Confession: I'm a Paleo failure. I tried this fad diet at the peak of its popularity and lasted about a week.
However, I am a Whole30 success story. Well, almost.
While I still have 13 days left, this diet has been everything I dreamed of and more.
I've always considered myself a healthy eater.
I indulges in the occasional meal out or glass of wine or ice cream, but overall, I'm a healthy, brings her lunch to work kind of girl.
A few people in my office had completed Whole30 last year, so I decided to look into it.
I knew it was going to push my limits and truly test me and my "healthy" lifestyle, but I had no idea the effects it would have on me.
For anyone considering any kind of lifestyle change by way of their eating habits, here are the eight reasons you should consider trying Whole30:
1. Give your body the gift of hitting the reset button.
Whole30 breaks your diet down to the bare bones when it comes to food, and it truly is the most natural and healthiest way to reset your body.
By eliminating sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy and all unnatural ingredients, you only give your body what it truly needs.
2. Dare to challenge yourself.
Whether you're someone who eats out multiple times a week or considers yourself healthy like me, Whole30 is challenging. It is not for the faint of heart.
However, even if you are faint of heart, I dare you to do it. See how much you can accomplish in 30 days.
And who knows? Maybe you'll come out of it with a totally different wellness routine.
3. You'll gain a better understanding of the food you're eating.
Whole30 is all about reading labels. Once you understand what you can and cannot have, it's your job for 30 days to check the label of everything you're consuming to ensure it doesn't have any of those forbidden ingredients.
Fun fact: Sugar is in E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.
4. Cooking and meal prep will become second nature.
Prior to starting this program, I was the anti-cook.
I preferred granola bars as an after workout snack, and my morning breakfast consisted of oatmeal. It was all very grab and go.
However, Whole30 challenges you to look beyond the packaged go-to meals and come up with new, natural snacks and meals.
5. Your energy levels will skyrocket.
For myself and my co-workers, this change happened within the first few days.
Dependent upon your eating habits prior to starting Whole30, the "withdrawal" phase during the first week can leave you feeling weak and sickly.
However, once you're over that hump, you will notice an immediate change in your energy levels. Soon, you'll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to conquer each and every day.
6. Get ready to turn heads.
Over the course of the next 30 days, you'll look and feel even better.
My workout performance has drastically improved over the course of this diet plan (probably in large part due to my energy levels), and my confidence has increased dramatically.
7. Whole30 is habit-forming.
While there is some discrepancy between the exact amount of time it takes to form a new habit, I promise that after just two weeks (even less for some people), new eating habits will become part of your life.
Once you get used to eating cleaning and healthy, you lose your desire to break the cycle by consuming junk food and candy.
8. It will change your life.
At the end of March, Whole30 will be the greatest thing I've done this year.
Prior to starting what I thought was just another fad diet, I was in a major slump.
I felt unhappy with my weight and my workouts, and I would always crash during the workday despite my daily cups of coffee. I felt unmotivated, tired, worn out and stuck in a rut.
After just one week of Whole30, my life completely turned around.
I was springing out of bed for my 5 am pilates class, pushing my body to its limits, seeing the results of my hard work in the gym, making it through the entire workday without coffee and feeling wide-eyed and energized and ready to conquer every single day.
And that's exactly what I've done.
Whole30 came into my life when I needed it most. It has changed my relationship with food and myself, and I don't anticipate returning to my previous ways after day 30.
Sure, I'll allow myself the occasional meal out where I don't have to inquire what kind of butter the chef used, and I may indulge in a glass of red wine every now and again.
But, this is my new lifestyle.
Over the course of Whole30, I have seen how my body is capable of feeling, the level my energy is capable of maintaining and the amazing things I'm capable of doing just by eating well.
Why would I ever want to go back?
To each and every one of you reading this, whether you think you're healthy or indulge in fast food multiple times a week, I challenge you to try Whole30.
Forget the fasting, juice cleanses or crash diets.
This is without a doubt the healthiest way to get your body in check. I promise you won't regret it.