Eating whole foods is, according to the biggest health names of the day (Michael Pollan, Dr. Oz, Jessica Alba, etc.), the most effective way to get healthy without necessarily counting calories. As a diet guideline, the concept is pretty simple: “don’t eat what your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” Jive with that idea? Us to. When it comes to diet, the simpler, the better, right?
This super simple concept gets an extreme twist – and loses a lot the ease-factor – in the Whole30 diet. The plan puts a detox-style regimen on a whole foods diet, knocking out all sugar, dairy, alcohol and also grains and legumes, and replaces all of it with a whole-foods based meal plan made specifically for you. You also have to pledge that you won’t step on a scale for a the entire 30-day ‘reset,’ which is what the plan aims to be.
The die-hard disciplined among us who care to take their dry Jan to the next level can take the plunge and subscribe at the Whole30 website, then get a custom plan and grocery shopping list, and only eat what you cook using Whole30-approved recipes. That is, the book the diet is based on, The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Freedom written by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, a functional medicine practitioner / sports nutritionist and writer.
You get an app, access to a live chat-with-a-meal-planning-expert, and basically all the online resources you need to follow a seriously no-nonsense diet that gets you results. Specifically, it aims to “help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.” And it’s supposed to change your life—specifically, the way you think about food, the way you feel about food and how and why you eat it. Bold claims, but there definitely are no hacks or shortcuts involved in the Whole30.
According to Women’s Health: “96 per cent of people who complete the Whole30 do lose, on average, between six and 15 pounds.” But the main point here is: “to make you healthy from the inside out, changing your tastes, eliminating cravings, restoring healthy blood sugar regulation and hormonal balance, improving digestion, calming the immune system and reducing inflammation—all of which brings healthy, effortless and sustainable weight loss.”
So, if you’re sick of temporary solutions and willing to try something totally new in the diet department without necessarily recruiting a personal coach or trainer, you might want to try this. Just don’t expect a minute of it to be easy.
Image via Real Food With Dana