What is the Whole30?

From Co-Creator Melissa Hartwig

"Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition, like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies, or chronic pain, that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms are often directly related to the foods you eat—even the “healthy” stuff. So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you?

Strip them from your diet completely. Eliminate the most common craving-inducing, blood sugar disrupting, gut-damaging, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the reset button with your health, habits, and relationship with food, and the downstream physical and psychological effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day-to-day life, long term health, body composition, and feelings around food. The most important reason to keep reading?

This will change your life.

I cannot possibly put enough emphasis on this simple fact—the next 30 days will change your life. It will change the way you think about food. It will change your tastes. It will change your habits and your cravings. It will restore a healthy emotional relationship with food, and with your body. It has the potential to change the way you eat for the rest of your life. I know this because I did it, and millions people have done it since, and it changed my life (and their lives) in a dramatic and permanent fashion." -- Melissa Hartwig, Whole30 Co-founder

The basic rules of the program:

Yes: Eat real food. Eat moderate portions of meat, seafood, and eggs; lots of vegetables; some fruit; plenty of natural fats; and herbs, spices, and seasonings. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re whole and unprocessed.

No: Avoid for 30 days.

  • Do not consume added sugar, real or artificial. 
  • Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking. (And ideally, no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  • Do not eat grains. 
  • Do not eat legumes. 
  • Do not eat dairy. 
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites. 
  • Do not consume baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients. 

Our mantra: When in doubt, leave it out. It’s only 30 days.

One last and final rule:

  • Do not step on the scale or take any body measurements for 30 days. The Whole30 is about so much more than weight loss, and to focus only on body composition means you’ll overlook all of the other dramatic, lifelong benefits this plan has to offer. So, no weighing yourself, analyzing body fat, or taking comparative measurements during your Whole30. (We do encourage you to weigh yourself before and after, so you can see one of the more tangible results of your efforts when your program is over.)

More information can be found on Whole30 here.