Among the new trends for dieting is the Whole30 plan- a 30-day diet plan that claims to have life-changing effects. Is it just another fad diet? Or is it something that might actually work?
What Does It Claim To Do?
A fad diet is a diet that promises outstanding health outcomes or weight loss results without the backing of reliable scientific studies. Is the Whole30 diet another one of them? The Whole30 diet plan was created in 2009 by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.
However, they themselves don’t really consider it to be a “diet,” but rather a “short term nutrition reset,” that would completely change how you feel and look after 30 days. It supposedly ends your unhealthy habits, restores your metabolism and treats certain conditions.
Here are some of its advertised benefits:
- Heals your digestive tract
- Balances your immune system
- Eliminates certain food cravings
- Improves medical conditions
- Boosts metabolism
- Increases overall energy
- Aids weight loss
- Changes how you think about food as well as food freedom
What Is the Whole30 Diet?
The Whole30 diet is a short-term program that suggests eliminating multiple food groups so that your body can take a break from “bad foods” for 30 days.
The foods you’re eliminating includes sugar, dairy, alcohol, grains as well as most legumes. Instead, you should be eating moderate amounts of eggs, meat, seafood, fruits, and a generous amount of natural fats (such as avocados and healthy oils), veggies, herbs and spices.
The whole point is ingredients that are unpronounceable and focusing on foods that are whole and unprocessed. For the diet to work, you supposedly have to stay on this diet strictly, without any “special occasion” meals, slip-ups or cheat days.
Does Is Actually Work?
Technically speaking, this diet does help you focus on healthier foods and therefore will likely leave you feeling better if you follow it properly. However, scientific research shows that highly restrictive diets, as most fad diets are, have an extremely high drop-out rate, and that’s because it’s unsustainable. They also result in less-sustained weight loss and often weight regain because of it.
One reason, according to scientific research, is that suddenly restricting your body from the number of calories and the amount of fat it was used to will cause it to go into what is called a “famine reaction.” This causes your brain and body to release molecules that make you hungrier than usual, because it thinks it’s starving. It leads to a lot of emotional eating, say some nutritionists, which is something we often blame ourselves for.
One way that could help this is by taking a two-week break after following a diet for two weeks. According to recent studies, this not only helps people keep more weight off, but helps people gain less weight back after they’ve stopped the diet.
Of course, there’s no harm in trying this to see how it works for your body. But if you find that it’s not working, there’s no need to panic. There are plenty of non-restrictive diet plans that can help you replenish your body and lose weight (if you want to) more effectively and more sustainably.