Doing a Whole 30 in January was the best thing I could have done to get back on track after the holidays. It was comfortable to go back to the Whole 30 because I knew I had a month of healthy, delicious food ahead of me! If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend putting it on your health to-do list this year. This time around was extra motivating because I had some family members and friends doing it (for their first time) with me. Recently, I have heard from them, one after another, success stories! I’m happy to hear that people have developed new habits, lost weight, feel more energetic, and have established healthier relationships with food! That is what Whole 30 is all about! Many of those same people have asked, “What happens now?” Everyone is different, but for me, here’s what happens next/some helpful suggestions for you as you emerge from your cozy Whole 30 bubble:
1. Add only what you really and truly missed back into your diet. Hopefully, not all at once. I actually did that for the Super Bowl, and I knew what was probably going to happen. I was at a party and I had a glass of wine, thin crust pizza, and cake (Red Velvet from Nothing Bundt Cakes, who could resist?!) with ice cream for dessert. I enjoyed it, I am human. I suffered the consequences (hello, bloat), but I was okay with it, and Monday morning I was back to my Whole 30-style breakfast. My point is, only add in what you have missed. Probably not all at once like I did this time, but you get the picture!
2. Pay close attention to how your body feels. Notice how you feel, both physically and mentally, after you reintroduce something. If you have a negative physical reaction, you will know it (by your digestion, usually)! Maybe you don’t have a physical reaction, but you might have negative mental/emotional reaction. For example, having a tough time saying no to more cookies/pasta/rice after you have had a serving. Basically, “Food With No Brakes” in action, which leaves you feeling out of control. Maybe you experience a blood sugar crash after eating sugary, or processed food that leaves you craving more. It is likely that you feel so great post-W30, that you will be very in tune with your body. Sounds easy, but what if it’s not? I know that personally, I spent a lot of years ignoring signals that my body was sending me about what it needed! Sometimes you have to re-learn how to listen to your body. Read this article from Whole 30, about why that may be, and what you can do about it….
3. Training wheels off…Ride your own bike! Because I have seen huge benefits from doing the W30, I will continue to stick to the guidelines most of the time. The idea is to eat as healthy as you can most of the time, but be okay with having treats sometimes, too. Enjoy the things that are delicious and “worth it” to you, and then move on. I don’t do planned “cheat meals.” I feel that designating a meal as a “cheat” is going down the road of “good” food vs. “bad” food, which I have decided is a road I don’t want to travel anymore! Thanks to W30, I like to think of it as choosing to eat food that makes me more healthy vs. food that makes me less healthy. It has much less of a negative connotation that way, and takes the stress over food out of the picture. Don’t stress over food! Only you can determine what is “worth it” for you.
I’m curious…For those of you who did the Whole 30 this time around, “What happens next?”