The things I wish I knew going into my first Whole30

CrossFit:

As many reps as possible in 12:30 of:
Toes-to-bar, 2 mins
Rope Climb, 2 mins
Rest, 2 mins
Toes-to-bar, 1:30
Rope Climb, 1:30
Rest, 1:30
Toes-to-bar, 1 min
Rope Climb, 1 min

7 Rounds For Time:
5 Power Clean & Jerk, 155#/105#
5 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls, 155#/105#

TIMECAP: 7:00

Competition: 115-135/75-95#
Performance: 75-95/55-65#
Fitness: 45-65/35-45#

The things I wish I knew going into my first Whole30
By Trisha LeCompte

Over the past few years, I have done several Whole30's.  Each time I completed a Whole30 I was able to understand a bit more about how certain foods affect me and more importantly, how I "use" certain foods as a reward or for stress relief.  This was all learned by trial and error and hopefully some of what I am about to share will help you get to the benefits of Whole30 faster.   

At the start of each Whole30, I went into it with a dieter's mindset.  That mindset sounded something like this, "All I have to do is get through these 30 days and things will all be great.  I'll have lost those 10 pounds and then, I'll be happy.  I will no longer want to eat any of those "bad" foods ever again."  Pretty naive thinking wouldn't you say?  But, I bet many of you may be approaching your current or upcoming Whole30 with that same dieter's mindset. Here's what I wish I would have focused on during my Whole30's.  

  1. This is not a diet. Whole30 is not a once and done program.  It is unrealistic to think that you can change an entire lifetime of eating habits in 30 days. Think of your Whole30 as the first tool in your healthy lifestyle toolkit.  The second tool in your toolkit will be reintroduction. 
  2.  Don't skip the reintroduction phase.  During your Whole30, nearly every single one of the foods you'll eliminate contains both health-promoting and health degrading potential.  Yes, you read that right.  Some of the foods you are eliminating might actually be beneficial to YOU!  However, you won't truly know which foods are beneficial and which are problematic unless you follow the reintroduction guidelines.  If you add all the foods back in at once, you will completely miss out on the opportunity to pinpoint which eliminated foods negatively impact you; and, which foods you are able to enjoy without unwanted side-effects.
  3. Focus on your non-scale victories.    Take this time to really focus on how you feel on your Whole30.  Keep a journal and track how you're sleeping, how are your bathroom habits, what about your skin, your joints and your mood? While weight lose is a welcomed "side-effect" of Whole30, it should not be the only thing you focus on.  If you do, you miss the point of Whole30 completely. 
  4. Create a go-forward strategy for life after Whole30.   I highly recommend you read Melissa Hartwig's Food Freedom Forever.  In this book she gives so many tools to help you find balance after your Whole30.  No diet, not even Whole30, can permanently overwrite decades of bad eating habits.  You will most likely eat cake and/or ice cream again, you may even want to eat a sandwich on actual bread.  Creating a food freedom strategy will be key to making lasting lifestyle changes while still being able to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation. 

In my next post, I will share with you some of the highlights from the Food Freedom Forever book.  Stay tuned and good luck with your Whole30. 

-Trisha LeCompte

Trisha LeCompte

Trisha LeCompte, who is a long time member of CrossFit Forest, is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.  In addition to leading the Whole30 nutrition seminars, Trisha has also worked with many athletes to create a personalized macro nutrition program to help them improve performance in the gym and focus on increasing muscle mass and decreasing body fat.