I once told a friend I’d probably never do The Whole30 because I didn’t feel I needed an elimination diet. But that changed when I saw how many friends of mine were on the Whole30—and were seeing amazing results. Curious, I conducted (what else) a poll on Facebook, and the accolades came pouring in: Weight loss, less inflammation, better sleep, and mental clarity. Convinced I should at least give it a shot, I took the leap a few days later.
Going in, I knew a few things would have to be in place before I got started in order to be successful.
Things like accountability. I started a private Facebook page for those who wanted to join me. We used this space to post recipes, ask each other questions, share results, and give encouragement.
And clarity. I needed to know what I was getting into, so I read the Whole30 program rules top to bottom.
And a commitment to food prep. The Number One piece of advice from “pro” Whole30-ers was to avoid falling off the wagon? Have food you can grab immediately when you get hungry. Trust me, you don’t want to be on Day 18, slip up, then have to start back on Day 1.
And, perhaps the most importantly, the right expectations. One of the first things someone posted on our Facebook page was The Whole30 Timeline, an outline of what to expect from the experience. After reading these “expectations,” I thought about what outcomes I wanted for myself. What results would make me want to continue eating this way because they were that rewarding? Number one on my list was to have less inflammation. Anything beyond that, like, say, losing some fat around my belly (thanks to kid #2), would be an added bonus.
Armed with this knowledge, I went in. I ate. I resisted. I learned.
And? I did it. In the end what really blew my mind was how much self-control I gained. From not eating the chips and salsa at a dinner out with my family to not licking my finger when baking these super duper healthy chocolate chip cookies, I learned that I always had a choice.
We tend to eat certain foods because “it’s there” or “it’s a celebration” or “YOLO” but, in those 30 days, I realized that there’s always going to be countless reasons that “it’s impossible” to eat this healthy. The only way to break those habits was to realize that I am in control, and that I can choose what makes me feel 100% amazing.
In addition to the major perspective shift on my self-control, I also noticed less inflammation, more energy during the day, and my body consistently wanted to go to sleep at 10 pm every night, so I could wake up at 6 am each day.
So my verdict / pep talk? 30 days is doable. Don’t talk yourself out of it or make excuses. There will be times that you feel deprived, but you fight through that and focus on what you DO get to eat because that’s what this is all about. Good luck!
A few more resources to support you on your Whole30 journey:
- 5 reasons you’re not losing weight on the Whole30.
- You finished the Whole30: now what?
- The Whole30 cheat sheet.
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