Now that you’ve read the How to Start the Whole30 Diet and downloaded your free Whole30 Shopping List you’re ready to dive in! We’ve discussed it briefly before, but The Whole30 can sometimes feel overwhelming on your first attempt. It’s totally normal to feel that way! Eliminating foods from your diet can certainly be a challenge, but when you are able to get a better understanding of how your body responds to certain foods, you’ll be glad you made the attempt! Today, I’ll be sharing some tips and tricks for a successful Whole30 challenge. These are some of the things I discovered along the way that made the Whole30 Challenge a bit easier for me.
5 Tips For a Successful Whole30 Challenge
Stay on top of hydration.
This is an often overlooked aspect of trying to complete a successful Whole30 challenge. Hydration is so important! Besides the fact that we can confuse the signals our brain sends for thirst as hunger, contributing to overeating and weight gain, hydration is key to combatting some of the unpleasant side effects of detoxification. For the first week or so of the Whole30, as you eliminate certain foods from your diet, your body begins the task of detoxifying itself. This can lead to symptoms such as headache, fatigue, skin reactions, and more. Staying hydrated goes a long way toward helping ease these symptoms as many of the toxins are eliminated through the kidneys.
Adding lemon, lime, orange or cucumber slices to your water may also help with the detoxification process, and will help with the boredom of drinking so much water. Really afraid you’ll get tired of drinking water? Try some of these yummy mocktails using La Croix sparkling water. Those of you giving up carbonated beverages might really enjoy these.
Save money where you can.
It’s a fact that eating a healthier diet can sometimes seem more expensive, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Spend time searching your local grocery flyers for the best deals on produce and meat each week to help cut down on your grocery bill. In the meat department, look for the “manager’s specials” (meat about to read expiration) and cook or freeze the meat immediately. Recently I was able to buy several packs of organic/free range chicken legs and thighs this way. I slow cooked the thighs, shredded and froze the meat in serving sizes to use for soup, lettuce wraps, salads, etc. I made buffalo chicken legs for my family and they were devoured in a couple of days. If you have a local farmer’s market, consider visiting each week to buy your produce there. Not only will you be getting farm fresh food, you’ll be able to save a lot of money and support your local farmers. If you have an Aldi grocery store, they have a plethora of organic foods, and our store carries grass-fed ground beef for a great price.
A membership to Thrive Market may help alleviate the increased expense of purchasing pantry items that are Whole30 approved. Thrive Market carries healthy, organic foods and works like a Costco membership — you pay a yearly fee and then shop at a wholesale discount. Shipping is free for orders of $49 and higher. I shop once a month so I can get the free shipping and stock up on what I need. Some of my favorite products include the Primal Kitchen line of mayos and salad dressings, ghee, coconut aminos, coconut milk, cocao powder, cassava flour, Medjool dates, Wild Planet pink salmon, Safe Catch tuna, pasta sauces (sugar-free), coconut oil, bone broth, Larabars, and Nutpods creamer.
Stay strong against temptation. It’s only 30 days!
Let’s face it, there will likely be reasons that you could justify having a “cheat meal” or a “cheat day”, but don’t do it! You can absolutely last for 30 days while you complete your Whole30 challenge. Trust me, if I can do it (and I’ve gone it several times now), you can do it. It gets easier as time goes on, but it does take planning. If you have a special occasion coming up, plan ahead for it. Do what needs to get done ahead of time to make decisions that will help you be successful in your Whole30 challenge. For example, if you have a social occasion coming up – work party, birthday party, special dinner – take along a sweet Larabar treat to get you through or look at the menu ahead of time and know what you will order before you get there. If you do mess up, you’ll need to begin your 30 days all over again. Use that as an incentive to stick with it!
Meal prep whenever possible.
Meal prepping is one of the best ways to ensure you have a successful Whole30 challenge experience. The Whole30 includes a lot of cooking and preparing food and it’s ultimately much easier to spend one day doing it all than having to find and set aside time every single day to prep each meal. This means you’ll likely be eating the same foods for 3-4 days in a row, but you’ll get used to it. I have actually found that this helps me not get bored with my food. Once the 4 days are up, I switch to a different protein and mix in different salads and veggie sides. By the time I’m starting to get bored, I’ve moved on to a new meal prep. At the very least, it is helpful to meal prep 3-4 days of your proteins at a time.
Consciously eat enough protein and fat.
Speaking of protein, a lot of people who are cutting out grains can often forget to fill up on protein. Most people do not eat enough protein, and this can be true for those attempting the Whole30 challenge as well. You should aim for 4-6 oz. of eggs, meat, or fish at each meal, and 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fats. Protein and fat are extremely filling, so making sure you eat plenty of both will help you limit snacking throughout the day.
Ultimately, the only thing that can make you have a successful Whole30 challenge is you. Please know that you absolutely have the capability to do it. Your mind is a very powerful thing and success with any goal is usually a matter of execution. So commit, plan, and execute, and you will have a successful Whole30 challenge.
What are you most excited about for your first (or next) round of the Whole30 challenge?