After sharing about our Whole30 journey, I got lots of great questions from you guys about the process and our experience. So today I’m answering them! I really love talking about Whole30, even though I’m 100% certain Melissa Hartwig doesn’t know I exist. It’s just something that really helped me with my relationship with food, and I know how life changing it can be. If you have any questions you don’t see here, please send them my way and I’ll gladly answer them for you. We definitely aren’t perfect, and I know there are things we didn’t do perfectly. But we did follow the program to the T, and learned so freaking much along the way! Hopefully this can give you the encouragement you need to give it a 30 day try!
“What are the benefits you saw from Whole30?”
Well for starters I didn’t even have to step on the scale to know that I lost weight. I could see and feel it. My clothes were fitting better or too loose. I felt less puffy and bloated. And I didn’t feel like the button on my pants was gonna bust open after finishing a meal. I ended up losing 9 pounds, and Stevie 11, after the 30 days. We lost an average of 1-1.5 inches everywhere we measured too. Since we finished Whole30, we have lost even more weight. A few weeks ago, I tried on a friend’s pair of shorts that were 3 sizes smaller that my pair (which were the same exact shorts) and they were actually a little loose. We really didn’t even work out that much during the program either, so I know all these results came from changing the way we eat.
I felt way more in control of my food choices too. I knew what foods affected me negatively, and I could confidently make the choice on whether that piece of pizza was worth it. Before I just always felt lost on food choices and didn’t really believe food affected me that much. But I feel more equipped now to make healthy choices and am still learning. Another benefit was just not feeling tired in the afternoon like I usually would. I wouldn’t say I have amazing focus or energy now, but I’m more balanced with it and don’t crash.
“What made you decide to do the Whole30 program?”
I knew about Whole30 from seeing friends do it and following their journey on social media. It wasn’t until my mom did it though, that I really read up on it and thought seriously about it. The main reason I wanted to do it was to see how different foods affect me. I have so many allergies and other medical things that cause inflammation, and I thought knowing what foods are making all that worse would be helpful. I also just needed something to force me into eating better! I was tired of always feeling crappy about my eating habits, and needed something to kick my butt into gear.
“Did your husband do Whole30 with you?”
YES, and honestly I don’t think I could have done it without him. In many ways, I feel like I hold him back from eating healthier since I am the picky one. So I was excited for him to eat better too. He was 100% on board with it and helped me every step of the way.
“What was the hardest part about sticking with it?”
We wanted to still be social and see friends, but since our social outings usually revolve around food, that was tough. We went to some birthday parties, saw some friends and some family, and each time there were a ton of desserts and snacks and fried foods all around us. That was a little sad to have to avoid, but everyone was super respectful and proud of us. Traveling was the same way. It’s so hard to eat right while on the road. Day to day when we were in our work routines, it was pretty easy. It was when we had to venture out from eating at home that was rough.
“What was surprisingly easy (if anything) or not as bad as you thought it’d be?”
Finding meals that I would actually eat! I am not kidding y’all, I’m a very selective eater. That’s what always held me back from doing Whole30 before. But I found some really simple and delicious meals that I cooked a lot. And I tried some new foods too. Even though I ate the same things a lot (hello bacon and eggs every day), it was yummy and I was feeling the benefits, so I didn’t mind being repetitive.
“How long did it take your body to get acclimated to not having what it was used to?”
Before Whole30, I would often feel tired in the afternoons, depending on what I had for lunch – if it was any kind of carbs, you could guarantee I had to have a cup of coffee soon after to stay awake. The first week of Whole30, I was tired like that times about a thousand. One day I just put my head down on my desk and seriously could have fallen asleep. After the first week though, I adjusted and felt better.
“Did you go through periods of dizziness or feeling weak or like you couldn’t get full enough?”
I didn’t! I thought I might, because a friend had that dizzy experience, but besides the tired feeling I mentioned, I didn’t feel weak or disoriented. I never really felt super full, as in “omg I ate too much” kind of full, but pretty much every meal satisfied me and held me over until the next one. I would snack occasionally on almonds when I needed to.
“Did your grocery budget suffer or did you spend about the same?”
Our grocery budget did indeed suffer! We spent a lot more on groceries because we were buying better quality foods and cooking everything at home. Healthy snacks are so stupidly expensive too! We usually eat out at restaurants a lot more though, so we saved a lot of money by not doing that. I haven’t done the math but I’m pretty sure the money we spent on food about evened out to what we normally would spend. Just way more on groceries and way less on restaurants.
“Did you find Whole30 appropriate foods at restaurants if you dined out?”
We only dined out once, and I called ahead to see if they could handle our restrictions. lolz. I didn’t want to get there and realize there was nothing we could eat because watching other people dig in while you’re starving and having to snack on salted almonds is the worst. I’m sure people who are less picky than me could dine out more easily though! It’s just a lot of questions to ask your server, and you’re still at the mercy of what they tell you on some things (like how do you taste the different between what type of oil they actually used?!). I was proud of us for successfully eating at a restaurant once!
“Did you ever crave foods you used to eat?”
I certainly did, but the whole “out of sight, out of mind” thing worked wonders for us. We got rid of (or hid) everything in our fridge and pantry that we couldn’t have, so there was just never that temptation or option to have something else. Anytime we were grocery shopping me and Stevie would jokingly pretend to grab armfuls of cereal or chips and put them in the cart like it was the apocalypse. Seeing all that we couldn’t eat on the shelves was painful. But once you get about halfway through the program, you are so motivated to finish strong and have accurate results that it outweighs any cravings that creep up.
“Would you continue it past 30 days and why?”
Before I actually started Whole30 I would have said NOOO, because I really doubted that I could even make it through the program once. But now, sure! I would do it again if someone else did it with me. We are still eating pretty Whole30-ish around here too, while not being too crazy strict. We will buy Fritos to go on our compliant chili. Or I’ll use Annie’s ketchup instead of the Whole30 kind. But there’s a lot we are still steering clear of, and some Whole30 things have just become habits now. I no longer put any sugar or dairy creamer in my coffee, and only eat bread when we are dining out, like if we got a burger or something. We try to eat as healthy as we can at home, and when we’re out at restaurants we don’t stick to it quite as much.
Have more Whole30 questions? Comment below and let me know!