The food we eat has a direct impact on our overall health and wellbeing. If you have non-existent or inconsistent energy levels, pains, aches, conditions such as digestive ailments, skin issues, fertility issues, and seasonal allergies, chances are the food you eat contributes to them significantly.
This is why the Whole30 program is about eliminating unhealthy food groups that may be causing some of these issues. This program eliminates certain food groups such as dairy, legumes, grains, and sugar, which could have negative effects on your fitness and health without you even knowing.
Whole30 provides a wide range of health benefits when you stick to it. The program has a set of rules that guides it. If you want to enjoy the benefits it offers, you have to stick to the Whole30 rules. Read on to know the Whole30 program rules that you need to follow for the next 30 days.
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The Whole30 Program Rules
Eat Real Food
The number one rule of the Whole30 program is that you should eat real food. The major aim of this program is to eliminate unhealthily, processed, and junk foods from your diet. The program encourages you to eat seafood, meat, loads of veggies, eggs, fruits, a lot of healthy fat from fruits, seeds, oils, and nuts.
Eat foods with limited ingredients. You should avoid foods that contain unknown ingredients – all ingredients should be known. Foods with no ingredients listed at all are better because they are unprocessed and natural. If it has ingredients, make sure they are recognizable and simple.
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Foods to Avoid
The Whole30 program also has a comprehensive list of foods to avoid as part of its rule. Listed below are the beverages and foods you need to avoid during this program, and avoiding them will help reduce systemic inflammation, regain your healthy metabolism, and discover the impact of these foods on your fitness, health, and quality of life. Here are the things you are not allowed to eat during this program:
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- Do Not Eat any Kind of Added Sugar, Artificial or Real: In the whole30 program, added sugars are a red flag. One of the major Whole30 rules is that you have to stay away from added sugar of any kind for the 30-day period. This means you have to avoid maple syrup, agave nectar, honey, Equal, xylitol, Nutrasweet, stevia, coconut sugar, Splenda, and more. This means you need to pay close attention to the label of any product you purchase, as some manufacturers add sugar to their products in unrecognizable ways. Any product that contains added sugar as one of its ingredients is not allowed.
- No Alcohols: Alcohols of any form are also not allowed during this program. You are not allowed to drink alcohol of any form. You are not even allowed to cook or bake with alcohol. Smoking is also not allowed, and you cannot take any tobacco products.
- No Legumes: Legumes are also on the “do not eat” list of this program. You are to stay away from all types of beans including fava, lima, kidney, navy, white, pinto, red, black, and more. Peanuts, lentils, chickpeas, and peas are also not accepted.
- No Soy: This program also eliminates all sorts of soy for the 30-day period. The Whole30 program rules prohibit you from taking soy of all sorts including miso, soy sauce, edamame, tempeh, tofu, and more.
- No Grain: Grains are also in the gray area of this program. The list of grains you are not allowed to take includes buckwheat, rye, wheat, oats, barley, millet, rice, corn, sorghum, bulgur, sprouted grains, amaranth, and all pseudo and gluten-free grains such as quinoa. This also includes the different means through which we add corn, rice, and wheat to our food in the form of starch, germ, bran, etc. Hence, you should pay close attention to the label of any food product before purchasing it.
- No Dairy: There is a long list of dairy you should avoid eating when doing Whole30. Some of the dairy you should avoid include goat, cow, and sheep’s milk products like cheese, cream, yogurt, kefir, and sour cream. Even Greek yogurt is not allowed. The only exception is ghee, which is also known as clarified butter.
- Do Not Eat Sulfites, MSG, or Carrageenan: This is another group of ingredients you should avoid. If any beverage or food product you want to purchase contains any of these ingredients, you should avoid it. These ingredients are not whole30-compliant and should be avoided at all costs.
- Do Not Recreate Junk Foods, Baked Goods, and Treats: Many people are addicted to baked goods, treats, and junk foods because they are very sugary. These foods are addictive and not healthy for you to consume, especially on a regular basis. During the Whole30 program, you have to give up all your junk foods, baked goods, and treats. The Whole30 rules also prohibit you from recreating your favorite baked goods, treats, and junk foods. You cannot even recreate them with Whole30-approved ingredients. Falling back to these foods will nullify your results faster than you can imagine and you will exit the program with the same coping strategies, habits, and food choices with which you started. If you want to see life-changing, long-term results, which is why you are embarking on this journey, you should stay away from these foods.
Read more: Paleo vs Keto vs Whole30
Stay Off the Scale and Do Not Take Any Measurements for 30 Days
Another notable and strict rule of the Whole30 program is staying off the scale and taking no measurements during the program. For the 30 days of the program, you are not allowed to check your weight on the scale. Taking body measurements is also prohibited during the program.
Many people tag Whole30 as a weight-loss program, but that is not what it is. When it comes to Whole30, there is much more than just weight loss. Many people who have completed this program experienced a significant reduction in their weight. However, the focus of the program is beyond weight loss. The whole30 program focuses on your overall health and wellbeing. It helps to reset your diet and eliminate those food groups that are probably affecting your fitness and health. It is not a weight loss diet, even though it helps some people to shred some pounds.
Hence, if you focus on weight loss only, you will miss the numerous benefits the program has to offer. This program offers man lifelong benefits with weight loss just being one of them (not even for everyone). Therefore, you should avoid analyzing your body fat, weighing yourself, or taking your body measurement for the entire duration of the program. However, you can take photos, measure your body, and check your weight the day before you start the program and after the 30th day of the program.
The rules of the Whole30 program are very clear. If you miss anything or you fail to follow the rules, you have to start all over again. This is a very challenging journey, and you need to make up your mind before you embark on it. You need to consider all your options and make sure you know what you are signing for.
As we said earlier, defaulting during this program will make you exit the program with the same poor food choices, eating habits, and coping strategies. As such, you would have to restart the program if you fail to follow the Whole30 program rules.
The Whole30 program is not just a 30-day program that was created aimlessly; it is a structured elimination and reintroduction plan, and it is very strict. If you plan to cut corners or bypass some of the rules, then it is better for you do not to start the program at all.
It usually takes a minimum of thirty days of consistently eliminating potentially irritating or inflammatory foods to understand how they affect your health and if they are causing any symptoms. The Whole30 program is not a punishment. Nobody is trying to punish you for your poor food choices or bad eating habits. Rather, it would provide you with answers and the information you are looking for.
It is understandable that no one can have a perfect Whole30, as it is 30 days full of challenges. You have to be mindful of what you eat, read every food label before consuming, say no to your favorite snacks and food, and plan your whole30 meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and more. However, the creators of this program encourage participants to have thirty full days, from beginning to the end, and comply with the rules, intention, and spirit of the program.
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The whole30 program is very challenging but highly rewarding. It offers a wide variety of physical, mental, and health benefits. However, following the whole30 program rules is very important. You need to adhere to the Whole30 rules for the 30-day period to enjoy the full benefits it offers. Keep those rules close by, as they will guide you through the program.
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