It’s that time of year again. December, i.e. the month where invites to über-glam parties seem to flood our inboxes daily, is just around the corner, and if you’re anything like us, you’ll want to start prepping your flawless physique well in advance. Enter the Whole30 plan – a month-long method designed to ditch all the junk food and ensure you feel and look great for when the cameras start flashing.
Brainchild of Salt Lake City couple Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, you’ve likely seen photos on your Instagram feed – the pair’s official page has now amassed a whopping 364k followers – while posts with the hashtag #IAmWhole30 lead to hundreds of likes. And they’re not alone – celebs including Jessica Alba and Jennifer Aniston swear by the eating plan to get them in shape for the red carpet season.
So what does it actually entail? The strict 30-day program makes you swear off all dairy, grains, legumes, soy, sugar and processed foods, so you’ve got to have some serious discipline. And while it’s commonly compared to its sister diet, Paleo, there are a few key differences in that you can’t even have natural sugars, and there’s no recreating junk food with approved ingredients, and while Paleo prescribes only grass- or grain-fed meat, Whole30 makes no such recommendation. Yes, it’s highly restrictive, but advocates not only claim impressive inch loss, it’s also seen as “a monumental transformation in how you think about food, your body, your life, and what you want out of the time you have left on this Earth,” says the Hartwigs. “It’s so much bigger than food.” Worth a shot?
• NO cheating. That’s right – none at all. There’s no cheat day, no 80/20 balance. Not a morsel of food on the banned list can pass your lips and if it does, you have to start over again. However, two servings of fruit are allowed per day, as long as they are with meals and not just
• Don’t keep junk food in the house. Cravings last three to five minutes, so clear out all banned foods before you start so you’re not tempted to give in.
• No weighing or measuring yourself. You can only do this at the end of the 30 days, to avoid demotivation if the scales aren’t being friendly one day.
• Use lots of spices. Think turmeric, cinnamon, sriracha – all anti-inflammatory and will make your food taste better, too.
• No recreating baked goods, junk food or treats. Soz.
Foods To Avoid:
• Sugar. Even maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar and sweetener are all off the list.
• Grains. This includes wheat, oats, barley, millet, buckwheat, rice, quinoa and corn.
• Legumes. No beans, peas, lentils, soy or peanuts.
• All dairy.
• All baked goods and treats.
SAMPLE MEAL PLAN:
Breakfast: Cinnamon apple grain-free breakfast porridge with ground nuts, banana, coconut flakes, apple and cinnamon.
Lunch: Chicken balance bowl made with grilled chicken, sweet potato, avocado and spinach with lemon dressing.
Dinner: Shrimp and asparagus stir-fry cooked in coconut oil with green beans and asparagus. Season with lemon, ginger and garlic.
Snacks: Seaweed chips, carrot chips, melon and ham, roasted pumpkin seeds.
Drinks: Flavoured natural water, black coffee, herbal teas and vegetable juice/smoothies are all allowed.