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:
- Part 3: The Whole 30 Recipes & Foods We Liked
- Part 4: Tips for a Successful Whole 30
- Part 5: After Whole 30 & How I’m Doing
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.
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!
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.
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!