Your Guide to the Whole30 Diet

  • By Dr. Anand Thakkar
  • 16 Mar, 2016
For months you’ve heard your friends and coworkers rave about the Whole30 diet. You’ve tried dozens of other diet plans over the years with less success than you’d like. So why should you pay attention to this one?

However, your comrade or colleague seems to have shed quite a few pounds since he or she started the Whole30, so you listen to what he or she has to say.

“Can this diet really work?” you ask yourself. You might feel like this diet won’t work for you—especially since nothing else has worked. And because you don’t know much about this trending diet, you don’t want to try it out for yourself.

That thought process stops now. Below, we’ll guide you through the Whole30 diet and answer any questions you may have before you begin this at-home program.

How the Whole30 Diet Works

By now, you’ve probably deduced that this diet has something to do with the number 30. And you assumed right. Founders Dallas and Melissa Hartwig designed the program to change your life in just 30 days. During this time period, you’ll learn to kick food cravings and unhealthy eating habits, support your digestive system, reset your metabolism, and boost your immune system.

Doctors and researchers have discovered that many of the foods you eat can cause health issues, create excessive weight gain, and counteract your overall fitness goals.

If you didn't lose weight with other diet plans, workout routines, or other measures, you probably just gave up on them. You most likely didn’t realize that the foods you ate harmed you more than they helped you.

With the Whole30, you focus entirely on healthy foods that heal your body and give you a blank slate to work with. This diet also helps you keep seemingly healthy, but harmful foods out of your system. For one month, you steer clear of these foods and indulge in others that help your body recover and restart.

Basic Foods to Avoid

Let your new diet begin. As part of a healthier lifestyle, you’ll need to avoid certain foods during the Whole30 challenge. Foods like dairy, grains, legumes, and sugars can actually harm your body—even if you don’t think they can.

Many of the foods you eat contain chemicals, hormones, pesticides, and insecticides. These toxins cause stomach problems, joint pain, inflammation troubles, chronic headaches, and other health issues. Additionally, the foods listed above often contain proteins and other substances that ruin your health.

As you participate in the Whole30 program, you should not consume the following foods:

Alcoholic beverages (both those you drink and cook with)
Dairy (butter, milk, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, sour cream, etc.)
Grains (barley, corn, rye, wheat, oats, rice, sprouted grains, etc.)
Legumes (beans of any kind, peas, lentils, peanuts and peanut butter, soy beans, soy sauce, chickpeas, edamame, etc.)
Sugar (honey, Splenda, Nutrasweet, Stevia, coconut sugar, maple syrup, etc.)
Read the Whole30 Program Rules for more in depth information before you start this diet plan.

Tasty Foods to Eat

With all of the restrictions this diet has, you might decide to opt out. After all, cheese and bread taste delicious.

Though you must adhere to the above guidelines for a successful outcome, you still have a wide range of foods that you can eat as you participate in this diet:

Meat, both lean and red
Natural and organic foods
Use your best judgment as you work towards a healthier you. Again, visit the Whole30 Program Rules for a complete list of approved foods and other guidelines.

Scrumptious Recipes to Try

You’ve been there before—miserable in the middle of your diet because the food you eat doesn’t appeal to your taste buds or cravings. Don’t let that stop you. Visit the Whole30 recipe website to find approved meals you can eat during your diet. If you want a wider range of meal options, try the following recipes:


Bacon and Leek Breakfast Bake
Broccoli and Egg Breakfast Muffins
Fruit Compote
Ham and Spinach Frittata


Avocado and Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Bangers and Sweet Potato Mash
Buffalo Ranch Stuffed Peppers
Calabacitas (Squash and Chicken)
Carne Asada
Chicken Cacciatore
Cilantro Lime Chicken
Citrus Chicken Salad
Creamless Cauliflower Chowder
Fiesta Salad
Roast Beef and Mashed Cauliflower
Roast Vegetable Soup
Slow Cooker Chipotle Pork with Mango Slaw
Tilapia with Avocado Salsa
Tomato Basil Soup
Tuna Summer Salad
Still not satisfied with any of these foods? Type in “Whole30 Diet Recipes” into your search engine or Pinterest to discover a whole new diet-friendly culinary world.


Don’t make any more excuses. Now that you know about the Whole30 diet, you can more easily start your preferred weight loss regimen. Before you choose a new diet, look through or test out some of the recipes listed above to get a taste of what you’ll experience as you shed those last few pounds.
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