So I started Whole30 two weeks ago! I’ve surprised even myself by how well I’ve done. I’m so happy that I managed to somehow convince my boyfriend to join me, it is so much easier to do this together.
Are you familiar with the Whole30 program?
Read on, I’ll tell you more about the program and how I’ve done:
I had been toying with the idea of starting Whole30 for a couple of weeks. I hadn’t really known anything about it before – I mean I’m very familiar with paleo type of eating but I hadn’t heard about this program before.
I had spent months persuading my boyfriend to give paleo diet a try but he hadn’t been convinced about it at all. So I saw this 30 day program as another chance to him that we really need to do this. I don’t know what happened, but after a couple weeks of discussions, he finally agreed to do this with me.
Unbelievable. He wouldn’t give primal lifestyle (a more flexible version of paleo) a shot, but agreed to this (a very strict paleo)! Well, I couldn’t be happier 🙂
Stages of Whole30
We started our Whole30 journey on Saturday October 3, 2015 so it’s day 15 today. I have to say that this has been easier than I expected. I haven’t really been tempted once to eat or drink something that’s not on the program. I have thought once or twice about how nice it would be to have a glass of wine or a bar of chocolate but I haven’t once actually considered buying or eating it.
The Whole30 website has a timeline of stages that people usually go through during the program. As I had already changed my diet quite a bit towards paleo diet before, the transition was probably a lot easier to me compared to someone who tries to eat this way after having the standard western diet (=lots of carbs).
The first days of Whole30 went powered by pure excitement of doing this. I had been making very poor food choices just before starting the program so it felt very good to be eating healthy food again.
I think the most difficult days for me were around days 4 to 7. I was hungry all the time, it felt like whatever I ate nothing was enough. And I felt very cold and tired.
I also had an event at work where we had a nice buffet with lots of champagne and other drinks. All I could have were some olives and sparkling water. I only stayed for a couple of hours because I felt miserable.
Most of the time though I’ve felt really good about this.
Rules of Whole30
Now what is this Whole30 all about? Here are the rules:
- Fish and other seafood
- Fruit and vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Good fats
- Sugar or sugar substitutes like honey, xylitol, stevia or maple syrup
- Processed food that has carrageenan, MSG or sulfites.
Shopping and cooking for Whole30
It is just ridiculous how healthy our shopping cart looks while on this program. We spend ages at the fruit and vegetables section of the supermarket and then buy just a few products elsewhere in the store. I’ve noticed we buy a lot of bananas these days as we make a lot of smoothies.
My typical day on Whole30 consists of 3 meals and it looks something like this:
Meal 1: Large smoothie
Meal 2: Chicken salad and an apple
Meal 3: Beef steak (or pork or chicken) and lots of roast vegetables
If I’m hungry between meals I snack on fruits or have a little something salty (olives, roast beef etc.). I don’t count calories or other ways restrict how much I eat.
I think that we’ve actually saved some money when it comes to food shopping. Shopping for food isn’t now as much fun though as it was before as you are quite limited of choice and can’t really buy any treats. It even seems that life in general isn’t as fun either because so many things in life are surrounded by food! Today we went to the movies, armed with sparkling water and dried fruit. Had to hurry home though – the dried fruit made my stomach work faster and more efficiently than usual 🙂
A couple of tips so far
Start on a Saturday
I’m one of those people who usually starts new diets on Mondays. This time however we decided to start on Saturday and I’m glad we did. Here’s why:
Depending on your current diet, this program might mean more preparing and cooking to your daily life so starting on a Saturday will give you more time to get accustomed to it. During the weekend you will have time to prepare healthy and nutritious meals for the following week too if you wish.
If you’ve started Whole30 on a Saturday, you’ll finish it on a Sunday. I think that’s great too because you should finish the program by slowly reintroducing the eliminated foods to your diet. Now:
If you finished the program on a Friday (as you would if you started it on a Monday) I’m sure it would be very difficult not to go overboard with the food during the weekend but as you finish it on a Sunday it will be much easier to reintroduce foods little by little during the weekdays.
Don’t measure yourself during Whole30
Whole30 program encourages you to take before measurements but says that you should not measure yourself during the program. I totally agree with this advice:
Even though I said that this has been surprisingly easy, it doesn’t mean that this is easy. I’m now on day 15 and feel really good about this, I’m glad I started this program. I’m not sure if I’ve lost any weight – I feel a bit lighter perhaps but I’m not sure if I’ve lost any weight. I’m doing this program to get healthier but would also like to lose weight.
If I stepped on that scale right now and found out that I haven’t lost any weight I admit I’d be very discouraged. I want to finish this program so it’s better to trust the program, follow it and then see the results after 30 days.
Have you tried Whole30 or are you considering it? Let me know how you’ve done or what are your concerns!