Step One: Discover the Whole30
What is the Whole30?
Co-founded by Melissa Hartwig Urban in April 2009, the Whole30® is designed to change your life in 30 days. Think of it as a short-term nutrition reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.
Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat—even the “healthy” stuff.
So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you? Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health.
The most important reason to keep reading? This will change your life.
We cannot possibly put enough emphasis on this simple fact—the next 30 days will change your life. It will change the way you think about food, it will change your tastes, it will change your habits and your cravings. It could, quite possibly, change the emotional relationship you have with food, and with your body. It has the potential to change the way you eat for the rest of your life. We know this because we did it, and tens of thousands of people have done it since, and it changed our lives (and their lives) in a very permanent fashion.
The physical benefits of the Whole30 are profound. More than 95% of participants lose weight and improve their body composition, without counting or restricting calories. Also commonly reported: consistently high energy levels, improved athletic performance, better sleep, improved focus and mental clarity, and a sunnier disposition. (Yes, more than a few Whole30 graduates said they felt “strangely happy” during and after their program.)
The psychological benefits of the Whole30 may be even more dramatic. Through the program, participants report effectively changing long-standing, unhealthy habits related to food, developing a healthier body image, and a dramatic reduction or elimination of cravings, particularly for sugar and carbohydrates. The words so many Whole30 participants use to describe this place? “Food freedom.”
Finally, testimonials from thousands of Whole30 participants document the improvement of any number of lifestyle-related diseases and conditions.
high blood pressure • high cholesterol • type 1 diabetes • type 2 diabetes • asthma • allergies • sinus infections • hives • skin conditions • endometriosis • PCOS • infertility • migraines • depression • bipolar disorder • heartburn • GERD • arthritis • joint pain • ADD • thyroid dysfunction • Lyme disease • fibromyalgia • chronic fatigue • lupus • leaky gut syndrome • Crohn’s • IBS • Celiac disease • diverticulitis • ulcerative colitis
We’ve also read some stories that can only be described as miracles, like Jessica’s trichotillomania, Jeremiah’s type 1 diabetes, Marlene’s respiratory condition, Summer’s juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and these 100 pound weight loss stories.
One Person at a Time
We believe that vibrant health and quality of life should be accessible to all, not just those who can afford a personal nutritionist or expensive meal plan. Since day one, the Whole30 program rules and a huge number of resources have been available for free on our website. (We’ll introduce them in the next steps.) Our program will always be free, so that we can help as many people as possible.
However, we encourage all of you to explore the roots, goals, and spirit of the program in more detail. We discuss the program’s background, rules, preparatory tips, meal planning strategies, and success stories and provide you with more than 100 delicious recipes in our New York Times bestselling book, The Whole30, available at all major retailers.
- Read our New York Times bestselling books. (Here is a summary of all seven—but if you just want to get going, start with The Whole30.)
- Subscribe to Wholesome, our free newsletter, for exclusive tips, advice, and recipes
- Get inspired with our Whole30 readers’ stories and A-Z testimonials
- Are you being treated for a medical condition, or on prescribed medication? Talk to your doctor about doing the Whole30.