The Whole30 Diet has become widely popular in the last couple of years. Thanks to social media, this diet program spread like wildfire, persuading many people to try it. Celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Jessica Biel and Megan Fox even swear by its benefits.
Personally, I first thought it was similar to the Paleo Diet. When my friends started talking about it, I got curious and wanted to try it myself. After doing research, it turns out it’s more than just a trendy weight loss method. Here’s what I learned about the Whole30 Diet program.
What is the Whole30 Diet?
The Whole30 Diet was introduced as a way to help people end unhealthy food cravings, restore a healthy metabolism and balance their immune system.
The Whole30 Diet is based on the premise that consuming highly-processed foods and certain food groups causes low-level inflammation and even hormone imbalance.
Eating these foods also affects appetite and food cravings, which is why most of us tend to crave more carbs and sweets when we eat them. Continuously eating ‘trigger foods’ causes a perpetual cycle of inflammation, resulting in conditions like:
- Joint pains
- Chronic headaches
- Indigestion and gut damage
- Skin conditions like acne
To help your body ‘restart,’ the Whole30 Diet basically cuts out processed food and other potential food triggers for a full 30 days. You’re encouraged to eat more vegetables, lean meat and healthy fats. Aside from eliminating processed meals, you can’t eat the following foods while on this diet:
- Refined and whole grains
- All added sugars and artificial sweeteners
- Legumes, peas and soy products
- Foods with additives
After 30 days, you should slowly reintroduce these foods into your system.
By the time you’re done with the diet, it should reset your metabolism and help you make healthier food choices. Once you start eating restricted foods again, it will help you determine exactly which foods may be causing subtle yet harmful effects on your body.
The Difference Between the Whole30 and Paleo Diet
You might notice the Whole30 Diet has similarities with the Paleo Diet. To note the difference, Paleo is more of a lifestyle that encourages consuming grass-fed, sustainable proteins and organic produce. It’s followers also tend to have higher protein intake in their diet.
The Whole30 Diet is more of a 30-day reset period.
While it’s only done in 30 days, people who’ve tried it say it’s helped them understand how their bodies react to different types of food. More importantly, completing the 30-day diet helped them develop healthier food cravings and eating patterns.
Can the Whole30 Diet Really Help with Weight Loss?
Weight loss is an added benefit for people who go on the Whole30 Diet. Though it was made to detect food sensitivities, cutting out processed food, unnecessary carbs and sugar in your diet will definitely reduce your calorie intake.
Lower calorie intake in the Whole30 Diet seriously helps with weight loss.
For 30 days, the diet focuses on eating vegetables, moderate amounts of lean protein and fats from healthy sources like certain seeds and oils. Aside from veggies and meat, you can eat these foods during the Whole30 Diet:
- Fish (high in Omega-3)
- Low-glycemic fruits
- Spices and herbs
- Nuts, nut milks and nut butters
People who go on the Whole30 Diet realize just how much sugar and carbs they consume in a day. They learn to replace their carb and sugar cravings with healthy food alternatives like veggies and low-glycemic fruits. Moreover, the diet encourages meal planning and cooking—two things that really help get your nutrition in order.
After 30 days, if you continue to cut down on processed food, sweets and carbs, you will surely reap the benefits of a slimmer body. Apart from losing weight, Whole30 followers claim to experience other health benefits such as:
- Better mood
- More restful sleep
- Higher energy levels
- Improved mental function
- Relief from acid reflux
- Clearer skin
What Should I Expect When I Try the Whole30 Diet?
For those who have tried Whole30, one of the biggest drawbacks is how restrictive it can get. You cannot have cheat meals or even alcohol. Going for an entire 30 days without carbs and sweets can really be a challenge for many.
Moreover, it doesn’t make it easier when commercially processed foods are widely available in grocery stores.
Some Whole30 followers even go as far as avoiding social gatherings that involve a lot of food. Committing to 30 days will really test your patience and discipline, so prepare yourself.
The bottom line: Whole30 can work for some, but others might find it too inhibiting.
All in all, the Whole30 Diet is a good option for anyone looking for a kind of ‘cleansing diet’ that can tell them if they have food sensitivities. Just be ready to push yourself for 30 days. If you follow all the rules, you’ll definitely reap lots of health benefits, including weight loss.
What do you think of the Whole30 Diet? Have you tried it? If not, will you give it a shot?
Tell us in the comments below!