So you want to do a January Whole30. You’ve read up on the rules and recommendations on whole.com. You have your first week of planning complete. Your scale is hiding away in your garage. You’re technically ready, but something’s missing. Maybe you’re a Whole30 Rookie. Maybe you’ve attempted one before, but crashed and burned with a big bowl of ice cream on day 8. Maybe you want to really dive in this time and maximize your success.
I’ve got you, boo.
Here are my five secret sauce tips to give you the best Whole30 yet!
1. Immerse yourself
It is time to pimp your news feed! Unfollow all the social media accounts that make you feel like crap. Yes, the ones that get you feeling inadequate. The ones with unattainable goals. Get rid of the accounts with the [noncompliant] food porn. Replace it with the @whole30recipes Instagram feed and start “collecting” your best Whole30 influencers. Here are some of my faves:
- Little Bits of…Real Food (@littlebitsof_realfood)
- The Defined Dish (@thedefineddish)
- Danika Brysha (@danikabrysha)
- The Castaway Kitchen (@thecastawaykitchen)
- Against All Grain (@againstallgrain)
- Nom Nom Paleo (@nomnompaleo)
- The Whole Smiths (@thewholesmiths)
- Pretend it’s a Donut (@pretenditsadonut)
- Physical Kitchness (@physicalkitchness)
Find ways to really live the Whole30 for the next month and a half (and beyond?). If you’re into podcasts, listen to Real Talk with Dana. If you like reading, pick up Food Freedom Forever. If you’re a cookbook addict like me, get a new cookbook from the Whole30 line. Figure out what is going to keep you excited about this plan!
2. Set your intention
I want you to really figure out you “why.” While I realize that weight loss is often the reason many are attracted to the program, I want to remind you that this is NOT the point. This is not a weight loss diet. The Whole30 is a 30 day reset to allow you to dive deep into your physical and emotional reactions and relationship with food. If you come at it from different perspective or curiosity, you are much more likely to succeed. Remember, the Whole30 has been shown to improve energy, sleep, allergy symptoms, and improve chronic illness symptoms. It has allowed me to move beyond and control my irritable bowel symptoms and see food differently. Your “why” will get you through the tough times and help your momentum through the program.
3. Clean out your fridge and pantry
One of the most important steps is to clean out your kitchen of noncompliant or tempting foods. Before my last Whole30, I literally cleaned my fridge. I sorted my condiments, threw out all the old stuff, and wiped down every surface. It was rejuvenating, helped to build excitement, and made me feel like I was starting fresh. Then, I filled those freshly washed shelves and drawers with fruits and veggies and high quality meat. Do it!
This is another tip that helped boost my last Whole30. While I used the Day by Day book and I highly recommend it, this can be done however you’d like in whatever medium you prefer. Many have used Instagram for photo documentation, but you can just as easily use a physical or digital journal.
This does NOT mean write down every bite of food you eat, in exact quantities, or count calories. You can write down what you eat, but really examine the reasoning behind it for you. If you choose to do this, be sure it is coming from a healthy place, like documenting your favorite recipes or tracking your energy levels or symptoms.
Journaling is a great place to track your non-scale victories, too. By visiting these on a daily basis and reminding yourself of your “why,” cravings will be powerless.
Finally, journaling through your reintroduction is incredibly valuable. Not only can it be the most difficult part of the Whole30, but it can be easy to forget down the line if certain foods triggered different symptoms. With subsequent Whole30s, it can be interesting to track your progress as well, as you may find that your symptoms change over time as your body heals or goes through other changes, like growing babies.
5. Hire a coach
Why would you spend money to hire a coach to get you through a free program? Here are some reasons:
- Increased motivation through spending your cash
- Increased accountability from a professional Whole30er
- Personal tailoring of the program for you
- Help with planning, grocery shopping, cooking, snacking, etc.
Your body will react to what you eat, period. A coach is here to help you figure out what works best for you, act as a resource for you when choosing the right amounts of food, and partner with you to keep you on track.
Let me know if you’re doing a Whole30 in the comments and keep me updated!