Whole 30 diet: Questions answered

A simple Google search for Whole 30 returns thousands of results from bloggers to Youtubers to social media groups and books. There is a ton of information on this popular diet.

So, what is Whole 30 all about?

"Whole 30 is an elimination diet that is meant to be done for 30 days. It is basically a very strict paleo diet," explained Carolina Total Wellness Health Coach Sara Hamm.

Hamm says the diet got a start in the cross fit community a few years ago. For some, the 30 day program is about losing weight for others it's about feeling better but, there is a strict rule on the program to skip the scale or measurements the entire time.

Raleigh mom of two Emily Uhland who does the program once a year with her husband, calls the program a reset for her body.

"My number one advice is do it with someone else," Uhland said. "It's a little bit hard but there are other hard things like fighting cancer or birthing a baby so its kind of this tough love that I resonated with," she said.

Uhland finished Whole 30 at the end of January and says the benefit of the program for her doesn't have anything to do with weight loss.

"My sleep is so much deeper and unbroken," Uhland said. "And, if you wake up, you fall back asleep really easily, and as mom of little kids that's really awesome because any hours of sleep are precious.

So, I think the sleep is a really great benefit," she said.

Raleigh mom April Walker finished Whole 30 for the second time in a few years and she says the benefit for her is also not about weight loss.

"I think it's more of a lifestyle thinking about food in a different way," Walker said.

Getting rid of sugar was Walker's biggest motivator for doing Whole 30. She found the program helped her get rid of her allergies as well.

"I had seasonal allergies, I thought," Walker said. "In the fall and spring I would have allergies, but, I didn't have them last fall, so i was like wow that must be a food thing. I wake up and I'm totally clearer," she said.

"I don't feel like I'm in a fog. I sleep better. I didn't have any of the congestion."

Health coach Sara Hamm says the strict diet eliminates foods that cause inflammation.

"You're eating lots and lots of vegetables, well raised meats, organic, grass fed if possible," Hamm explained.

"Avocado, coconut oil, nuts and seeds, fatty fish and you're eating some fruit. There's no calorie restriction-you eat as much as you like but you only eat from those groups," Hamm said.

"The foods you're eliminating are gluten and all other grains," she said."You eliminate all dairy that includes all butter."

Whole 30 also calls for the elimination of processed foods, sugar, and alcohol. Hamm says it can be a tough program for vegetarians to get through because of the elimination of legumes.

Those who are successful with Whole 30 like Walker and Uhland say the biggest takeaway after Whole 30 is how it changes eating habits, cravings, and the way you think about food.
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