My Review: Whole 30 Diet – Why I Tried It and Why I Quit Early

egg bake

I hate dieting. It’s something I’ve never really done, or stuck to for more than a week or so. One of my friends told me about Whole 30 and how she lost a ton of weight doing it. I thought, hey maybe this is something I could do. I enlisted my two roommates to join me on this crazy diet and August 1, we decided to go for it.

What is Whole 30?

Whole 30 is technically not a diet, but “a way of life” as the creators call it. It’s basically an elimination diet for 30 days. Here are the rules:

-No sugar
-No dairy
-No grains
-No legumes
-No alcohol

Now, that’s a pretty extensive list of what NOT to eat. Not to mention all of those categories are daily staples in my diet. So now that I listed what you can NOT eat, here is what you can eat: whole foods; vegetables, fruits, and protein (meats and seafood). That’s about it. Also, another rule of Whole 30 was you shouldn’t snack. They wanted you to eat 3 meals a day, breakfast lunch and dinner. That’s it. Did I follow this? No. And I’ll tell you why below.

And so it begins…

The first day I thought, wow this is a piece of cake. I can totally do this. I was excited to try this new diet out and more excited to see the end results. But then day two rolled around and I was already starting to regret it. I had BAD cravings. I realized I was seriously addicted to sugar. Not to mention all I wanted was an ooey-gooey cheese quesadilla. The first week was rough, and even the second week was pretty bad. Every day was OK until I hit around dinner time. I’m a huge snacker, with a big sweet tooth. After dinner, I’m always craving some sort of dessert. I substituted my usual desserts with a lot of fruit. Now, I know snacking isn’t a part of Whole 30, but I had to, I was driving myself nuts with the sugar cravings.

The good, the bad and the ugly.

Around the beginning of week two I started to feel a little lighter. Maybe I’m losing weight, I thought. This could all be worth it! Then a couple days later, I felt so bloated and gross. My body was certainly going through a big adjustment period with all the whole foods I was eating. A lot of people mention having extra energy while on Whole 30, I unfortunately didn’t experience this. If anything, I felt more tired. One of my roommates agreed with me on the lack of energy, while the other was the complete opposite. I also had weird food dreams, almost daily. My one roommate said she also had weird food dreams about cheating and eating something she shouldn’t have. It’s crazy to see how much restricting yourself on the foods you normally eat can affect your psyche.

At the half way mark of Day 16, we all decided to weigh ourselves. You’re technically not supposed to weigh yourself until the end of the 30 days, but we were dying to know if this was working. When I stepped on the scale, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had lost 7 pounds. Woohoo! But here’s where is went down hill. A week later on Day 22, I decided to weigh myself again. I thought, this is great I lost 7 pounds in the first two weeks I surely lost a few more pounds. Nope. I lost .2 pounds. In one week. Granted, I did cheat one night at the movies with a pack of Sour Patch Kids, but I highly doubt that was that detrimental. I had plateaued. My friend who had previously done this diet also told me that she plateaued after the first couple of weeks.

How cheating lead to quitting.

Day 25 was the day I ended my diet. I know, I know, I was so close to the end. But at this point, I knew my body had already plateaued and I probably wouldn’t lose much more weight. And by this point I was hating my life, and this diet. I had never been so restrictive on myself before, and honestly I hated it. On Day 25, it all started with a coworker bringing in donuts. We had meetings all day and donuts are one of my favorite snacks. I was stressed and depressed from not eating sugar and I caved. I had a donut. And honestly, it was worth it. Then that night, we had a work dinner at Baltaire (if you live in LA and haven’t been to Baltaire’s yet, you are seriously missing out). My boss ordered us the lobster mac and cheese for the table, knowing it’s one of my favorites. Seriously, it’s the best mac and cheese in all of LA. Once again, I just couldn’t resist. I already cheated earlier in the day, why not just keep it going. The next day, the same thing happened. We had leftover donuts and leftover mac and cheese. At this point I decided, I was done with this diet.

After eating pretty crappy for a couple of days, I decided to step back on the scale. For sure I had gained atleast half of my weight back, I thought. But to my surprise, I had only gained half a pound back.

mango chia seed popsicle

Overall thoughts.

Did I enjoy the Whole 30 diet? Yes, and no. Yes, to the fact that I had lost 7 pounds. I was able to squeeze into my favorite pair of jeans that I hadn’t been able to wear in a year. But, other than that no. I really hated being so restrictive on myself. I also hated that it really took a toll on my social life. I couldn’t go out to eat with my friends, like I normally would. And our weekends, were pretty much just sitting at home watching Netflix wishing we could eat some Ben and Jerry’s.

What I did enjoy about Whole 30 however, was learning to cook more. With the Whole 30 diet, you really have to prepare all of your meals. While this is tiring and can get old fast, I did find some really yummy recipes that I will definitely make again. My favorite go-tos for this diet was a Breakfast Chili (thanks Amy for sharing!) and Frozen Mango and Chia Popsicles (image above).

Moving forward, I definitely want to continue to eat healthier than I used to, but certainly not as restrictive as this diet. Have you guys tried the Whole 30 Diet? Let me know what you guys think in the comments below!

 

 

  • Brigitte

    I agree that the diet wasn’t everything I hoped for in terms of feeling more energetic but I’m definitely happy that I did it. In the end, it was great to lose 10 pounds and show myself that I could commit to something if I put my mind to it. Although I don’t plan on being whole30 compliant forever, it helped me find healthy alternatives to what I had been eating. I know diets don’t help you become heather but lifestyle changes do!

    • Totally agree with you Brig!

  • Zoe

    When I fall off the wagon I feel like these sort of strict diets are the only way to get back on track! Then it’s easier to make healthier decisions without feeling so restricted. Great review!

    • Thank you! Very true, I’m definitely trying to make healthier decisions on a daily basis now rather than being so strict!

  • These popsicles look fantastic! This diet would be super hard…I live by more of an all in moderation mantra. I try to eat healthy & exercise– otherwise, cutting things out completely makes me feel deprived.

    xo,
    Kristie

    • Totally agree! I’m definitely trying to strive for an all in moderation way of living!

  • Totally…I’ve been extremely strict with myself several times, and it is always effective for weight loss, and I think there is some merit to how it can jump start a more healthy lifestyle. But yeah, moderation long term is always what I fall back on. I love life and food and would rather have some extra pounds. 🙂

    ~Krisztina
    http://www.krisztinawilliams.com

    • Definitely agree with that!

  • This looks and sounds amazing. I have to try this combination!

    Fash Boulevard

  • I agree with why you quit. I love the combination. I never try to lose weight but get toned. This is a great article.

  • great job for being so disciplined! I had read about this lifestyle change, and thought I could do it, but alwyas changed my mind lol.. good for you for sticking with it for as long as you did!
    xoxo
    samantha
    http://www.findingfabulousonline.com

    • Thanks Samantha! It was definitely very hard!

  • I can totally relate! I did a 10 day challenge and was so done after that. I do totally see the side effects of eating sugar in almost every aspect of my life. But, I think it’s worth it. Loved this post!

    http://www.aglamlifestyle.com

  • Liz

    I’ve been thinking of doing this diet but wasn’t so sure! Thanks for the review!

  • I’m so glad you wrote this post! I had been curious about this diet and now I have a better understanding! Still deciding if I plan on going through with it, will keep you posted! 🙂

    Jen | MrsJenFrick.com

    • Thanks Jen! Good luck!

  • Miranda

    Great review! I keep hearing about this diet, and am never sure if I should try it or not. It does seem a bit more strict than I was thinking. I know it works for some people, but having to be that restrictive is never something I think anyone can stick to for a lifetime. Thanks for the insight!

    xo, Miranda
    http://www.tischofalltrades.com

    • It definitely works, but it’s crazy strict!

  • Man, I can SO relate to your experience with this kind of restrictive diet. I tried it again recently and I quickly rediscovered that doing it makes me OBSESS over the idea of food every minute of the day! I find that just keeping things on the healthy eating side and trying to cut off my starchy carbs after 4pm each day works so much better for me. Bottom line……tell me I can’t eat something and it’s ALL I’ll want to eat….and I’ll be an absolute bear until I get it!! Ha! Great review, girly!!

    xo,
    January
    http://www.januaryhart.com

    • The 4pm rule is a great one, I should try that!

  • I love your honesty with the Whole30!! Haha Sweets are my downfall too. I have a few friends who’ve done it and I was really impressed. The restrictions are CRAZY!! You should be incredibly proud of yourself for going 25 days, it’s quite the accomplishment.

    Meaghan xx

  • Jess

    My sister try to get me to do the whole 30 with her but I love my sugar way too much and couldn’t imagine not eating it LOL. Props to you girl, 25 days is a long time!
    Xoxo
    Jess
    http://www.mustheartstyle.com

    • Thanks Jess, it was so hard!

  • Dieting can be tough. Everyone has their own way of doing it that’s why there are so many diet and training options out there. :]

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