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Do not step on the scale or take any body measurements for 30 days. The Whole30 is about so much more than weight loss, and to focus only on body composition means you’ll overlook all of the other dramatic, lifelong benefits this plan has to offer. So, no weighing yourself, analyzing body fat, or taking comparative measurements during your Whole30. (We do encourage you to weigh yourself before and after, so you can see one of the more tangible results of your efforts when your program is over.)
Legumes are members of a large family of plants that have a seed or pod. This category includes all beans, peas, lentils, tofu and other soyfoods, and peanuts. Legumes are not allowed on paleo because of their high content of lectins and phytic acid. Similar to grains, this is a point of controversy in the scientific community. In fact, lots of research supports eating legumes as part of a healthy diet because they are low in fat and high in fiber, protein and iron.
On Day 4, I reached for a beef jerky stick from Epic. I simultaneously took a big bite while turning over the packaging to read the label. When I saw it on the ingredients list, I stopped mid-chew: "honey." I immediately spit the partially chewed jerky in my garbage can. Close one. After that, I always read the labels on my food twice before eating a morsel.
^ Another publication of similar regimen was Hill LW, Eckman RS (1915). The Starvation Treatment of Diabetes with a series of graduated diets as used at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Boston: W.M. Leonard. This was so well received that it went into revised editions, eventually becomingThe Allen (Starvation) Treatment of Diabetes with a series of graduated diets (4th ed.). Boston. 1921. p. 140.
Hi Maya. I LOVE your site!! Interesting, informative with fab recipes and ideas. Hubby and I have just started eating low carb and I have to say, we are not finding it too difficult and I already feel sooo much better!! I find the hardest part is choosing low carb veg, I feel as if we are not eating enough. Any suggestions on how to get more veggies into our diet?
Diana Schwarzbein is another M.D. that has come to realize that low carb is what works. See reviews at The Schwarzbein Principle. The book is based on her work with insulin-resistant patients with Type II diabetes. She concludes that low-fat diets cause heart attacks, eating fat makes you lose body fat, and it's important to eat high-cholesterol foods every day.
2) There is a big step up in the use of tree nuts in the cookbook. I never really got why tree nuts would be included in an anti-inflammatory diet when they are one of the more common allergens. Aside from that, I'm super allergic to tree nuts (need an epi-pen) so this was, personally, lame for me. Nuts were easy to avoid in 30 Day Guide but many more recipes include them in the cookbook.
I’ve seen young body-builder types with grocery trolleys full of eggs, cans of tuna, lean beef and especially skinless/boneless chicken breasts – so I adopted that habit about 5 months ago. 2 or 3 eggs for breakfast, sometimes with cheese or bacon, a can of tuna with carb-free herbs for lunch, and then a steak or big chicken breast or even some meat-only hot dogs for dinner. I don’t purposely eat more fat than necessary, mostly because the calories are not needed. I have not been hungry AT ALL, even when sitting down to eat. No temptation to “cheat”, either. Result? I am approaching 100 pounds lost (not proud of being THAT fat, believe me) , blood pressure dropped from 170/100 to 122/80, acid reflux totally gone, any joint pain banished, and a closet full of clothes I can wear once again.
The first week was the hardest. I quickly learned that meal prep was essential to survive this program. Since everything you’re eating isn’t processed, there’s a lot of planning that goes into being able to have an easy week. If I prepped on Sunday nights for the whole week by filling my fridge with things I could easily eat, and doing things like pre-slicing veggies for those hunger emergencies, I did great.
In that sense, Whole30 has been so helpful in understanding my body. So how am I eating now? I would say that I'm eating pretty "paleo" these days. I definitely still indulge once in a while, with some red wine or french fries, but I haven't been tempted to binge in the slightest. I would definitely do Whole30 again, but I need a bit of a break from it at the moment. Instead, I'm ready for a mindful and moderate approach to my new chapter of life, back in New York City.
The best way to start eating a lower-carb diet is to simply focus on eliminating major sources of added sugar and carbohydrates — especially from sugar snacks, sweetened drinks, grains and possibly legumes and dairy, too. At the same time, work on increasing calories from healthy fats and quality proteins. By following these guidelines, most adults will see fast weight loss and improvements in overall health.
As of 2016 it was unclear whether low-carbohydrate dieting had any beneficial effect on cardiovascular health, though such diets can cause high LDL cholesterol levels, which carry a risk of atherosclerosis in the long term. Potential favorable changes in triglyceride and HDL cholesterol values should be weighed against potential unfavorable changes in LDL and total cholesterol values.
The simple fact is that many of us eat more carbohydrates than our bodies can handle. We can see this with people with diabetes who eat too much of a certain food and lose control of their blood sugar. The aim of a low-carb diet, therefore, is to reduce the consumption of carbohydrates to keep our GI in check, while maintaining good nutrition and achieving sustainable weight loss.
Then I had my "aha!" moment. This was the perfect time to attempt Whole30, which I had always been interested in trying. My sister-in-law, Lisa, tried it a few years ago and she claims it changed her life. She ended up going off of the strict diet after 30 days, but stayed on the Paleo Diet. I asked her to be my "Whole30 advisor" throughout the entire process. (Side note: If you know someone who has done Whole30 before, ask them if they can be your guide!) Lisa was so helpful, I feel like I probably should have paid her.
After that initial hump, things got a lot better. I had energy to do some things that I usually had no energy to do. I was doing yoga, and was able to go on walks. This was a big deal for me. Going through treatment for Lyme Disease is exhausting. Often I feel like I don’t have enough air to hold up my body — it’s a feeling of intense can’t-get-out-of-bed-exhaustion. So to have a little more pep in my step felt invaluable.
Research into the weight loss effects of the paleolithic diet has generally been of poor quality. One trial of obese postmenopausal women found improvements in weight and fat loss after six months, but the benefits had ceased by 24 months; side effects among participants included "weakness, diarrhea, and headaches". Any weight loss caused by the diet was merely the result of calorie restriction, rather than a special feature of the diet itself.
Once you are eating the right amount of carbohydrate for you, your appetite should reset and you won't be as hungry. You should eat when you're hungry and until you are satisfied, dining on foods that are allowed on plan you select. But remember: Just because a food is "allowed" doesn't mean it's a good idea to overeat it. Cheese is a good example.
"The struggle is a normal, necessary part of the process. Changing your food is hard. Changing your habits is even harder. Changing your relationship with food is the hardest part of all. The process requires struggle—it’s how you know you’re growing—but don’t make it harder than it has to be! There is no such thing as the 'perfect Whole30,' so if your beef isn’t grass-fed or your travel meal doesn’t look exactly like our meal template, don’t sweat it. Your only job is to stick to the Whole30 rules for 30 days, and some days, you’ll have to let good enough be good enough. When you do struggle, remember why you took on the program in the first place, and don’t be overwhelmed by the big picture—just focus on the next day, or the next meal. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, and high-five yourself for the victories you’re achieving every day you’re on the program, no matter how small. Even tiny progress is progress."
For instance, the fat allowance of the diet may be problematic. “My biggest hang-up with the paleo diet is all of the saturated fats it promotes with all of the meats,” explains Holley, noting that you could look for a locally sourced meat, whose origin and method of raising you're aware of, as a healthier option. Saturated fat from meat has been linked with an increased risk of early death. (9)
According to the model from the evolutionary discordance hypothesis, "many chronic diseases and degenerative conditions evident in modern Western populations have arisen because of a mismatch between Stone Age genes and modern lifestyles." Advocates of the modern paleo diet have formed their dietary recommendations based on this hypothesis. They argue that modern humans should follow a diet that is nutritionally closer to that of their Paleolithic ancestors.
Origins and Evolution of Human Diet was an academic web site at the University of Arkansas devoted to discussion of evolution and the human diet. They had good articles on the conferences link. Here is one from the archives: Boyd Eaton's Evolution, Diet and Health which argues that current w-6 : w-3 imbalance together with absolute dietary DHA intake quite low in human evolutionary perspective may be relevant to the frequency of unipolar depression.
The study investigated the effects of low-carbohydrate diets (≤45 percent of energy from carbohydrates) versus low-fat diets (≤30 percent of energy from fat) on metabolic risk factors by conducting a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Twenty-three trials from multiple countries with a total of 2,788 participants were included in the analyses.
The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program by Kathleen DesMaisons. While this isn't really a paleo book, it does point out issues with the foods we aren't eating. The books claims the excessive processed sugar consumed is responsible for "mood swings, depression, fatigue, fuzzy thinking, PMS, impulsivity ... [and] unpredictable temper." She says her research shows indulging in sugar highs should be treated much more seriously, akin to heroin or alcohol dependency, because sugar causes spikes in the neurotransmitters serotonin and beta-dopamine just like those drugs.
Cordain argues that chimpanzees and horses avoid meat, and they have big bellies that we would have if we didn’t ditch plants for meat. He also says meat increased human brain size, and decreased stomach size so we can have the six-pack abs that chimps can’t. But I looked at his endnotes with citations to research and couldn’t find the source for these theories. I also couldn’t find research showing that legumes and grains were invented by humans.
LOREN CORDAIN, Ph.D., is one of the top global researchers in the area of evolutionary medicine. Generally acknowledged as the world's leading expert on the Paleolithic diet, he is a professor in the Health and Exercise Science Department at Colorado State University. Dr. Cordain and his research have been featured on Dateline NBC and in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other media. He is the author of The Paleo Diet and The Paleo Diet Cookbook, among other books, and makes regular media and speaking appearances worldwide.
It’s easy to find more guidance online, but a book also makes a handy reference. "The Paleo Diet," for example, outlines basic Paleo principles and offers three “levels” that allow for different degrees of cheating – three “open meals” per week on the “entry level” plan, two on “maintenance” and just one on “maximal.” Depending on the level, you might also get “transitional” condiments (low-fat dressing and salsa) and drinks (coffee, beer or wine in moderation) to wash down the meat and plants. You can use the levels as you like. Start with the first and move gradually to the more restrictive – or just stay put. For more dramatic changes, head right to the third.