I recently completed my very first Whole30, a thirty-day nutrition program made up of firm rules and guidelines that are designed to produce a healthier and happier version of you. It can feel like a lot to remember for a first timer, and can be a little intimidating at first glance.
I am no expert and am still learning, myself, but the feeling of newness and overwhelming unfamiliarity is fresh on my mind. Here’s a break down of the basics to help you feel ready to slay that “sugar dragon” once and for all and completely your first Whole30.
Here are some other lifestyle changes that can help you lose weight fast.
Die-hard Whole30ers will be quick to defend the program, insisting its purpose is not to help you lose weight. Instead, it is to experience the benefit of the many non-scale victories, or “NSVs,” as they call them. By the end of the program, many people claim to have infinitely more energy, sleep better at night, no longer have acid reflux or joint pain, have clearer skin, feel less controlled by food cravings, and it goes on and on. Many participants do naturally lose weight as a result of limiting processed foods, but it’s just an added bonus on a long list of positive outcomes.
[bctt tweet=”3 Tips For Your Very First Whole30 Experience” username=”ParentCabin”]
It’s always better to focus on what you can eat versus what you cannot, but here’s what you are essentially cutting out from your diet: added sugar of any kind, dairy, grains (including non-gluten grains like corn and quinoa), legumes (includes soy, chickpeas, peanuts, and lentils), and alcohol. You also cannot eat foods that recreate off-limits foods, like store-bought plantain chips or pancakes made with compliant ingredients. Eating those items won’t help you break your habits, and once you finish Whole30 you’ll find yourself falling back into your old ways.
Each meal should follow a specific template: half of your plate should be vegetables (limit starchy vegetables), you should have a palm size serving of protein, and have a small portion of healthy fat. You should only eat three large meals a day, without snacks in between meals (unless you have a reason like you are pregnant or breastfeeding). If you do eat a snack, it should be like a “mini meal.” Fruit should never be eaten as a snack and should only be eaten a few times a week.
It’s a big learning curve, but after a week or two you find your groove and meal planning (and you should meal plan) becomes a lot easier. Try to keep your meals interesting and full of flavor so that you don’t get bored and feel tempted to veer off the program. There are many resources to aid you on this nutritional journey, but here are a few that helped me:
Facebook Group: Keep Calm and Whole30 On