The Pros and Cons of the Whole30 Diet

Aug 11, 2017

You might have heard of a diet called the Whole30 from social media, the news, or a friend who suddenly stopped eating carbs and only drink water. What exactly is this diet?

The Whole30 is basically the ultimate elimination diet. The concept is fairly simple. For 30 days, you eat only whole foods like meat, fruit, and vegetables. The elimination list is rather long, however.

Are you ready? For 30 days, you cannot consume dairy, soy, sugar (real and artificial), alcohol, grains, legumes, carrageenans, MSG, sulfites, and junk food. Whew. That is quite a list. Let’s look at the pros and cons of doing the Whole30.

The pros

You are eating really healthy

No one can fault for you eating a lot of leafy vegetables, lean meats, and healthy fats, can they? The Whole30 is stricter than the Paleo diet which allows for honey and other natural sweeteners, rice, and special “paleo” treats, like cupcakes and cookies. And there are no “cheat” days or rewards for doing well. You are in it for the long haul.

You learn more about what is in your food

Label reading becomes the second hobby when you are on the Whole30. It is very surprising to learn what some of your favorite foods have hiding in them. Bacon has sugar. Almond milk has carrageenans. And why must everything have soybean oil?

Read also – This Is How You Can Learn to Read Nutrition Labels

The reset helps you feel better

Eliminating troubling foods can give you increased energy and control unhealthy habits like eating for comfort. Whole30 alumni claim that everything from acne to Type 2 diabetes has been conquered through this diet.

The cons

Eating out is frustrating

There is just no way to know how your food is being prepared unless you make it yourself. So unless you plan on heading back to the kitchen after you order, eating at a restaurant means you have to be okay with being “that person” who questions how everything on the menu is prepared.

Not much of a choice for vegetarians

Eliminating soy and legumes takes away the main protein sources for vegetarians, making it difficult for you to get the nutrients you need to remain healthy.

Read also – This Is Why Veganism Promotes a Longer Lifespan

It is hard

There are not a lot of short cuts. Most of your meals must be prepared by you and from scratch. The program has famously stated that it is not hard but let’s be real. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. The Whole30 is difficult to stick with and often times friends and family members are not supportive.

So is the Whole30 right for you? If you are looking for a reset in your eating habits, then the Whole30 is a great option. The strict rules ensure that you are eating extremely healthy, clean foods.

If you follow the program for a full 30 days, you will most likely see improvements in your weight, sleep, skin, and attitude. Not to mention you can brag about your awesome powers of self-control. However, if you are a vegetarian, have a heavy travel schedule or not much time for food preparation, this might not be the best diet for you.