Learn how this 30-day elimination diet can help you lose weight, feel better, and stress less.
I am all for elimination diets. It's how I learned I am sensitive to gluten and dairy products and discovered my interest in nutrition. The goal of the diet is to eliminate all the common foods that lead to potential sensitivity in the body and then slowly add one food group back at a time to see how your body reacts to it. For example, you may not realize that your chronic stomach ache, joint pain, stuffy nose, or water retention traces back to a food sensitivity.
The Whole30 diet bases its program on a form of elimination dieting and requires you to give potential problem foods up for 30 days before beginning the reintroduction process. It works like a reset button for your body. But, in order to reap the benefits of this diet, you must adhere to the rules. You cannot cheat during your 30 days. One slip-up will send your body right back into its previously inflamed, phlegmy, and/or achey state. You need to give it a full month off.
I am not a fan of many fad diets, but I respect the program's investment in one's whole-body health and want to give you a brief summary of what this diet entails. The goal is not only to lose the stubborn weight, but also to feel better. You do not have to, nor should you, step on the scale once throughout the month or add up your calories at the end of each day. The only thing you have to worry about is sticking to your list of dos and don'ts. And remember, it is only 30 days.
First, let's focus on the foods you CAN eat. Just like its name suggests, the Whole30 allows you to eat whole, real foods. No powdered lunches or meal replacements required. Here is a list of some of the high profile foods you can eat guiltlessly:
- Meat: chicken, beef, pork, seafood—even bacon!
- Naturally-occuring fats: including olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil.
- Herbs, spices, seasonings, and salt
Okay, here it comes—where the rubber meets the road. Below are the foods you CANNOT eat for 30 days:
- Sugar: any form of added sugar, including honey, agave, stevia, etc.
- Grains: including wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat.
- Legumes: including beans and all forms of peanuts and soy.
- Dairy: including all cow, goat, and sheep products.
- MSG, sulfites, and carrageen: read the ingredients lists on labels.
- Processed foods, baked goods, and junk foods
Yes, this diet just took away everything we cherish in life. I remember melting down at Starbucks because I just wanted some coffee creamer to add to my black coffee. But, these moments are what make us stronger. I got through it on black coffee and so can you.
Maybe you are still thinking of starting yourself out on a new diet regimen for the new year. I say, begin with an elimination diet and see how your body responds. You will feel better both mentally and physically and break through weight plateaus along the way. I found that this program also has a phenomenal online support system where you can find recipes, blog posts, coaches, and fellow participants to help you make it through.