Whole30: My Experience, Results, & Tips

As of today, I have officially completed my first Whole30! (I thought this day would never come!) Ok, but seriously, it wasn’t that bad. 

I decided to embark on this new journey with food after my third year at college, where I was eating and drinking way too many processed foods and energy drinks. Which left me feeling tired, sick, and just unhealthy overall. (I’m sure a lot of other college students can relate.)

So summer was the perfect time to adopt a new lifestyle and work towards new health goals! Because anytime you are going to try a restrictive diet, it is really helpful to pick a time when your work calendar and social life are free.

After the initial sugar detox (Which was admittedly not-so-fun), I started to really enjoy how this new way of eating made me feel. Here I am on day 31 really glad that I decided to give this a go about a month ago!

The Whole30 program is famous for boasting about all of the “Non-Scale Victories” that so many people enjoy throughout the thirty days and beyond, and I can tell you that even about half-way into it, I had so many little victories!

So, here’s my non-scale victories:

  • My engagement ring is extra loose! (I seriously think I might have to get it re-sized soon!)
  • My jeans fit better, AND I fit into my “skinny jeans” again.
  • I have SO much more energy. Which has led to me being more productive, taking up a new workout routine, and going out more versus staying in all the time.
  • My mood has improved! (Just ask my sister and fiance. 😉 )
  • NO sugar cravings. (Seriously!) I had a cookie on day 31 and it didn’t even taste as good as I remembered…something I had heard lots of other Whole30 alumni say, but never believed.
  • I sleep better, which helps me wake up earlier, and you guessed it…leads to being more productive. (Do you see a pattern here?)
  • I have tons more confidence.

Pretty awesome, huh?

I love that the Whole30 program puts the focus on how you FEEL rather than the number on the scale, but hey, it’s still super exciting when you see a big difference in that 30 days later. Speaking of…

I lost 15 pounds and feel so much healthier overall!

All while eating tons of healthy food like grass fed organic meat, vegetables, and fruit. And best of all…no counting calories! If you want to see what I ate these last four weeks for ideas or inspiration, you can find those here:

Week 1                  Week 2

Week 3                  Week 4

The program also discourages snacking in-between meals. I thought that sounded pretty harsh until I figured out that as long as I was eating a good serving of protein, vegetables, fat, and fruit at every meal, I honestly didn’t even have the urge to snack because I wasn’t hungry!

How do I plan to continue from here?

There are a few things from Whole30 that I intend to make a regular part of my lifestyle such as drinking coffee black (Because if your coffee is good, who needs creamer?), skipping the snacks, and making sure every meal has plenty of fruits and vegetables.

I’m definitely going to take it slow during the reintroduction process. (Basically slowly re-introducing the foods you eliminated in the last month back into your diet.)

I’ve also been doing Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred, but I’m taking it at my own pace and doing the workouts every other day. (So…60 day shred??) I finally worked my way up to level 2 and OMG guys, she kicks butt! At one point she actually said “I just want you guys to feel like you’re going to die.” So yeah, baby steps. 

If you’re in the middle of doing the Whole30 or are considering it, I highly recommend that you read “It Starts with Food” and “Whole30.” They are invaluable resources before, during, and after the process!

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Tips for your Whole30:

  1. PLAN. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This advice holds especially true for Whole30. Don’t forget to plan your meals in advance, because when you’re hungry and don’t have a plan you’re more likely to be tempted to reach for something that’s not approved.
  2. As mentioned before, don’t do the Whole30 during a busy part of your life! For example, don’t plan your Whole30 to fall during a vacation, a wedding, or another big event.
  3. Find inspiration & connect with others who are going through the same thing. My biggest help for staying motivated was definitely Pinterest. Whenever I got frustrated with what I was eating, I found a new recipe on Pinterest and decided to try it out. Another part of this is talking with others who are doing the Whole30 too! I connected with so many people through Twitter simply by searching the #Whole30 hashtag, and was able to get re-motivated and find inspiration.
  4. Take before pics. When your body is slowly changing, it’s sometimes hard to see the bigger picture. Personally, I was amazed at what a difference 15 pounds can make!
  5. Don’t focus on what you CAN’T have. Instead, focus on what you CAN have. Seriously, it helps you avoid frustration and makes everything so much easier.
  6. Enlist the help of your friends and family! Tell your friends and family your goals and they will help you stick to them. My family was super sweet and helped encourage me and kept me motivated, and my fiance went out of his way to find Whole30 options for me when we ventured out to eat. Don’t attempt to do it alone.

I hope that my experience inspired you and that you are able to make your Whole30 experience one that makes a difference! You can do this. 

Have any of you done the Whole30 or are in the process of it?

6 Comments

  • Taylor says:

    This post has me totally wanting to try the whole 30. I keep trying and going back to low carb because it works, but these results sound great!

    • You should! It was really a life changer for me because even though I’m done now, I think about food so much differently. And it’s super easy to do low carb on Whole30 since you’re not eating any bread or pasta! Thanks so much for reading, Taylor! 🙂

  • Ambri says:

    Im doing a Jillian Michaels DVD while on Whole30, too! I did 30 Day Shred, and it was difficult but I was in great shape (best of my life, so far). I’m beginning Day16, and I don’t want to leave the nest of healthy, whole eating when I finish…

    • She is tough, isn’t she?? I made the mistake of taking a week off of her workouts when I finished Whole30 and now they feel a lot harder, haha. Thanks so much for reading, Ambri! 🙂

  • Ann says:

    I’m on day 19 of round 1. I have been gluten free for 6 months, so I had an easier time then my husband who gave in to the crankiness created by his larger than life sugar-dragon on day 11. My non scale victories are falling asleep easier, getting up in the mornings with energy, learning to enjoy black coffee, getting into different loose tea blends, and the past couple of days I’ve been getting compliments on my appearance. I really miss a good glass of wine. I’m contemplating doing an another whole30 immediately, but may have that glass of wine 1st. I should add I’d do this while recovering from a car wreck that really jacked up my right knee, and not once have I used food to comfort my pain, not wanted to. -Ann

    • That is so awesome! Wine was definitely the biggest thing I missed on Whole30, haha! I’m about three weeks since I finished my first Whole30 and I already feel like I need to do another round. And I’m so sorry about your knee, I totally understand about it being hard to not turn to food when things get tough. Hang in there! Thank you so much for reading, Ann! 🙂

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