Why I’ll never do another Whole30

whole 30 1

Disclaimer: I am not hating on anyone that follows a paleo diet or has done Whole 30s, is currently doing one, or plans on doing one. Heck, I did one about a year and a half ago- precisely 3 months before adopting a vegan lifestyle. That being said, I want to share why I will never do one again – besides the obvious fact that I no longer eat meat, dairy, animal products, etc.

Since it has been over a year and a half since I first did a Whole 30, my view on it has changed quite a bit. I think it is very interesting to look back on that time and compare it to how my energy levels are now. It is a complete 180. I actually remember thinking that I felt pretty good while on this diet challenge, but looking back, that wasn’t actually that true. Sure I felt a bit better from cutting out processed foods, and was sleeping a bit better, but it was no where near as good as I feel now. Now I actually feel energized, happy, and focused throughout my busy school days.


If you haven’t been living under a rock, I am sure you have heard of a Whole30 style diet. The Whole30 diet is based off of a paleo diet and focuses on cutting out dairy (thumbs up), grains (not a fan), and processed foods (yay!). Doesn’t sound like that unhealthy of a diet now does it? Well, it actually has some benefits like elimination of processed foods and dairy, however as a vegan, including meat in my diet obvious is not something that I am about anymore.

whole30

Apparently the Whole30 website includes a Vegetarian/ Vegan option, but it claims that that would not be a “real” Whole30 and they also claim that animal protein is needed for “optimal health”. Ugh. Have they not read the reports the World Health Organization puts out?? Apparently not. But that is a topic for another time.

Here’s a few reasons why I would never do another Whole 30 – besides the whole I don’t eat meat thing.

  1. It has very strict guidelines for what you are allowed to eat.

But wait- don’t vegans have very strict guidelines for what they eat? Well- yes and no. The Whole30 has a very specific and short list of the foods that you are allowed to eat. The list is quite short if you ask me, and has strict guidelines. On the other hand, a vegan diet does omit all animal products, but there are so many foods that are vegan out there that it never feels restrictive. The sky really is the limit when it comes to a vegan diet.

2. it emphasizes eating only 3 meals a day.

I don’t believe that there is a certain number of meals a day people should abide by. if you like eating 5-6 smaller meals/ snacks a day then do that. If you like 3 moderately sized meals and 2 snacks- then do that. If you like eating 3 substantial meals a day- then do that! I don’t believe there is one set time schedule for eating. I think that if you are hungry, then you should eat- but just keep it healthy (as often as possible).

 

3. I spent way too much on groceries while doing this 30 day diet challenge.

almondbutter

I remember spending SO much money on meat, almond butter, Larabars, and nuts. Many of the foods that the Whole 30 emphasizes eating are rather expensive. I spend much less money on my grocery bill now on a vegan diet as fruit, veggies, beans, legumes, and grains are some of the cheapest foods on the planet. I was buying foods that I typically would not otherwise purchase because they were some of the only foods on the list that felt “satisfying” or like I was meeting my cravings. The lack of natural sugar in the diet (besides the minimal fruit they suggest) made me crave Larabars and high fat foods.

lifestyle change

4. It is a diet- not a lifestyle.

Sure, you could eat a Whole30 compliant diet for your whole life- but this plan is meant to be more of a nutritional “reset” if you will. It is not marketed as being a lifestyle to follow forever.

 

5. It focuses too much on fats.

Mostly healthy fats (minus oil why I personally do not consider a health food), but I personally feel best on a lower fat diet. Sure I love nuts, avocado, coconut and nut butter as much as the next person, but it does not make me feel my best. Not only does it make me feel sluggish, it also has a tendency to pack on the pounds and it makes my skin all icky. Taking nut butters, nuts, and oil out of my diet about 9 months ago has made me feel SO much better. Sure, I will eat nuts every now and then if it is in a dish or occasionally eat something that has nut butter in it, but I do not purchase those things for my home. Nor do I purchase oil, but I don’t freak out when I go out to a restaurant because they use oil.

colorfulhummus

6. You can’t have hummus.

No other explanation needed. Beans are SO HEALTHY, and delicious- especially when they are mashed up with a lot of garlic and a little lemon. The Whole30 has got it all wrong. Pretty much every health report states that garbanzo beans are extremely healthy and have many benefits from better digestion, lower glycemic index, and having powerful weight loss properties.

 

While it may seem like I am totally bashing on this diet- here are a few things that I did like about it.

It focuses on real food and emphasizes healing the toxic relationship most Americans      have with food.

It eliminates dairy.

It doesn’t focus on the number on the scale. Actually, it suggests in the plan that you not step on the scale during the 30 days.

To sum it all up: this diet has caught a lot of media attention the past few years, leaving many people (including myself) to try the diet plan/ challenge. My advice to you would be to nix this diet plan, and focus on a more plant based diet for optimal health that is heavy on the fruits, veggies, legumes, and whole grains and light on the fats, oils, and processed foods.

There ya have it! I know this is quite a controversial topic, so let me know your thoughts below! I definitely am not staging some sort of vegan vs paleo war- just sharing what has worked for ME in the past, and what works for me now. I think it is neat to see how people have changed their eating habits over time, and I wanted to share where I am at right now with you all.

Let me know in the comments if you have ever done a Whole30 and if you would do another! Do you disagree with anything I said? Tell me below!

24 comments on “Why I’ll never do another Whole30”

  1. Love your perspective on this! I think Whole 30 is not for everyone, just like no one eats the same diet!

    1. You got it! There are some benefits, but overall I don’t think it is worth it.

  2. I did my second whole 30 in January and I decided it would be my last. For several of the reasons you mentioned. Specifically that I felt I was setting up unhealthy habits by eliminating so many foods. I didn’t feel better this second go round. I believe because while I was eating healthy foods it wasn’t making me healthy.

    1. I am so glad you found what works for you! Sometimes following a strict diet really does lead us further from true health.

  3. Cristina says:

    Love this! I never did Whole 30 because I don’t eat meat (I eat a plant-based diet) and there was no way I was cutting out grains (or hummus) from my diet seeing as those are huge staples for me. I don’t like the idea of “diets” – I prefer a lifestyle! And you’re right – Whole 30 is definitely a diet. I also love eating smaller meals and having snacks throughout the day so the whole 3 meals only thing would have really bothered me! I love how you summed this up – it’s very informative!

    1. I could never go without my hummus or oatmeal! I totally agree- a healthy lifestyle is the way to go. A “diet” to me is simply the foods you eat, not a method to loose weight!

  4. I am currently doing my second Whole30 and am kind of the same boat. Before I started my diet consisted of meat only 2-3 times a week and was mostly vegetarian. Now I am eating it everyday and eating a lot more fats too. I actually feel pretty good, but I don’t think I was feeling bad before I started. I do miss my hummus, beans, smoothies, and other things. I am curious to see how I feel at the end of it. And agreed on the expensive grocery bill…I am spending so much more money now than I was before!

    1. I am curious to see how this round goes for you! I definitely like that this plan eliminates dairy, but beans and smoothies are just so delicious! I definitely don’t like spending a lot at the grocery store lol.

  5. Farrah says:

    All the reasons you listed contribute to why I’ve never tried the Whole30. As much as I love nut butters, I like saving money and not having a whole ton of limitations on my foods. And what!? No hummus!? Nope.

    1. Yep i totally agree! As much as I would love that $16 jar of organic almond butter, it just is not practical for me!

  6. amen! You’ll never see me doing it either! Plus the things they want you to eat (eggs and meat)…NO!

    1. lol yes! No meat or eggs here!

  7. I’m right there with ya! I did it and really didn’t think it was the greatest. I will say though, I don’t think that they eliminate the beans/legumes because they’re ‘unhealthy’ per say – but because the can be a digestive issue for many people. The only positive that I did get out of doing it, is that I found out I had serious sensitivities to beans! No more hummus for me :/ but I do agree with you – unless you have an issue with a food… i don’t see the necessity to eliminate everything

    1. I didn’t realize that many people have sensitivities to beans. Is it from the high fiber content?? And yes if you have a sensitivity, allergy, or something just doesn’t make you feel your best then I see no issue with getting rid of it- BUT if it is just for the sake of a diet then I do not see the point!

  8. YES M’AM!!! 100% agree with this. I too don’t judge those who choose that lifestyle…but it is CERTAINLY not for me! Way too restrictive!

    1. I am with you on that! It just seems to have a restrictive mindset and I am NOT about that!

  9. Marsha says:

    Great post! I’m so tired of all these “plans” out there. It’s just finding the right combination of healthy foods for your unique body. There’s always a bandwagon, and so many people want one to jump on instead of do the work to figure out what works for the individual.

    1. I love how you said it! People just want to find the next quick fix instead of working to find what will make them feel their best!

  10. Cassi says:

    Those restrictions are exactly why I never tried dieting before. I wouldn’t survive!

    1. No need for restriction in a healthy diet!

  11. LOVE this! I think these diets catch on because people need rules in order to stay on track. They don’t have to be the RIGHT rules… just rules. Lol!

    That said, I tried a high fat diet for a week once and nearly died of starvation. I need some carbs to fill me up!

    1. Yes so true! People often have such an all or nothing mentality with dieting! I also don’t get how people say that fat fills them up- like I could eat a whole jar of peanut butter and not feel full (but probably feel very sick) lol!

  12. I think it’s so cool how in touch you are with your body and it’s inspirational for anyone working towards a healthy body and mind relationship. Find what works for you and feel good, that’s all there is to it 🙂

    1. Thank you for such a sweet comment! That means so much to me since there was a long time that I was SO out of touch with my body. It takes time and experimentation to find what works for you!

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