I did not complete the Whole30. Did I give it a good go? Sort of. Could I have done better?Absolutely.
The good news is I don't think it was a complete failure. I learned A LOT. I felt BETTER. I saw the VALUE in it - all things I was skeptical about going into it.
Will I be doing it again? Absolutely! I just need to plan better for a time with less big events and temptations!
Regardless of not "making it" I plan to continue "Whole30-ish" eating during my weeks with some minor slips during the weekend. This is a permanent change I want to make in my life.
So as I look back on my attempt, here is what I learned and will continue:
1 | Read your labels and then read again. I thought I did this, and that I was a conscious eater, but boy was a wrong! I had no idea there was added sugar in so many things I was consuming and not to mention all the other questionable things in some products. Checking labels was a skill I learned that I will continue to use. Not just checking the calorie count (my old way of checking labels), but actually reading ingredients and basing a decision on how wholesome a food really is.
2 | Don't think of breakfast as breakfast. I read on a blog somewhere when I was doing research regarding Whole30 to not think of breakfast as breakfast but instead as "meal 1" and lunch as "meal 2" etc. When you think of meals this way you aren't sequestered into a pre-determined idea of what it should consist of. I found my easiest (and favorite!) breakfasts were usually leftovers from dinner! While I still had A LOT of eggs for breakfast too (because I have an unhealthy obsession with eggs) mostly they were an afterthought or just the protein for the meal, not the meal itself. Some days I had salads for breakfast and it wasn't weird at all. My favorite breakfast during my attempt? Paleo/Whole30 Sloppy Joe meat over half a sweet potato!
3 | Write down everything you eat. I started writing everything down that I ate so that I could re-cap each week. But what I realized is how good it was for me. Reviewing what I ate, what worked well and keeping myself accountable went a long way. I wouldn't do it over the weekend, but Monday morning I'd sit down and recap it all when I sat down at my desk. It wasn't counting calories or logging into an app, just me, writing and keeping track.
4 | It's not all about calories. Whole30 worked (or will work) for me because it wasn't strictly measuring and counting. I've used MyFitnessPal, measured servings and counted calories so many times in my life, often with little return. That's why I loved Whole30. Eat what you want to fill full. Eat healthy, whole foods, and then watch the weight disappear. No calorie counting, no mini portions, just good food. So much simpler!
5 | You don't need bread/grains. *GASP* No really, I don't need it and you don't either. Will I never eat it again HAHAHA of course I will! But the fact I could easily go 30 days without it showed me I don't need it. There's a yummy, easy substitute for it for almost every situation. Buns/bread for sandwiches? Swap a lettuce wrap, sweet potato or summer squash bun. Noodles? Hello - spaghetti squash! Or use your sauces and meats over potatoes. Rice? I'm now a believer in cauliflower rice!
Recipes I will continue to eat, and eat, and eat... so good:
1 | Creamer in my coffee. Sorry, I just can't do it black!!!
2 | A diet coke now and then. I kicked this habit for the most part (yipee!) but I think as a "treat" a zero calorie soda might be back in the mix now and then.
3 | Occasional dairy. I'm going to let go of the rigidity here and have a dairy based dressing or a sprinkle of cheese on my salad now and then. Unless I start feeling a major side affect, I don't see the harm in adding back in dairy minimally.
So there you have it! Overall, I can't sing the program's praises enough! The fact that I'm saying that and didn't actually finish says a lot! If you are in a rut with your diet, this is a great option and I would highly recommend it. Or wait till January and do it with me when I try again!