Overview of the Whole30 Diet Program

by Chef Murph

So what exactly is the Whole30® Program? This is a 30-day weight loss program that is formulated to jumpstart your metabolism and essentially reset your system to a new way of eating. Described in detail in the New York Times Bestselling Book – “It Starts With Food,” and followed by thousands on their website, that details the official Whole30 Program, this grueling diet plan is not for the faint-hearted, but does promise some incredible results.

There are some similarities to the Paleo diet, in the sense that it is low carb and high in protein, but there are some striking differences. Most notably is the level of restriction that is present in this 30-day program.

There are a large number of foods that are off limits during this program and the reason for this exclusionary approach to dieting is to control your body’s weight loss while purging your system of modern-day processed and unhealthy food.

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What Is Excluded?

During this program, there are a number of foods that you are no longer able to eat. In addition to food restrictions, you are also not allowed to smoke tobacco or consume alcohol in any form, even in your cooking.

  • No added sugar is allowed, be it real or artificial – This includes honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, stevia, coconut sugar, Equal, Splenda, NutraSweet, and all those sugar alternatives that are on the market. No sugar really means no sugar.
  • No legumes – This includes all beans, peanuts, and peanut products like peanut butter. It also includes all forms of soy including soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and lecithin. They definitely cover their bases.
  • Don’t recreate baked goods or junk foods using ingredients not banned by the program; that defeats the purpose of the Whole30 program. You’re trying to transform the way you eat and it’s only for 30 days. Remember a pancake is a pancake regardless of how you prepare it or the ingredients you use.
  • No Grains – This includes but is not limited to wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, and even those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. You can also forget about eating any bran, germ, or starch.
  • Dairy is strictly prohibited in all its forms – This includes goat and sheep milk based products, cream, cheese, kefir, yogurt, and sour cream. The sole exception to this rule is clarified butter or ghee.
  • No food containing carrageenan, MSG or sulfites is allowed, you are therefore encouraged to watch your labels when purchasing food.

In addition to these exclusions, there is one rather interesting rule that makes this program unique. For the duration of this program, you are not allowed to weigh or measure yourself at all.

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You are encouraged to weigh yourself before you begin and once you complete the program, but you are not allowed to step on a scale while participating in this program. This is to keep your mind off your weight fluctuations and get you to focus on transforming your eating habits.

Exceptions To The Rules 

There are a few exceptions to the food restriction rules in the Whole30 Program. These exceptions are intended to ease a bit of the tension associated with these exclusionary diets.

Exceptions Include

  • Clarified Butter or Ghee is allowed
  • Fruit juice as a sweetener
  • Vinegar in most forms is allowed including those containing white balsamic apple cider, red wine, and rice. The sole exclusion is those kinds of vinegar that contain added sugar and malt vinegar
  • Salt is allowed even though most iodized table salts contain sugar

The Promises

The website of Whole30 promises that it will change your life, including how you think about food, your tastes, and even cravings. There are plenty of testimonials that attest to this fact and the people behind this program swear to these promises and live by this way of eating. Many of the testimonials find people commenting on the fact that this is a permanent lifestyle change and not just another interim diet.

Of course, this is not a surprise since you are eating 100% real food as nature intended with none of the human fashioned extras we have become accustomed to.

You’re Responsibility

When it comes to the Whole30 Program the burden of responsibility weighs rather heavily on you. It’s a tough program in the sense that you have to take a lot of personal responsibility for what you eat. There are some harsh restrictions during this 30-day period, but if you stick to with it, it promises incredible results.

Good Luck,

Chef Murph

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