Thanksgiving is over, and the massive stock of leftovers in our fridge is slowly dwindling away. Honestly, I’m happy to see them go. If you’re anything like me (aka, have no portion control and eat all the things), you won’t be stepping on the scale for a few days.
Let me just say that I’m all about body positivity, and I’ve worked hard to be happy about my weight over the years, even after my once fantastic metabolism fizzled out at 26. But! It’s nice to have a diet to resort to here and there when you want to reverse the damage of a particularly gluttonous period, or shave off a few unwanted pounds.
For me, that diet has been the Whole30.
After I had K-Man, I actually lost the baby weight pretty quickly. The problem was that before I got pregnant with K-Man, I had gained an embarrassing amount of weight. I’m talking like 20-30 lbs over the course of a year. Oof.
So I wasn’t happy at my weight and wanted to do something to shave off at least some of those extra lbs. Exercise wasn’t working, and I didn’t feel awesome about cutting back on the quantity of food I was eating. Because I was breastfeeding and I was hangry ALL THE TIME.
That’s when I stumbled on the Whole30, a diet that doesn’t restrict how much you eat. When K-Man was about 8 months old, I decided to give it a try. It was only a 30-day program, it couldn’t kill me, right? (Spoiler alert: it didn’t kill me).
Fact: The Whole30 is not easy. It’s an elimination diet where you pretty much cut out everything that tastes good. I mean everything. No added sugar. No dairy. No grains. No legumes. No alcohol. Basically, you’re just eating meat, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and sweet potatoes for 30 days. (Blech, sweet potatoes, am I right?) And if you really want to lose more weight, you take it easy on the fruit and nuts.
I struggled epically with the diet, because my normal go-to meals consist of some combination of bread and cheese. Obvious no-nos on the Whole30. But I kept going because one rule of the diet is that if you slip up and cheat, you have to start all over again. Uhm, no thank you!
The first time I did the Whole30, I lost 15 lbs in a month. Not the most unbelievable amount of weight, but decent considering my frame and how much I had to lose overall.
I did the diet again when Ell-Bell was about 8 months, and it was equally effective. But this time I threw two cheat days in there. Because I’m human and because oh my god there were freaking deep fried Reese’s peanut butter cups when we went to the state fair you guys! I’m still fantasizing about those puppies.
On paper the diet is a little inflexible and hippie dippie, but you can take or leave that stuff. Obviously, the stricter you are, the more weight you’ll lose. But if you can’t find sugar-free bacon, I don’t think it’s the end of the world if you partake in the real deal. Because bacon.
So what does a day on the Whole30 look like? Well, there are a ton of officially sanctioned recipes in the book by the people who invented the diet: The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom. If I’m being honest, while most of those recipes are tasty (my favorites are the Chicken Chowder and the Shepherd’s Pie), I don’t find them super accessible for someone who is cooking challenged or has little free time. But, still a good source of ideas for fun ways to jazz up meat and veggies.
The more I do the diet, though, the more ok I am with bland, boring food. It’s only temporary! So I’ll usually just have eggs and avocado or eggs and bacon for breakfast. A salad with tuna, tomato, avocado, and hard boiled egg for lunch. And a meat with two veggie sides for dinner. A Larabar or a handful of almonds with a banana are my go-to snacks.
Skeptical? You should be. Diets suck! But if your fear is tinged with interest, give it a try! You can always do a Whole7 or a Whole15 to get your feet wet.
Until next time,