The Whole30 Diet: Here’s What You Need to Know

Radically change your diet and reset your body with the Whole30 Diet.

By: Rebecca Jacobs

Chances are you’ve heard about the Whole30 Diet, and while we’ve heard a lot more about it over the last few years,  it’s actually been around since 2009! 

Created by Melissa Hartwig, she has helped so many people say no to junk food and yes to the real foods our bodies thrive on. Want to learn more? Read on to learn some Whole30 basics, plus the benefits of doing the Whole30 program. 

What is The Whole30 Diet?

The general gist is all about eating real foods for 30 days while avoiding the harmful foods on the Whole30 “no list,” The point is to remove the harmful, inflammatory foods found in the Standard American Diet while nourishing your body with wholesome, real foods.  

Here are the real foods you can eat during the 30-day program.

Whole30-Approved Foods

  • Liberal amounts of fresh vegetables
  • Fresh fruit
  • Meat 
  • Seafood
  • Eggs 
  • Healthy fats (think avocados, ghee, whole eggs)
  • Fresh herbs, spices, and salt
  • Some forms of gluten-free vinegar (apple cider, balsamic, rice, white, and red wine vinegar)
  • Coconut aminos 
  • Fruit juice as a sweetener 

You’ll want to be selecting foods that don’t come with a list of ingredients — aka whole, real foods that are unprocessed. 

And, what about the foods you want to steer clear of? Here are the foods that you won’t find on the Whole30 diet.

Avoid These Foods on a Whole30 Diet 

  • All forms of sugar, including natural and artificial sweeteners
  • Grains
  • Most forms of legumes (except green beans and most peas) 
  • Dairy (except for ghee & clarified butter)
  • Junk food
  • MSG
  • Sulfites
  • Carrageenan
  • Alcohol
  • All forms of junk food 

One More Thing to Avoid During The 30 Days

One more big no-no during the 30 days is stepping on the scale or taking body measurements.  This diet isn’t just about weight loss; it’s about so much more — like the lifelong benefits of wholesome eating. If you want to step on the scale of take measurements, it’s recommended that you do so after the 30 days are over. 

The Benefits of the Whole-30 Diet?

The name in and of itself tells us one of the biggest benefits of this diet. It’s about focusing on whole and nutrient-dense foods and eliminating the inflammatory foods that are commonly seen in the Standard American Diet. But, there’s so much more! 

Here are some of the biggest perks of the Whole30 Diet.

  • Encourages healthy eating habits that can last well past the 30 days. 
  • Helps eliminate inflammatory foods from your diet. 
  • Gives you the framework for eating real, wholesome foods. 
  • Helps you find new ways to cook healthy and delicious recipes.  
  • May help you get more in tune with your body, including tuning into “problems” you maybe didn’t even realize were issues — such as bloating or digestive upset after eating. 

Want to Give Whole30 a Try?

Considering the Whole30 Diet? The one thing Melissa Hartwig urges is that when doing Whole30, you commit to the entire 30 days, with no “slip-ups.” Do the program completely for 30 full days and see how you feel!

You can start the Whole30 diet at any time. Whether you’re looking for a reboot, a healthy eating kickstart, or just need a little push to clean up certain areas of your diet, this may be a great place to start. Many people who embark on a Whole30 challenge carry all of their healthy eating progress past the 30 days, making it more of a lifestyle change than a diet. 

Want to give it a go? Dive deeper into the Whole30 rules here and get ready to harness the power of clean eating!