Following the Whole30®diet is actually pretty straight forward as long as you become familiar with the allowed and prohibited foods. There is no calorie counting, no pre-set portions, and no specific daily requirements. There are also no new or packaged foods to buy.
With that said, following the Whole30® approved food list can be difficult for some, especially if you currently consume lots of processed foods, carbs, grains, or dairy. Since you will eliminate those from your diet completely for thirty days, it can be a shock if that’s what you are used to eating. Your diet will consist of meat, eggs, seafood, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and approved oils.
There is really never a perfect time to start the Whole30® diet so the creators recommend committing, telling other people about your diet, and then finding ways to make it work. Every month there will be holidays, parties, happy hours, and special occasions that threaten your ability to stay on the diet, so why wait? Just commit and start. Use the food lists, recipes, and meal ideas to plan out your shopping lists and what you will eat and be prepared the first few weeks for it to be challenging.
After competing the Whole30®, you will slowly begin to reintroduce some of the prohibited foods into your diet. This exact method is outlined in the Whole30® book and website. By isolating the foods as you introduce them, you can learn how your body reacts and feels when you consume certain foods. Then hopefully you can build a healthy diet for your body long term that makes you feel at your best.
One of the most important parts of following the Whole30® diet is knowing what you can and can’t eat. Since there is no calorie counting or other method, eating the right stuff is what the entire diet is about. Therefore having a Whole30® Food list of what you can and can’t eat is important. Some people find it helpful to post something to their fridge so they always remember what is allowed on the diet.
Meat and Poultry – it is recommended that you consume grass fed meat when possible on Whole30® and most meats are Whole30®as long as they aren’t overly processed (think hot dogs, SPAM, or meat products contained corn meal)
Seafood: It is recommended to buy natural seafood whenever possible and when purchasing canned or dried seafood, make sure it does not contain wheat or corn.
Fresh and Frozen Vegetables: Almost all vegetables are allowed on the Whole30® diet except for potatoes and corn. Tubers (sweet potatoes, potatoes, squash, and yams) can be eaten but should be eaten in moderation.) When purchasing frozen vegetables make sure they do not come in gluten or dairy based sauces.
Fruit: Almost all fruit is fair game on the Whole30® diet but since it is sugar heavy it should be eaten in moderation.
Nuts and Seeds: Almost all nuts and seeds are allowed on Whole30® except for peanuts, which are actually a legume not a nut. However they should be eaten in moderation since their calorie and fat content is high.
Oils and Fats: Most naturally occurring oils from nuts and seeds are allowed on the Whole30® diet. Most Whole30® dieters also allow clarified butter and ghee. Peanut oil is not allowed on the Whole30® diet.