Finally we come to the last post in my Whole 30 series (or is it – haha)! I do anticipate a followup post to this series at some point, so subscribe to my blog now and you won’t miss out! Here’s the recap of the different parts to my Whole 30 experience series:
- Part 1: Intro to My Whole 30 Experience
- Part 2: My Whole 30 Experience & Results
- Part 3: My Whole 30 Experience – The Food
- Part 4: 10 Tips for a Successful Whole 30
- Part 5: After Whole 30 & How I’m Doing
I’ve shared all about the actual Whole 30 experience, but I think the other part people wonder about is what happens after it’s all over? I’m approaching 3 months since we finished our Whole 30 and will share honestly about our eating habits now and whether we have maintained the good results that we achieved.
Eating Habits After Our Whole 30 Experience
After we finished our 30 days, we didn’t want to go crazy eating all the things we couldn’t before, so we did try to gradually bring them back. We did it faster than the recommended Whole 30 reintroduction, but still took about 4-5 days to reintroduce everything. We did not experience any food issues as we reintroduced, so that was nice to know. If you think there is any chance that you might have some physical issues with certain food groups, it really is best to reintroduce one thing at a time and give it 2 days to see if you have any reactions. On Day 1 we added dairy and sugar because I HAD to have my latte! We added Grains a day or so later. About 3 days later, we had some alcohol. And the various other items were sprinkled throughout the 4-5 days. As we added food groups back, we kept most of our meals as close to Whole 30 meals as possible and continued that for over a week.
The biggest difference we noticed as we got back to “normal” eating was the change in our taste for sugar. I need far far less now than ever in my entire life. Some things now are simply too sweet for me. If you go on a sugar fast, but you still have honey and maple syrup or stevia or other sweeteners, I don’t think you will have the same experience. Whole 30 eliminates *all* sweet tastes except for fruit and we tried not to go overboard with that either. That’s what made the difference – learning to do without the sweet taste all the time.
We also noticed the taste of fast food wasn’t as good as before the Whole 30 experience. When you get used to not having processed food, you can really tell the difference. I’m not saying we don’t still enjoy eating out, but we definitely have less craving for the worst of the fast foods. Real and whole foods have great flavor and we are working to have more of them than before we did Whole 30.
Did We Maintain Results?
Yes, and no. I have held to having less sugar, though sweets creep into our diet here and there as we make more and more exceptions the further out from Whole 30 we get. But my taste hasn’t changed yet and I’m trying to keep it that way. We’re still eating less pasta and bread in general and we were keeping alcohol to weekends only, but have fallen off of that as of late. I still don’t have the 3pm energy slump most days and before Whole 30, I had it every single day.
One change that has stuck is my putting a stop to drinking soda, mainly diet soda (Coke Zero with Splenda). I used the Whole 30 experience to finally be my time to go completely without the diet soda and get rid of the craving for that flavor. I knew it wasn’t good for me, and kept drinking it on a regular basis before that. So even after Whole 30 ended, I refused to have any soda and especially not a taste of Coke Zero as I was afraid that I might start craving that flavor again. Almost 3 months since last drinking it, I finally took a taste of some. I was curious to see if I would still like it. Happy to say, I did NOT like it! It had such an overwhelming artificial flavor and I have no desire to have any more. I’m trying to drink more water, though I struggle with that, and my main cold drink has become iced tea.
As a few of our bad eating habits creep back in, there has been a bit of weight gain. Just a couple of pounds, but that’s not the direction we want to go! I really need to keep the weight coming off and that will only happen by continuing to eat in a healthy way and adding in the right kinds of exercise. I have been eating less fruit than during Whole 30, and need to get back in that habit to keep energy levels higher.
Where to go From Here
As we have come out of some busy times with more eating out than usual, I feel like focusing on Whole 30 meals again would be very beneficial for our family. I don’t think it’s realistic right now for us to do another full Whole 30, but I do think we could work in a Whole 15. Or plan out 2 weeks of all meals and snacks that are mostly Whole 30 compliant and not stray from them at all during that time. It would get us back to the better eating habits as well as help us get rid of the couple of pounds that have crept back, I’m sure.
My plan right now is for our family to do a Whole 30 once a year. January makes the most sense to me, right after the holidays. And then I want to do a couple weeks of Whole 30 meals once a quarter to help keep us on track with healthier eating. I also want to find a simple 30-day fitness/exercise challenge that we could follow to get us in the habit of being active on a daily basis.
So overall, even though some of our bad eating habits have started coming back a little, there have been some permanent changes for the better in our eating habits. Anything worthwhile takes effort and I know that it will take more focus and planning to continue toward healthy eating for our family. We’re still very satisfied with the results of Whole 30 and highly recommend it!
Whether you are in the middle of a Whole 30 experience, or considering starting one, I hope that this series has been helpful. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, pleas leave a comment! Thanks for joining me!