I did a Whole 30 (more info can be found here) in January of 2017 and wanted to share a few things to consider if you find yourself debating whether doing a Whole 30 is right for you. I want to clarify that when I am referencing the Whole 30 here, I am referencing it as per the heart of the program (rather than the strict fad diet some have grown to view it as). It is meant to be a dietary reset, not a diet plan. I also want to preface by saying that everyone is different, everyone’s health journey is different, and this is by no means an exhaustive list.
Why A Whole 30 Might Not Be For You:
If you have a history of disordered eating and still find strict rules triggering.
If you aren’t willing to do your up-front research. Because it is very difficult to not make mistakes and eat something “not allowed” by accident—even if you do your homework.
If you don’t have the time to commit to prepping the majority of your food yourself.
If your are new to healthy eating. For some people it might be a good jumpstart, but it will take a radical education and you might get overwhelmed. You might find it easier to wait until you are more familiar with healthy eating guidelines and some less common foods/substitutes which people who have been eating healthy for a while are more familiar with.
If you’re not 110% willing to stick with it and even consider from the start that you might cut corners or cheat. Whether you’re utilizing the Whole 30 for healthy food psychology changes, or for diagnosing and identifying food triggers and intolerances, you will not reap the benefits if you don’t follow the guidelines.
If you don’t have a good support system. It will be hard enough to stay on track when you don’t feel like it. Those around you, and especially those who are closest to you, need to be also be 110% supportive.
If you are unwilling to consult your medical provider before starting and you have a significant health problem (hypertension, diabetes, etc.).
If you’re on a strict budget. The Whole 30 can probably be done with limited resources, however to make it efficient and to not become overwhelmed by prepping everything, it will require use of discretionary income.
Why Doing A Whole 30 Might Be Beneficial For You:
If you’re someone who is dealing with any type of autoimmune disease or other medical condition which could be tied to foods, food additives, food sensitivities, food intolerances, inflammation, etc. This includes, but is not limited to things such as eczema, allergies, IBS, arthritis, sleep/energy problems, hormonal disorders, mood disorders, skin issues, diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic pain, etc.
If you are someone who has some frustrations around some of your eating patterns and/or behaviors toward certain foods, and who wants to gain some perspective on your physical and/or emotional relationship with certain foods (with the caveat that you’re not using this as a restrictive “diet” or weight loss plan). Removing yourself from your trigger foods for a set period of time gives you the ability to objectively evaluate and understand how foods effect you and in what context(s) they are appropriate for you or not.
If you are someone who is looking to utilize the program as a period of faith-based sacrifice. When I did the Whole 30, I did it in conjunction with my church’s annual fast (we all chose in what type of fast we would participate). I looked at the process as giving up something that my flesh enjoyed in order to gain a deeper walk with the Lord. I also used it as a time to seek God’s wisdom on confusion over some medical issues I was dealing with. I prayed for discernment and revelation while following the protocol, believing that He would yield insight, and potentially even healing through the process.
If you are interested in learning more about intuitive eating and being more in tune with your physiologic hunger vs psychological cravings.
1/ Have you ever done a Whole 30? What did you learn?
2/ Any insights that I didn’t cover?