups. And if you’re worried about slipping up, consider doing it with a friend or your entire family.

Getting Started

Not sure where to start?

Start at Day 0 - preparation.

Here’s how:

STEP 1: Read up on the Whole30 Diet and understand what you can and can’t eat.

STEP 2: Clear out house and home. Get rid of temptation.

STEP 3: Fill your home up with Whole30 approved foods. Find new Whole30 recipes and snacks. You’ll be surprised by how good “healthy” food can truly be. Plus, healthy doesn’t have to mean breaking your budget. There are plenty of healthy foods you can buy on a budget.

Related Article: Get Healthy On a Budget

Plan and Stick With It

And you’re off running. Start Day 1 and stick with it. And no, you don’t have to ditch that morning coffee - this is absolutely allowed. So while you might not have alcohol, you can enjoy herbal teas and delicious coffee.

Before you start, consider planning out a week’s worth of Whole30 meals and snacks. Make it easy for yourself by planning ahead. That way, you won’t be tempting to stray.

And try not to overcomplicate it. It’s easy to choose the most elaborate recipes, but this can quickly add to your to-do list. Choose simplicity. If that means eating the same meal for breakfast all week, so be it!

The Bottom Line

The Whole30 Diet can help clean up your eating habits and reach your goals.

Not only that, it can make you feel better all-around. If you’re thinking about trying it, continue to do research and get to know what it’s all about. As mentioned above, plan ahead if you’re intending to start it. It can help increase your success rate and set you up right from the get-go. Start treating your body right, and why not begin that journey with the Whole30 diet?

ahead if you’re intending to start it. It can help increase your success rate and set you up right from the get-go. Start treating your body right, and why not begin that journey with the Whole30 diet?

Want to learn more about eating healthy? Read this article on intuitive eating. Or this article on how to quit overeating, especially during special occasions.

Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden

"Believing in yourself is really half the battle," says Krista. Anything is possible and you really can achieve anything you set your mind to, is her motto. Physiotherapist, Piano player, skydiver, yogi, adventure traveler and energetic force of positivity, Krista is herself a (delightful) force to be reckoned with! As... Read More

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