The Paleo Diet (which is very Whole30-like) has been successful for me because it gives me guidelines. It’s a heck of a lot more healthy way to eat, but it doesn’t have to be starving yourself. I probably ate more food in the first months under paleo eating guidelines than I did before -- it’s just the eating right natural food combinations.
Here are the keys:
- You have to read the ingredients of everything you eat. This makes eating out at reseraunts difficult. Obviously over time you don’t have to be so strict - but the first 30 days you should be as strict as possible to help train yourself the guidelines. When you go out - you have to be "that person" and ask for no butter, etc.
- PLAN and get into a rhythm -- my company makes it easy for me with all of the options of food available - but for the first few weeks it really helped to have meals and snacks PLANNED IN ADVANCE. I planned the dinner meals for the week in advance so I wouldn’t be tempted to cheat. I ate the same snacks (Fruit in the morning, carrots and walnuts in the afternoon) almost every day.
- Don’t weigh yourself until 30 days out - or even more! I remember I went to the doctor 2 weeks in and I had lost only 2 or 3 pounds. I started doubting the diet. I decided to stop weighing myself altogether - and it worked out in the end (losing 25+ pounds in total - and have kept it off mostly for 2 years).
- Talk about it with a lot of people. The more people know you’re doing it - the more support you will get, the more pressure you'll feel to continue, and the more you will commit yourself to it.
Here are the eating guidelines as they stand for me - you should definitely read more about it elsewhere too.
- You can only eat: Protein, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts (no peanuts), naturals spices
- No Sugar
- No Dairy (almond milk or coconut milk only - again with no sugar)
- No grains (No rice, No quinoa),
- No beans (no corn),
- No Soy
- No Deli meats
- No chemicals - meaning if there’s something in the ingredients you cannot pronounce - you can’t eat it. ONLY natural ingredients!
- I have gotten creative with the spices. Cumin, Chili Pepper, Tumeric, Oregano, Ground Mustard, Pepper, Red Pepper, Cinnamon, Onion salt, garlic salt, etc. Put as much as this as you want on your foods.
- You are not supposed to drink alcohol. I didn’t for 30 days - but now I allow myself in moderation.
- Drinks: Water!, Coconut Water, HINT Water, unsweetened brewed (iced tea) or coffee PLAIN
- Again - READ every label you consume.
Another key for me was finding substitutes for the things not on the diet that I felt I needed in my every day eating. I get a bunch of my go-to items from Thrive Market that helps with this - things like avocado mayo, salad dressing, ghee, coconut aminos, paleonola, etc.
Finally -- I took a stab at creating a 5 day meal plan starter here: