The Basics of Whole 30, What you Need to Know

Here is a quick rundown of the basics of the Whole 30. If you are interested in the Whole 30 but don’t know what it is this brief explanation will get you started on the right path.

Here is a quick rundown of the Basics of the Whole 30. The Whole 30 is a 30-day elimination diet design to reset your relationship with food.

What is the Whole 30?

The simplest explanation is an elimination diet that lasts for 30 days. A reset of your eating habits and relationship with food.

Whole 30 is for anyone who wants to lose weight, have a healthier relationship with food and feel better.

Eliminated from your diet for 30 days

  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Specific additives Carrageenan, MSG, and added Sulfites

What You Can Eat

  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Eggs (lots!)
  • Vegetables ( tons!)
  • Fruits
  • Healthy fats (such as olive oil, coconut oil, almonds, cashews, and olives) 

Whole 30 is not easy but it’s not hard.

Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, the creators of the program tell you:

“Please don’t tell us this program is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard”

Before you Start

Before you begin the Whole 30 read It Starts With Food. You will learn everything you need to know about Whole 30. 

It explains why the eliminated food groups are not so good for you and the science behind the diet.

So, you’ll get a better understanding of what is compliant and what is not on your 30-day journey.


Cleaning out your pantry or cupboards. If you are going to be tempted with foods that are not Whole 30 approved, either throw it out or at least hide it.

Find Support

If you can get your BFF, spouse, or the members of your family to join you on the Whole 30 it will make your life so much easier. Then you will have someone to turn to when it gets rough and you want to quit.

Stock Up

Go grocery shopping and stock up on compliant ingredients. The way you go grocery shopping will change. You will spend more time in the produce and meat sections and less time in the aisles of the store.   

When you’re shopping for prepackaged items, you will need to look at all the ingredients on the back of packages.

Sugar is Every Where!

Sugar is a sneaky ingredient you have to be on the lookout for all the time.  It has many different names so get familiar with those. 

Sugar is in everything! Chicken broth has sugar in it. Why does sugar need to be in chicken broth?!

Some Key Points

During your 30 days, you will have 3 meals a day. Most of your plate is going to contain vegetables, then protein, and a plated fat. The plated fat is important because it will help keep you full until your next meal.  

Make sure you eat enough at each meal because snacking between meals should be avoided. If you do have to snack it should be a mini-meal that consists of a protein, veggies, and a plated fat.

Whole 30 is strict! If you slip up, you have to start over. There are no cheat days or one little bite. 

You won’t see the results you are looking for if you don’t follow the program.

Once you do commit to the program, you’ll find out for yourself how great you can feel when you eat healthy, good for you food.

What to Expect For the 30 Days

The first few days will seem easy until the withdrawals start. You might get headaches and have flu-like symptoms. Don’t worry it will pass. Keep telling yourself it is worth it.

Days 10 and 11 are going to be the hardest days but since you are already this far in, keep going.

Around day 16 you might experience “Tiger Blood,” which is a boost in energy. Also, the program starts to get easier because you are figuring out what you can and can’t have and cravings are going away.

Day 21 is the so over it phase. The shiny new diet wears off and you want to go back to your previous eating habits.

Day 28 is when you realize the finish line is near. You feel like you can eat this way for the rest of your life because of how great you feel.

 On Day 30 you do a happy dance because you finished the Whole 30!

Here is a quick rundown of the Basics of the Whole 30. The Whole 30 is a 30-day elimination diet design to reset your relationship with food.


Spoiler alert! Whole 30 is not exactly 30 days. So now that you have gone 30 days without alcohol or sugar, you have to live without it for another 15, (sort of).

On day 31, the reintroduction phase begins. The purpose of the reintroduction phase is to evaluate how the eliminated foods make you feel, now that you have a clean slate. 

You will be reintroducing the eliminated foods one at a time. The book gives you a plan of how to reintroduce those foods.

First, introduce legumes on day 31

Then on day 34 non-gluten grain

Next, you’ll reintroduce dairy on day 37

Day 40 you will be reintroducing gluten-containing grains

Day 43 Whole 30 completed!!!

Pat yourself on the back for being AWESOME!

Basics of Whole 30

Now you should have a better understanding of the basics of Whole 30. You know what you need to avoid, what you can have, and where to find all the information that you need.

I have completed five rounds of the Whole 30. Each of those 30 days was not easy but I did it. It’s hard to change 30+ years of eating habits. 

Even though it hasn’t stuck for me yet, I really do enjoy the program. Eventually, I will learn to stick with it and make it a lifestyle change.

While on the Whole 30 I do see amazing results. Each time I did a Whole 30 my skin was glowing, I slept better, and I felt better all around. 

I’m hoping the more times I complete a 30 day round the closer I will be to making this program my lifestyle.

Are you thinking about starting The Whole 30? Have you already completed your first round? Please let me know in the comments below!

Related Posts:

Whole 30 Meal Plan week 1. Having a plan for your Whole 30 will make life so much easier. You'll be more likely to stay on track and finish the Whole 30 if you plan ahead.
When stocking up for a round of Whole30 Costco is a good place to start. You can use your Costco membership to find a ton of products that will keep you fed on your Whole30 journey.

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