Welcome back to my Whole 30 series! In Part 1, I gave you an introduction to the program and what I think about it. In Part 2, I shared my own experiences doing it and the results. In Part 3, I shared all about the food that we ate during the 30 days and included links and recipes. Now here we are at Part 4, where I’ve got a list of Whole 30 tips to help you be successful – you can do it! Be sure to subscribe to my blog here, so you don’t miss the last of the Whole 30 series (Part 5 is coming next week).
I loved finding helpful Whole 30 tips online to help me through, so I’ve got a list of 10 for you! Some of my tips will help make things a little easier and some will help you get the most out of your 30 days so your end results are awesome.
10 Whole 30 Tips
#1. Follow the rules. Follow. The. Rules. I mean it! If you want to see the greatest results and make these 30 days of hard work really pay off, then follow all of the rules listed on the Whole 30 website. Even if you think the rules don’t make sense, they do have reasons for them. It’s only 30 days – stop trying to find a way around it and just do what you’re told. LOL.
#2. Plan ahead. Plan like you’ve never planned before. It’s kind of a side-bonus if you haven’t been a good planner before – you’ll be forced to develop the skill! Plan all of your meals and snacks for each day as far ahead as you can (I did a week at a time). Write out your grocery lists and get all of the food you need. Have the recipes marked, pinned, saved, and ready to go. Prep some snack foods to be easily available. Plan a couple of quicker backup meals and have ingredients on hand for those.
#3. Keep it simple. If you’re a foodie and love to cook new things regularly, then you can skip this rule. But if you’re like most of us, you’ll be trying out all of these new recipes to make the 30 days more exciting and then find that it may be too difficult to constantly be prepping and cooking new foods while you are trying to stay on top of the program. Find some breakfasts and lunches that you like and repeat. Make extra portions of dinners so that you can have leftovers. Try to help yourself out in little ways during the 30 days. It really helped me.
#4. Find Your favorite. As you try new things on the plan, be on the lookout for a fave new meal or snack. And then go ahead and have it a lot! It’s one acceptable way to reward yourself. One of our faves really was apple slices with almond butter, so it became a daily thing. And since I drank a lot of tea during the 30 days, I used the opportunity to find a couple of new fave tea flavors.
#5. Be flexible. Wait – I tell you to follow the rules and then I tell you to be flexible. Follow the rules first! But don’t let unexpected plans and situations completely derail you from the program because you have to bend a couple rules. Stay as close to plan as you can, but don’t miss out on important opportunities. My husband had a couple of work group lunches during our Whole 30. It would have looked bad for him not to attend. Thankfully, he knew ahead where they were going, found the menu online, and figured out how he could modify a Cobb salad to make it fit Whole 30 (as far as we know). If you have a salad, you can ask for oil (usually olive oil) and vinegar instead of dressing and most restaurants have it on hand and can accommodate you. If you need to attend a potluck or a party, take a Whole 30-approved dish yourself so there is something there you can enjoy.
#6. Get a group. It’s so much easier to stay on track if you have a group to do it with. They don’t even have to be near you, thanks to the internet and Facebook! Before you start your Whole 30, convince a few friends or family members to do it at the same time and create a Facebook group to help with encouragement, accountability, and sharing Whole 30 tips. I was part of a group of coworkers that did this and it helped us a lot. We also created group Pinterest boards so we could share all of our ideas.
#7. Post your pics. One of the things that’s fun is to post your food pics online and use the hashtag: #whole30. It helps you want to come up with attractive meals and it helps give others inspiration. I saw some great food ideas online by looking at #whole30 posts and a friend of mine was inspired to make a new breakfast recipe just because she saw my post on Instagram. So share away!
#8. Get mental. What I mean is use this 30 days to get control of your mental eating habits. Do you have an issue with snacking or dessert or treating yourself with a specific food when you’re celebrating? It’s amazing how we develop mental eating habits. I was stuck in the habit of having something sweet every evening – some sort of dessert. Whole 30 rules tell you not to substitute approved foods in place of your sweets, like dessert. So during Whole 30, I started out by having fruit or other items in the evenings at first but then transitioned away from it. I wanted to use the 30 days to break away from the dessert habit. It was tough, but I did it and don’t have that intense feeling that I need dessert anymore.
#9. Break it down. When you start your 30 days, you may feel overwhelmed in the first few days by doing without some of your favorite foods. You might decide that 30 days is just not possible. Trust me that part of this feeling is the fact that you are detoxing and part of it is you getting over the mental addictions to some foods. But it’s also okay to decide that a Whole 30 is not for you. Do yourself a favor – don’t quit in the first few days. Do a Whole 10! Still enough time to detox, start enjoying some new recipes, and stop some cravings. But at the end of the 10 days, before you stop, decide if you can handle making it a Whole 20. And at the end of that, decide if you can go just 10 more days. You might be surprised at what you can do and how much better you feel after getting several days into the plan.
#10. Incent yourself. You will feel deprived at the beginning of the Whole 30 as you will be giving up some of your fave foods. It’s especially hard in that first week. Find new ways to incent and reward yourself that don’t involve food. Plan something special for yourself if you make it all the way through the 30 days, but also come up with some weekly rewards. And you may even need daily incentives during those first 5 days!
I hope you find some of these whole 30 tips helpful! Are you ready to try a Whole 30? Are you in the middle of one right now and if so, how’s it going? Leave a comment!
There’s still another post to come in the Whole 30 series next week, so come on back! Thanks for joining me!