Although many people call it a diet, the Whole30 is more of a nutritional program than a traditional diet. Weight loss often occurs, but that's not the main purpose of this program. This 30-day elimination diet aims to help those who follow it feel their best, as noted by Prevention. In fact, you don't count calories and you're advised to only weigh yourself when you start and when you finish the 30 days.
By getting rid of foods that are often linked to sensitivities, inflammation and other health problems for the full 30 days, you allow your body to recover from any adverse effects you've been experiencing, as the Whole30.com points out. Many of those effects you may not even realize are caused by the food that you're eating. And the results? Many of the people who complete the program feel great, according to Prevention.
What You Eliminate
Having a good understanding of what not to eat while on the program is essential to navigating the full 30 days. These are all the foods that are most likely to damage your gut, create inflammation in the body, destabilize blood sugar, cause cravings and make you feel anything but your best, according to Prevention. Examples of what you won't eat on the Whole30 diet include:
This includes real sugar, maple syrup, date syrup, brown rice syrup, honey, coconut sugar and agave nectar. It also includes any non-caloric sweeteners real and artificial such as stevia, sucralose or aspartame.
Grains that contain gluten, including wheat, barley, oats, corn and rye, are off limits. So are gluten-free grains and pseudo grains such as rice, millet, sorghum, buckwheat and quinoa.
While you're on the Whole30, you won't be eating any beans of any kind. Other legumes to avoid include peas, lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, soy beans, edamame, miso, soy sauce, tofu, tempeh and even peanut butter.
Avoid cow, sheep or goat milk and any products that contain milk including cream, yogurt, kefir, cheese and ice cream.
Additional Foods to Avoid:
Don't drink alcohol or use it for cooking. Avoid any food with monosodium glutamate (MSG), sulfites or carrageenan.
Before you start dreaming of all the Whole30-compliant ways you can recreate your favorite foods, be aware the program recommends avoiding any version of sweets and treats, even if they're made with ingredients allowed on the program. These include pancakes, waffles, cookies, cakes and brownies.
What You Can Eat
As the name implies, this program is built around the inclusion of whole foods in your diet. This means that you can safely include foods such as:
- Fresh vegetables
- Fresh fruits
- Lean proteins, including beef, poultry, pork and beef
- Nuts and nut butters other than peanut
- Healthy fats, including avocado, coconut oil, ghee and olive oil
- Specific legumes, including green beans, snow peas and sugar snap peas that are more of a pod than a bean
Why 30 Days?
It takes 30 days to kick-start your body's healing process, change your tastes and start building a healthy relationship with food, according to Prevention. Once you complete the 30 days, the program encourages you to being slowly reintroducing the foods you eliminated to determine what foods might not work well for you and those that do.