You guys! I did it! I’m done! I completed another round of Whole30!! I started this year wanting to commit to 30 days of eating healthy foods and eating food that would fuel my body (tho Whole30 does take it a bit far at times…) and I ended up going for 52 days!!! So would I call that a Whole52? Sure! Why not?!? I was just feeling so great after the first 30 days that I decided to be a crazy person and just keep going. So I did.
But why did I stop at such a random number? Did I just fall off the wagon or make a mistake or get sick of not eating dairy? Nope- it just worked out that way with my schedule. I’m currently at my company’s annual user conference where ALL our meals are provided, which is great on the budget, but less great when trying to control what foods you do and don’t eat. So I stopped at 52 days and I feel great about it!
This was without a doubt my MOST SUCCESSFUL round of Whole30 EVER. I’ve completed two before (you can read about my first one here!) but I didn’t super enjoy the process and the “during” for them. But I wanted this one to be different. I wanted to LOVE the “during” and thankfully this time, I honestly did. I feel like there were a few key things I did this go-round that made it wildly successful, and I wanted to share them so YOU can have your best Whole30 ever, too!
1 | Plan, plan, plan. When you think that you’ve planned enough, go ahead and plan some more. Having everything mapped out BEFORE I started was probably the main reason that I was able to complete it without going crazy. I planned out my meals FOR THE ENTIRE MONTH from the very beginning which does sound a bit intense, yes, but knowing what I’d be eating and what groceries I’d need to get and what days I’d need to shop and what days I needed to cook helped me stay on top of things without making last-minute 10pm trips to the grocery store because oops, I have nothing to eat for the next day.
2 | Mentally prepare for all the cooking. Maybe you’re already used to cooking every day, but if you’re not, you need to mentally prepare for spending a LOT more time in the kitchen. I thought I cooked a lot before, but during Whole30 I REALLY cook a lot. There’s no “I don’t feel like cooking, I’ll just grab Chick-Fil-A” option here! Create an environment where you ENJOY cooking and this will become something you start looking forward to. I listen to podcasts while cooking and it really helps the time fly by!
3 | Buy what you need to and don’t feel bad about it. Whole30 is super popular now, which means that there are a lot of products that you can buy instead of make yourself. And that can be SO helpful. There are some things that I do make myself (like mayonnaise) but there are other things that I’ve learned I’d rather spend a little more money and just purchase (like sugar-free ketchup and bbq sauce). Trust me, I’ve tried making my own Whole30 bbq sauce and it did NOT go well! I’ll have another post about my favorite Whole30 products in a few days, so stay tuned for that!
4 | Know your restaurant options ahead of time. Which pretty much means don’t eat at restaurants unless you can 100% guarantee that they cook things in a Whole30 compliant way. Which is so hard. Unless you’re going somewhere like Snap Kitchen that specifies which meals are included in Whole30!
5 | Keep your “why” in mind constantly. Most likely, there’s a reason why you wanted to do a Whole30 in the first place. Maybe you wanted to lose some holiday pounds. Maybe you have a dress you really want to have fit a little better. Maybe you are having stomach issues that you want to try and figure out. Maybe you just want to see if you can commit to something for an entire month. Whatever it is, keep your “why” in mind ALWAYS. Remembering why you decided to do this will help the days pass by quickly and get you excited to make it to the end.
6 | Keep track of recipes you loved. I’ve been keeping a DETAILED list (does that surprise you, tho?!? You know I love a good list!) of all the meals I’ve had during this Whole30 and I’ve been making notes like “took twice as long to cook” or “this actually makes 6 servings not 4.” It’s been helpful to know what recipes I enjoyed so I can make them again – and I’ve repeated a few of them already!
7 | Don’t get burned out on eggs too early. During my first Whole30, I was lost when it came to breakfast. I couldn’t wrap my head around eating broccoli and ground beef or leftovers so early in the morning, and I just assumed I’d have omelettes or scrambled eggs every morning. Which is what I did. And after about 9 days, I great SO TIRED of eggs and couldn’t stand to see them anymore (and I didn’t eat eggs for probably 4 months after that!) So don’t overdo it with the eggs.
8 | Listen to your body. It can be easy to feel like you have to stick to certain rules while doing a Whole30 – if you’re going to be strict about one area of your life, it can be easy to get strict about other areas, too. But seriously, listen to your body and do what you need to do. If you’re still starving after your planned meal, have a little snack. If you’re feeling stuffed after eating only half your meal, evaluate and maybe save the rest for later in the day. If you think you should skip the gym and get caught up on sleep instead, then by all means SKIP THE GYM AND SLEEP. This is a strange 30 days where your body is very confused, so just try to take care of yourself and listen to what your body needs. (Unless your body says it needs chocolate. You can ignore that.)
9 | Ease back into working out. Speaking of skipping the gym… as a general rule, I don’t workout for the first 2 weeks of a Whole30. If you feel up for it, then go ahead, but just maybe take it easy. Your body is going through a lot and trying to get used to the sudden lack of bread and sugar and things and I just like to give myself some time to get used to the new “normal” before going back to the gym. You do you, but again, listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard at the beginning.
10 | Keep track of little wins. This right here is what really kept me going and kept me excited during this round. Some of the little wins that I noticed were: I fell asleep SO FAST! Like, crazy fast. My pants fit a lot better (and a pair of workout leggings are now “too big”) which is always nice. I’m so much less bloated all the time. I haven’t had as many breakouts over the last 6 weeks. My willpower has gotten stronger. And more!
There you have it – my top 10 tips and tricks to help you complete and enjoy your next Whole30! I enjoyed this round so much that I’m already planning on doing it again in a few months!
Have you been curious about trying the Whole30? Do you have any questions you’ve been dying to ask before you give it a try? If you have completed a Whole30, let me know what YOUR best tips and tricks are!