What I Think About The Whole30

 
Is Whole30 healthy?
 

SUMMER IS HERE!

As days are getting warmer, people seem determined to shed a few pounds and feel their best in their tank tops, shorts, & bathing suits, & this summer it seems as though the Whole30 is the way to do it. As the Whole30 seems to be the talk of the town, I wanted to share my two cents.


If you haven't heard of The Whole30, it's a strict 30-day elimination diet, prohibiting dairy, legumes, grains, alcohol, & sugar (referred to some as 'paleo on crack'). The creators promise to solve your skin & digestive issues, allergies & chronic pain, improve your eating habits & relationship with food and 'magically' eliminate a variety of symptoms, diseases, & conditions - including, but not limited to: diabetes, Lyme disease, celiac, Crohn's, depression, eating disorders, infertility, fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, & more! WOW! Sounds impressive, doesn't it?


To me, the diet is a bit ridiculous & extreme but does have it's merits. 

Many Whole30 dieters do report feeling better over the course of their 30 days. However, when you limit things like alcohol, sugars, & processed foods, this is typically what happens. I do think there are other ways to feel better without such an intense, restrictive program.

 

One of my main issues with the Whole30 is the restrictive, fear-mongering nature. See below...

  • This is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. 

  • Don’t even consider the possibility of a “slip.” Unless you physically tripped and your face landed in a pizza, there is no “slip.” You make a choice to eat something unhealthy. It is always a choice, so do not phrase it as if you had an accident.

They actually published these things!


While, they claim it's not a diet, it very much is. You can see on their site the list of 'rules' that must be followed and lists of approved and prohibited foods and ingredients.

The restrictive nature of diets can cause people to just want something more. If they 'slip' and have a prohibited food it usually comes with guilt and shame - two emotions that should not be associated with food.

As you know, I don't believe in restrictive eating patterns unless medically necessary. They say they encourage a healthy relationship with food but with such harsh words and strict rules I find that hard to believe. 
 


The Whole30 diet also encourages followers not to weigh or measure themselves throughout the 30-days. This, I'm okay with! I think it takes the focus off of weight and emphasizes the way you feel.

They also discourage tracking your intake over the 30 day course. This, I don't think is necessary. There are huge benefits to tracking your intake, including making you more aware of your habits surrounding food. I encourage all of my clients to track their intake to help both myself and them get a better picture of their current habits and daily intake. Many of my clients even enjoy doing so.


By eliminating so many foods and food groups and gradually adding them back in, some Whole30 followers have been able to self-diagnose food intolerances after following the Whole30. This is great, however, it is usually best to consult your MD, ND, or RD before self-diagnosing.


And finally, many of the studies cited in The Whole30 have been misinterpreted and provide inaccurate claims.  Check out this site for chapter-by-chapter reviews of the scientific claims made in The Whole30.

You can read more reviews here, here, & here!