So you’re all looking at day 31, wondering,
“What the heck am I going to do? What am I going to EAT? Everything? Nothing?”
Don’t worry! Everyone who does Whole30 has a bit of trepidation about what comes afterward.
After all, we don’t want to spend our lives yo-yo-ing from one diet to the next, never quite getting the results we’re looking for.
Here are 3 things to keep in mind about reintroduction post-Whole30:
1. Food Freedom
You simply will not be the same person on Day 31 of Whole30 as you were on Day 1. If you worry that you’re still a slave to pizza rolls and caramel macchiato’s on the daily, you’re in for a surprise. You might crave some of this stuff, but your palate has changed so much in the last 30 days! Some of you all even talk about liking VEGGIES and finding La Croixs too SWEET!
The point is, eating healthier than you did 30 days ago will be much easier for the foreseeable future. You have an arsenal of Whole30 recipes that were (don’t tell anyone) ACTUALLY TASTY. Ones you plan to use again after Whole30. And black coffee? OK we can still be friends.
THIS is food freedom. It’s not all dreaded willpower and rabbit food. With a healthy level of self-restraint carrying you forward, trust that the positive changes you’ve experienced in the last month will continue.
2. Fast Track / Slow Roll
Here are two options you have to reintroduce non-Whole30 foods back into your system. Read below for a breakdown of how each approach works.
- Fast Track: on days 1 / 4 / 7 / 10 / 14, you will introduce ONE non-Whole30 food group and give yourself 3 days to see how your body adjusts. Start from the more innocent food groups to the ones you think will wreak the most havoc (legumes > non-gluten grains like corn > dairy > gluten grains > alcohol). A small serving at each meal will be sufficient – this is still not the time to get a family sized Hawaiian pizza just to “see what happens.”
- Slow Roll: If you are really concerned about what it will be like to be off Whole30, you can drag out the reintroduction for as long as you want! Take 5 days, a week, or two weeks in between different food groups. It doesn’t have to be so structured. If a week after Whole30 is over, tortilla chips are calling your name, give it a go! Perfect opportunity to reintroduce and evaluate how your body responds.
3. Why Can’t I Have All the Things on Day 31?
Here’s part of the beauty of Whole30: you learn not only what works for your body, but you also learn what DOESN’T. The reintroduction is just as important in learning about your body. When your body is this clean slate that now runs on whole foods only, this is the PRIME opportunity (or science experiment) to learn what your body hated all along but endured because you forced it to.
For me, I realized gluten grains made my stomach unhappy, dairy made my nose stuffy, and alcohol made my stomach feel distended. Weird huh? Kinda nice to know what your body REALLY wants.
I also don’t recommend eating all the things, because your body will hate you. It will respond in the most violent of ways, and you, too, will hate your body. Unless you want to have a slumber party with a porcelain bowl, be smart about how you reintroduce food.