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The Whole30 Diet: Scam or Legitimate Weight Loss Solution

Nov 15, 2021

The Whole30 Diet: Scam or Legitimate Weight Loss Solution


The world is not in short supply of diets and dietary trends. It seems like every other month, a new diet arrives disparaging long-trusted and supported health food facts. When these nutritional fads enter the spotlight, most are short-lived, but some maintain enough momentum to carry through the noise and earn some staying power. The Whole30 diet is one such trend.

The Problem With Whole30

There is nothing wrong with the Whole30 plan on the surface, but many dieticians and doctors take issue with some of the fundamental principles on closer inspection. The program requires eliminating entire food groups, such as dairy, beans and legumes, and any food with added sugars. Granted, the elimination of these foods is temporary, 30 days, to supposedly refresh your system and eating habits.

The problem, most professionals explain, is the diet’s reliance on meat, resulting in potentially dangerous sodium levels and nutrient deficiencies. The plan’s creator writes off these observations as alarmist, stating the objective is a dietary reset, and most nutrients from the eliminated food groups are found in other bioavailable resources.

The question is whether the Whole30 is legitimate and sustainable. Due to the plan's popularity, there is no denying its staying power and loyal following, but if it is effective, why did U.S. News and World Report list Whole30 at the bottom of the annual ranking, a well-researched and professionally supported list?

Misconceptions and Misuse

The Whole30 plan is not a lifelong diet. It is an elimination diet, and the program is only designed for 30 days. Continued use of the diet is not the intention. As an elimination diet, the program focuses on identifying food sensitivities and helping you reestablish a healthy relationship with food.

Many of the negative thoughts about the plan stem from the diet’s misuse and the overmarketing of the program as a lifestyle. The continued use of the plan can result in the very real consequences nutritionists warn of, nutrient deficiencies and high sodium intake. The program is pushed as a no-calorie-counting, eat-what-you-want style diet. Unfortunately, with limited food selections, many people will choose to increase their meat intake, often consuming more than the suggested daily limits.

Sustainable Dieting

The Whole30 program is not sustainable, but it is not meant to be. If you want a long-term dietary solution, it is better to focus on nutritional basics. You can review government guidelines or try to eliminate overly-processed foods while increasing vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins, like fish. Healthy eating should not be viewed as a chore; it is a lifestyle. The only way to successfully take off the weight and keep it off is to find sustainable habits. If you cannot develop those habits independently, consider speaking with a registered dietician or try speaking with your primary physician.

There will always be another dietary fad or trend. While the Whole30 is not a scam and is OK for short-term weight loss objectives, it is not for long-term and sustained health. The program is designed as a temporary solution, but the user must be cautious about nutrient and sodium intake.

Category: weight loss