Last Wednesday marked the end of my Whole 30. I can’t tell you enough how glad I am that I tried it! I feel really, really good. Here is a list of my goals going into it, how I did, and what I am doing now…warning, lengthy post;-)
Goal #1: Crush My Sugar Cravings: As someone who has always had a sweet tooth, this was a challenge for me. I think that in moderation, sweet treats are fine. But, sometimes once I get started on the sweet stuff, I tend to want more. During Whole 30, the only “sweets” I had were fruit and sweet potatoes. I paid attention to the advice in “It Starts With Food”, (ISWF, from here on out) when they said to limit fruit to 1-2 servings per day. This helped me rein in my sugar cravings big time because I wasn’t just subbing one sweet for another. After the 30 days, I am craving sweets much less than before. My first treat I had post-W30 was ice cream (Coffee Toffee and Sea Salt Caramel!) from my favorite ice cream place in Dallas, Sweet Firefly. I enjoyed it and I was satisfied with a smaller serving. I didn’t have a bad reaction to the dairy, either. Best of both worlds!
Goal #2: Snack Less: In ISWF, they say that if you are properly combining foods at meals, and eating enough, you should not be hungry between meals. Before W30, I would feel hungry between meals often. Looking back, I think the reason was that I did not have enough healthy fats in my diet. Once I started W30, I felt much more satisfied after meals, and on most days, did not need to snack. Snacks are allowed, but I tried to have them only when I was truly hungry, and not just out of habit.
Goal #3: More Energy: Pre-W30, I would wake up in the morning needing my coffee, then would hit a slump around 3, drink more coffee or have a sweet treat, and had a difficult time falling asleep at night. Once I changed what I was eating, I felt my energy was much more steady throughout the day, instead of up and down. I also started sleeping more soundly, and waking up feeling energized. I could still try to go to bed earlier, but that is something I struggle to do even though I know it would benefit me! Maybe I will work on that next! I had worried about how eating so differently would effect my workouts, and I am happy to say that my training sessions are better than ever. I feel strong, and have tons of energy. I did not change anything about my workouts during this time, so that I could compare.
Goal #4: Survive 4 Weeks Without Gum: I know, I know, this is such a ridiculous thing. I didn’t know how much I would miss chewing gum until I couldn’t do it anymore. But, I have officially broken this habit! Yay! Drinking mint tea when I had the urge to chew gum definitely helped. Most gum has artificial sugar and other nasties in it anyway, so I am happy I stopped.
So….what am I going to do now?
In ISWF, there is a whole chapter on reintroduction of foods. There are lots of ways to do it. Right now, I am feeling awesome, and I really don’t want to mess with it too much. One approach in the book is to continue on, with the occasional treat, or less healthy food slipped in, and then return to the plan for the next meal. Basically, not veering off too much, as in an entire day/week/weekend of less healthy choices. This is what I plan to do. But, I know that life happens, and if I do fall off the wagon completely, I can do another Whole 30 to get myself back on track! In addition I am reading up on the Paleo lifestyle, which is, from what I understand, a less strict version of Whole 30. I think my whole outlook on food has shifted in a very positive way. I have not been thinking of foods in terms of good/bad anymore, but considering instead if they are more or less healthy for me. Read my other post, Confessions of a (former) Calorie Counter for more on this. Also, ISWF suggests that if you are going to have a treat, make sure it is WORTH IT. Don’t just eat something because it is there, you feel obligated, or you are stressed. It should be something special that you are really going to savor and enjoy. I agree with this 100% and am going to continue to do my best to apply it.
Keep Calm and Whole 30 On!