Does the Whole 30 Program Work?
I’ve been doing the Whole 30 program for 17 days now which means that I’m about halfway. I’ve been feeling REALLY good on it. My appetite for food has changed a lot. When I’m hungry, I’m craving nutritious, healthy food. Yesterday I ate more fruit than I was supposed to but honestly, that’s a huge step in the right direction. At most points in the past, that excess fruit would have been a 42 oz. bag of M&Ms from Costco.
Effects of the Whole 30 So Far
1. My physical appearance has already changed.
One of the only ways I’ve cheated the Whole 30 is that I weigh myself (you aren’t supposed to while on this program). Even though I know that I’m not supposed to do that, I do it anyway. For me, it’s honestly for purely informational purposes. I am very curious about what is happening with my body and can’t resist myself.
So far, I’m down six pounds. There is no question that I can see a lot more definition around my waist and in my legs and arms. I don’t have ‘lean genes’ and I’ve already gotten pretty lean so six pounds for me is huge.
2. My performance at the gym is improving a LOT.
I workout at a CrossFit gym and every day is a competition. I’ve really felt myself starting to accelerate physically over the last two weeks. The hard movements for me (pull ups, running, muscle ups, handstand push ups) are feeling much easier. Most of that is probably due to the fact that I weigh six pounds less. I was decently lean at 201 but now at 195 I’m even leaner. Obviously if I carried a six pound weight or wore a weighted vest, I would be worse at those movements. I have noticed exactly zero losses in strength even though I’ve dropped weight.
The other factor in my increased performance is probably the increase in nutrition. I’m eating more nutritious food than I’ve ever eaten in my life. I’m guessing that my body is probably just getting more of what it needs so it isn’t being held back in that way.
My energy and motivation levels are also a lot better at the gym so I’ve found it easier to work on extra stuff.
3. My energy levels are a lot more level.
When I went on my honeymoon, my diet got crazy. I was eating desserts and pizza and burgers almost every day. It was really fun and I didn’t feel guilty at all. After I got back, I couldn’t stop eating treats. I ate Peanut M&Ms and dang Cadbury mini eggs every day. I honestly couldn’t stop and that was one of my motivations to do the Whole 30. My guilt of course skyrocketed and rightfully so. That’s how you kill yourself one day at a time.
My energy levels were a freaking roller coaster when I was eating that stuff. I would of course feel great when I ate junk and like complete garbage an hour later. My mood started getting affected a lot and I was getting a little testy with my wife (not bad but more than usual). I’m pretty mild mannered but I felt like garbage physically and that spills over into your mood.
In the last 17 days, that has completely changed. All that grody nastiness is out of my system and my energy levels are even. I can work through the day without falling asleep and I’m feeling less ‘testy’.
4. My bad food appetites are under control.
Before 17 days ago I didn’t think I could stop eating treats. Every day I would vow to not eat them and then I would eat them anyway. What’s funny is that I didn’t eat a lot of treats before my honeymoon but I really got off track. I got re-addicted fast.
After about three days doing Whole 30 I started feeling completely different. I started craving more nutritious foods like healthy fats, meats, and fruits and veggies.
If you look through my food journals you’ll find that when I’m ‘cheating’ now, I’m eating too much coconut butter or fruit. That’s WAY different than eating Cadbury mini eggs. I still have lost six pounds in about two weeks even though I’ve technically eaten quite a bit more fruit and fats like coconut butter than I would if I had followed the plan perfectly.
My Advice for Completing the Whole 30
1. Buy their success guide. I thought that I knew exactly what I needed to do before I started the Whole 30 but I was a little more lost than I anticipated. I found myself wondering all kinds of things. I didn’t know how much fat to eat with each meal or all of the sources of fats I could use. I had questions about fruits, sauces, all kinds of things. After I read the success guide, things were a lot more clear. I was also a lot more motivated.
This of course isn’t 100% necessary. I have a lot of advice on eating this way here on the site and I’m willing to help out however I can. If you want to jump ahead quickly, the guide is awesome.
2. Eat! I find myself eating more than I planned on and that’s ok. I have still lost weight already and I’m already pretty lean (which makes it harder for me to lose).
As long as you’re eating 100% nutritious foods that aren’t inflammatory, you can eat a lot more than you think. I’m honestly amazed at how much I’m able to eat and still keep things going in the right direction. Dried fruits and nuts are the biggest things you need to be careful with. Fresh fruits are much better if weight loss is the goal.
3. Enjoy the new you. It’s dang nice to not be a slave to food.
I’m not going to eat ‘Whole 365′, but I know that I can eat this way most of the time. I’m not going to go back to a grody diet but I’m not going to be a diet nazi either. I plan on eating treats and other comfort foods in moderation after my Whole 30 but I plan on eating healthy and nutritious foods at least 80% of the time. If I ever get to where I can’t stop eating treats like I did after my honeymoon, I’ll do another 30 days of whole foods to clear out the grossness.
4. Do better than I did. I’m already close to my goal weight so for most of you, you will see results that are better than what I am getting as long as you really stick to the program. I tend to eat more than I’m supposed to right now but honestly, I’m still achieving my goals so I really don’t care. That said, I haven’t eaten any foods that I’m not supposed to. I haven’t eaten a single Peanut M&M in the last 17 days!
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