If you have been following me on Facebook and Instagram (hint: if you aren’t, it is probably a good idea to go there now!), you will see that I am doing yet another self experimentation with food. Some might call it self denial on a silly scale or a left over from an overly strict catholic upbringing, where suffering was seen as a virtue – might be some truth in that! Okay, it may be overstating it by using the term ‘suffering’, but here is what I am doing and I will let you be the judge. For 30 whole days (it’s called the ‘Whole 30’ so it makes sense!), I am not consuming alcohol, added sugar or sweetener in any form, grains, dairy, legumes or vegetable oils or a bunch of other specified nasties that you wouldn’t believe are regularly added to our food. And I guess here’s the point. All the rules around the Whole 30 are based on limiting foods and additives that have been linked to various disease processes in the body stemming from inflammation. We have all seen or heard the concept that all our health problems are linked to inflammation, as in caused by it, not in response to something else.
I am currently reading the book(s) on it and it is very interesting indeed. The pair who wrote it have their credentials in the field of nutrition but they aren’t researchers or world renowned experts by any means. Some critics have called them nothing more than master marketers but I am reserving judgement at this point. They are students of the paleo movement which might ring warning bells for some people, but my opinion has always been that any diet approach that advocates eating more fruits, vegetables, quality proteins, healthy fats and whole foods in general bares serious consideration.
And so it is happening. I am at day 12 and here is what I have noticed…
- Man there is a lot dubious ‘stuff’ in our food even in things you would consider are just that food. For example, have a look what is added to your sausages next time you look or check your bag of mixed vegetables. It’s not pretty.
- Cravings for sweet things has diminished a lot. Not completely, because at times I could still kill a piece of chocolate especially today when I forgot a few extra bits and had chopped vegetables for breakfast! Being organised is absolutely key.
- Energy is even throughout the day although I never really had too many dips. The idea with this kind of eating is better blood sugar control, which is protective against diabetes and other ailments.
- The foods we are eating everyday are very colourful (and make great photos – check out my posts on Facebook and Insta already!) which usually means a broad array of nutrients. Again a good thing.
- You can eat out but it’s a bit more challenging. So plan your meal ahead of time.
Whilst this is not a weight loss diet per se and also, it’s not actually a diet, (it is more a nutrition ‘reset’), most who have more fat than they want will lose weight. The authors say 6-10 pounds on average, but they are more singing the praises of the long term wins people are having in terms of health, like improvements in arthritis, diabetes and other autoimmune (AI) issues.
I don’t have any of those but my wife does. It will be interesting to see how she fares with it. So far, pretty good after a shaky first week. She experienced some brain fog.
I have a colleague in Sydney who has had massive fat loss results for his clients using this approach in 6 week challenges. I am keen to build a group who are keen to really go hard at this or a version of this too and test themselves out. I see it as an experimentation of possibly eating your way to health. Remember it is not the 30 days per se, but what you learn from it and then kick on with from there. We are all about long term and sustainable change, so transitioning to what feels good and works for you health wise, for what could be the rest of your life, is the real goal here. We have our precision nutrition systems and the habits of eating well to guide us beyond any challenge we might do too, so you will be in good hands.
p.s. coffee is allowed but unfortunately not for me. I’m doing a 100 day thing at the same time here which is another whole story!