A Beginner’s Guide to the Whole30 Program

Today’s diet options span far and wide. It’s not always easy to figure out which one addresses your needs completely. However, it’s often helpful to determine how food impacts your mind and body. This way, you’ll know how to build a plan that works for your situation specifically. That’s why Whole30 can be a beneficial option for many.

Do you want to learn more about the Whole30 diet? Here’s a look at how to navigate it as a beginner.

What Does the Whole30 Diet Achieve?

Whole30 won’t necessarily make you lose weight or build muscle like many other diets claim. Instead, it’s all about elimination. Whole30 aims to cut down on various ingredients as a way for dieters to discover possible food sensitivities. It’s akin to a whole-body flush — and people experience many different benefits as a result.

After a month, it’s up to participants to slowly reincorporate certain foods to see how their bodies respond. If you suffer from a health condition, but you don’t know its source, you may want to try Whole30. In any case, it’s an effective way to reevaluate how you consume food. 

The food industry’s obsession with preservatives and other added components presents an issue for many individuals. It’s more important than ever for people to know what they put on their plates. Fortunately, Whole30 can help.

The Whole30 Diet Rules and Exceptions

The Whole30 diet rules are strict for a reason. If participants don’t fully comply, it’s impossible to achieve a genuine cleanse. You won’t know whether dairy causes your skin to break out if you eat an ice cream cone — even by accident. You may be able to recover from a slip on a regular diet, but it’s essential to stay compliant on Whole30 if you want to see accurate results.

Here are the Whole30 diet rules on what foods to avoid:

  • Added sugar, real or artificial
  • Alcohol
  • Baked goods or junk foods
  • Carrageenan, MSG or sulfites
  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • Legumes

These individual ingredients and whole foods may contribute to an underlying food sensitivity. You must avoid these components throughout the entire process. You’re also supposed to avoid all baked goods and junk foods. That means you can’t bake your own mock PopTarts even if you use approved ingredients. Remember, it’s all about elimination.

That said, it’s important to note a few exceptions to this list:

  • Clarified butter
  • Coconut aminos
  • Extracts and vinegar
  • Fruit juice
  • Salt
  • Specific legumes

You can consume most botanical extracts and vinegar as long as they don’t contain gluten. You may also eat green beans and certain peas. In most cases, if you’re uncertain about whether you’re able to consume a specific food, it’s probably best to choose another.

Foods You Can Eat on the Whole30 Diet

After such an exhaustive list, it’s time to take a look at what you can eat on Whole30. This diet emphasizes natural, clean foods. Therefore, you’ll notice you have to read almost every food label before you buy or eat a snack or meal. As a result, you can expect to become a more aware consumer.

Here’s what you can eat on Whole30:

  • Coffee
  • Eggs
  • Fruits
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oils
  • Seafood
  • Unprocessed meats
  • Vegetables

These foods will be your basis for 30 days. Make sure to limit your fruit intake so that you don’t consume too much sugar. You’ll also need to avoid peanuts, as they’re a legume. Feel free to cook with oils like olive and coconut. A simplistic, wholesome approach works best.

It’s smart to create a month-long plan so that you don’t have to worry about your meals. It may seem like you don’t have a lot to work with on Whole30, but it’s generally pretty easy to discover alternatives to your favorite dishes. Plus, you’ll find that most recipes don’t take much time to cook.

The Best Way to Navigate Post-Whole30 Life

After you’ve complete your Whole30 month, it’s time to reintroduce yourself to various foods. Do so at your own pace. For example, you may want to start with legumes. Then, you can wait a week before you add another ingredient. It’s all about your preferences.

Make sure to pay attention to various side effects you may experience. These mental and physical reactions will tell you how to proceed. Do you notice stomach cramps after you eat a candy bar? That added sugar could be a culprit.

Use These Tips to Work Through the Whole30 Program

Take note that participants shouldn’t use the Whole30 diet rules as a way to navigate their life-long diets. It’s all about how you can narrow down ingredients that cause health problems. Plus, you can build a better relationship with food. Use your results to create a daily diet that works best for you.