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How is Whole30 Different From Other Programs?


Recently, I was asked the question, “What’s the point of Whole30 if it only lasts for 30 days?” This question got me thinking about the misconception of Whole30. Typically when we think about a program where we have to eliminate certain food groups, we automatically assume it’s a diet. So, I understand why only doing Whole30, for 30 days could seem ineffective. But the truth is, Whole30 isn’t a diet. The reason behind eliminating these food groups from your diet, is much different than most of the other programs out there. Let me explain.

What is Whole30?

If you aren’t familiar with Whole30, let me start by giving you a quick synopsis. Whole30 is a 30 day program where you eliminate sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy, and dairy. To sum it up – read this exert from Whole30.com

Eliminate the most common craving-inducing, blood sugar disrupting, gut-damaging, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the reset button with your health, habits, and relationship with food, and downstream physical and psychological effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day-to-day life, long term health, body composition, and feelings around food. The most important reason to keep reading? This will change your life.


Is Whole30 a Diet?

Here’s what differentiates Whole30 from a lot of other eating programs that are really popular right now. It is not meant to be a diet – lose weight type program. It cracks me up, because if you look up Whole30 on Wikipedia the first thing it says, is that Whole30 is a fad diet. But Whole30 makes it very known online and in the book, that it is NOT a diet!! It’s actually the furthest thing from a fad diet.

From Whole30.com directly, “Diets also don’t address your habits or your relationship with food, only temporary intake.” Whole30 is focused on a long-term healthy lifestyle, not weight loss. But guess what – a healthy lifestyle will lead to natural and organic weight loss. And this is why I love it.

Creating a Healthy and Sustainable Relationship with Food

The first time I heard Melissa Hartwig say Whole30 will change your life, I didn’t really know what that meant. But now I do. The first blog post I ever wrote was, “Why I Wasn’t Sold on Whole30 Until Day 32.” I talk about all of the physical takeaways I had from the program, and how it truly did cause a major shift in our eating habits resulting in a healthier lifestyle. How exactly?

  • During these 30 days, you learn a lot about your body as you start to figure out what your trigger foods are – what food groups create negative outcomes in your body that you need to stay away from
  • You start to discover and USE healthier product replacements, like: ….Thrive Market Marinara instead of Prego Sauce ….Tessemae’s Caesar Dressing instead of Kraft’s Caesar ….Cooking with coconut oil instead of butter
  • You make really delicious healthier recipes that aren’t full of sugar, processed ingredients and gluten. And many of these recipes will become new staples that you will continue making after Whole30
  • You start to love how you feel and want to maintain this lifestyle by either doing an 80/20 type eating style, or going Paleo, or just knowing what food groups you need to keep to a minimum moving forward

Why I Choose Whole30 Over Other Programs (Diets) Out There

Can I get super honest for a moment? I don’t like diets. Sure, if you’re goal is to lose weight, they can be really helpful. But what happens most of the time after you go off of them? You see the weight start creeping back again. And I hate this part! You worked so hard, and achieve amazing results only to get really frustrated when you don’t sustain these results long term. This is why I am a HUGE (shout it from the rooftops) believer in simply maintaining healthy, clean eating. You have to make clean eating a lifestyle in order to maintain long-term results. This is was draws me back to Whole30 time and time again. It isn’t focused on weight loss – it is focused on clean eating. If you want to read more on this topic, Whole30 101: Diets Vs. The Whole30 is a great read.

You Get What You Put Into It

I know what you might be thinking – Sure, Whole30 isn’t a diet, but don’t most people binge eat on day 31, and just go back to their old eating habits after day 30? Sure, I bet a lot of people do. But, if you want to achieve long term results and maintain a healthy relationship with food, you have to consciously decide every day to cook differently, buy better products, eat healthier snacks. You still have to decide to maintain this new lifestyle and only you can do that for yourself. But if you do, it’s so worth it.

Wrapping This Up

This post was purely based on my personal experience with Whole30. If you’ve tried the program and it just didn’t work for you, that’s fine! It goes back to what I said in the beginning – you have to find what works best for you. But please, as you find that – make sure it is something that can be maintained long term. That creates and establishes long-term healthy eating habits that can become a lifestyle you can live by and are happy with!

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