Have you decided to commit to the Whole30? Or are you considering how you can make that step? The Whole30 Diet is designed to be a reset for your body. According to founder Melissa Hartwig, the diet removes certain foods out of your diet for one month, so that followers can see how their body responds to a variety of things. It also helps identify and manage cravings. So, what’s off the table? Sugar, alcohol, dairy, grains, and legumes. Also off the table are processed foods, baked goods, junk foods, and even treats with “approved” ingredients. As Whole30.com states, “a pancake is still a pancake, even if it is made with coconut flour.”
Do all of the rules make you nervous? Keep in mind, its only for 30 days. Plus, we’ve got your back. Here are the four biggest Whole30 obstacles dieters encounter, and the tricks to not let them knock you down.
How can you possibly eat out with a no-go list that includes dairy, grains, and alcohol? Choose wisely. Research the restaurant in advance, or call and ask them what they can do to accommodate your diet. Most restaurants are pretty adept at making modifications. Good go-to’s? Order the meat without the grain, like a burger without a bun, or a bowl instead of tacos. Try salads topped with lean meats like salmon or bison.
You’re too hungry to cook.
Do you have an irregular schedule that makes it hard to meal plan 24/7? Take the time to plan when you can. For instance, on the weekend prep a chicken salad, boil eggs, chop raw veggies, or roast other veggies. That way you can come home and quickly grab food that’s ready to eat. And be willing to eat foods that may not coincide with the normal time of day. For instance, have an egg scramble with extra veggies when you get home after work or eat your leftover stir-fry for breakfast the next morning. And make extra of everything. One of the best things to keep you satisfied and help you navigate around Whole30 obstacles is making foods that you enjoy and having them on-hand when you get hungry or feel a craving coming on. Knowing the carrots are already chopped makes the hummus and veggie plate not only that much more accessible, but also more appealing.
You love sugar.
This one is a hard one because if you constantly satisfy your sweet tooth with “healthy” sweets you’re still keeping the craving strong. Hartwig’s biggest suggestion is to create a new habit. For instance, if you’re used to an afternoon muffin or snack, try tea instead. See if you can create comfort with the ritual of making the tea vs. quickly grabbing something that will give you “comfort” albeit briefly.
We have a group of friends that every year does a Dry January. And every year, many fall off the wagon pretty darn quick. Why? Because we still get together all the time, and it can be hard to be the one that isn’t drinking. To deal with this particular Whole30 obstacle, remind yourself that you’re not getting together to drink, you’re getting together to socialize. Order a seltzer water if you want to feel like you’re having something festive, and suggest other outings that rely less on alcohol and food. A hike, yoga class etc., are great healthy alternatives.
With her love of health and writing, Melissa has written for such publications as Shape, Natural Solutions, Yoga Journal, Self and Pilates Style, and has created recipes and food-oriented stories for such publications as Delicious Living and Cooking Light.