If you’re ready to commit for a whole 30 days to losing weight and improving your health then the Whole30 diet can help. The whole 30 diet days provide you with a nutritional challenge intended to reshape your eating habits and change how you think about food.
If you feel run down, bloated, or suffer from painful inflammation, eliminating certain foods may help eradicate these symptoms. Learn about the Whole30 diet, its energy-boosting benefits, and alternative ways to achieve the same results without some of the downsides of Whole30.
So what is whole 30-ing like? It is essentially a 30-day elimination diet said to transform your health, lifestyle habits, and help you achieve food freedom. The diet removes specific foods and food groups said to cause cravings, inflammation, bloat, and fatigue.
Many people have also reported losing weight on Whole30. So what is Whole 30 diet-worthy is dependent on how wholesome it is. The diet consists of solely whole, unprocessed foods and restricts several food groups such as dairy, grains, and sugar, which is similar to the popular paleo diet.
According to Whole30’s guidelines, these foods are said to be the triggers of digestive issues and inflammation. What is Whole 30 diet-worthy is all dependent on how wholesome it is.
The Whole30 diet is supposed to make you feel better once your specific food triggers are identified. This is possible, especially if you are focusing on getting enough filling foods so you’re not left feeling hungry.
The most filling foods for diet success are those high in protein and fiber. Fish, egg whites, and ground turkey are good for protein while leafy greens, broccoli, and berries are good for carbohydrates rich in fiber.
Whole30 was founded by Melissa Urban, formerly Melissa Hartwig, and her ex-husband Dallas Hartwig. Melissa was a drug addict in college, and after going through rehab found her calling in the nutrition and fitness industry. She started working as a fitness and nutrition coach when her then-husband Dallas started experiencing intense shoulder pain during exercise.
Melissa and Dallas started exploring how diet plays a role in inflammation and created their Whole30 challenge by eliminating foods thought to cause inflammatory problems.
According to Melissa, this experiment transformed their health, habits, and emotional relationship with food. It was after this that she created the Whole30 brand and diet guidelines.
On Whole30, you have a 30-day elimination phase where you are required to avoid all grains, dairy, sugar, alcohol, and processed foods. Then on day 31, you have a “reintroduction” period where you gradually add these foods back into your diet one by one.
The purpose of this reintroduction phase is to observe how you feel after you add back each food you’ve been avoiding. If symptoms like digestive problems, inflammation, or brain fog return afterward, then you will be more easily able to identify which food might be the culprit. Which means you’ll also be able to identify which foods you should stay away from in the long-term.
The end goal is to be able to eat a big variety of healthy foods so that the diet is sustainable and keeps you feeling your best.
You have a wide range of choices on your Whole 30 food list. That means while you may be following a diet, you’re not going to be hungry or bored.
The foods you can’t eat on Whole30 are often those that are known to cause reactions in people. You may think certain foods do not affect you, but the 30-day challenge will help you get a better grasp on what your body likes and doesn’t like.
Since there are many foods that you can’t eat, it’s important to ensure you’re getting enough protein and fiber to feel satisfied on the diet.
A nutrition coach can help guide you on the best protein and fiber sources to include for optimal results, and can also be helpful so that you don’t over restrict your diet unnecessarily.
The good thing about the Whole30 diet is you don’t need to track calories or macros. As long as you’re eating nutritious, whole foods that are allowed on the diet, calories are not the priority.
If you choose to follow it, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough protein and fiber, which are essential to staying full and satisfied on any weight loss plan.
There are a few disadvantages of the Whole30 diet.
Restrictive in Nature
The Whole30 diet is inherently restrictive, as it requires you to avoid several food groups. This can be difficult for some people to stick to, and lead to excess hunger, fatigue, or overeating if nutritious foods are not prioritized.
Research shows it’s possible to still lose weight while enjoying many fiber-rich grains and legumes that are restricted on Whole30. This is because the most important part of weight loss is that you consume fewer calories than you burn.
Therefore instead of focusing on restriction, it’s best to focus on what to include more of in the diet to prevent overeating - lean protein foods and fiber that fill you up to make sticking to a lower calorie diet easier.
Plus, it’s always possible to fit in an occasional treat within your calorie allotment and still lose weight. This is the more balanced approach that Fitmate takes.
Challenging in Social Settings
It can be challenging to follow Whole30 in restaurants and social settings since many foods and ingredients are not allowed. Some Whole30 followers may choose to bring their own food for social gatherings for peace of mind.
Lacks Research to Support It
There are no direct studies done on the Whole30 diet, and the claimed benefits are primarily based on anecdotal reports. This is not to say it doesn’t work, but it is not backed up by research like other diets such as the Mediterranean diet.
From eating healthier foods to losing weight, there are quite a few benefits to following the Whole30 diet.
Any diet that emphasizes whole foods is ideal. Many people are eating way too much processed food nowadays out of convenience, which can be highly palatable and addicting.
The best way to follow Whole30 is by prioritizing filling foods that are allowed, such as those high in protein and fiber. This will make it easier to follow.
Many of the whole foods allowed on Whole30 provide steady energy to get you through your busy days, with a focus on lean protein and fiber such as eggs, lean turkey, fish, fruits, and vegetables.
Fitmate’s weight loss program also focuses on these two key food groups to make healthier eating easier and more sustainable.
Going through the Whole30 elimination process can help you discover food sensitivities you didn’t know you had.
Food sensitivities can cause a multitude of unpleasant symptoms such as bloat, nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, fatigue, heartburn, or abdominal pain.
By eliminating the biggest trigger foods during those 30 days and then reintroducing them back, you’ll be able to determine which foods, if any, are the cause of your symptoms, so you can stay away from them moving forward.
Sometimes you just need a reset. If you’ve been consuming a heavily processed diet for some time, chances are you’re not feeling your best.
Doing the Whole30 challenge can provide a lifestyle reset, and an avenue to rid your body of the toxins draining your energy.
While the main intent of the Whole30 diet is to achieve better energy and food freedom, many followers also lose weight as a side effect.
One reason for this is that the diet restricts many high-calorie, highly processed foods - such as added sugar, alcohol, and pasta. All of these foods contribute to weight gain, so getting rid of them can help you lose weight fast.
Additionally, because the diet choices are limited, it may end up being much lower in calories than what many are accustomed to. This can result in a calorie deficit, which is when you are burning more calories than you are consuming in your diet.
If you like some of the elements of Whole30 but are not convinced by some of the downsides, Fitmate coaches help you identify ways to achieve weight loss.
If you’re looking to reap some of the other possible benefits of Whole30 such as improved energy, using a more balanced program can provide those same results without the restriction.
If you want a program that emphasizes whole foods but doesn’t come with the want to struggle with the challenges in social settings described above, a win-win is possible with a bit of planning. It all comes down to employing simple, gradual changes in food habits.
This is precisely where a weight loss coach can help by bringing support, accountability, and expert advice. Our Fitmate nutrition coaches can help advise you on the best plan for your goals that is sustainable for your lifestyle.
Take our Fitmate quiz to get a personalized nutrition plan to meet your goals and help you feel your best.
What s the difference between Paleo and Whole30?
Paleo and Whole30 are similar in what they restrict, but the main difference is that Paleo is a long-term diet with some flexibility. On the contrary, Whole30 is a short-term elimination diet that doesn’t allow cheat days.
How do you reintroduce foods after Whole30?
You do this by reintroducing one new food at a time, to monitor your symptoms and how you feel. We recommend consulting with a Fitmate coach to help guide you in this process.
What can I drink on Whole30?
You can drink seltzer, water, infused water, coconut water without added sugar, unsweetened almond milk, tea, coffee, homemade juice, and some kombuchas. You can’t have alcohol, soda, packaged juice, or anything with added sugar.
Why can’t you eat beans on Whole30?
Most beans are not allowed on Whole30, other than green beans and most peas. This is because they say other beans are more likely to cause digestive distress.