Thinking of Trying the Whole30 Diet?

  • 3 Minutes Read
Joanna Kriehn
Joanna Kriehn, MS, RDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

Are you looking for a guide for weight loss? The promoters of the Whole30 diet claim this is more of an eating plan than a diet. They say it will help you restore healthy habits, decrease cravings, improve digestion, and promote long lasting changes to eating habits.

Thinking of Trying the Whole30 Diet?

Whole30 is an eating plan that emphasizes eating whole foods, cooking from scratch, and avoiding processed convenience foods. Those who founded Whole30 have seen great results. In fact, they claim that 96% of participants who followed the program lost weight and improved their body composition.

What is the Whole30 Diet?

What you will be eating on this diet

What foods to avoid on this diet

Pros of the Whole30 Plan

Cons of the Whole30 Plan

Word of caution

A word of caution to individuals after they finish the 30 day active phase. Some individuals I have worked with in the past, are focused and committed when engaged in an eating plan. However, after the "reins have been lifted" they struggle to find a happy medium of what to eat and what to avoid, once the active phase is over. This can be prevented by knowing yourself and your patterns. If you are at risk of eating the prohibited foods with abandon once the program is over, follow something like the Whole30 reintroduction phase, have a plan and find support ahead of time.

Final Thoughts

Finally, my literature search did not result in any peer reviewed studies looking at weight loss results following this eating plan or comparing results with other diets. I would anticipate weight loss would result for individuals who ate a lot of processed foods, quick and convenience items and snacks prior to starting the plan. Also, a proven strategy for weight loss is to eliminate entire food groups since it significantly reduces caloric intake. This plan does just that, so one would anticipate weight loss. Weight loss on the plan is not guaranteed, especially since tracking, weighing and measuring of portions are not required. Though cleaning up your diet is just about guaranteed.

A final consideration for folks who like to know where they stand with regard to weight loss: the eating plan discourages tracking body weight or progress on a scale in the middle of the plan. You are encouraged to weigh yourself on Day 1 and Day 30. Thus, you may find that you follow this plan diligently for 30 days and yet the scale never reflects your hard work.

What do I think about the diet?

The typical American diet is high in refined sugars, unhealthy fats, salt and processed foods. If your old diet included a lot of these items you may find you lose weight simply by cleaning up your food choices. Because the diet is restrictive, one is at serious risk of gaining their weight back as they return to a more liberal eating plan. In other words, I would not recommend this plan for someone who wants to lose weight and keep it off for the long haul.

Originaly published 30 January 2018
Updated: August 21, 2019

Weight Loss->Diets
Aug 21, 2019

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