As I sit here and write this, my final The Whole 30 post a swell of emotion washes over me. To be honest, my wife found, researched and wanted to do the Challenge before I did. Even when she explained it to me, I wasn't necessarily excited about it. Part of me thought it would be easy. Part of me thought we wouldn't complete it. I had no idea how substantial the challenge would become. How much my body would change in more way than one. The Whole 30 is NOT a diet. It's a 30-day challenge that's goal is to make you re-think your relationship with food. During the 30 day period, you cut out most culinary items of pleasure. You can eat as much of The Whole 30 approved things as you want. The list of can't eat is treacherous.

  • No:
    Sugars
    Dairy
    Bread's
    Grains
    Legumes
    Most common cooking oils
    Processed Foods
    Sweeteners
    Alcohol

 

  • Yes:
    Meat
    Fish
    Chicken
    Vegetables
    Almonds
    Fruit
    Olive Oil, Coconut Oil

The list gets more detailed, and I did NOT include everything, but you get the basic picture. At the end of the challenge, you are supposed to slowly introduce food groups back into your diet to see how they affect you.

The Weighted Results:

The Whole 30 is not about weight loss, but like any curious human, I weighed myself before the challenge began. The night of December 31st I scaled in at a modest 194 pounds. Hey, I work full time and have a wife and child, I can't make it to the gym as much. My final weight after the diet was 175 pounds. Now I assume most of this loss is water weight and can quickly be put back on but WOW! Not bad just by eating clean whole foods for a month.

Biggest Benefits:

The program will tell you it's not just about weight loss and the most prominent benefits of the challenge came off the scale. My sleep improved significantly. I wasn't sleeping more, just getting more out of my sleep. This month is the first time in my adult life I woke up refreshed and energized. After the first week, I could also tell my energy levels changed. I felt like my body was burning a clean fire. When the sun goes down, I stayed up.

Biggest Challenges:

The first-week equals hell. As my body realized it wasn't going to get the quick energy it desired from processed sugars and grains, it rebelled. All day headaches, mood-swings, uncontrollable hunger, and cravings. IT IS NOT EASY. Be prepared and have backup plans for food. There's also a surplus of dishes. Lot's and lots of dishes. Your cooking real food three times a day. Be prepared to spend a little more on dish soap. The real food also costs more. Be ready to spend $20 to $30 more when you go to the grocery store.

Should You Do It:

Yes. Yes, yes, yes. The Whole 30 has been without a doubt the most substantial improvement to my health, life, and diet. If you are considering taking the challenge, do your research. You can seek help from The Whole 30 community online. And I'm always here to help as well!