Last week I talked about the Whole30 and some awesome things the food elimination program has done for me and my relationship with food. After reading, you may be wondering if it’s something you should give a shot as well.
I want to say that everyone should do a Whole30! It really is life-changing. I’ve learned things about myself that go way beyond just food. If you think you would like to learn more about how food works in YOUR body, do a Whole30. If you want to learn more about your psychological relationship with food (like why you’ve struggled to adhere to healthy eating plans in the past, or are stuck in a yo-yo dieting cycle), do a Whole30. I have learned a lot about myself and how food affects me (mentally and physically) from doing Whole30s. While I personally do not have any particular health conditions (such as an autoimmune disease), I know of many others who do and have been helped tremendously by doing a Whole30. I never went into Whole30 with the purpose of losing weight, but there are countless stories of weight loss from those following the program.
However, if you are recovering from any sort of eating disorder, tread carefully, this may not be for you. Although the Whole30 recommends staying away from any sort of calorie or macro-counting and instead following your internal cues for satiety, it is a restrictive diet and could pose a problem for some people because of that.
If you decide to do a Whole30, actually do it. I see so many people say “Oh well, I just couldn’t help but I have honey in my coffee” or “I just had one cocktail last night, instead of two, so that’s good!”, then complain they just didn’t get good results. That is not Whole30. The rules are very clear. You will not gain the full benefits of the Whole30 unless you stick to the program 100% for the full 30 days. You owe it to yourself to give it your all for 30 days, which is really not that long in the grand scheme of things. I recommend reading It Starts With Food first. It gives you the WHY behind the Whole30, which can give you an extra boost of purpose to use in those difficult moments when you just want a freakin’ piece of chocolate!
After you have completed the Whole30, be sure to properly follow reintroduction protocol. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT! I don’t think enough weight is given to this among the Whole30 community. So much focus is put on the Whole30 itself, yet I see so many people struggle in life after. Take the time and find out what foods you can handle (mentally as well as physically) and which ones you can’t. You do not need to feel guilt for eating non-Whole30 foods in life after if they make you feel good. You do not need to do Whole30 every day for the rest of your life. Find out what works for you and roll with it, knowing that this will probably change as time goes on, which is why it is still important to do a proper reintro, even if it’s your 2nd or 3rd or 4th round.
The Whole30 is hard, but it is SO worth it. If you are struggling with food/sugar addiction, weight loss, or health problems, the Whole30 just may be your golden ticket.