There's a new food challenge in town, and it's getting hot out here in these streets.
It's called The Whole 30, and about 25% of the questions I've gotten in the last week have been about this 1 month challenge.
If you aren't familiar with it, here are the cliff notes.
- NO added sugar
- NO grains
- NO dairy
- NO legumes
- NO peanut butter
Yeah, you read that last one right. This is just one man's opinion, but the words 'no' and 'peanut butter' should never go together (allergies aside).
So, why are thousands of people taking on this challenge which appears to be straight from the fiery pits of Mordor?
Because it claims to be a diet reset, which will potentially fix your digestive system, skin, weight-loss woes, and about 30 other ailments listed on their web site.
Far fetched? Maybe, I don't know. But even if the truth is stretched a little, a fraction of these results would be fantastic.
Now, should you take on the Whole 30 challenge?
On one hand, it may help you kick your sugar addiction. Sugar cravings and emotional eating are one of the biggest obstacles people face when trying to lose fat.
Will this 30 day challenge eliminate that craving all together?
But shoot, maybe not.
And if you're anything like me, somewhere around day 22 you'll snap, go straight to Krispy Kreme and eat everything they have. You'll then cancel all your afternoon appointments and drink a keg of beer.
Finally, you'll realize what you've done and lay down on your kitchen floor as you contemplate your very existence, what it means, and what your cat would say to you if she could talk.
So, should you do the Whole 30 nutrition challenge?
Sure, if you want to.
But before you do, you’ll need to understand a few things.
1. Realize that quitting all of those foods cold-turkey might not work for you.
Making it 30 days is possible, but for many, it won’t happen. And if that’s the case for you, it’s OK. Chalk it up as a learning experience. There are countless approaches to fat loss nutrition that will work for you. Just try a different one.
2. Let’s say you make it the entire 30 days. What now?
If you make it the entire month, it’s quite likely you’ll feel great, have less sugar cravings, and you may even lose a few pounds.
But if you don’t have a plan built into the back end of the 30 day challenge, you have no where to go but back to your old habits.
And one thing is certain, no one wants to live out the rest of their days without cookies, alcohol, or peanut butter.
The good news is, you won’t have to. But you will need an intelligent plan to transition into when the challenge is finished.
What that plan should look like depends on a lot of things. If you aren’t sure how to make that transition, ask a pro.
Here is the first question you should ask yourself (or a coach) before making that transition: Which carbs will I allow back into my life, and in what amounts?
Carbs are a powerful nutrition tool when used properly, and should have a place in your diet. The key here is only allowing back the ones that will serve you best.
This, combined with a well-rounded, calorie controlled diet will allow you to take on the Whole 30 challenge, and come out the other side without wanting to swim in a vat of ice cream.
Or, you could toss The Whole 30 challenge in the trash and skip ahead to the well rounded, calorie controlled approach.
You'll burn fat just as quickly, but you'll still be able to toss back a beer now and then.
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