Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The (Not Shocking) Results of my Whole30 Diet

There are so many crazy diets that you can find on the interwebs: no-carb, low-carb, Atkins, low-calorie, juicing, IIFYM, I feel like I could go on forever. Earlier this year, while I was attempting to lose weight during Lent (and failing), my coworker was kicking ass at the Whole30 diet and managed to lose over 10 pounds. She claimed that she could easily do another round of the diet.

Last month, I decided to try this diet for myself. My coworker even joined me for a second round, in hopes of losing more weight. We had it all planned out that we would be each other's accountability. We also timed it so that we would end our diet right before Independence Day (which was perfect because I like food and freedom). 

Now that America's birthday has passed, I feel like it's time for me to share my results.

Please note, that I am not a dietician, nutritionist or any kind of healthcare professional. I did not consult any of these before starting my diet. Everything in the blog post is from my own experience from trying Whole30. What works for me might not work for you. Everyone is different and you should do your own research before making drastic changes to your lifestyle.

Firstly, what is Whole30?

Especially in today's world, a lot of the food we eat is processed, contains added (or hidden) sugars, or is over portioned. Whole30 focuses on making good food decisions because 30 days is all you need to revolutionize your eating habits. There's no counting, weighing, or measuring. Of course, this sounds like the perfect diet.

Eat real food, that's the first rule. Sounds easy enough: I like veggies and fruit and chicken and eggs. I don't eat out a ton and when I do, I know how to search the menu for "healthier options". (I even wrote a blog post about it, way back when.)

But when I kept reading, I realized it might not be so easy. To summarize the other "rules":
  • No grains.
  • No dairy.
  • No artificial sugars.
  • No alcohol.
  • No beans, peanuts, or soy.
  • No carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites.
Also, no weighing yourself. They really want you to not care about the numbers. By the end of this, you should be able to see that your body has changed for the better, you don't need numbers to validate that.

I started off strong.

One of the keys to any diet, I've learned, is to meal prep. That way, you aren't looking for things to eat just because you are hungry. After spending all of Sunday at the grocery store and in the kitchen, I was proud of myself because I felt like I had enough variety in my meals that I wouldn't be bored.

For the first week, I decided to keep it simple and eat the same thing every day during the week.

Breakfast: Egg, either scrambled with water or sunny side up, served with a sweet potato.
Morning snack: Banana.
Lunch (Option 1): Romaine lettuce and/or spinach, with shredded carrots, hard boiled egg, broccoli, sunflower seeds, and Whole30 approved dressing.
Lunch (Option 2): Chicken with Rosemary and thyme, served with roasted sweet potato, broccoli, and carrots.
Afternoon snack: Rx Bar, my favorite is the Wild Berry flavor. Or pistachios (I realized that I like pistachios).
Dinner: Potato, thinly sliced, seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Homemade garlic fries, for the win.

Seems easy enough, right?

Where I went wrong.

During the first week of Whole30, I managed to lose 5 pounds, which felt great. At that rate, I'd be hitting my goals before my summer vacation trip to New Orleans in August.

Sadly, I have a bad habit of changing my mind. Halfway through the second week, I decided I was tired of the food I made and tried to change it up. But, of course, the change in plans opened up doors that I knew I shouldn't go through if I wanted this diet to work. It also doesn't help that I can't say no when my boss or coworkers want to go out for a happy hour or working lunches.

The problem is that once you get off track, it's hard to get back on. A small "cheat meal" after work turned into a cheat meal a day, turned into me just not caring anymore. I would find all the excuses to not stick to my meal plan and that's where I went wrong.

I didn't have the energy to work out. I didn't have the energy to be social. I was irritable. I didn't care. My moods got so bad that people noticed and then they judged me for being on "a stupid diet".

What I've learned about myself from Whole30 and what I'm doing next.

I was inspired to attempt the Whole30 diet because my coworker saw such great results. Who wouldn't want to lose 10 pounds in 30 days? Sadly it didn't work out the same way for me. While I might not have succeeded at Whole30, I managed to learn a little about myself.
  • Sometimes when I look in the mirror, I don't like what I see. The only way to change it is to change what I'm doing.
  • I take roughly 43 photos just to get the perfect angle, even on progress pictures.
  • I occasionally have mental breakdowns when my body doesn't have enough sugar.
  • While fruit sugar is better than artificial sugar, it doesn't quite give me the energy I need.
  • No diet alone can change the way my body looks.
  • My body relies more on exercise and cardio for weight loss.
Even though I called it quits on Whole30, I still have been watching what I'm eating. I'm enjoying my wheat, dairy, and sugar in moderation along with portioning my meals and adding more proteins and vegetables.

The next step on my fitness journey is to get back into working out. I'm lifting more using Kayla Itsines new "Stronger" Program as a guide. I've also registered for a 5K this month and a half marathon in October.

While I can't change the past, I can focus on my new motivation and move forward.

Will I try Whole30 again?

That's a good question. I honestly think that I could survive Whole30, it would just take a lot more willpower and accountability than I have right now. (Excuses, I know.)

Have you ever tried the Whole30 diet? If so, were you successful or not? What tips and tricks would you give to someone trying this diet? What was the hardest part?

If you're interested in attempting another round of Whole30, or just being an accountability buddy, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. I will never try to sell you anything. I'm just looking for friends.


  1. I am so bad with the meal prep! That's what gets me about almost every diet. If I can find stuff that's convenient, I can stick to it, but I don't love spending a whole Sunday chopping vegetables. I guess that's the price, though.

  2. I've been so interested in the whole30 diet! It was a great perspective! Thanks so much!

  3. I'm glad to see an honest perspective on the Whole 30. FINALLY! :) I have been doing fitness and nutrition for years and I have always thought that this program was extreme and while it has initial good results, sets a lot of people up for failure. Thank you for expressing your view.

  4. Glad that you are so serious about your health, so important!
    Just yesterday wrote about Diets on my blog, maybe it would be interesting to read.


  5. I have heard of the whole 30 but I never really understood what it was. This clarified many questions Keep up the good work!

  6. I'd love to try it out, I may already sort o be doing it haha! If you can remember, tell me how you're doing in your next round #tunedupbody