Do you want to lose weight by dieting, and also change your relationship with food in the long run to keep that weight off? Whole30 might be the best option for you then.
Whole30 is a 30 days long diet plan created by Melissa in the month of April 2009. From that time, millions of people have given this diet a go and have gotten more benefits than just weight loss.
In following Whole30 diet, you eat whole foods for 30 days straight and avoid all kinds of added sugars, dairy products, all sorts of grains and legumes, and you also cannot drink alcohol. Interesting the definition of whole foods is quite restrictive because even whole grains and legumes do not make to this diet.
The purpose of the diet is to make better food choices, and by changing your eating style for 30 days straight, you will be able to recognize post-diet that which foods are problematic for you. Which foods cause your body uneasiness, bloating, or affects your hormones. You will be able to trace all sorts of these things.
Once, after your clean eating of 30 days, you start to add the food you left out in the process, little by little.
Whole30 Food list
Great thing about Whole 30 diet plan is that there is not limit on number of calories per day. As long as you are within the whole 30 approved foods, you are free to eat to your heart’s content. So what is preferred on this diet. Here is a list:
As expected, the list of the whole30 foods to avoid is longer:
- Absolutely no sugar
- No grains at all
- No alcohol
- No smoking.. though it hardly counts as food
- Legumes and beans are also off limits
- Dairy, including cheese is not allowed
- Soy… so no Tofu either
Can you lose weight on Whole30 diet? How much?
By following whole30 diet program, you are cutting out all the added sugars, avoiding all sorts of junk and processed food for 30 days, which is the ultimate recipe of losing weight.
Abundance of scientific evidence suggests that cutting added sugar from your diet can help with weight loss. (1)
Similarly alcohol is also linked with obesity, especially belly fat. Therefore, when you cut back or totally avoid alcohol, you are likely to lose weight. (2)
By restricting grains, this diet plan strictly limits carbs intake and practically is a strict form of diets that focus on low carbs.
The amount of weight you are going to lose following the Whole30 program depends upon certain factors as your age, starting weight, and of course, the amount of food you are consuming.
If you take being on the food-choices-restriction-diet as an excuse to overeat the allowed foods, then you certainly cannot lose weight this way. You have to be mindful of your eating habits first. This diet is all about smart and clean eating.
On average, the amount of weight loss people have reported is from 12 to 20 pounds in a month. Of course, some people lost less or more than this estimation.
A Few Success Stories
here are strong testimonials available on Whole 30 official website as well as at The Healthy. Mostly whole 30 reviews have been positive.
According to one success story, Thomas and Susan, an old married couple decided to give this diet a go when they realized that the current eating style they had was very unhealthy.
On completing their 30 days of Whole30, they said they felt as fresh as new, and they had lost 20 pounds. They also report that they feel more energetic and lively and that they do not feel cravings for unhealthy food.
Another testimonial goes like this. Alisha Owner, throughout her pregnancy, had gained almost 60 pounds of extra weight. She lost 25 pounds somehow but the rest of the 35 pounds seemed to refuse to go.
Then, when she came across Whole30 and did it, in the first round, she lost 19 pounds. However, she says the actual profit was the elevation in her overall mood she got, from the clean eating process. She is still keeping her food choices smart from all she learned from Whole30 program and is very happy with it.
So, now that we know it has actually worked for people, let us get to making it work for us.
Whole 30 Meal Plan
You can have many different varieties of delicious foods while being on Whole30. Below is a one-week plan to get you through your first week of 30-day program while enjoying whole 30 meals.
Whole30 Breakfast Recipes
Day 1: For the first meal of your Whole30, you can have Skillet Eggs. You can have whichever kind of greens you like.
Day 2: For day 2, you can have mushrooms with eggs. You can just add mushrooms in scrambled eggs, or can add them in very small pieces in your omelet.
Day 3: You can make spinach with scrambled eggs and add pepper for taste.
Day 4: Sweet potato with chicken will be a good change from having eggs every morning. You can top it with avocado or tomatoes.
Day 5: Another egg dish is Shakshuka. It is cooked in tomato sauce. You can add green vegetables and sweet potatoes too.
Day 6: Fajita Omelet. You can prepare this delicious breakfast by wrapping mushrooms, bell peppers and onions in omelet. You can also add avocados and olives to top it off.
Day 7: You can have curried scrambled eggs. You can prepare some green salad on the side too.
Day 1: Salad and Chicken. Any type of green salad. You can prepare chicken in black pepper and also sprinkle some on salad for added taste. Better search for all the delicious whole30 chicken recipes for lunch.
Day 2: You can have some seafood like Tuna Salad. Add some onions and cabbage on the side too.
Day 3: You can have roast beef with salad. There should not be any sausages used except for those some allowed in Whole30 program.
Day 4: You can have shrimps with salad and some mashed potatoes or mushrooms on the side.
Day 5: Chicken skillet is going to be a delicious change.
Day 6: Spaghetti with meatballs. You can add olives and extra garnish to add more flavor.
Day 7: Steak with citrus salad is going to make your tummy full and taste buds satisfied.
Day 1: Steak with mushrooms or boiled vegetables.
Day 2: Seafood like salmon with green salad.
Day 3: Eggplant with mashed potatoes and some chicken.
Day 4: Soup. You can have chicken or vegetable soup.
Day 5: Paleo squash chili. It is a delicious dish, will take less time to prepare than you think.
Day 6: Cajun shrimp salad is another very appetizing and full of nutrients dish.
Day 7: Spicy Thai chicken. Remember, you cannot add soy sauce.
So, these are your 3 square meals for the first week. You can have the idea by the end of the first week and then you can prepare your own Whole30 friendly meals. Good luck with that. Just go with the recipes your body feels good eating, within the restriction circle of your Whole 30 diet.
Whole 30 Snacks
You can also have snacks between your meals. However, it is best to get most of your food intake from your three meals.
Fruits are the best way to fulfill your snacks cravings. You can just cut some apples and eat them or you can prepare apple and cashew butter sandwiches. Just cut your apples in thin slices and spread the cashew butter on them. Enjoy!
You can have a date and almond sweet snack. Just open the date and take out the seed. Put almond there instead. It will make for an energy bar too.
Peaches or apricots can be taken as snacks or can make great desserts.
Sweet potato, sprinkled with some spices, can also make for a decent snack.
Bananas can also provide you with a sweet snack along with an energy boost.
There are other countless ways you can make Whole30 friendly snacks. Experiment for yourself and let your taste buds decide.
Whole 30 Recipes
Whole30 diet was introduced a while back so now, there are a lot of recipes that you can easily make and enjoy without the fear of ignoring the rules of this diet. By following these simple recipes you can make your meals much more pleasant.
Of course you can search for hundreds of more on internet.If you are vegan, then there is no shortage of whole 30 vegetarian recipes.
2- Instant Potato Soup Recipe
- 1/4 cup olive oil, extra virgin
- 8 cups peeled, diced potato
- White onion, 1 1/2 cups
- chicken stock, 6 cups
- cloves garlic, 6
- nutritional yeast, 1 tbsp
- black pepper
- kosher salt, 1 tbsp
- raw cashews, 1 cup
- garnishes: green onion, paleo bacon, tomatoes, chipotle-lime cashew cream
1- Heat olive oil in an instant Pot for 5 minutes. When the oil turns hot, add onions in it and cook for 10 minutes, while stirring.
2- Add potatoes, garlic, cashews, chicken stock and nutritional yeast, stir them to combine everything.
3- Cover it and then switch Instant Pot to soup/stew mode. Once the process is complete, let pressure release naturally.
4- Using a regular blender, carefully blend the hot soup until it becomes utterly smooth. Be careful not to over-blend or the soup will become super gummy. Add some salt and black pepper, for the taste.
2- Chicken, Pesto, + Tomato Egg Pizza
- For making the pesto you will need:
- extra-virgin olive oil, 3/4 cup
- basil leaves, 1 cup
- pine nuts, ¼ cup
- Salted cashews measuring ¼ cup
- Salt, ½ tsp
To mix everything
- olive oil
- large beaten eggs, 8
- Tomatoes, ½ cup (get these sun-dried)
- Cooked chicken, 1 cup (shredded)
- Pine nuts, for garnish if you want to
How to Prepare
Preparation of Pesto: In a blender, add the olive oil, pine nut, basil, salt, cashews, pine nuts and blend on high speed for about half a minute, or until the pesto has been mixed well but shouldn’t be perfectly smooth. Put it aside.
To assemble, In an egg skillet heat up the olive oil on medium-low heat. Pour in the beaten egg that it covers up the surface of the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Cook till the edges turn to light golden color and the egg is cooked completely . Transfer it to a plate and repeat the same process with the egg that’s left.
For serving, spread the pesto on the cooked eggs along with the chicken and garnish with one to two tablespoons of potatoes. Serve with nuts, for the taste.
Is Whole30 for Vegetarians too?
Most of the recipes in Whole30 program are prepared to get protein from animal sources. For vegetarians, it becomes a difficult diet to follow. But since more and more vegetarians are getting interested in this diet, many new recipes have been developed and are followed happily.
Of course, these new recipes with their substitute ingredients are not Whole30 but, as they are natural sources of protein, they can be added for the sake of whole 30 vegetarian diet.
These substitutes include tofu, tempeh, coconut butter, almond butter etc. As without protein, this diet can cause very low energy levels, so, it is best to go with these substitutes. Vegetarians therefore, can follow this diet. There are many tasty recipes available out there which you can follow, and get to know the best ones for your body.
Benefits of Whole30 diet plan
The Whole30 diet plan is loaded with all kinds of physical and mental health benefits. It is a way to reset your body, save it from all the junk food you had been filling with it and develop clean eating habits. Not only that but you will also know how your body reacts to certain foods. It will also make you a mindful eater.
Physical Health Benefits
It will result in you sleeping more peacefully than you have ever before. Your body won’t be trying to digest the unhealthy food you had in your sleep and there will not be any excess, unnatural sugar in your system.
Your energy levels throughout the day are going to be as high as ever because, you won’t be stuffing your body with empty calories by eating junk or processed food.
Even your digestive system will thank you for all the clean food you will be putting there, as it will be easier to digest with less time and energy. You also won’t be having any abdominal gas or cramps.
You will not feel bloated and also won’t get acidity. Your skin will also be better, fading away the acne, as your hormones will find balance.
And of course, you will be shedding those extra pounds.
Mental Health Benefits
Many people who have gone through Whole30 diet have reported numerous mental health benefits. People have stated an improvement in overall mood.
They say that they wake up with more energy and enthusiasm after following this body reset. The food we eat does affect our mood. If you pay attention, you will notice that after eating certain foods like junk food, you do not feel really good emotionally.
You become grumpy and lazy. But foods included in Whole30 diet are clean, so your body reacts happily, resulting in a happier mood. Clear headedness has also been reported by people on Whole30 diet.
Overall, your relationship with food is going to improve and you will know what your body needs whenever and how to fill it in a healthy way. You will also come to know that there is a difference between actual hunger, and when you just think your body should get something, because you might be feeling low and are in a mood for binge eating, or you just do not have anything else to do.
Downsides of Whole30 diet plan
Although this diet has numerous health benefits, there is definitely whole30 criticism too. It can sometimes leave some people bored because of eating the same food again and again, or can cause certain nutrient deficiencies.
As you will not be taking any dairy products, it can cause calcium deficiency. Dairy products also are a great source of vitamin D, potassium and protein, so, avoiding these might not be the best decision for some people. This has led to some whole30 negative reviews.
Eliminating legumes will also deprive you of the various health benefits they have. Legumes are advised not to be avoided unless you are allergic to them.
This is why it is always advised to experiment and know if some sort of diet suits your body or not. Your body also takes some time to adjust, if you change your food choices to healthy ones after years of stuffing it with unhygienic foods. So do not just give up on the first days. Take your time and enjoy more healthy body in the long run.
Following the Whole30 diet can be hard. You will be wanting to go back to your old eating habits midway, especially if there is no one around you in with it. This is more so because Whole 30 diet cut back on essential food ingredients like grains and dairy too.
In those times, always remind yourself that these are only 30 days out of my whole life, and the benefits that I am going to be reaping in the end will be worth it. Treat it as a start to a better lifestyle. Thankfully the restrictions will be for 30 days only.
Just believe that you can do it, and you will surprise yourself by how strong your willpower is. Now, it’s time for you to train your body to make better food choices and to welcome a healthy body with a clean lifestyle, just like the millions of other people who have done so.
You can repeat it as often as you want, and get more benefits every time. Good luck, people. However, as always, we will be happier if you eat a balanced calorie deficit diet and top it up with exercise. This is the perfect recipe for long term weight loss.