The Whole30 diet is a type of elimination diet that is highly restrictive and short term. It is meant to help heal and reset your body and identify food that negatively affects you. However, does this diet actually help and can you lose weight?
This diet is not your standard weigh lost diet, in fact weight loss is not even the point of this diet. Whole30 was designed to eliminate common foods and ingredients that regularly cause people to have health issues. From acne, diabetes, to intestinal issues, different kinds of food can affect your body differently. This diet eliminates some of those common foods such as dairy and sugar. However, this diet is not for the faint of heart and takes a lot of planning and dedication.
How It Works
The idea behind Whole30 is that food can influence you in a negative way but can also heal you. The diet only last for 30 days, it is not a long-term diet. During these 30 days, you stop eating foods that commonly influence different health issues. At the end of the 30 days, you begin to reintroduce certain foods to find out which may be causing you issues. There are a lot of rules to follow, no cheat days are allowed, and there are no current studies available to show if this diet is at all beneficial.
What You CANNOT Eat
- Sugar of any kind
- No honey, maple syrups, agave, Splenda, xylitol, or Stevia
- Alcohol- not even for cooking
- No corn, rice, quinoa, wheat, rye, millet, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, bulgur, or sprouted grains
- This includes peanuts and legume products (soy sauce, tofu, etc.)
- Processed & Junk Foods
- Avoid foods with carrageenan, MSG, and sulfites
If you eat any food on this list, according to the diet, you have compromised your system and have to start over at Day 1. There is no room for cheat days or slip-ups in this diet. You have to read every label on food that you buy from the store.
Junk Food & Comfort Food
One thing that is different about this diet is that they also look at the phycological side of eating food. During the Whole30 diet, you are not allowed to make Whole30 compatible junk food. This means you cannot take food that you can eat while on the diet and use it to make a “Whole30 friendly” recipe. No almond flour bread, cauliflower crust pizza, or coconut flour cupcakes. They claim that this affects your state of mind and still encourages you to go after those sweets and junk food.
What You CAN Eat
- Vegetables (even potatoes!)
- Meat, unprocessed
- Oils & Ghee
Reintroduction of Food
After you have successfully completed the 30 days, you start to reintroduce the foods that you cut from your diet. The written diet plan also helps you add these foods back into your diet slowly. The idea is that after eating wholesome food for 30 days you will be able to see what foods your body negatively reacts to as you slowly reintroduce it.
Does It Work?
There’s not a lot of data or independent studies available on this type. In theory, it might work, however, there’s nothing to back up the claims that this diet will help reduce or heal ailments you might be suffering from. There is a possibility that you could lose weight on the Whole30 diet. Losing weight is possibly on any diet where you cut out sugary foods and start eating more fruits and veggies.
Talk with your doctor before starting any new diet. If you think something you are eating is causing a health issue, talk with your doctor about going on a supervised elimination diet.