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The Whole 30 Diet Plan

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Are you looking to get slimmer by the summer?

Or maybe getting fitter is your New Year’s resolution?

Then you have probably noticed the variety of diet options.

It is very easy to get overwhelmed with the information regarding each of these diets.

The Whole 30 Diet Plan is a relatively new diet plan that has a lot in common with the Paleo Diet principles.

Despite that, some people look at this diet plan as a pre-step to the Paleo Diet, while considering the Paleo Diet for the maintenance.

Both the Whole 30 Diet Plan and the Paleo Diet aim to get you started with the healthy lifestyle and limit with the foods that do not bring any benefits to our health.

However, there are certain differences between these two diets that will be reviewed below.

What Is The Whole 30 Diet Plan?

The Whole 30 Diet is a month-long, healthy eating program that promises a variety of emotional and health benefits.

It was developed in 2009 by two certified sports nutritionists who promoted it as a way to reset your metabolism and reshape your relationship with food.

The diet focuses on the idea that certain food groups can negatively impact your health and fitness. Therefore, eliminating these foods from your diet is supposed to help your body recover from their negative effects and promote long-term health.

Some people may decide to follow this diet in hopes of losing weight; others may use the program to identify any food intolerance they may have or as a way to simply get healthier.

What To Eat On a Whole 30 Diet Plan?

Similar to the Paleo Diet you are allowed to have the following foods:

  • Meat and Poultry: Beef, veal, pork, horse, lamb, chicken, turkey, duck, etc.
  • Fish and Seafood: Fish, anchovies, shrimp, squid, scallops, crabs, lobster, etc.
  • Eggs: all types, as well as foods made from them, such as homemade mayonnaise.
  • Fruits: fresh and dry fruit, although fresh is preferred.
  • Vegetables: all types of vegetables.
  • Nuts and Seeds: all types of nuts and seeds with the exception of peanuts which are not a seed but rather a legume.
  • Some fats: healthy vegetable oils, coconut oil, clarified butter and ghee.

What To Avoid On a Whole 30 Diet Plan?

During the 30-day diet, some foods must be completely eliminated. These include:

  • The whole 30 diet planSugar and artificial sweeteners: raw sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave syrup and all products containing these sweeteners, as well as artificial sweeteners.
  • Alcohol: all types of beer, wines, and liqueurs.
  • Grains: Regardless of the degree of processing, all grains, including wheat, corn, oats, and rice, should be avoided.
  • Vegetables and legumes: Most peas, lentils, and beans should be avoided. Peanuts and peanut butter are also on the red list.
  • Soy: all soy, including tofu, tempeh, edamame and all soy products, such as miso and soy sauce.
  • Dairy products: including cow’s, goat’s and sheep’s milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream and other products containing dairy. Clarified butter or ghee is allowed.
  • Processed additives: they include Carrageenan, MSG or Sulphites. Any food or drink containing these ingredients should be avoided.

Additional Rules

The Whole 30 Diet Plan encourages some additional rules that are not diet-related. For example, smoking is prohibited for the duration of the diet.

You are also not allowed to step on the scale every day other than days 1 and 30 because the goal of the Whole 30 program is more than just weight loss, it is a way to change your mindset and promote long-term health.

What Are The Main Differences With The Paleo Diet?

As you probably noticed the Whole 30 Diet Plan has the same food principles as the Paleo Diet.

However, the Whole 30 Diet Plan has minor differences compared to the Paleo Diet.

Below are the differences I found between these two programs.

1. Duration Of The Program

The whole 30 diet planThe Paleo Diet is a lifestyle that does not have any duration.

Basically, when you go Paleo there is not any specific timeframe for how long you will need to follow its principles. And because it does not have any duration period the paleo diet is considered as a complete lifestyle change.

The Whole 30 Diet Plan is a diet plan that will last for 30 days.

Once the 30 days is over it is up to you whether you would like to continue this lifestyle or you would come back to your old habits.

The whole idea of this diet plan is to reset your body.

When you reset your body you will notice a lot of changes happening not only with your body but also with your tastes and cravings.

So if you feel wonderful being on the diet and not that great being off it, why would you choose an old lifestyle?

2. All Sugar Is Prohibited

Unlike the Paleo Diet where natural sweeteners like stevia or maple syrup are allowed in moderate amounts and mostly in baking if needed, the Whole 30 Diet Plan completely excludes any type of sweeteners for the whole 30 days.

Eliminating the most powerful additive like sugar out of your diet for the full 30 days will help reset your body, taste real food and help with sugar related cravings.

For that reason, it is recommended to start the Whole 30 Diet Plan first and then move to the Paleo diet for the maintenance.

However, the Paleo Diet also support the full sweeteners eliminations, especially if your goal is weight loss.

What Are The Benefits Of The Whole 30 Diet Plan?

Following the Whole 30 diet perfectly for 30 days is considered to have many health benefits.

These include fat loss, higher energy levels, better sleep, reduced cravings and improved athletic performance.

Plus, the diet can change the way you think about food, as well as reset your taste buds.

The Whole 30 Diet Plan can also improve the emotional relationship you have not only with food, but also with your body.

What Diet To Choose

The whole 30 Diet PlanHonestly, I did not find many differences between these two diets.

The only main difference I see is that the Whole 30 Diet Plan is a ready-to-go diet plan that was designed to reset your body and get yourself healthier.

It does not have any diet variations compared with the Paleo Diet.

The Paleo Diet is a lifestyle and you could find a lot of different modifications to it (specifically meal plans) depending on what health goals you would like to reach.

If your primary goal is weight loss a complete elimination of all sweeteners is also recommended with the Paleo Diet.

By the end of the day, if you would like to change your lifestyle towards being and feeling healthier and more energetic, it does not matter what diet you would pick.

You just need to make this first step towards your healthier well-being (find more tips on how to start the Paleo Diet over here).

4 thoughts on “The Whole 30 Diet Plan

  1. This is exactly what I need to be doing! A 30 day plan sounds manageable and I guess by the time you get to the end of the 30 days, hopefully some of it would be good habits formed. Thank you very much for sharing. Cheers, Karen

    • Hi Karen,
      Thank you for your feedback!
      If you follow the diet for 30 days, you will absolutely form good habits towards food. Moreover, as you will feel more energize and fitter you would not want to come back to your old habits 😉 Let me know if you decide to go for it and how it turns out for you!

  2. This sounds like a sensible diet but it’s so tough to completely cut our sugars. To me, sugar is one of the hardest things to stop eating or cut out. We use a program called eMeals to plan our meals and it makes everything easy super easy. It offers a variety of eating styles (including Paleo) based on on your goals. It offers a lot of things in the program to make meal planning, dieting and preparation very easy. Thanks for the informative post and comparison, Curtis.

    • Hi Curtis,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Sugar is a very powerful additive that is really very hard to give up on. However, if you try to give up sugar for a week, you would see a significant difference in your health and overall feeling.
      Emeals is a great option, though you could also use meal plan services where you would be covered with meals, shopping list, and recipes to it. The Paleo Plan, for example, will provide you with weekly meal plan covering your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. The only thing you would need to do it actually going to the store and grab ingredients based on the shopping list they would provide you. Another nice bonus is a workout plan that as a part of services.

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