Let me be the first to admit that I was skeptical about Whole30. But after thirty days of living it, I have to say: my Whole30 results speak for themselves.
What Is Whole30?
Whole30 is a popular elimination diet created by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig in 2009. The official rules say that for thirty days, you can’t consume any added sugars (real or artificial), alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, sulfites, or MSG. Whole30 also has one other important stipulation: if you cheat and eat one of the forbidden foods, you have to start all over again.
“Whole30 is essentially an elimination diet, or an anti-inflammatory diet,” says registered dietitian Sarah Greenfield, RD, CSSD. “I’m a huge proponent of this way of eating. I think it’s really healthy to try something new and take out different foods. Then, when you reintroduce things, you can figure out if certain foods don’t agree with you.”
A quick browse of the Whole30 website shows further endorsements from doctors, dietitians, and acupuncturists. Many claim the diet will help you lose weight, beat fatigue, and help with all sorts of other ailments. Basically, it’s a miracle diet.
MY EXpectations for Whole30
Even with a dietitian’s approval, I was skeptical. What kind of healthy diet doesn’t allow a person to eat beans or quinoa? Why is there no grace and understanding that sometimes in the middle of a big diet, you just can’t resist the baked goods someone brought to the office?
Though I love adding lots of greens to my diet, I’m also a verified sugar addict. (Additionally, I’m known to Postmates Shake Shack for dinner semi-frequently.) Still, I consider myself more of an intuitive eater and was curious to see what results I’d see on a stricter regimen.
Going into the challenge I hoped for clearer skin, better digestion, improved sleep, and more energy in my Whole30 results.
My Whole30 Experience
During the first few days of Whole30, I was afraid at any given bite that I was breaking the rules and would have to start all over. My subconscious was so worried about this, that I even had dreams of accidentally eating chocolate. However, after the first week, I got into a groove with the permitted foods.
Throughout the first two weeks, my skin continued to break out. In fact, it was breaking out even more than usual. But by the end of thirty days, I only had a few blemishes here and there instead of all over.
I had anticipated that the worst part of Whole30 would be banning sugar and alcohol. But I was surprised at how easy it was to just substitute something else in and still feel satisfied. If I craved sweets, I had a piece of fruit and that did the trick. At bars, I ordered a seltzer or hot tea. Just having something in my hand was enough.
In fact, the best part of Whole30 was something I hadn’t anticipated at all: saving a ton of money not drinking. Not to mention sparing myself from hangovers all month long. I’m so used to alcohol ruling over my social life on weekends. But it was really refreshing to know I can still go out with friends and have a good time without racking up a big expensive bar tab and suffering the next day.
My Whole30 Results
At the end the month, here were my final Whole30 results:
- Weight: -3 lbs
- Waist Size: -3 inches
- Body Fat Percentage: -0.6%
- BMI: -1
While the weight and body fat loss was slight, I saw three whole inches off my waist. (Perhaps from removing foods that were causing inflammation and bloating in my diet prior to Whole30?) Without adding any additional workouts to my routine—I typically do a few yoga classes a week—this resulted in a much more defined waist and arms.
Though I still had a few blemishes here and there, my skin cleared up significantly. Furthermore, my energy, digestion, and mood all felt like they were functioning optimally. For me, this experiment was a huge success and I’d recommend it to anyone looking to try something new in their diet.