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Whole 30: Proven Benefits and Lifestyle Changes

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Many of us have heard about the Whole 30 lifestyle. It’s healthy eating and well-being that’s more sustainable than a typical diet. But many of us don’t know the specifics that have made Whole 30 so notable for those who actually follow the lifestyle.

Whole 30 encapsulates all the best things we can put into our bodies daily, including meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and, of course, good quality seasonings. This lifestyle is not only about successful weight loss but also focuses on feeling good both inside and out.

Being Whole 30 will ultimately give you better health and longevity. It will likely aid in any ailments you might be facing, improve sleep quality, and help hormonal imbalances, just to name a few. Let’s dive into what makes this lifestyle change so popular among many Americans.

How Did the Whole 30 Start?

Once a drug addict, Melissa Hartwig, co-creator of the Whole 30, dreamed about curving America’s addictions to processed foods that live on our shelves. Along with her ex-husband, Dallas, Melissa wanted to create a system that targeted eating a well-balanced diet. 

Melissa started her health and fitness journey after going to rehab and began a drug-free life in 2000. She started mentoring clients outside of her regular job after obtaining her bachelor’s degree and her sports nutritionist certification. 

One day while eating a sleeve of Thin Mints, Melissa decided she needed a change. With the help of Dallas, a physical therapist, they chose to go an entire 30 days eating only clean foods with nutritional benefits to fuel their bodies.

After beginning this lifestyle and writing blogs about their journey, her popularity grew, and before you knew it, the Whole 30 program took on an entirely new life with immense success. Today, followers claim this has changed their lives and fostered a sustainable love for fresh, hearty foods that lend to a better life. 

To Eat or Not to Eat: How to Make Whole 30 Choices

So what can you expect to eat while you’re following the Whole 30? Although this might sound hard initially, eating approved items is not that difficult. Here are the things you can include in your daily eating:

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  • Vegetables (all)
  • Fruits (all)
  • Seafood (including shellfish)
  • Meats (all, unprocessed)
  • Healthy fats
  • Seeds/Nuts (unprocessed)
  • Black coffee/unsweetened drinks

Food that is not included in the program are:

  • Added sugars
  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • Alcohol
  • Legumes
  • Pasta/Bread
  • Processed additives

Through Whole 30, the idea is to start by eliminating the items mentioned for a whole 30 days. Individuals who have followed these guidelines have raved about the fantastic results both physically and mentally.

Top 8 Benefits of the Whole 30 Program

1. Improved Health

Healthier Lifestyle

Medical professionals can agree that some ailments are caused simply by what we put into our bodies every single day. By choosing healthy proteins, wholesome vegetables, and fats, you’re eliminating common health complications such as high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure, to name a few. 

2. Better Mental Stability

Including healthy Whole 30 approved options in daily eating has been shown to increase mood stability with fewer processed ingredients. Refined sugars can cause insomnia, and bad fats can lead to obesity, which are all seen to increase depression and anxiety. There are so many reasons why eating a well-balanced diet will help you mentally.

3. Improved Gut Health

Studies show that eating a Whole 30 approved meal plan will visibly reduce the leaky gut symptoms; bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and cramps. By minimizing foods that cause inflammation, you’re reducing the inflammation in your gut and symptoms.

4. Increased Energy

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Who doesn’t want more pep in their step? Adulting can be challenging, and we can all benefit from increased stamina. Cutting out simple carbs and unnecessary junk from our diets will almost immediately improve our energy levels. 

5. Skin Rejuvenation

When you ingest greasy, sugary foods, it shows on your skin. Dull and acne-prone skin can be frustrating, and it can spread not only on your face but back, chest and shoulders. Cleaning up your diet with Whole 30 will bring back your skin’s vibrance and improve the acne that you may be dealing with.

6. Decreased Joint Pain and Swelling

Inflammation is one of the top symptoms Whole 30 tackles. By lowering the body’s inflammation, you are directly affecting your joints throughout your body. Also, eating healthy fish oils lubricates the joints for increased mobility. 

7. Better Sleep Habits

Quality sleep is essential to our everyday routines. Those who follow Whole 30 say they fall asleep faster and wake up less throughout the night. Being a better sleeper is being a better you.

8. Weight Loss

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Last but not least, you’ll likely see improvement in your waistline and the overall shape of your body. The body will start shedding extra water weight, likely tone up, and clothes will start fitting differently.

The Essentials: A Whole 30 Shopping List

Meats/Fish – Organic, Grass-fed, Nitrate Free:

  • Beef
  • Poultry – Chicken breast, chicken sausage, ground turkey, and duck
  • Pork
  • Fish – Salmon, trout, cod, and tuna
  • Shellfish – Shrimp, mussels, and scallops


  • Avocado oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Ghee
  • Clarified butter


Whole 30 Diet
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Artichokes
  • Cucumber
  • Radishes, turnips, and parsnips
  • Asparagus


  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Citrus (all)
  • Berries (all)
  • Melons (all)
  • Dates/figs
  • Cherries


  • Almonds (raw, butter)
  • Cashew (natural, butter)
  • Pecans
  • Macadamia
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachio
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Sesame seeds


  • Carbonated water
  • Coconut water
  • Pure fruit juice (no sugar added)
  • Unsweetened coffee/tea
  • Whole 30-approved condiments, marinades, sauces, and dressings

A Whole New You: Saying Yes to Whole 30

Change can be daunting and difficult at first, but adapting and sustaining to the Whole 30 will benefit you physically, mentally, and even financially, as lowering cholesterol can make it easier to get life insurance.

Putting our health first is crucial to the lives we live daily. We are faced with many health issues, and putting our best foot first with our body’s well-being will keep us thriving. This all starts with what we ingest every single day.

There are so many resources for the Whole 30 lifestyle. Check out a cookbook, read and research some blogs, and even search for special designations at your local grocery store. This program is sure to stay and continue to be successful among people across the country. 

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Carla Hughes
Carla Hughes writes and researches for InsuranceBlogByChris. She is a health and wellness expert who has followed the Whole 30 program several times with success and results.

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