We have had several individuals who have asked us about the Whole 30 program. Were going to take a look at what the program is all about, it’s effectiveness, as well as some of the pros and cons of this nutritional strategy.


First it is a 30 day program in which the creators say is designed to help detox your body and heal itself. They believe it will help decrease inflammation, increase energy, decrease general aches/pains, and improve fat loss (however fat loss is not the main objective). According to their website the program does this by cutting out foods that are “gut disrupting, hormone unbalancing, and inflammatory.” The foods to be eliminated include:


  • Sugar
  • Grains
  • Dairy
  • Legumes
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Alcohol
  • MSG and sulfites


According to the creators of the program – eliminating these foods will “push the reset button,” help restore your metabolism, decrease systemic inflammation, and remove the negative effects your old diet has been causing. The website goes on to mention that it is important not to weigh yourself during the program, however before and after the 30 days is recommended.


So does the program work?


Most if not all experts agree that following a program is KEY to weight loss so this is definitively a positive for the Whole 30. In addition many of the foods that need to be eliminated are high calorie, pro inflammatory, and often low in nutrient value. Cutting out these foods will help help ensure health and often aid in weight control.


By eliminating the high calorie, pro inflammatory foods will naturally increase the intake of highly nutritious foods. The foods in the program include lots of fruits, vegetables, and meats. These are staples in a healthy diet as well as weight loss. In addition it has received many positive reviews throughout the internet. The Whole 30 book review had 4.7 stars on Amazon – indicating a quite favorable overall review.


While there are many positive elements to the program – it is not without its critics. Some of the criticism cites that there are no research studies to back up the effectiveness of the program. In addition some registered dietitians feel it is an unbalanced diet, especially because it eliminates legumes and yogurt. Yogurt has been shown to be beneficial for healthy gut bacteria – which can play a role in weight loss. They also mention that sticking to 30 days without eating any grains, sugar, and alcohol can be a great challenge.  


All in all the Whole 30 program can be an effective tool for helping to jumpstart your health, wellness, and weight loss as long as your willing to be restrictive in your diet.


Glen Carrigan is co-owner and operator of Freedom 4 Life Fitness with his wife Yvette. Glen & Yvette are dedicated and experienced personal trainers providing residents of Leawood, Overland Park KS, and greater Kansas City with an outstanding fitness experience.