The Whole30 diet is a viral health movement that’s increasing in popularity.
It encourages followers to cut out alcohol, sugar, grains, legumes, dairy and additives from their diet for 30 days, and is advertised as a total lifestyle change.
Followers rave about its health benefits, while critics claim that it’s just another unsustainable diet fad. So does it work and should you try it?
This article explains everything you need to know about the Whole30 diet.
What Is the Whole30 Diet?
The Whole30 diet is a month-long clean-eating program that promises a variety of health and emotional benefits.
It was developed in 2009 by two certified sports nutritionists who promoted it as a way to reset your metabolism and reshape your relationship with food.
The diet focuses on the idea that certain food groups may negatively affect your health and fitness.
Therefore, eliminating these foods from your diet is supposed to help your body recover from the negative effects and promote long-term health.
Most people seem to follow this diet in hopes of losing weight.
However, some may also use the program to identify food intolerances or achieve some of its proposed health benefits.
Summary: The Whole30 diet is a month-long eating program that aims to help you lose weight, improve your relationship with food and achieve long-term health.
How to Follow the Whole30 Diet
The idea behind the Whole30 program is simple — just completely cut out foods that may harm your health for a period of 30 days.
After the initial 30 days, slowly reintroduce the foods you miss, while monitoring the effects they have on your body.
The diet has a strict set of rules.
It also provides you with a list of allowed foods, as well as a list of off-limit foods. During the month-long elimination period, no cheating is allowed.
Going off-track entails starting the challenge over from day one.
The founders claim that strict adherence allows your body to reset in isolation of certain foods that may cause inflammation, gut disruptions or hormone imbalances.
Unlike other diets, there is no need to track calories, measure portions or count points. Also, weighing yourself is strictly reserved for days 1 and 30 of the program.
Summary: Following the Whole30 diet involves eating as much as you’d like, while avoiding certain foods for a period of one month.
Proposed Benefits of the Whole30 Diet
Following the Whole30 diet perfectly for 30 days is said to have many health benefits.
These include fat loss, higher energy levels, better sleep, reduced food cravings and improved athletic performance.
What’s more, the diet’s founders promise it will change the way you think about food, as well as your taste.
Proponents of the diet further claim that it can alter the emotional relationship you have with food and your body.
Although these claimed benefits may appear very attractive, it’s worth keeping in mind that there are currently no scientific studies backing them up.
Summary: The Whole30 diet is claimed to provide you with physical and psychological health benefits above and beyond simple weight loss.
Foods to Eat
Foods allowed on the Whole30 diet consist of minimally processed foods, including:
- Meat and poultry: Beef, veal, pork, horse, lamb, chicken, turkey, duck, etc.
- Fish and seafood: Fish, anchovies, shrimp, calamari, scallops, crab, lobster, etc.
- Eggs: All types, as well as foods made from them, such as homemade mayo.
- Fruits: Fresh and dried fruits, although fresh is preferred.
- Vegetables: All types of vegetables.
- Nuts and seeds: All types of nuts and seeds besides peanuts, which are technically a legume. Nut milks, nut butters and nut flours are also allowed.
- Some fats: Healthy plant oils, coconut oil, duck fat, clarified butter and ghee.
When minimally processed foods must be used, the diet encourages you to opt for those with the shortest ingredient lists that only contain ingredients you recognize.
Summary: The Whole30 diet encourages the use of fresh, minimally processed foods.
Foods to Avoid
During the 30-day diet, certain foods must be completely eliminated. These include:
- Sugar and artificial sweeteners: Raw sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave syrup and all products containing these sweeteners, as well as artificial sweeteners.
- Alcohol: All types of beer, wines, liqueurs and spirits.
- Grains: Regardless of their degree of processing, all grains, including wheat, corn, oats and rice, are to be avoided.
- Pulses and legumes: Most peas, lentils and beans, including peanut butter, should be avoided. Green beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas are exceptions.
- Soy: All soy, including tofu, tempeh, edamame and all products derived from soy, such as miso and soy sauce.
- Dairy: Including cow, goat and sheep’s milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream and other products derived from dairy. Clarified butter or ghee is allowed.
- Processed additives: These include carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. Any food or beverage containing these ingredients should be avoided.
In addition, the diet recommends that you avoid recreating your favorite baked goods, snacks or treats — even with Whole30-approved ingredients.
Thus, foods such as cauliflower pizza crust and paleo pancakes must be avoided.
There’s also no such thing as a cheat meal on this diet. Instead, you’re encouraged to adhere strictly to the guidelines all the time. If you do slip up, the diet’s founders strongly encourage you to begin the whole program again from day one.
Summary: The Whole30 diet eliminates sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy, dairy and processed foods for a 30-day period.
A Few Additional Rules
The Whole30 diet encourages some additional rules that are not related to diet.
For instance, smoking is forbidden for the duration of the diet.
You’re also not allowed to step on the scale on any days other than days 1 and 30, or partake in any form of body measurements.
The justification behind these additional rules is that the Whole30 program is about more than just weight loss.
Following these rules is promoted as a way to change your mindset and promote long-term health.
Summary: The Whole30 diet is promoted as more than a simple weight loss diet. Therefore, you are encouraged to avoid smoking and weighing yourself for the duration of the program.
Life After Whole30: The Reintroduction Phase
Once you’ve successfully completed the Whole30 program, it’s time to focus on step 2 — the reintroduction phase.
In this phase, certain foods will be slowly reintroduced to evaluate how they make you feel in regard to your healthier metabolism, digestive tract, immune system and relationship with food.
The suggested way to reintroduce off-limit foods is to add back only one food group at a time. For instance, milk can be reintroduced on day 1.
You are then encouraged to return to the Whole30 diet and avoid milk on days 2–4, while paying attention to any potential symptoms.
If all goes well, a different food group can be reintroduced on day 5, repeating the process.
Reintroducing only one food group at a time while keeping the rest of the diet the same is promoted as a way to better identify which foods cause negative symptoms, such as bloating, skin breakouts or achy joints.
Once all food groups have been individually tested, those that were well-tolerated can be added back into the diet.
Naturally, individuals are not required to reintroduce all foods. In fact, they’re strongly encouraged to avoid reintroducing foods that they do not miss.
Summary: After the initial 30 days, you may slowly reintroduce off-limit foods to see how they affect health and fit into your new eating pattern.
A Weekly Sample Menu for the Whole30 Diet
Those interested in giving the Whole30 diet a try can start with the following week-long menu suggestions.
- Breakfast: Sweet potato hash with apples, sausage and eggs.
- Lunch: Chicken salad, baby spinach and pomegranate seeds served in an acorn squash bowl.
- Dinner: Garlic shrimp in a Romesco sauce, served over zucchini noodles.
- Breakfast: Fried egg and veggie sandwich served on a sweet potato slice.
- Lunch: Soup with homemade meatballs and kale.
- Dinner: Stuffed mushrooms made with meatballs, avocado, tomato and alfalfa sprouts.
- Breakfast: A butternut, cinnamon and date smoothie.
- Lunch: Zucchini patties and a side salad.
- Dinner: Sweet potatoes stuffed with chili, veggies and avocado slices.
- Breakfast: Soft-boiled eggs and asparagus wrapped in prosciutto.
- Lunch: Ground pork served in cabbage.
- Dinner: Cod topped with bruschetta and a side of broccolini.
- Breakfast: Smoothie made with pears, plums, apples, bananas, avocado and parsley.
- Lunch: Frittata made with smoked salmon and asparagus.
- Dinner: Roasted chicken served with cranberries and winter vegetables.
- Breakfast: Poached eggs in a spicy tomato sauce.
- Lunch: Mini burgers made with turkey, bacon, plantains and served with a cilantro aioli sauce.
- Dinner: Duck and vegetables prepared in a slow cooker.
- Breakfast: Stuffed avocados containing crab, shrimp and red peppers.
- Lunch: Baked zucchini halves stuffed with ground beef in a tomato sauce.
- Dinner: A stew made with beef, butternut squash, onions and mushrooms.
Remember to vary your sources of protein and vegetables throughout the day to provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals it requires.
Summary: The recipes above are a good introduction to the Whole30 way of eating. More recipes can be found on the Whole30 website and Instagram.
Whole30 Snack Ideas
Snacks are a great way to stay energized throughout the day and keep hunger between meals at bay.
Interesting Whole30-approved options include:
- Plantain chips with salsa or guacamole
- Apple with hazelnut butter
- Banana ice cream made from blended frozen bananas
- Seaweed snacks
- Trail mix (without peanuts)
- Almond milk latte
- Prosciutto and melon
- Carrots with almond butter sprinkled with cayenne pepper
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Walnut-stuffed figs
- Frozen fruit and coconut milk smoothie
Summary: These Whole30-approved snacks are convenient options aimed at keeping your energy levels up and minimizing hunger between meals.
Potential Negative Effects of the Whole30 Diet
Several aspects of the Whole30 program are in line with a nutritious diet.
For instance, the diet promotes consuming minimally processed foods and a high intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.
This may create negative health effects if the diet is continued for more than 30 days.
In addition, although rigid rules can be a good way to reset eating habits for some people, restrictive diets with no allowance for indulgences are generally not sustainable over time (2).
Those contemplating following this diet in the long term are encouraged to record their meals for a couple days in an online diet journal such as Cronometer.
This can help ensure that daily nutrient recommendations continue to be met.
Summary: The restrictive nature of the Whole30 diet may make it difficult to meet daily nutrient recommendations or sustain the diet in the long term.
Should You Try the Whole30 Diet?
Because of its restrictive nature, the Whole30 diet will likely help create the calorie deficit you need to shed some extra pounds.
Nevertheless, it is true that some people may unknowingly suffer from food intolerances, which the diet’s reintroduction phase can help identify (9).
Overall, this diet may be helpful if you want to completely reset your eating habits.
But if you’re simply looking to improve your diet and overall health, you’re better off trying a whole foods diet like this one instead.
A quick note from our founder-
Over the past year, my friend Dave at PaleoHacks has been working on a secret cookbook with world-renowned Le Cordon Bleu chef Peter Servold.
Well, today this new this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE
That's right -- as a special launch promotion, we're offering our brand new Paleo fat loss cookbook to you for free (Chef Pete lost 60 lbs using these recipes!) -- All you have to do is just cover a small shipping cost (international shipping is a bit more).
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because we only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
Help us create more awareness! Please SHARE this article...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat.
This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
P.S. Make sure you check out the next page to get to know the 10 simple moves that will bring vitality back into your life!
To begin, I apologize for the dark nature of today's email.
However I promise what you'll discover today will be completely worth it.
Imagine a rotting corpse draped over your body from head to toe...
...suffocating tissue, restricting blood flow, damaging joints and infecting your healthy cells.
Shockingly, that nightmare is a reality for most:
64% of women and 74% of men carry too much body fat according to the National Institutes of Health.
It's choking their organs, assaulting their metabolism and sucking their energy dry.
But here's the worst part:
For most, this bodyfat has become "calorie-resistant":
It's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
This zombie fat is essentially... "dead tissue".
That's important for those who have 10, 25 or 50 or more pounds to lose...
AND for those who aren't technically overweight, but have what's called "pocket obesity"...
...unsightly patches of fat that cling to specific places, like:
just above your hips, lower belly, where your butt and legs meet... and even arms, neck and face.
However, there's good news:
Obesity researchers have now discovered a "metabolic jumper cable":
It jolts dead bodyfat back to life.
This allows your metabolism to burn it as calories and re-energize your entire body.
First though, here's the #1 reason why bodyfat becomes calorie-resistant:
It lacks blood flow. This has 3 effects:
- Not enough oxygen or nutrients reach fat cells, so they become unresponsive..
- Released fat can't be sent to other tissues to be burned, so fat cells suck it back in...
- 3) Metabolic hormones carrying the "burn calories" message don't reach the fat cell...
All this means one thing:
Your body can't transform into energy, the 135,000+ of calories the average person stores as fat!
You become a metabolic zombie: NO energy to think. NO energy to move. NO energy to motivate.
Update: calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
The discovery of this "metabolic jumper cable" can now reverse this process:
- It wakes up un-responsive bodyfat with a powerful calorie-burning hormonal jolt....
- It pops open fat cells, sucks out the fat, sending it off before its yanked back in...
- It shuttles fat to your brain, heart, lungs, kidneys - even your bones - to be burned as energy.
Not only do those layers of "zombie fat" start coming off, but your entire body just works better.
Plus, as your whole body burns more calories, those patches of pocket obesity whittle away.
This "metabolic jumper cable" isn't any exercise, machine or pill.
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive.
It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know.
And on this next page, you'll find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
PS - Studies show that not only can healthy levels of this powerful calorie-burning hormone devour bodyfat and fortify soft muscle, but it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!
--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)
If you haven't heard of Claude Davis yet do yourself a huge favor and watch this video. He's going to be the talk of 2016.
One of the smartest guys I ever had the pleasure of meeting, Claude set-up a unique system that changed his life forever.
I already tried it myself and let me tell... you I was completely blown away... His surprising tactics could make your life easier and give you the peace of mind you deserve.
Don't just take my word for it... watch his short video and decide for yourself.
Is Bread Really the Staff of Life… or the Stuff of Disease?
For most us, there are few foods more comforting than bread.
Fluffy biscuits, crusty baguettes, flaky croissants… even a simple slice of toast topped with melted butter can taste like heaven.
And that smell… few scents are quite as pleasant as fresh bread baking in the oven.
But there is a lot of confusion as to where bread fits into a healthy diet.
The Bible practically commands followers to eat it: “Give us this day our daily bread…” The government put it at the base of the food pyramid. And for centuries, it has been called “the staff of life.”
Of course, there are some who disagree…
Well-known cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, calls wheat “the perfect chronic poison.”
And for a poison, we sure eat lots of it…
The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, making refined flour the #1 source of calories in the American Diet – a situation that nutrition expert Chris Kresser describes as, “a public health catastrophe.”
So, what is the truth about bread and wheat?
- Is it the perfect poison… or an essential daily food?
- Is “gluten-free” bread better for you than regular bread?
- And can you still eat bread… while maintaining a lean body and optimal health?
The answers to these questions may surprise you!
Be sure to read #5 – the biggest surprise of all!
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
Secret #1: Enjoy real food. Don’t fall for the lie that you have to deprive yourself to lose weight.
Secret #2: stop eating out. You will automatically eat less without even noticing.
Then start detoxing your body with tasty, nourishing smoothies that are just as easy on your wallet as they are easy to make.
Because a single day of enjoying Liz’ smoothies demonstrated the radical power of her superfood-packed red smoothies to make me feel incredibly good.
Now prepare yourself for one of the biggest weight loss secrets there is. A secret that, when you use it properly, can transform your body and your health.
You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
Here’s how it works.
“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
“So… what’s going on with me? Why am I losing weight but not going hungry?”
Liz paused, then dropped the bombshell.
Your body is designed to burn fat. You just have to let it.
“What? I thought we were designed to store fat?!?” We were Skyping and I was practically shouting. Then I heard Liz say…
What good is a fat reserve if you can’t burn it?
Liz continued: “You’re drinking smoothies packed with phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that pull toxins out of you like a tractor beam. Allowing your body to burn those toxin-filled fat stores… and releasing tremendous amounts of stored energy.”
So that’s why I’m losing weight without going hungry.
Watch Liz’ free presentation. It’s packed with revolutionary weight loss information—information that works. Because it’s based on how nature.
Click the button only if you want to wear smaller clothes, breathe easier, move more freely and just plain feel better.
- Which calories help you lose weight…and which ones help you gain it…
- The “diet” foods…some of them vegetables…that lead to weight gain and diabetes…
- The “low-fat” foods that can dramatically increase your risk of cancer.
- And the superfoods that rescue your body from this assault by detoxing you…
Revitalizing your metabolism so you can Shed pounds as well as toxins, renew your body and reset your internal clock by up to 7 years.
Because until now, the Red Smoothie Detox Factor has been available only to Liz’ private clients. But now that she’s perfected it to work for almost everyone, almost every time, Liz is sharing it with rest of us so we can feel better and look better.
Get Red Smoothie Detox Factor before the price goes back up.
Because Liz offers a ridiculously good guarantee. You have 60 days to decide you love the Red Smoothie Detox Factor. If you don’t love it—for any reason, or even no reason at all —Liz will refund your money. 100%. No questions asked.
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.