I started the Whole 30 on January 2nd and I finished February 1st. In a nutshell; It's a very clean diet done strictly for 30 days. No soy, corn, dairy, wheat, grains, legumes, sugar, fake sugar, sweetener of any kind, and, oy vay, No alcohol. This basically means you need to eat simply, eat real food, and eat at home. I am really proud to say that I did the whole 30 days without cheating or slipping up. I wasn't sure what I was going to get out of it or if it was going to be worth it but I can tell you it was. I lost 5lbs, 1 & 1/2 inches off my waist, 1/4 inch around my thigh and I gained 1/2 inch around my bicep. But even more than that, I learned that I do have control. I learned that I am
a little sensitive to dairy. I feel like I benefited tremendously from doing it. I know this blog is long, but I hope you'll read all the way through and think about some of the points or maybe try the Whole 30 yourself.
Just to be clear, In all honesty my diet is not so bad. I love to cook and have found through other elimination diets that gluten seriously aggravates my digestive system so I barely ever eat bread or other processed foods. (Barely ever means that most weeks I have none.) Yes, Bread to me is a processed food! I cook with mostly coconut oil and olive oil. No vegetable oils. I do however, have a serious sweet tooth and a serious wine problem. These were very hard to give up.
Why did I do it?
I got out of control during November and December. Oh the cookies. Too many. Too much alcohol, and too huge portions. I feel like I lost control with food and needed to eat really clean. Almost like a detox. I did not do it to lose weight.
I think that this diet is fantastic for helping people find out if they have food sensitivities or allergies. It's tough but since it eliminates so much you can slowly re-introduce items and see if you are sensitive.
I also think it is great to get us back to knowing if we are really hungry or just bored or sad or being social.
I would like to recommend it to clients and friends but since I had only heard about all the success stories I figured I needed to try it myself first.
What did I get out of it:
I was surprised to find that I didn't feel like I was deprived of calories or food. I could eat as much as I wanted of healthy things. I'm not proud but feel like I need to tell you that I went through 2 containers of Cosco Almond Butter. 2 Containers! I really did not try at all to cut calories.
My awareness of when I was full or really hungry was on point. So no unnecessary snacking.
My digestive system was very happy. Regular, no bloating.
My sleep was incredible. I woke up feeling so rested.
My strength gains were seriously noticeable.
My meal planning wasn't complicated at all. I kept things simple for the most part. Choosing a meat, and a veggie and pairing it with a potato or winter squash.
My body did change! I was not expecting it since I didn't cut calories or even try to limit myself.
I lost 5lbs, 1 & 1/2 inches off my waist, 1/4 inch around my thigh and I gained 1/2 inch around my bicep.
Who would benefit from doing The Whole 30?:
I think you would benefit from trying the Whole 30 if you feel like you are eating healthy but you still feel like you aren't losing weight. Don't do the Whole 30 to lose weight. Or at least not initially. Do it to see if you are sensitive to certain foods. Do it to get a grip on real hunger and detox from sugars and other potential aggravators. Then use this information to get on a healthy track after the Whole 30.
If you feel like you are sensitive to sugar. Example. "When I eat ice cream I don't get full, I can eat the whole carton." "I crave sugar and carbs." "Once I start eating chips I can't stop"...
If you are suffering from digestive distress, skin issues, achy joints, or anything that could possibly be due to a sensitivity from a certain type of food.
These next three points; Eating Out, Words of Wisdom, and Plan/Prep/Follow are all essential for anyone trying to eat right, but especially if you are doing The Whole 30
Eating Out is Very Challenging:
Be proactive and choose the restaurant. Don't let others choose a place that has nothing you want to eat.
Call ahead to the restaurant and ask if items you suspect to be whole 30 really are.
Bring your own salad dressing.
Drink sparkling water with lemon if you are in a crowd of drinkers and having a tough time.
Just try not to eat out if you can.
Important words of wisdom:
Don't use the words "I can't have that" or "I wish I could have blank" or anything negative.
Replace it with "I'm choosing to not eat blank" or "I don't eat that" or "I feel better when I eat blank"
This is very important for your sanity! If you are completely focused on what you can't have and what you are missing out on then it's going to drive you crazy.
You have to be prepared for the week. So meal planning essential. If you end up hungry and out and without food and not sure where to eat out, you'll fail.
Follow the Whole 30 Recipes and Whole 30 on Instagram and Facebook for inspiration.
Use Pinterest to find recipes but try to keep it simple.
I would say that the last week was the hardest for me. I was feeling very left out, deprived, and weak willed. I honestly felt like I when I finished I might just binge on ice cream and bread. Maybe drink an entire bottle of wine. This feeling of weak motivation made me wonder...am I weak...am I just not tough enough to do the whole 30 days...is 30 days too long? I have done diets that are strict for 21 days and not felt like this. Although when I say strict they are nothing in comparison to this. You could have a cheat meal once a week which gave me a sense of relief and normalcy. I felt like I could still go out with friends. But this was intense.
Bottom line: I don't think I'll do it again. I will do something like my 21 Day Reset that is much less intense. I'm really glad I did it and I do feel like it had it's purpose. I found out that I DON'T miss soy, beans, cheese or gluten. Luckily because beans and gluten do seem to aggravate my system. I really didn't miss sugar, honey, or maple syrup as much as I thought I would. I DO miss corn tortilla's, ice cream, rice, and wine. But I'm luckily not sensitive to these things.
It has been a week now that I have been done with the Whole 30. I reintroduced foods and have been out to eat a few times. I honestly do feel the difference. My energy is not as great, my sleep is not as great, and my awareness and control is getting sloppy. I can feel my waistline creeping back to where it was. I'm not sure what the solution is. But I keep thinking of it as a balance. A balance of my love for food and wine and my love of feeling good at my next workout, and about my weight. I can't eat whatever I want and have all that. But I can eat the really healthy home cooked meals without the aggravators like wheat and dairy 80% of the week and then be happy with a couple splurges each week to satisfy my cravings.
You can click here to learn all about The Whole 30 or order the book off amazon which is really great. Even if you don't think you'll be able to do the program, you'll learn alot from the book.