I heard many Whole30 stories at the market, but the most impressive was the guy who said he had been strict Whole30 for 8 months (it’s only meant for 30 days) and had lost 77 lbs. He was confident he could easily reach his goal of losing another 20. He said he had tried dozens of diets and couldn’t stick to any long term until Whole30 (which really isn’t a diet). He said he felt great and he looked really healthy.
A few months after meeting him, I received an invitation to a friend’s wedding. I was OK with my weight, but then I tried on the dress I wanted to wear that day and decided it would look better if I lost 5 lbs. I thought no problem, I will just eat Whole30 and I should be able to lose 5 lbs in three weeks.
I cooked a number of Whole30 dishes to have on hand, and didn’t cheat once. The program says you are not to weigh yourself while doing a Whole30, but since this wasn’t an official Whole30, I weighed myself after the first week. I was shocked to see I had gained 5 lbs! I had selected recipes with fruits and vegetables with a low glycemic index, and moderate amounts of healthy fats. So why did I gain 5 lbs? Clearly I was eating too much protein.
To cut down on protein I added more healthy vegetables to my recipes or cut down on the amount of protein in a recipe. I also limited fruits to two servings a day and only ate low carb ones that were high in fiber, like strawberries and blackberries. Within the next two weeks I lost the 5 lbs I had gained plus the 5 I had wanted to lose.
I now have a large folder of recipes that I call Everday Whole30. Several are from "Whole30 Fast & Easy" by Melissa Hartwig, one of the creators of the Whole30 program. Baking isn’t allowed on the program, so I’ll probably never do a true Whole30 again. But eating primarily Whole30 foods is a healthy way for me to maintain my weight while allowing me to eat Paleo baked goods, home-made Paleo ice cream and other foods I wouldn’t expect to eat on a diet, but then this isn’t really a diet.