You might have heard of, oh you know, the Whole 30 since it’s January and half of your office is probably participating in it, but what exactly is the Whole 30 and is it actually a good idea? To break it down for you it’s basically a 30-day diet that emphasizes whole foods (Yay!) including vegetables, some fruits, meat, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats (yup, yup, yup) while eliminating sugar, grains, legumes, soy, dairy, and alcohol (YES, alcohol too…womp womp!). There are definitely pros and cons to this somewhat controversial yet UBER popular “fad” diet (read more from me here as seen in The Cut ) so we broke it down for you and now you can make an informed decision on whether or not you should take on this suffering…um I mean challenge!
Pros: Why we like this program.
- Consume all natural, unprocessed foods
- No added sugar
- “Reset” for your body
- Break bad habits
- No counting calories!
- Tune into your eating habits
- Master nutrition label reading
- Time for you to tune into how you feel
- More energy, better sleep, less brain fog
Cons: What worries us most
- Not realistic
- Eliminating certain food groups (likely your favs) including beans, bread and cheese
- Month-long restriction may lead to binging afterward
- Requires planning, food shopping and meal prepping
- You’ll need a good support system or non-judgmental friends
But wait, there is another important part of this diet that deserves some coverage: how the hell do you come off of it without ruining all your progress? I know many people who finish the month by diving head first into a cake or a keg but let’s get real, that isn’t ideal. What I recommend is starting slow and reintroducing the things you missed the most, one at a time over the course of a few weeks. Not only will this prevent you from undoing all you did, but it will help you to realize what foods make you feel good and which ones you should stay away from long-term. Cause after all, if you look at this just as a weight loss tool, you’ll be back where you started come next January (and who wants to go through this again?).