I’m going to wrap up my series about my first Whole 30 by talking about Whole 30 Week 4 and my results. Week 4 both the easiest and the hardest week of Whole 30. By week 4, you have a good idea of which recipes work and which are flops. You have a better rhythm and are used to the whole practice. It’s also the closest to the end, so there’s a sense of “almost there, almost there” throughout all of Whole 30 Week 4. Technically, you’re not really done after week 4, though. You still have to go through the reintroduction phase (which we sucked at).
Let’s go back and look at my goals for Whole 30 Week 1
Things did not always go as planned on Whole 30, but I think that we did quite well, given the circumstances. We did not overtly cheat at any time. There were a few times while eating out that The Hubs and I had to adopt a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy about whether the food had been cooked in the wrong oil or had any other mystery additives. I remember reading something by Melissa Hartwig saying that a completely perfect Whole 30 is pretty much impossible. I think we did the best that we could, which was pretty darn good.
-Better Sleep: Achieved. Both The Hubs and I were really able to dial in on our caffeine sensitivity during Whole 30. We learned that The Hubs performs best on decaf coffee. For me, it’s tea. We try to cut off the caffeine around 6:00 or 7:00 every night. I also think that removing sugar helped our sleep. I didn’t ever get the vivid food dreams that they talk about in the Whole 30 book, but I did sleep soundly.
-Better skin: check. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really notice this one until I came OFF Whole 30. Since then, I have since suffered from a string of breakouts. I tend to have pretty standard breakouts right before That Time of the Month, but my skin was definitely better on Whole 30. There was was one patch of dry scaly skin on my leg that I was hoping would disappear with Whole 30, but it still there, unfortunately. I’d still give this a pass.
-Lose Inches: Holy wow, yes! I didn’t think I had that much to lose, honestly. I knew I’d put on a little weight, but I stopped weighing myself in high school and never looked back so I didn’t have a gauge for how much. Before Whole 30, some belts were tighter and some of my high-waisted skirts weren’t so comfortable anymore. After Whole 30, they’re comfortable again. Are you guys ready for the hard numbers?
Before Whole 30:
Waist: 28 inches
Chest: 34 inches
Butt: 38 inches
Thighs: 21.5 inches
Arms: 10 inches
After Whole 30:
Waist: 25 1/2 inches!
Chest: 33 inches
Butt: 36 1/2 inches
Thighs: 20 inches
Arms: 10 inches
Let me tell you, my waist had not been that small in a while. I’m pretty sure it’s back up to something around 26 inches now, which is fine by me. I didn’t think that my weight loss had been super evident, but The In Laws kept telling me to eat a cheeseburger by Whole 30 Week 4, so maybe it was more noticeable that I thought. That could just be The In Laws though… The Hubs also said that upon revisiting some earlier pictures of me that he could see the weight loss. I do feel better, but I honestly just didn’t want to have to buy new clothes.
Now that I’ve been off Whole 30 for a bit, I can see why people stay on it. Rules are easy. Navigating my own choices, sans Whole 30 guidelines is hard. There is a comfort to the black and white system of Whole 30 that makes it easy to make decisions. Off Whole 30, I have a greater tendency to go off track. For now, we are eating mostly Whole 30/Paleo, having found that bread and milk generally don’t react well with us(Thank goodness Starbucks has started stocking Almond Milk!). We allow ourselves cheat meals on the weekends and when there’s a social function like an office party or a family birth day. We are planning to do another Whole 30 in May. I’m tempted to go back on it earlier just to clear my skin up, but it’s Easter season and the pink bunny peeps are out and I just can’t quit them yet.
Have you just finished a Whole 30? Tell me how you did! Thinking about trying it for yourself? Tell me what’s motivating you!
Whole 30 Week 4 Best Recipe:
Mel Joulwan’s Chocolate Chili. Serve over roasted sweet potatoes! Mmmm…
Whole 30 Week 4 Worst Recipe:
-Skirt Steak from the The Whole30 Cookbook. We are not adept at cooking beef!
Whole 30 Week 4 Tips:
-Trying to find your new favorite decaf coffee? Central Market lets you buy by weight, so you only have to get a tiny amount to taste. Don’t waste your money on a full half pound you won’t finish!
-Shop at Costco on a weeknight. You won’t face the temptation of all those samples, and it’s way less stressful. Our Costco staples on Whole 30 were: eggs, organic chicken, blueberries, chicken stock, Aidell’s chicken sausage, and Costco brand almond butter.
-Our favorite Whole 30 Breakfast is a baked sweet potato with cinnamon and nuts on top. We bake them the night before and just reheat in the morning.