How to Start a Whole30 Diet
The Whole30 diet is an eating plan that is structured to remove potentially inflammatory food groups from your diet for a month to allow your body to “reset” and become healthier. After 30 days, you can slowly reintroduce the restricted foods to your meals. It’s a very restrictive diet, but it’s easy to get started as long as you know the rules!
Shopping for the Whole30 Essentials
Buy meat and poultry of different varieties.The main source of nutrients and protein in this diet comes from meat and poultry, and some type of meat is the central ingredient in almost every meal. Look for organic and grass-fed beef, pork, and chicken that are unprocessed.
- Eggs are considered poultry, as well, and can help you to make a variety of breakfast foods!
- Be sure to check the packaging to make sure there are no added sugars or preservatives.
Get plenty of vegetables for meal prepping.Vegetables complement your meals and provide added nutrients that you can’t get from meats. Look for leafy greens like kale and spinach, and hearty and filling vegetables like potatoes, carrots, onions, and tomatoes.
- Stay away from canned vegetables, opting instead for fresh produce, because the canned varieties tend to have added sugar, sodium, and preservatives.
Stock up on fruit to keep your sweet tooth satisfied.A big part of Whole30 involves cutting out added sugar, but you can still get a quick dose of sugar from fruit. Bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, and more are all allowed in moderation.
- Since you’re trying to limit your sugar intake, try to only have 1-2 pieces of fruit per day.
Grab a few fish filets and cans of tuna.Fish and shellfish are also a great source of protein and can help you to create healthy and filling meals on days where you don’t want to eat meat. Any kind of fish is allowed, including canned varieties.
- Grilled salmon is a great, heart-healthy way to get protein during the diet, and it pairs great with vegetables for a filling dinner.
Pick out “good” fats like avocados and oils.Fats are an important part of the Whole30 diet, including olive oil and coconut oil. You can also have clarified butter, also known as Ghee, which can help with cooking.
- Avocados with olive oil are great for snacking when you’re craving a savory treat.
Purchase coffee beans in your favorite roast.Black coffee is allowed on the Whole30 diet, so stock up on a roast that you enjoy. Be sure not to add any sugar, but you can add sugar-free almond milk for a less-bitter version.
Getting Rid of Restricted Foods
Remove all dairy from your diet.This includes cheese, milk, yogurt (even Greek yogurt), cream, and butter. They can be inflammatory to some people and most have a lot of added sugar in their ingredient list.
- Dairy is considered one of the foods most likely to be harmful according to the Whole30 diet, so this is a strict rule with very few exceptions.
Cut out all legumes, including peanuts and soy.Beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, tofu, soy sauce, edamame, and all things peanut-related are restricted on the diet. Legumes have a protein called Lectin that can be inflammatory to people with underlying autoimmune issues.
- You can replace beans and legumes with other kinds of vegetables during the the Whole30 diet.
- Nuts other than peanuts are still allowed, including almonds and walnuts.
Get rid of grains.Whole30 restricts consumption of wheat, corn, rice, oats, and barley during the month, which means definitely no bread of any kind. The diet also requires that you stay away from gluten-free grains like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat, as well.
- This rule is also pretty strict because grains are known to have negative effects on many people.
Say goodbye to alcohol for the month.Alcohol, which is normally derived from grain, fruits, or vegetables, is banned on the diet. This includes alcohol for cooking, like vanilla extract and wine.
- You can still have Kombucha, which has a small amount of alcohol, as long as it doesn’t have any added sugars.
Toss anything with added sugars, including junk food and baked goods.Removing tempting foods will put you on the right track for your Whole30 month. Junk food and baked goods contain added sugars that can derail your entire diet with just one bite!
- If you live with other people, explain your new diet to them and let them know that you’d appreciate it if they didn’t bring junk food into the house while you’re there.
Planning for Success
Get the Whole30 book and cookbook for inspiration and recipes.The Whole30 book explains the science and philosophy behind the diet, which can help you to understand if it’s the right option for you. The cookbook includes recipes that taste great and are Whole30 approved.
- If you’re struggling to get started, reading the book and looking at the recipes in the cookbook can provide the inspiration that you’re looking for. It’s much easier to stay motivated throughout the month when you have resources to help you!
- If you can't or don't want to buy the book, don't worry! There are a ton of great resources and blogs online that can help you on your Whole30 journey.
Write down your "why." Having a list of the reasons that you want to do the Whole30 diet will help you stay motivated and remind you why you started when things get difficult. If you need to, reference your "why" for inspiration throughout the month.
- Try creating a mantra for yourself to repeat throughout the month to encourage and motivate you to keep going. For example, “I am committed to doing great and completing this journey” or “30 days is nothing at all.”
Keep recipes simple for the first week.Instead of trying to copy some of the recipes that you see on Instagram or food blogs, keep things simple with a few ingredients and your own cooking knowledge. This will make it easier for you to stick with it because it requires less effort.
- For breakfast, making scrambled eggs with vegetables and sausage is quick and easy.
- A salad with avocado and an oil-based dressing is a simple and filling lunch to pack for your first week.
- Grilled chicken with a side of red potatoes and carrots is a hearty and Whole30-approved dinner.
Prepare meals on Sunday for the entire week.Many people claim that preparing meals beforehand is the key to success with the Whole30 diet. When you go grocery shopping, be prepared with your list and know what you’re going to make for the whole week. Then, prepare your lunches and dinners beforehand so all you have to do is heat them up!
- The Whole30 program provides followers with a grocery list and access to some meal planning resources, but it’s easy to plan your own meals with just a pen and paper!
Make enough food to have leftovers.If you aren’t preparing your meals in advance, leftovers will allow you to make two Whole30 meals at once. You can always reheat yesterday’s dinner for lunch today, especially if you found a recipe that you really like!
- Put your leftovers in containers after you’re done eating, and set a reminder for the next morning so you remember to grab them on your way out of the door!
Check the label on everything before you buy.This is a main rule in Whole30, because you never know when a product might have added sugar or preservatives. If you’re not sure about a food, leave it at the store and do some background research for your next shopping trip.
- Try to stick to whole foods as much as possible. The produce section will become your best friend during this month!
Recruit a friend to help and support you.Talk to a friend or family member about tackling the diet together. This will give you someone to keep you accountable and allow you to discuss struggles, triumphs, and great recipes with one another.
- Remember, even if your dieting buddy has a bad day, that doesn’t mean you have to. Try to be supportive but also stay focused on your own success throughout the month.
Stick to the rules — even the hard ones.If you “cheat” during Whole30, it’s recommended that you start the entire month over. Because the program is rooted in changing your psychological relationship with food, it’s important to follow it as closely as possible for all 30 days.
- This also means that you’re not supposed to “trick” your brain by making “bad” foods out of Whole30 ingredients. Sadly, that cuts out food like cauliflower crust pizza or Paleo pancakes, even if all of the ingredients are technically allowed in Whole30.
Video: The Whole 30 Rules | Do's & Don'ts
You Can Now Buy Tubs of Sour Patch Kids Ice Cream
This is THE Best Anal Sex Position to Get Your Rocks Off
9 Morning Exercises To Start Your Day Stress-Free
Billionaire dethrones Trump as the US richest politician
21 Super Cute Disney Nail Art Designs
Everything you need to know about President Obama’s farewell address
Greece travel tip: Avoid Mykonos, Santorini
It was only about 40 degrees outside, but I tried to act happy about it
Celiac Awareness Month
Need More Inspiration
How to Carve on a Skateboard