8 Things That Might Happen If You Try the Whole30 Diet
It’s super popular right now: Whole30, a dietary program that aims to end unhealthy cravings, restore a healthy metabolism and heal your digestive tract by eliminating certain food groups (sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) from your diet for 30 days. You’ve probably heard of it, and maybe you’re interested in trying it, but you aren’t sure what to expect. We tried it for a month, and here’s what happened when we did.
You’ll Probably Feel Awesome...
Cravings aside, eating only whole foods will likely do wonders for your body. As with any dietary program, results vary from person to person, but people who have completed Whole30 have reported weight loss, increased energy, improved sleep quality, clearer skin and fewer digestive issues. Sounds pretty good to us.
...But Not Without a Few Speed Bumps
The not-so-great side effects of Whole30? Intense cravings, bloating from eating so many veggies and headaches from weaning yourself off the processed stuff. The extent to which you feel these depends on where you are, diet-wise, starting the program. So if you go into it as a healthy eater, you shouldn’t feel too bad, but if your diet mainly consists of takeout and fast food, expect a fairly rocky time (especially during the first week).
You Might Save Money
If you’re someone who eats multiple meals out per week, you’ll probably save a good chunk of money at the end of 30 days. Yes, you’re buying a lot of groceries, but a $60 Trader Joe’s bill once a week doesn’t compare to a few $40 dinners.
But You Might Not See Your Friends as Much
If you’re like us, much of your social calendar revolves around food. Happy hours, group dinners, afternoon cookie breaks with coworkers—you know the deal. Sticking to Whole30 is almost impossible if you aren’t making your food yourself, which rules out most of those social gatherings. Plus, alcohol is off-limits, so unless you’re happy sipping seltzer while your friends down two-for-one margaritas, you might be better off skipping the bars for a few weeks.
You Might Discover You Love Cooking
If you’re someone who views meal prep as a necessary evil, Whole30 might change your mind. Since you’re not allowed to eat any processed foods, you’ll be making the vast majority of your meals from scratch. This could be a difficult adjustment at first, but a couple weeks in, you might just come to find chopping to be super therapeutic (we did).
You’ll Probably Change Your Ways Long-Term
Post-Whole30, you might have a day or two where you go crazy with all the stuff you stayed away from. But after that, you’re likely to hold on to some of the lessons you learned during the program. For example, when there are cupcakes at work to celebrate someone’s birthday, instead of diving in immediately, you might take a minute to ask yourself whether you’re really hungry or whether you want the cupcake simply because it’s in front of you.
Food Might Taste Different
When your diet includes a bunch of processed foods (which are typically packed with sugar—real or not), your taste buds adjust accordingly, meaning it will take more and more for you to actually taste sweetness. Once you eliminate processed sugar, you might notice fresh fruit tasting way sweeter, since your benchmark is lower without all the artificial stuff you normally eat.
You’ll Probably Feel Like a Boss
Yes, you’ll reap a bunch of benefits, but we’re not going to sugarcoat it (sorry): completing Whole30 is hard. It’s restrictive and kind of extreme. But if you can get through it, in addition to feeling better physically, you’ll feel pretty baller for having stuck it out.