No dairy, no grains, no sugar, no alcohol = no fun, right? That may be your first thought upon hearing the premise of The Whole 30, a revolutionary lifestyle overhaul brought to you by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.
However cutting out these foods for just 30 days can seriously transform your health, not to mention help you to shift stubborn pounds.
Since creating and sharing the Whole30 plan in 2009, the couple has been inundated with testimonials from thousands of people worldwide who had seen allergies clear up, skin conditions heal and chronic infections reversed all through following this all natural diet for 30 days. The success led the couple to publish their first book, It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways in 2012.
So, what does it involve?
On Whole30 your diet will most likely have to change drastically. Processed foods, alcohol and even grains are out, but in their place are whole natural foods including an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables.
The plan is designed to help ease inflammation in the body and remove foods which can affect your hormones or cause nutritional imbalances, which perhaps surprisingly includes some pulses and vegetables.
Just Say No:
- No sugar or sweeteners
- No alcohol
- No grains
- No legumes or soy; chickpeas, peas, lentils, peanuts and beans
- No dairy or kefir
- No MSG or sulphites
- No white potatoes
Foods to Enjoy:
The focus on Whole30 is on crowding out unhealthy foods with nutritionally dense, fresh foods including fruit and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. The Hartwigs like us to think of meals not in terms of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner but more as Meals 1, 2 and 3. This is so we change our attitude to food and don’t get stuck eating eggs for breakfast every day!
Your carbohydrates will be coming from fresh fruits and vegetables during this time as legumes, grains and sugar are out. However with your meals based around satiating protein and healthy fats, the idea is that your body will become better adapted to burn fat for fuel and you won’t need that quick-fix biscuit break come 4pm.
What we think:
The Whole30 sounds like a challenging, but ultimately, beneficial plan that could really help to shift eating habits and kick start a healthier lifestyle. However, I do think that many people will struggle to give up so many different foods and drinks at once. It can be hard enough to break just one unhealthy habit so kicking sugar, alcohol, dairy and grains all at once is bound to be a challenge, but one that with enough willpower is achievable.
The Whole30 plan is more focused on health than weight loss – in fact you’re told not to weigh yourself or take any measurements throughout the 30 day plan – but weight loss is bound to come as an added benefit aside the numerous health improvements.
With a Paleo-esque attitude that is quite meat, egg and seafood reliant then vegetarians will definitely struggle to follow the Whole30, as other plant-based protein sources such as soy, pulses and beans are all out.
All in all, if you’re committed to resetting your dietary habits and improving your health then Whole30 definitely seems to be a credible and successful way to do this.
For more information visit whole9life.com or buy the book – It Starts With Food, available on Amazon.
Have you tried the Whole30 or would you like to?