By Whole30 Certified Coach Judith Forman
Spring is in the air. After a long pandemic winter, we are more ready than ever for longer days filled with warm sunlight, blooming flowers, and chirping birds.
For some, spring also brings that old nagging feeling: Summer – and bathing suit season – are just around the corner. Dieters everywhere are panicking as they decide which diet will help them “get in shape” for summer.
Some will find Whole30 and start a round on April 1, focused solely on shedding pounds. Whole30 may help do that --- but it’s about so much more.
Whole30 is a way to reset your relationship with food and focus on feeling your best.
As a Whole30 Certified Coach, I am often reminding coaching clients and members of my Facebook community that Whole30 is NOT a diet. Below, find my FIVE reasons to explain why.
1. There are no scales. One of the fundamental program rules of Whole30 = NO SCALES! As the program states, “The Whole30 is about so much more than weight loss, and to focus only on body composition means you’ll overlook all of the other dramatic, lifelong benefits this plan has to offer.” To help you refocus, Whole30 offers this incredible list of “Non-Scale Victories” to help you measure your success. It can be hard to break the scale habit, especially after the diet industry has told us time and again that our worth is measured by a number. But once you do, it’s so worth it. Need more motivation to “break up with the scale?” Read this and this!
2. You don’t have to deprive yourself. Whole30 is about nourishing yourself with the best possible options – protein, produce and healthy fats. It’s a life of abundance of “the good stuff” versus a diet that focuses on restriction. There are no small portions on Whole30; it’s about giving yourself what you need and savoring the experience. We don’t count calories or points or weight or measure our food on Whole30. We eat – and enjoy! I’ve recently been loving this Whole30 recipe collection. Check it out for some inspiration for beautiful food.
3. There are no gimmicks or “fake” food in Whole30. Many moons ago, I followed a large commercial diet program. I ordered their pre-packaged food and followed their strict eating plan. I was trying to lose weight for a wedding I was in – and it worked! But, as we all know, it wasn’t sustainable. My body was not happy living on a low-calorie diet filled with “fake” packaged food – shelf-stable items laden with preservatives, chemicals, and fillers. Over time, I started to binge eat and I gained back the weight. No surprise there! With Whole30 there’s no special food to buy. It’s pretty simple – Eat a variety of real food according to the Whole30 meal template. No shakes, pills, or gimmicks required!
4. There are no cheat days. Diets often have “starts” and “stops” – and “cheat days.” We’ve been taught to categorize food as “good” and “bad” – and therefore (wrongly) label ourselves as “good” and “bad” when we eat certain things! We’ve been programmed to think that if we have “a little” of something bad, we “might as well” eat junk food for the rest of the day. Whole30 is different. The program requires you to follow the rules for 30 days, but beyond that, it’s not about being “on” or “off.” It’s about making decisions that serve you well, and letting you live life feeling your best. If you know that sugar gives you headaches and still choose to have it, you may suffer consequences. But with Whole30, you’re empowered to make that decision for yourself and then learn from the experience for the next time.
5. It’s not meant to be done forever. Whole30 is a 30-day nutritional reset – You eliminate several food groups for 30 days and then slowly reintroduce them back during a careful reintroduction. As you reintroduce, you observe how the food groups make you feel and note how/when/in what quantity you might want to eat them going forward in your Food Freedom. In total, the Whole30 process lasts at least 40 days – and possibly longer, depending on the length of your reintroduction. Once you’re living your Food Freedom, you’re making daily choices – and learning in the process – about what seems worth it, and what’s not. It’s an art not a science and there will be times you stumble and fall. But after a lifetime filled with restrictive diets, it is freeing to be in control of how you want your body to feel, and to have the space to experiment.
Judith Forman is a Whole30 Certified Coach. For more Whole30 inspiration, connect with her on Instagram @jujuswhole30 or check out her blog at www.everydaywhole.com