It seems that nearly every health Instagrammer has been testing out the Whole 30 diet in 2018. But what exactly is it?
Simply put: it's about eating only food that is "whole" or real, like vegetables, fruits, nuts, unprocessed meat, eggs, and completely removing processed sugar, alcohol, dairy, and processed treats.
The purpose of the diet is to "reset" your health and your relationship with food. When you eat real food it is said that you can reduce inflammation in your system: digestive issues, joint inflammation, acne, etc.
Here is what you need to know about the Whole30 Diet to be successful, or even start at all!
So what will you eat?
Everything you can eat:
- Meat – preferably grass-fed and organic
- Poultry – again, grass-fed and organic if possible. And aim for the real thing like chicken legs, thighs, breasts, rather than sausage or bacon.
- Fish – while you can go for canned, we do recommend opting for what you find in the freezer or your local fish monger
- Veggies – no restrictions here; but again, go for organic at least when it comes to the "dirty dozen"
- Fruits – aim for one or two a day, at most
- Fats – find out the best fats to include in your diet here and here
- Coffee – ideally, stick to black coffee, but adding a little bit of homemade almond or full-fat coconut milk will be okay
What you can't eat:
- No sugar or artificial sweeteners – this includes honey, maple syrup, and stevia
- No alcohol or smoking
- No grains – yes, this includes oats and quinoa
- No beans or legumes – no hummus or peanut butter. Check the ingredient labels for your plant-based protein powder too
- No soy – you'll need to skip that soy latte
- No dairy – your flavoured creamer and that charcuterie board fall under this category too
- No additives – grocery shop the outskirts of the store rather than the aisles to easily stick to this
- No fake treats – no paleo pancakes or keto bread here!
Here's the good, bad, and ugly:
Things we love:
- This diet focuses on getting back to the basics of eating and prioritizes real food
- It doesn't restrict the amount of food you take in (there is no calorie or macro counting)
- It's only 30 days and it doesn't actually take that long to adjust
- The focus isn't weight loss (however many people do see a change in their weight as they cut back on processed foods). This means no measuring or weighing yourself
- You learn to notice what you're putting in your food and control additions like salt and fats
- Your taste buds are improved and likely need less sweetness and saltiness as you add foods back in
The not-so-great things:
- You will do a lot of meal prep and grocery shopping to prepare for each week
- You might have some funny symptoms, similar to the Keto Flu, with boating, achy and tiredness for the first few days. Especially if you significantly reduce your sugar intake
- You might need to adjust your workout routine. For some people, they find that the lack of carbohydrates leaves them with less energy. Your body will adjust, but it takes some time
Thinking about trying out the Whole30 Diet? Here are some tips for success:
- Buddy up. Everything is easier when you have support!
- Meal prep. It'll make it way easier to curb that 3pm craving if you have snacks on hand.
- Leftovers work too. Not a meal prepper? Just make extra of your dinner to last you for lunch.
- Start simple. If you don't already spend a lot of time meal prepping, find easy hacks: hard-boil some eggs, BBQ some chicken, cut up a bunch of veggies.