Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Skinny on Whole30

True story: I just lost 17 pounds in 30 days.

I first heard about Whole30 when my best friend did it for the first time. And I'll admit that if anyone else had described it to me, I would have thought it entirely too crunchy for my taste; I would have brushed it off as just another fad diet in a sea of wack-a-doo wackiness. But she is an extremely rational person, so I knew it must be legit.

Then my parents caught the Whole30 bug, did it, and loved it. And then more and more friends were posting about it and testifying to their newfound energy and outlook on food. So I, a novice dieter, decide to hop on board to give it a shot.

Whole30 is an elimination diet. Some have described it as "paleo on steroids," but really it's quite different. The concept is simple: eliminate anything that could possibly trigger an allergy, cause you to be lethargic, slow you down, disrupt your gut, and generally make you not function at your best. So for 30 days you don't eat any dairy, processed sugar, soy (and all legumes), grains, artificial sweeteners, additives, etc. Instead, you eat lots of vegetables, fruit, good fats and oils, meat, and fish.

After 30 days, you introduce the different groups you eliminated one by one to see how you react. And you learn a lot! You learn that that carb overload really does make you feel sick. You learn that chewing that piece of sugar-free gum makes your tummy hurt a little. You learn to moderate and not crave the stuff so much that makes you feel icky.

I have a newfound love for dates and dried figs. Granted, I'm just a few days out of it, but I can truly say that I crave vegetables more and eat nuts out of pleasure instead of obligation. I've discovered the miracle of deliciousness that is cashew butter. I've learned that nearly all bacon, sausage, ham are cured with an enormous amount of sugar, but there are a few brands that you can buy that are just as delicious as their sugar-laden contemporaries. And I no longer have a hounding desire to buy a box of donuts, sit in the dark with a glass of milk and my shame, and not come up for air until they're all gone.

One cornerstone of Whole30 is that you weigh yourself and take before photos on Day 1. Then you put the scale away. On Day 30, you bring it back out and weight yourself again and take after photos. You do this because the focus of the diet is not to lose weight, but rather simply to feel better. But many folks do lose weight in the process, and much to my surprise I dropped a much-needed 17 pounds! But by not weighing myself every day, I focused on how I felt. And that was so healthy!

Whole30 isn't for everyone. But if you're looking for a change, to feel better, and to become more aware of what foods do you well and what foods don't do you well, then check it out. Visit Whole30.com and read up on it. Then why not give it a shot!? After all, what do you have to lose?

#Whole30 #IFeelGreat #AskUncleMarty