Something needed to change: my once healthy diet had morphed into bowls of fro-yo and pizza more often than it used to. I couldn’t walk by the candy bowl at work without reaching in. I couldn’t say “no” to treats at work. I had lost my ability to recognize the difference between hunger and craving. My scale had creeped up again. I suspected I had a gluten or dairy sensitivity.
I discussed some of this with my doctor at my annual physical and I explained that I’ve always felt like I need to choose between exercise and losing weight- I can’t do both. I am not willing to give up exercise like I did the last time I lost weight. She suggested that I might benefit from some sort of high-protein, high-fat diet. So, I decided to try a Whole 30.
I won’t go into all the details of what the Whole 30 program is about, because you can just google it to get all the info you need.
Here is what I hoped to get out of it:
- Kick the “sugar monster” in the butt- get my sweet tooth under control
- Regain my willpower to resist unhealthy foods . . . and re-learn to enjoy them in moderation or special occasions
- Recognize the difference between hunger and craving
- Determine which food groups I am sensitive to and how those foods affect me
- Lose weight or at least stop the creeping scale
- Feel energized and not a slave to food related energy spikes and food “comas”
After 40+ days, here is what I discovered with regard to each goal:
- I kicked the sugar monster to the curb . . . but not the fruit-monster.
- I have a sweet tooth that doesn’t let up, even with healthy foods. Chocolate and sugar has been replaced with fresh and dried fruits. While not unhealthy, it isn’t a great habit.
- I regained my willpower to resist unhealthy foods. Whether I can stick to enjoying them in moderation is TBD.
- I recognize the difference between hunger and craving. Mission Accomplished!
- I have determined which food groups I am sensitive to and how those foods affect me.
- I am gluten sensitive or have silent celiac (TBD), and gluten makes me tired, my head foggy, and induces headaches.
- I am not lactose intolerant. Phew!
- Sugar makes me feel crazy.
- I stopped the creeping scale but didn’t lose much weight
- I lost 2 pounds in the first 30 days. While it is *something,* it isn’t a better result than I would get by counting calories or following Weight Watchers
- I suspect I would have lost more weight had I eliminated snacks in-between meals and restricted my fruit consumption
- I feel energized and am not a slave to food related energy spikes and food “comas”
Do a Whole 30 if:
- You think you have food sensitivities (BUT: if you think you have celiac’s, get tested BEFORE your Whole 30)
- You want a short-term plan to get your cravings in check
- You wish you could learn to enjoy unhealthy foods in moderation- or- wish they weren’t so appealing to you
- You want to jump-start healthier eating patterns
- You want to see how you feel without food controlling you physically or emotionally.
Don’t do a Whole 30 if:
- You think of it as a “diet”
- Ignorance is bliss: you don’t really want to know the truth or change your relationship with food forever (I am afraid to eat a bite of pizza for fear of those gluten headaches)
- You are vegetarian or vegan (I can’t even imagine how that would work…)