Whole30 Diet

A 30-day elimination diet that emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods and eliminates sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy, and dairy.


The Whole30 Diet is a 30-day nutritional program that focuses on consuming whole, unprocessed foods while eliminating certain food groups believed to be problematic. Participants are encouraged to eat meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and natural fats, while avoiding added sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy, and dairy. The goal is to reset eating habits, identify food sensitivities, and promote overall health and well-being.

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The Whole30 Diet was created in 2009 by Melissa Urban and Dallas Hartwig, a sports nutritionist and physical therapist. They developed the program as a way to help people change their relationship with food and improve their overall health. The diet gained popularity through their blog and social media presence, eventually leading to the publication of the New York Times bestselling book, 'The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom' in 2015. Since then, the Whole30 has become a well-known and widely followed elimination diet.


  1. Improved Digestion Eliminating common irritants like gluten, dairy, and processed foods can help reduce digestive issues and promote gut health.
  2. Increased Energy Consuming nutrient-dense, whole foods can lead to more stable energy levels throughout the day.
  3. Better Sleep Eliminating sugar and processed foods may contribute to improved sleep quality and duration.
  4. Weight Loss Focusing on whole, unprocessed foods and eliminating empty calories can lead to weight loss during the 30-day program.
  5. Improved Relationship with Food The Whole30 encourages participants to be mindful of their eating habits and develop a healthier relationship with food.
  6. Identification of Food Sensitivities By eliminating certain food groups and reintroducing them systematically, participants may identify foods that trigger adverse reactions.

How It Works

The Whole30 Diet is a 30-day elimination diet that focuses on whole, unprocessed foods. Participants eliminate sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, and certain additives from their diet. The goal is to identify any foods that may be negatively impacting health and well-being. After the 30 days, foods are slowly reintroduced to assess their effects on the body. The diet emphasizes consuming vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats. It aims to reset eating habits, reduce cravings, and promote a healthier relationship with food.


The Whole30 Diet can be challenging, as it requires strict adherence to the approved food list and eliminates many common foods. Dining out and social situations may be difficult, as the diet restricts many ingredients found in restaurant meals. Some individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms or cravings, especially in the first week. Meal planning and preparation are essential for success. While the diet can lead to weight loss and improved health markers, it may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those with certain medical conditions. Consulting with a healthcare professional before starting the diet is advisable.

How Much It Costs

The cost of following the Whole30 Diet can vary depending on individual circumstances. Generally, expect to spend between $100 to $200 per week on groceries for one person. This estimate may be higher if purchasing organic or specialty items. Additional costs may include Whole30-approved snacks, condiments, and supplements. Some participants choose to purchase Whole30 cookbooks or meal plans, which can range from $15 to $50. While the initial costs may be higher than a typical grocery budget, many participants report saving money by cooking at home and avoiding dining out.

Virtual & Online Options

There are numerous online resources available for those interested in the Whole30 Diet. The official Whole30 website offers a wealth of information, including recipes, meal plans, and support forums. Online Whole30 communities, such as Facebook groups, provide a platform for participants to connect, share experiences, and seek advice. Virtual coaching and guided Whole30 programs are available for those seeking personalized support. These online options offer convenience and accessibility, allowing individuals to participate from anywhere. However, some may prefer the accountability and personal connection of local, in-person Whole30 support groups or working with a local nutritionist familiar with the diet.


While there is no official certification required to practice or coach the Whole30 Diet, many health professionals choose to become Whole30 Certified Coaches. This certification, offered by the Whole30 organization, requires completing a comprehensive training program. Certified coaches have a deep understanding of the Whole30 protocol and are equipped to guide participants through the process. Other relevant certifications for those interested in supporting Whole30 participants include Registered Dietitian (RD), Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS), and Certified Health Coach (CHC). These certifications demonstrate expertise in nutrition and behavior change, which can be valuable when guiding individuals through the Whole30 Diet.

Complementary Practices

Complementary practices to the Whole30 diet include regular exercise, stress reduction techniques like yoga or meditation, adequate sleep, and staying well-hydrated. Incorporating these practices can support overall health and well-being while following the Whole30 program. Meal planning and prepping in advance can also help individuals stick to the diet's guidelines more easily.

Practitioner Types

Registered dietitians, nutritionists, and certified health coaches are the primary practitioners who can provide guidance and support for individuals following the Whole30 diet. These professionals can help tailor the program to an individual's specific needs, address any concerns or challenges, and ensure that nutritional requirements are being met during the 30-day period.

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  • Q: What foods are allowed on the Whole30 diet?

    • A: The Whole30 diet focuses on whole, unprocessed foods like vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats. This includes meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, and certain oils. The diet excludes grains, legumes, dairy, added sugars, alcohol, and processed foods.
  • Q: Can I lose weight on the Whole30 diet?

    • A: While weight loss is not the primary goal of the Whole30 diet, many people do experience weight loss due to the focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods and the elimination of processed and high-calorie items. However, individual results may vary.
  • Q: Is the Whole30 diet safe for everyone?

    • A: The Whole30 diet is generally safe for most people, but it may not be suitable for everyone. Pregnant or nursing women, individuals with certain medical conditions, or those with a history of disordered eating should consult with a healthcare professional before starting the program.
  • Q: Can I eat out while following the Whole30 diet?

    • A: Eating out while on the Whole30 diet can be challenging, as many restaurant meals contain ingredients not allowed on the program. However, it is possible to navigate restaurant menus by choosing simple dishes like grilled meats and vegetables, and asking for modifications when necessary.
  • Q: What should I do after completing the Whole30 diet?

    • A: After completing the Whole30 diet, it is recommended to slowly reintroduce eliminated foods one at a time to identify any potential sensitivities or intolerances. This process can help individuals develop a personalized, sustainable eating plan that works for their unique needs and goals.


The Whole30 diet is a 30-day program that emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods and eliminates certain food groups to help individuals identify potential food sensitivities and establish healthy eating habits. While the program can be challenging, many people report improved energy levels, better sleep, and weight loss. Complementary practices such as regular exercise and stress reduction techniques can further support overall health and well-being while following the Whole30 diet. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before starting the program to ensure it is safe and appropriate for individual needs and goals. With proper planning and support, the Whole30 diet can be a valuable tool for jumpstarting a healthier lifestyle.