Looking for a reset to get your eating habits back on track? Then you may need the Whole30 diet. Learn what this diet is, its benefits, and recipes to try.
You're not alone if you feel like your eating habits aren't so healthy. Processed foods are everywhere and convenient. It's all too easy to indulge in foods you know aren't good for you because they're affordable, easy to prepare, and—let's be honest—delicious. But when you're ready to get back in control of your eating, the Whole30 diet is here for you.
The Whole30 diet is an elimination diet. For the first 30 days, you'll eliminate dozens of foods from your diet. Generally speaking, whole foods are in and processed foods are out. Then, in the following 10 to 30 days, you'll slowly reintroduce some of those foods.
The goal of this diet is to reset your eating habits. By taking away processed foods for a whole month, you'll get used to not having those unhealthy foods on a regular basis.
What makes Whole30 so different from other diets is that it's holistic and highly personalized. No food is off-limits forever. As you start the reintroduction process, you can judge your relationship with each food group. Do you feel good after eating them? Then they're welcome into your diet. But if you feel bloated and tired, that food is best left out.
Whole30 meals are rich in whole, minimally processed foods:
There are no hard-and-fast rules about portions. You could enjoy five portions of fruit a day in the summer (when produce is more plentiful, fresh, and affordable) and just one or two in the winter. What's important is that your meals are balanced, nutritionally rich, and satiating.
Because Whole30 is an elimination diet, some foods are off-limits for the first 30 days:
There are only a few exceptions: ghee and clarified butter are allowed (even though they're dairy products); green beans and peas are also allowed (despite being legumes).
If you're plant-based, you can also follow the Whole30 diet. Recently, the creators of this diet created a separate plan for vegetarians and vegans. It cuts out meat, fish, and eggs (for vegans) but welcomes all legumes into the Whole30 meal plan.
Need some more convincing before committing to the Whole30 diet? Here is a handful of reasons why this food challenge is so popular:
Get inspired to build your Whole30 meal plan with these affordable Whole30 recipes.
The Whole30 diet isn't for everyone. If you've struggled with eating disorders in the past, it may not be wise to start a restrictive diet. Likewise, if you have a health condition that requires you to follow a specific diet (like diabetes or irritable bowel syndrome), be sure to talk to a health professional before making dietary changes.
It's also important to point out that Whole30 is a great first step toward a healthy lifestyle. But there's more you can do. For example, exercising (even while on a budget) can be a terrific complement to this food challenge!
Everyone knows processed foods are often cheaper than wholesome, nutritious foods at the grocery store. Fortunately, with the help of discounts, you can eat healthy even on a tight budget. Find a local Save Coupon Book near you and start clipping money-saving deals. They'll make it oh-so-much easier to follow the Whole30 diet without blowing the budget.