Category: Food

My Whole 30 Experience and Results [Part 2]

In Part 1, I gave you an Intro to my Whole 30 experience and what was involved, but now in Part 2 I’ll tell you more about what I experienced during the 30 days and some of the results at the end. Be sure to subscribe to receive posts by email so you don’t miss the rest of the series:

whole 30 experience and results

 

My Whole 30 Experience

We did the Whole 30 plan in January, which was a great time to do it – we had just come through the holidays with lots of sugary foods as well as a lot of eating out or eating the wrong things. We were feeling ready for a “cleaner” diet. And January wasn’t filled with birthdays or other celebrations for us, meaning that we wouldn’t be unnecessarily tempted to cheat. I recommend that you plan your 30 days during quieter times if at all possible.

Neither my husband nor I experienced the symptoms that many people do, such as headaches, fatigue, and extreme irritability during the first few days as your system detoxes from some of the foods and ingredients you’ve been having. Not sure why we didn’t experience that because we certainly were eating our share of “bad” foods before the diet, but I think it probably depends on each person. If you are prone to headaches and sensitive to food changes, then you may experience these things. It’s good to read about it and be prepared just in case so that if it happens, you’ll know it’s all perfectly normal and won’t last! That’s the beauty of having all this great info online – you know what to expect!

Day 1 went great for us – no issues and we felt good. By Day 3, we were definitely missing some of our favorite things. By the end of the first week, I was really missing not having eating out to fall back on in case I didn’t have the time and energy for the food prep. Because of that, I tried a few new recipes, but tried to keep things fairly simple so I didn’t get overwhelmed. And my husband and son helped with some of the cooking, which was a big plus! The more family members you can get involved in your Whole 30, the better!

I’ll share a few of my Facebook statuses through the Whole 30 experience, so you get an idea of my thoughts:

  • I’m hungry. And I want a latte real bad. ‪#‎onlyonday2ofwhole30‬
  • It’s the perfect morning for a sweet creamy latte. But I’m having unsweetened tea. ‪#‎whole30‬ ‪#‎day10‬ ‪#‎butitsurewouldbenicetohavealatte‬
  • Day 20 of Whole30. So 11 days til cake. Kidding…sort of. :)
  • Day 21 of Whole30. Drove by Dunkin Donuts and was all (in my mind), “I don’t need YOU, donuts!!” Not that I ever ate many donuts, but now they don’t really seem worth the calories. Cake. Cake is worth it. And chocolate truffles.
  • Last day of Whole 30. Tomorrow is National Day of Lattes for Lisa.

Whole 30 experience no lattes

All of my other statuses were food and recipe-related. So there really wasn’t anything earth-shattering to report or complain about on my end. Obviously I missed lattes! You can have coffee during Whole 30, but I take my coffee with half ‘n half and sugar, or drink a sweetened latte, which aren’t allowed, and I wasn’t willing to drink black coffee. I chose to drink tea instead for the 30 days, since I like it unsweetened. I’m sure that you will find you terribly miss one or two fave foods or drinks. But it’s ONLY 30 days! You can do it!!

Though our cravings for bad foods were gone, which made it so much easier to stay on track as we got toward the end of the 30 days, we did mentally know that the end was coming and started thinking about foods that we wanted. That made the last couple of days tough – I kind of wanted to just stop a couple days early, knowing that it probably wouldn’t hurt. But since we committed to 30 days, we stuck it out for exactly 30 days!

The Results

So we made it through the 30 days and never cheated even once (most of my group cheated slightly sometime before the end). We were determined to give it our all for the entire time. After you are done, it is recommended that you follow a gradual reintroduction of food groups so that you can determine if you have issues with any certain ingredients or types of foods. We didn’t do it as slowly as recommended but didn’t go crazy eating all the things we had eliminated either. Neither of us experienced any issue with food reintroduction. The main thing we noticed is that our tastes had changed. For me, it was mainly sweet tastes. I was able to use far less sugar as everything tastes sweeter and I have realized that now some things I ate before are too sweet/too rich for my system to handle so I even have to be careful about overdoing it. Yay for that! I also enjoy the taste of real food more than before. I was surprised to have such a difference in just 30 days.

whole 30 soup

Another thing we experienced during this time was a change in our mental connection with food. We really tried to follow all the Whole 30 rules, which include trying to get away from eating for psychological reasons or just out of habit. We did our best to move away from unnecessary snacking and evening desserts. That turned out to be difficult as I realized how much those things have become automatic and doing without made me feel like I was really missing out at the beginning. But since we forced ourselves to reduce eating out of habit, it made a bigger difference afterward. I no longer feel that I “must” have something sweet each evening and I don’t snack as much either.

One thing to note is that this plan’s focus is not on losing weight! In fact, they do not want you to weigh yourself during the 30 days because your weight will fluctuate and even increase at one point so they don’t want you to get discouraged. Some of my group did not lose weight, though most did. It can depend on what foods you are choosing and the quantity you are eating as well.

Our weight loss results: My husband lost 15 pounds (wow!) and I lost 11 pounds. That’s a nice loss in 30 days!

My husband was very careful of his food choices during that time and also tracked his calories – he stayed on plan but also within a certain daily calorie range and he believes that’s why he experienced a good amount of weight loss. I did not track calories, but stayed away from having too much of the higher calorie, “sweet” foods like too much fruit, fruit juice, fake desserts, Lara bars, etc. that are technically approved on the plan.

Overall, though it is not an easy plan, it was easier than I anticipated. And the results made it all very worthwhile. My Whole 30 experience resulted in:

  • Feeling good
  • Eating healthier
  • Losing weight
  • Having less of a taste for sugar
  • Experiencing less emotional/psychological eating

Totally worth it, in my opinion! In fact, you should know that my family didn’t even have any Easter candy or desserts. Whaaat? Not that I am opposed to any of it, but I just have less of a need or desire for all of it.

Stay tuned for Part 3 (in about a week). It will be all about the food – what kinds of things we ate, what we didn’t like, and some links to our fave Whole 30 recipes. If you’re thinking about doing a Whole 30, I know you’ll want to hear about the food! Are you almost ready to give it a try for 30 days? Have you done a Whole 30 before? What other questions do you have about what I experienced? Comment and ask – I’d be happy to answer!

Intro to My Whole 30 Experience

Who would have thought that a diet plan would make me feel inspired to write? Why? Well not only was my Whole 30 experience a good one, but I so appreciated all the blog posts I could find on the subject as I was working my way through the diet that I wanted to add to that collection of helpful posts in the online world. And because I seem to have an issue with being “wordy,” this has turned into a 5-part series (Yes, FIVE – who does that?) instead of the 2 posts I thought I would write originally! P.S. This post is not sponsored in any way by the Whole 30 program.

My Whole 30 Experience Intro | FromLisaMarie.com

What is the Whole 30?

If you haven’t heard of Whole 30 before, it’s a diet plan that’s basically an elimination diet with the main purpose of discovering issues with food as well as resetting your tastes and helping you learn to choose better foods for you. It also helps you work on discovering your psychological reasons for eating. So yes, Whole 30 is eating whole foods for 30 days. It’s obvious which of your friends are on the plan – you’ll see #whole30 on Instagram & Facebook with many pictures of food (I did the same!) just to show that you do actually get to eat delicious food while you’re doing it. And when you’re doing it, you want to see everybody else’s pics for more inspiration to keep on going.

I had always thought it sounded like a good plan, but too crazy for me with all the eliminations. I didn’t actually set out to do it in January, but my boss and some coworkers decided to do it and I (and my husband) jumped on board. The best part was that we knew we were all doing it at the same time and set up group Pinterest boards to share ideas as well as a private Facebook group to help encourage or vent or share recipes. And one coworker had done it a couple of times before, so she was able to share a lot of helpful info with us.

In a nutshell, on Whole 30, you have NO…

  • Dairy
  • Sugar
  • Sweeteners of any kind (not even natural other than fruit or pure fruit juice)
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Alcohol
  • Soy
  • Trace amounts of any of these in the list of ingredients!

There are a handful of other ingredients you can’t have as well – the website gives you all the rules to follow. What can you have? Basically meat, veggies, and fruit. Coffee & tea are still OK, but without sweetener or dairy. And water, of course!

Whole 30 Experience tea

Getting Ready for a Whole 30 Experience

Once we decided that we would participate, I knew that I had a lot of planning and prep to do. I did buy The Whole 30 Book, which is nice to have but honestly you can find everything you need online for free in order to successfully make it through the 30 days. I had to figure out what we would eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. I planned out a week at a time and then we shopped and shopped. And then I had to be ready to prep for every meal, which some of you are like, “So what, Lisa? I do that every. day. Everyday.” But I have been working full time and had fallen completely off the wagon of meal planning and prep. So this was system shock for me.

Let me tell you, you won’t make it through if you don’t plan ahead and prep. You can’t fall back on fast food, or even most pre-made packaged food from the store. Everything seems to contain a trace of something you can’t have! It’s one of the good/bad parts of the plan.

You have to read EVERY label of every kind of food, and then you discover that sugar has been added to basically everything that exists and if not, then they’ve put in a trace amount of something else you can’t have so you decide if it has a label at all, you probably can’t even eat it.

That’s extremely annoying, but it’s so so good to start knowing what you’ve really been eating so you can make better decisions in the future. Not that you need to give up everything with trace amounts of sugar, but to be aware is to choose less of those items and go for more of the real/whole foods.

Whole 30 Experience salad

It seems like following a plan like this would make you completely miserable in about 2 days, and yes, the first few days are difficult. It’s mostly mental, or at least it was in our case. I gave up my morning lattes, so that was rough. I didn’t necessarily physically crave them, but psychologically I really really wanted one. After you tough out the first few days, I’ll be very honest – it’s just not as hard as you expect it to be (other than the extra food planning & prep and almost NO eating out).

It sounds worse than it really is and if you use the opportunity to make some new and exciting recipes, you’ll find the experience somewhat enjoyable. And oh my – the real taste of food! You start to realize that you’ve been missing it all this time and how is it possible that plain fruit is that sweet? By following the plan properly, your physical cravings for certain foods disappear and you (mostly) won’t be getting those extreme carb cravings or hitting the 3 pm slump.

Whole 30 Experience breakfast

Overall, I know it sounds like a crazy plan, but it’s just for 30 days! I highly recommend it, first as a way to see if you do have any food issues, but mainly as a way to force yourself to really look at your food labels, to get back into cooking and finding new recipes to try, to reduce your taste for sugar/sweetness, and to reset your diet. If there’s weight loss, that’s a bonus.

Is it easy? No. There’s a lot of work and planning and you will mentally really miss some foods and get a little cranky about it, but remind yourself that it’s only 30 days and then you can have that item again. I do think it’s very much worth the effort. Remember that this isn’t some miracle diet that will change your ways forever. You could very easily go back to eating the way you did before and your tastes will go back to what they were and you may gain weight back. This is a chance to start fresh and do better and go cold turkey off the stuff you’ve been trying to do with less of.

Are you intrigued enough to look into trying the Whole 30 Experience? I say go for it! But plan ahead and try to go for a 30 day stretch when there aren’t a bunch of celebrations. Don’t set yourself up like that. Try and make it as easy as possible. Stay tuned for Part 2 (in about a week) and I’ll tell you about my Whole 30 experience throughout the 30 days and what some of the results were. Hint: All good.