Whole30 is one of the latest short-term dietary programs to come out of the paleo movement. This program recommends cutting out all, but the most basic foods for 30 consecutive days. Read on to find out more.
― Thomas A. Edison
Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, founders of the Whole9 website, are also the creators of the Whole30 diet, a 30-day diet program designed to “reset” the body’s metabolism and detoxification systems. The Whole30 diet is especially popular among people who are interested in “paleo” diets—diets that do not include many processed foods and other foods that would not have been available to humans before the development of cities and complex food production.
According to the creators, the benefit of the Whole30 diet is that it allows participants to see how their everyday food choices are affecting their energy levels, overall health, and athletic performance. Their website claims that by cutting out many types of food for 30 days, the body has time to heal from the damage caused by poor food choices. The idea is that people will feel better after completing a Whole30 program, and will be encouraged to continue making healthier food choices as a result.
The list of foods that are allowed by the Whole30 diet is much shorter than the list of foods that are prohibited. The diet program allows meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, eggs, and “good fats.” Everything else is prohibited, including all processed food, dairy products, all beans, and other legumes, including all soy-based products, like tofu, soy sauce, and all grains, including wheat, rice, barley, oats, quinoa, etc. White potatoes are also excluded from this diet.
Many people have claimed that the Whole30 diet made a big impact on their overall health and well-being, and other paleo programs have enjoyed similar popularity. Some restaurants even offer paleo menu items. Is this a new lifestyle that will change people’s health choices, or just another fad diet?
In certain ways, the Whole30 program resembles other dietary fads that have come and gone. The Bible Diet or the Maker’s Diet, promoted by Jordan S. Rubin, is based on the premise that Old Testament dietary restrictions were in place because they reflected what’s best for human nutrition. That diet also involves a detoxifying program that begins by cutting out everything except fish, eggs, certain kinds of meat, fruit, vegetables, and highly specific oils. The target audience for the Bible Diet is much different from the target audience of the Whole30 program, but the details of the diet have a lot in common.
When assessing dietary programs, one can’t overlook the fact that most people who promote the programs stand to gain a profit if the diets are successful. Both the Hartwigs and Rubin also sell or sold products like books and dietary supplements associated with the diet to help people with their programs. Although these products could really be of some benefit to dieters, they also seem to suggest that one of the differences between these fad diets is the brand and the language used to sell them.
In general, it’s probably better for people to create their own dietary programs based on their individual needs. Those who are interested in detoxifying the body by cutting out processed foods can do it without adhering to a particular 30-day program. However, Whole30 and other programs like it have one benefit that individuals can’t get on their own—community. People going through the Whole30 diet program can do it together, exchanging stories, tips, and support. In the end, that might be the main benefit of branded programs, and hopefully, it can help a few people improve their lives through healthier eating.
So, rather than following a fad diet, or making dramatic changes in your diet, focus more on a healthy lifestyle. Start making gradual changes in your diet to incorporate more healthy foods, and less processed food. Switching to healthy eating habits and working out regularly will help you maintain good health and fitness, and keep you happy too.