GET IT AWAY:
- No added sugar of any kind- including honey, agave, artificial sweetners like Splenda, aspartame
- No Grains- including wheat, rye, oats, corn, rice, bulgar
- No Legumes- including all peas, peas, lentils, peanuts, and all soy products
- No Dairy- from any source, so no cheese, yogurt, cream, milk etc
- No White potatoes
- No Alcohol
- Lots of vegetables
- Occasional fruit
- Healthy fats- Ghee or clarified butter (i.e. the milk proteins been removed), coconut oil, avocado etc
So what was positive about my experience on the Whole30? Using the founders llooonnnggg list of consequences of it, I have compiled my own!
- No bloating
- Feeling stronger
- My knee problems that I have had for a year and half rapidly improved
- A more regular cycle (seriously, with PCOS my cycle is all over the place but this was 4 weeks to the day. NEVER happened before ever.)
- Sleep loads better
- Constant energy levels
- Healthier relationship with food. Not worrying about every calorie going into my body has done wonders for my psyche. I no longer feel a slave to the calorie.
- Fewer cravings for sweet things
- Much more knowledgeable about nutrition.
- I stuck to something 100% for 30 days. 30 flippin' days! I feel really proud of that.
Ok so those were the positives. Now onto the negatives. To be honest, for me there is one big one that definitely overshadowed the achievement I felt when I first woke up this morning. Weight loss. Or rather, the lack of weight loss. I was expecting and hoping for some shift on the scales. I knew that the Whole30 is designed for health and not necessarily weight loss but the majority of people do lose weight. I wanted to be one of them, but I wasn't. I will admit, there were tears. From the age of 12 I have always been dieting, always trying to lose weight, so the scale has been a massive part of my life! I always tell myself that the numbers don't mean anything; I know I am healthy and fit, but deep down the numbers do matter to me! I wanted to have lost around 4lbs. I am great at maintaining a weight between 147 and 150lbs. My goal for the end of the year is to be 140 and I hoped these 30 days would be a good jumping off point, so to have lost ermm nothing. Well. Darn.
I have had a few hours to ponder on this and really take a look back. Just because I haven't lost any weight doesn't mean that this has been a waste of time. If anything it has fueled me on and made me believe in Paleo as a lifestyle even more. High fat way of life? Yes please. The food is gorgeous. But there is the problem for me I think. I took the fat recommendation side of things a bit too liberally. I think I was consuming too much fat for weight loss. I was eating a diet between 1200 and 1500 calories a day, and during the Whole30 I have been eating WAY more than that. So to have stayed the same weight...well that's really interesting. Science works. Cut out the inflammatory and insulin spiking grains and sugars, cut out dairy that we humans are naturally intolerant to, up the fat, protein and vegetables, and you have a perfect lifestyle!
So what am I going to do now? Well, today me and my best friend are going to a Body Pump class then having a spa day; jacuzi, steam room, massage, reelllaaxxx, with a latte from Starbucks of course (that is the only thing I have been craving all 30 days.) Then we are going out for dinner. I won't go crazy though.
Tomorrow, I am going to carry on with the Whole30 principles but just cut back on the fat. I know the science, I know the baseline, now I need to adapt it to my needs. Too much fat? No problem, I can change that. Weight loss needs to be a slow and gradual process to be maintainable. I like this lifestyle; it isn't a diet. It works if you cater it to your needs. Right now my needs are to lose a few pounds. Once that has happened, I know that I can up the fat slightly, introduce the odd latte, and i'll be a mean, lean, fighting PCOS machine.