This year is soon coming to an end. (Finally, am I right?)
Not only does that mean it's time to start planning our extravagant NYE plans, but it's also time to start setting goals for how we're going to — once again — get in the "best shape of our lives."
But before your start making fitness commitments, let's talk about one of the most controversial fad diets, the Whole30.
The Whole30 is essentially a "reset" button for your diet. For 30 days, you eliminate all processed foods, alcohol, sugar, grains, legumes, dairy, gluten and sweets out of your diet.
Your new diet consists of lean meats, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables. Once these 3o days are over, you can then slowly reintroduce these food groups, one at a time.
The main goal? To narrow it down to which foods may be causing inflammation, bloating, acne, etc.
I've had some friends hate it, I've had some friends love it and I've had some friends quit after day 22.
But I've done the Whole30 once before, and I swear by it. I've never felt as healthy as I did after those 30 days.
I know the diet is pretty much as hard as it sounds, but it is completely worth it.
Some (aka most) people called me crazy when I said giving up alcohol and sweets is listed under “the good” category, but I can assure you I'm right.
First off, think about how amazing you feel when you quit drinking for three to five days. You feel healthy AF, right?
Well, imagine not drinking for 30 days. Your skin starts to glow, your mind becomes clearer and your body retains less water (beating the bloat, if you will).
Another good thing about this month of health is a no-brainer: You're eating foods that are completely unprocessed without any added sugar.
I don't think I need to explain myself any further here.
So, I hate to break it to you, but “the bad” list definitely includes cutting out going to bars on weekends and (obviously) eating cake and ice cream. But, you don't have to panic because there are hacks to that.
As I mentioned before, you can't drink alcohol or have sweets during the Whole30.
What about partying with your friends? Or that late-night treat that's sitting pretty on your counter, wrapped in tinfoil?
Don't worry, I got you.
Hack one: Seltzer water with lime is your best friend. No, you can't drink at the bars, but yes, you still can absolutely go out and have fun with your friends.
(PS: Yes, people will think you're drinking vodka tonics, and yes, those same people will think you're getting very hammered. Just drink them slowly, OK?)
Hack two: A mix of 80 percent cocoa, bananas and almond butter are all Whole30-approved. So please, use this time to bring out your creativity and calm that sweet tooth! (Pinterest will help with this.)
It's day 30. You're planning your entire food list for day 3, and it consists of beer, pasta and maybe some ice cream for dessert.
If this is accurate, STOP YOURSELF NOW. Rewind and start from the beginning.
The Whole30 is an elimination process, which means you're eliminating foods that could cause you harm.
The main goal of this challenge is to figure out which foods make you feel like crap, cause bloating, trigger breakouts, etc.
Introducing these foods back into your diet all at once can actually cause serious problems. You could find out you're actually lactose intolerant and/or gluten intolerant in the worst possible way.
So please, slowly reintroduce the food groups — one at a time — or things will get ugly.
I'm not a doctor or nutritionist, and people either love or hate the Whole30.
Like any health and fitness challenge, make sure you're 100 percent committed before starting. After all, it's a new year, so don't start with failure.