DatingPositives Reviews Whole30
Food has an effect on our bodies, more so than we think. Energy levels, happiness levels, productivity, and so much more are affected by what we eat.
The DatingPositives team has tried and reviewed Whole30, a 30-day eating challenge that eliminates the most cravings-inducing, and addictive foods from your diet. The tricky thing is, it’s a lot to give up!
Things You Can’t Eat On Whole30:
- Added sugar, real or artificial. No Splenda, no honey, no maple syrup or simple syrup or complicated syrup. And as the Whole30 website recommends, read labels carefully! So many foods (like salad dressings or even pickled ginger) have added sugar.
- Alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And ideally, no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
- This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, sprouted grains, and all gluten-free pseudo-cereals like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat.
- Legumes AKA beans. Say goodbye to burritos for a month. You can’t have the following beans: black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and any soy added to other food products.
- Dairy. So no milk (not even goat or sheep’s milk), no cream or ice cream, no yogurt. Need to put something in your coffee each morning? Try coconut or almond milk but be warned: many have added sugar so read the label!
- Carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
- Baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients.
One other forbidden item during Whole30 is the scale. Yep, that’s right. Practitioners of Whole30 are to avoid weighing themselves, however tempting it may be (because you probably will lose weight).
Why? The idea is that by obsessively weighing yourself during Whole30, you’ll be missing out on the other benefits the plan has to offer, like increased mental clarity and energy. However, the Whole30 crew does advise weighing oneself before and after the challenge.
So how did Whole30 go for us? See a breakdown of what we discovered week by week!
WEEK 1 – Starvation and Frustration
OK, that title may be dramatic as we weren’t literally starving, but the first week of Whole30 was a crazy mental and physical adjustment.
We realized how we’re used to feeling very full after a meal that has carbs, legumes, and cheese. Without those things to weigh us down, we found we had to eat more throughout the day (snacking on things like nuts and fruit) in order to avoid being very, very hangry.
It also took a mental adjustment to realize exactly how much we were giving up. We found a lot of forbidden things in foods that we thought were OK at first.
WEEK 2 – The Joy of Cooking
After the initial shock of Week 1 wore off, we could actually begin to think clearly again. One of the things we all realized was the Whole30 is way easier to pull off if you can cook most meals for yourself.
When you cook for yourself, you have full control over the ingredients you’re putting into your body. We went to our local butcher and bought some amazing sausage and chicken, and did meal prep!
Week 2 was also when we started really noticing changes: more energy, better sleep, less stiffness and joint pain.
WEEK 3 – Overcoming the Cravings
During Week 3 something magical happened. While during the other the first two weeks, it took all of our mental restraint to say no to a friend or roommate who was “just trying to be nice” by offering a piece of cookie, during Week 3, we all noticed that it was much easier to say no to forbidden foods. General cravings (we all had our thing, whether yearning for a bagels or ice cream) seemed to lessen this week too. Guess we got used to not eating those things!
WEEK 4 – Homestretch and Aftermath
The final week of Whole30 brought about introspection in all of us. Every one of us who participated in the challenge agreed that doing Whole30 was life-changing. As the challenge drew to a close, we found ourselves thinking about how we would eat once it was over. Would we just go about eating whatever we wanted again? Would we stick to the Whole30 restrictions forever, since it really does make you feel great? Would we go with something in-between?
Each one of us had to make that decision individually, but all of us took something away from the experience. In case you were wondering, we all did lose weight, anywhere from 5-10 pounds, and a lot of us saw reductions in our waist sizes. But what was really meaningful to us was how Whole30 shifted our thinking about food. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to buy ready-made meals and go out all of the time. What Whole30 showed us is that really thinking about your food does take time and intention, but it really does change your life for the better.