Written by Lisa Malin
What is Whole30? Whole30 is a 30-day elimination diet and clean eating plan that involves taking foods out of the diet that can trigger inflammation, digestive upset, cravings, and negatively impact hormone health, energy levels and immunity.
What’s on the menu? Whole and unprocessed foods. You are encouraged to eat vegetables, fruit, fish & seafood, eggs, meat, natural fats, and healthy oils (olive, wanut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut) and ghee) as well as herbs, spices, and seasonings.
What’s off the menu? Dairy, beans and legumes, grains (including bread and pasta), real and artificial sugars and sweeteners, soy, alcohol, processed foods, sugar, and additives like carrageenan, MSG, and sulfites.
What are the benefits? Whole30 is basically an elimination diet. It calls for eliminating foods commonly associated with food sensitivities and inflammation for 30 days to help you notice how food affects your body and mood. The diet encourages food-label reading, empowering people to understand what’s in their food and make healthier food choices. At the end of the 30 days, followers are encouraged to systematically add back each eliminated food to see if it is triggering unwanted symptoms.
What are the downsides? The program is highly restrictive and can be difficult to follow. Additionally, Whole30 is meant to be followed for 30 days, meaning it doesn’t give you much direction for what comes next or set you up for long-term healthy eating habits. In fact, like many restrictive diets, it can trigger cravings, overeating, and a return to old eating habits once the program is finished.
Bottom line: If you think you might have food-related health and digestive symptom and are interested in using an elimination diet to unmask food sensitivities, Whole30 may work for you. This restrictive eating pattern is not meant to be followed long-term and can lead to cravings and disordered eating once you complete the 30 days. What matters most when it comes to weight, disease prevention, and longevity is what you do most of the time, not what you do for 30 days. For long-term health and wellness, it’s far more impactful to create a balanced eating plan that works for you long term and empowers you to make healthy choices on a daily basis.
If you enjoyed this post, please follow us on social @thisisgrounded and keep an eye out for our next post in our Finding a Diet that Works for YOU series, where we discuss how we work with clients to help them create a healthy, balanced diet that works for them longterm.