Learning from those that came before you – especially if you’re gearing up for your first Whole30 rodeo, can give you a stable footing to take off from, provide confidence during a time when confidence tends to be low, and set you up for success for your 30-day food adventure.
We called on our Whole30 community to share their experience of Whole30s past. From vets to newbies, they share their takeaways and advice for those of us embarking on an upcoming Whole30.
Whole30 is great if you want to strategically understand how to eat better and how foods impact you personally. I’ve done Whole30 twice and each was different. Both experiences brought different results and gave me a deeper understanding of my body.
The first time I did a Whole30, I was working at a gym and my co-workers wanted to do the Whole30 as a group. I must admit, doing this with other motivated people is highly recommended. You get accountability partners to help keep you on track as well as cheerleaders who want to see you grow.
I was nervous at first (I always get nervous when I change my diet or dive into something new). At first, I thought I didn’t need Whole30 because physically I looked great. On day two, I realized that there’s more to a healthy lifestyle than body composition.
Whole30 helps reset your system by teaching you how and what clean, whole foods nourish your body. During my first week, I experienced withdrawals from sugars and unhealthy fats that I was used to consuming. One of the most shocking discoveries for me personally is that I didn’t realize how many foods I was eating that contained sugar, inflammatory oils, and other ingredients I had previously overlooked, despite them being labeled a healthier option.
During my first Whole30, the most notable victory was conquering my sugar cravings. Turns out, I had a real addiction – candy, and cupcakes (especially red velvet), my sugar tooth was not messing around. Sticking to the Whole30 rules, I kicked the habit in about two weeks (though the timing is different for everyone). At the halfway point, my body truly wanted to eat cleaner. With a much cleaner diet, a side benefit is that I lost about 10lbs and a few inches around my waist.
It was a great experience and my coworkers at the gym were by my side every step of the way.
During my second time doing Whole30, I fully immersed myself in Whole30. I wanted it to be more than just a 30-day food challenge this time around. I wanted it to be a lifestyle shift, I wanted to make healthy decisions consistently, and not just because I was doing a 30-day challenge.
While I didn’t lose weight this time, I could see a difference in my muscle composition. I was able to see better muscle definition and my stamina was through the roof. I was able to compete in various 5ks WITHOUT the use of my inhaler.
And the craziest thing for me, I fell in love with vegetables. Eating them no longer felt like a chore.
Ebony is from Alaska and with many stops along the way, now calls Los Angeles home. A former radio and television personality who is now producing and directing her own scripts. Ebony works at CBS and enjoys every moment of being back in broadcasting with a break from being on the screen. She’s a fitness lover and is known for her healthy recipe hacks. You can find her on Instagram at @ebonyonair.
I first decided to try Whole30 because of joint pain from knee surgeries. By the time I reach the end of my Whole30, I noticed an ease in movement that I hadn’t felt in a while. No stiffness in the mornings and increased recovery after workouts. But what was unexpected was the change in my everyday energy level.
As a Pilates Instructor, and now studio owner, my schedule is all over the place and I never felt like I could get enough sleep. In my third week of the Whole30, I found myself falling asleep easily and waking up without feeling groggy almost every day. It was something I hadn’t felt in years and wasn’t even expecting because I was so focused on conquering my joint pain.
All the non-scale victories (aka NSVs) you gain during the Whole30 are great – and in some cases, really great, but what followed my 30 days is where I found the biggest long-term impact. A new relationship with food.
This new relationship with food is where your Food Freedom comes in. Food Freedom is the way you approach food post Whole30. You learn the difference between hunger and boredom. The difference between actually wanting certain foods or just being bored and reaching for the chips that you always eat when you are bored watching TV. You learn which foods are “worth it” for you, and which just aren’t anymore given how they might negatively impact you.
For me, it doesn’t mean I’ll never eat the chips and queso. It just means that I’m now aware of the temporary joy it’ll bring me, and then it won’t make me feel so great tomorrow. So, while I still have it from time to time and enjoy it when I’ve decided to go for it, it’s no longer part of my weekly routine.
After my Whole30, I’ve found it way easier to make small decisions that have a big impact on my health long-term. Like, I don’t order chips every time I eat Tex-Mex, and I sub in carrots for pretzels as a snack. Eventually, these small decisions, once you start making them consistently, start to become a habit and happen naturally.
I think the most important part of any Whole30 is planning. The hardest time to stick to your Whole30 is when your schedule is crazy, work hours are long, and you find yourself starving with nothing Whole30 compliant prepared. This is where Territory Foods comes in to save the day.
With Territory, I can have a whole week of Whole30 Approved meals ordered or even just a few to have on hand for emergency situations. The meals are flavorful and there are plenty of ever-changing compliant options to keep you on track.
Rumer is a Whole30 Certified Coach and participated in the January Whole30. Rumer owns BEYOND Studios Dallas, a pilates hybrid interval training studio. Find Rumer on the ‘gram at @RumerRichardsonPilates or come see her at BEYOND Studios Dallas!
I went into my first Whole30 this January because I wanted to reset my relationship with food and overall make better food choices that felt right for me and my long-term health goals. Specifically, I wanted to eliminate added sugar from my diet and thought the Whole30 would be a great way to teach me how to do so.
I started my January Whole30 on January 2 and I’m excited to continue on my Whole30 journey beyond January with reintroduction. I did not weigh myself in the beginning, but I’ve noticed some Non-Scale Victories, like having less bloat, finding it easier to get to sleep, and waking up well rested, my clothes fit better, and I feel like I have sustained energy throughout the day.
Brandon Steir has been eating Territory for a year but is new to the Whole30 world. Brandon enjoys playing video games, traveling, and cooking. You can find Brandon on Instagram at @bsteir17.