The 8 Whole30 Rules You Need To Know

One of the most common questions about Whole30 are the Whole30 rules for the program. Yes, you’re going to be going on a diet and even more so a cleanse for 30 days, but in order to be successful at the challenge you’re going to need to do a little more than just eat whole foods.

Whole30 Rules: Eat Real Food

If the title of the challenge doesn’t say it enough, we’ll say it again, eat whole foods. This means including a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, and eggs. You’re going to want to include spices and seasonings so that you give your food a little more life on your pallet while keeping the ingredients that you use to a minimum. If they aren’t whole and unprocessed, then you’re not going to include them for the entirety of the program.

Whole30 Rules: No Sugars

Any type of sugar is going to go, real, natural, fake or processed. This includes, but isn’t limited to, maple syrup, honey, table sugar, brown sugar, Stevia, sucralose xylitol, monk fruit, and more. Any or all of it is not to be eaten or consumed during Whole30.

Quick Question: What about salt?

Believe it or not, salt has sugar in it. Why? Well, it keeps the potassium iodide from oxidizing and being lost. Since salt is in just about everything, this is the only modification to the Whole30 Rule of no sugar.

Whole30 Rules: No Tobacco or Alcohol

Yep, not real natural either. This means no wine, beer, vodka, bourbon, cigarettes, and more. Part of the Whole30 challenge is to get back to your basic roots and cleanse the body of human made and processed things, including tobacco and alcohol. Now that being said, if you’re a chronic drinker or smoker, do be aware of your body’s addiction, and don’t go cold turkey. Consult a physician before doing this, ideally.

Whole30 Rules: No MSG, Sulfates, or Carrageenan

The reason for this one comes down to the ingredients on the label whether it is in your food or your drink. If it is on the label, it isn’t going in your body for the next month. No exceptions.

Quick Question: What about vinegar?

Just about every form of vinegar, including rice vinegar, are allowed during the Whole30 month with the exception of malt vinegar which contains gluten.

Whole30 Rules: No Grains

Grains are a big no-no with Whole30 and you’re going to have to opt out of them for an entire 30 day challenge to be successful here. Grains are any wheat, barley, oat, corn, rice, bulgur, breads, pastas, and all gluten free pseudo-cereals like quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth. If it is on the label or in the product, opt-out here just like with the sugars.

Quick Question: What About Coconut Aminos

Coconut aminos are a great way to add some life and flavor to food and is totally okay to use during Whole30.

Whole30 Rules: No Processed Foods

This one might be obvious, but no processed foods, baked goods, or recreations of sweet treats, especially those made with alternative sugars. Anything commercially made or that comes in a box or bag is out, too.

Quick Question: What about fruit juice?

Fruit juice that has no additional additives and is just pure fruit juice and water is allowed during Whole30 for the purpose of a drink or as a sweetener. 

Whole30 Rules: No Legumes

This includes all beans, lentils, peanuts, peas, chickpeas, and more. This also means not having a paste, noodle, or butter made out of these products, like black bean pasta, chickpea pasta, or peanut butter. This also includes vegan or vegetarian friendly products derived from legumes like tempeh, edamame, soy sauce, miso, and tofu because they contain lecithin.

Quick Question: What about green beans?

Green beans, snow peas, and sugar snap peas are allowed on the Whole30 diet because they’re a ‘green’ bean and come from a pod. While yes, they’re considered legumes, they do pose less of a threat than the other legumes on the list.

Whole30 Rules: No Dairy

No dairy means no dairy. This isn’t limited to cows milk, but any milk from any animal. This also includes any dairy-derived product, like cheese, yogurt, ice cream, fro-yo, and more.

Quick Question: What about butter?

The only sources of dairy allowed during the Whole30 are clarified butter or ghee, but no other sources or plain old butter is allowed. The reason is that normal butter still does have milk protein in it, whereas ghee and clarified butter do not. 

Whole30 Rules: No Weighing Or Measuring

While this doesn’t apply to your food it does apply to your body. The rule is this - once you start you don’t weigh or measure yourself until the very end. The challenge itself isn’t just about weight loss, it is about getting in touch with your body, how it feels, and the correlation between your health and what you put in your mouth. 

Whole30 Rules: Takeaway

If you’re looking to do the challenge then these Whole30 Rules are going to help you be extremely successful at navigating the next 30 days of your journey. Not sure if the ingredient, food, or drink is allowed? Make sure you turn the box, bag, or product around and start reading the nutrition facts panel, including the ingredients and other ingredients list. While you might slip up here and there the big idea is that you learn more than you knew before and become more aware about what you’re putting in your body and why.

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Tags: Nutrition