9 Things Dietitians Want You to Know Before Diving Into Whole30 This January
January 1st is almost here, and for many people, that means Day 1 of starting Whole30, a monthlong clean-eating program that started back in 2009. For 30 days, you eat whole, unprocessed food including meat, seafood, eggs, veggies, fruit, and natural fats, and you avoid dairy, added sugar (real or artificial), alcohol, grains, legumes (which includes peanuts and all forms of soy), carrageenan, MSG, and sulfites.
You also can't have any baked goods, junk food, or treats made with "approved" Whole30 ingredients, so no date and nut bars or cauliflower pizza. As it says on the website, "a pancake is still a pancake, even if it's made with coconut flour." This is because eating "foods with no breaks," as they say, defeats the purpose of Whole30, which is to build healthy habits. You can determine if there are other foods that should be off-limits that "make you feel out of control" such as RXbars or almond butter.
Another must on the Whole30 program is that you can't step on a scale or take body measurements of any kind during the 30 days. There's also no weighing food, counting calories or macros, restricting calories, or rules about only eating organic. Your sole job is to make good food choices and stick to the Whole30 rules for the entire 30 days — no cheating.
Many people have found tremendous success and saw benefits from doing Whole30 for a variety of reasons. Many of my friends who've tried it said they felt amazing during those 30 days, that they had more energy and their mind felt clearer, or that it helped them realize they're lactose intolerant.
This may sound like a great way to "get back on track" or as a healthy way to lose weight, but before embarking on this 30-day journey, here are a few tips and warnings that registered dietitians want you to know about Whole30.