7 Secrets from a Whole30 Veteran


It’s January Whole30 time! You’ve got your meal plan ready, your kitchen is stocked, and you are stoked to figure out what kinds of non-scale victories are on the horizon. As a veteran of the program, I have a few tips for you to make this the most successful Whole30 yet!

1. Know your triggers.

Does traffic on the way home from work send you into a tailspin right into the chocolate upon arrival home? Does the Bachelor make you crave wine? Do you get hangry without lunch? Figure out what makes you tic and then create your contingency plan. Instead of binging on the chocolate, crack open an ice cold Topo Chico and sit in a peaceful spot upon arrival home. Instead of wine, pour some compliant kombucha into a wine glass. Rather than skipping meals, schedule lunch, and add in a Whole30-friendly snack if it’s too long between meals.

2. Stay away from foods with no breaks.

I have a real problem with dried mangoes. Oh, dried mango. I eat it like candy right from the bag and before I know it, I’ve eaten half the bag. All that sugar, no matter the form, is still feeding my sugar dragon and doing nothing for my goals. Also, just say “no” to replacing food with compliant alternatives. Sorry, but an enormous bowl of fruit after dinner is still dessert to your brain.


3. Practice mindful snacking.

If you think you’re hungry and need a snack, Melissa Hartwig (Whole30 Headmistress) suggests you ask yourself if steamed fish and broccoli would satisfy your needs. If not, drink a glass of water, take a walk and some deep breaths, and move the heck on. If so, eat until you are full. Take one bite at a time, chew, swallow, and stop when you are done. We’re not in the business of restricting here, so eat if you are hungry. Then, consider increasing the amount you’re eating at each meal. Working with a coach helps in this area.

4. Remember your “why.”

You know how I told you setting an intention would help your motivation last week? How has that weight loss goal been working for you your entire life? If it hasn’t, it may be time to figure out a different reason. Remind yourself of this “why” each and every day.

5. Have a back-up plan.

You’ve had a day. Your alarm didn’t go off, your kid puked, you were late to work, your boss yelled at you, you got stuck in traffic on the way home, and there is no way in hell you want to cook. Good thing you have those Applegate hot dogs and a potato to microwave. Yes, this it compliant, and yes this is good enough! You can even smother it with some Tessemae’s ranch. Have your plan ready and waiting for those truly horrible days.


6. Maximize your plate.

If you feel shaky and tired after breakfast, get hungry before lunch time, can’t get through a workout, or are super hungry after dinner, really take a look at your plate. Whole30 has a fabulous meal template ready for you here. Troubleshooting is a huge part of finding your success with Whole30. With all this real food coming at you, it can take a bit to really find what works for you. Maybe you need a bit more carbs in the morning or in the evening. Maybe you need to increase your fat to increase satiety. Perhaps you need to eat before and after intense workouts. Maybe you’re not seeing the NSVs you’ve been expecting. Change it up! (Hot tip: working with a coach can help in this area.)

7. Sleep and reduce stress.

I have completed a breastfeeding Whole30, and let me tell you. It changes things. That new postpartum anxious feeling and the lack of sleep really can sabotage results. Even if you make all the “right” decisions and have the “perfect” (no such thing) Whole30, the cortisol from stress and reduced sleep can really have an effect on weight loss and NSVs. 

Part of your program should incorporate good self care, too. Be mindful of your bed time, choose sleep over physical activity when you need to, and find your favorite stress reduction activities, like these to maximize your results. Also, please just be patient with your body. Stressing about not getting the results you want is counterproductive.

I hope that these tips will help you to turn that Whole30 up to an 11. This program can be truly life changing if you put in the effort.

In health,


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