It seems like every week, there’s another new trendy diet that claims to be the “best diet ever.” We’ve had the Atkins diet, the Paleo diet, the keto diet, and many more. And a new type of diet, called the Whole30 diet, is slowly gaining popularity among the health conscious.

Melissa Hartwig, a certified sports nutritionist, created the Whole30 diet. And while she claims it wasn’t created specifically for weight loss, she adds that it can be a viable means of losing weight.

But what exactly is this new diet, and can it deliver on its claims?

What is the Whole30 diet?

Salads are going to be a staple if you're embarking on the Whole30 diet.

The name comes from the fact that you’ll need to do the diet continuously and religiously for 30 days. It aims to change the way that people approach their diets, and the way people think about the foods that they’re eating.

According to the creator, she initially created Whole30 as an elimination diet. This means that it helps people identify any food sensitivities that they might have through the diet. That’s the reason why Whole30 is so restrictive compared to other types of diets.

Hartwig shares, “It’s a self experiment after which there is an entire outlined plan to take what you’ve learned and to make it into a sustainable lifestyle.”

The theory behind it is that for some people, eating certain types of foods can cause them health problems. Whole30 aims to help prevent these problems by cutting out these types of foods altogether.

The primary goal of the program is to act as a sort of “reset” button for people who have problems with their diet. It’s not necessarily a means of losing weight, but more of a lifestyle change so that you can make better-informed decisions regarding your health.

Another reported benefit of the diet is that it’ll help you better deal with your cravings. One big thing about Whole30 is that you’re not allowed to eat any type of sugar at all, whether it’s natural or artificial. That’s because sugar is not exactly good for our health, and it’s one of the main reasons why a lot of people today lead unhealthy lifestyles.

How do you get started with the diet?

Fresh vegetables and fruits are crucial for those going on the Whole30 diet.

Compared to other types of diets, the Whole30 diet is extremely restrictive. That’s why it can be a pretty daunting task for someone to undertake, especially since it’s such a drastic change from our regular diets.

One positive thing about the Whole30 diet is that it encourages people to eat real food. This means no processed or instant foods or anything of the sort. Fresh food is ideal for those who are interested in trying out Whole30.

The entire duration of the diet is only for 30 days, so it’s not a lifetime thing. The goal of the diet is to change your relationship with food and let you know which foods are causing you problems.

So if you’re worried that you won’t be able to snack on your favorite treats, just remember that the diet is only for 30 days.

If you’re interested in the diet, here are some of the important rules that you need to know.

No sugar

You’ll need to avoid any type of sugar for the entire duration of the diet, which is 30 days. This includes any and all sugar substitutes.

This means that you’ll need to read the labels of the food you’re consuming so that you can avoid accidentally consuming any sugars.

No alcohol (and tobacco)

This one might be a deal breaker for some people, especially those who are used to cracking open a cold one every now and then. But it’s important to avoid alcohol during the entire diet.

The reason behind this is that alcohol can be harmful to your health. While there are indeed benefits to alcohol, it’s still best to avoid it as much as possible.

You should also avoid any type of tobacco product if you’re going on the diet. Tobacco in any form is unhealthy, and you’re not doing yourself any favors by consuming it.

No grains

Yup, you read that right. You can’t eat any sort of grain if you’re trying the Whole30 diet. This includes wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, sprouted grains, and even quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat.

Make sure to read food labels to ensure that you’re not accidentally consuming grains.

No legumes

You’ll also need to avoid any and all types of legumes, including all varieties of beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts.

You should also avoid soy products for the duration of the diet. This includes soymilk, tofu, soy sauce, and even soy lecithin.

No dairy

Dairy products or anything derived from dairy aren’t allowed during the Whole30 diet. You can’t drink any type of milk, or any milk product, even healthy ones such as yogurt or kefir.

No MSG, carageenan, or sulfites

Make sure to check the labels of the foods you’re eating to see if they have these ingredients. You need to avoid these ingredients since you’re cutting out artificial products in your food.

No baked goods

Since you’re cutting out dairy and grain, you’re also not allowed to eat any baked goods. And even if the ingredients are safe to eat, you’re still not allowed to eat baked products during the diet.

The reason behind this is that you need to avoid the foods that are causing you problems in the first place. Eating a cupcake made with coconut or almond flour is still a cupcake. So you’re not doing yourself any favors by looking for loopholes in the diet.

So what can you eat?

If you’re trying out Whole30, here are the foods that you should be able to eat:

  • Ghee or clarified butter
  • Fresh fruit juices (so long as they don’t contain additional sugar or any additives)
  • Green beans, sugar snap peas, and snow peas
  • Vinegar
  • Coconut aminos
  • Salt (make sure it’s not iodized salt, which contains dextrose)
  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Natural and healthy fats
  • Fresh and dried herbs, spices, and seasonings

If you look at the list of foods that you can actually eat, the diet isn’t as restrictive as it seems. Of course, you’ll need to eat in moderation; snacking on a bunch of steaks defeats the purpose of the diet!

However, you’ll still be able to eat meat and veggies so it’s not really as restrictive as it initially seems. If you’re used to eating fresh and unprocessed foods daily, then the Whole30 diet is going to be a cinch for you.

One last but important rule to remember is that for the duration of the diet, you absolutely must not weigh yourself or measure yourself. The goal of the diet isn’t weight loss, it’s for people to eat healthier foods.

It’s less about looking good and more about feeling good and making a sustainable life choice. The goal of the diet is for you to be healthier and eat healthy foods.

Hopefully, by the time you’re done with Whole30, you’ll have a better relationship with food, and you’ll be eating healthier and feeling the positive effects of the diet on your body.