When a Whole30 Fails

I have heard from more than a few people that they successfully completed a Whole30, yet didn’t lose any weight. Some complained that they didn’t feel any better, or that it didn’t do for them what they thought it would, yet they fail to really look at why they didn’t see the same type of results Sherry or I did. What’s worse is many avoid confronting their own choices while on Whole30 to try to isolate why it wasn’t successful for them.

Something very telling to me was when someone who didn’t lose any weight on their Whole30 asked me about Keto. When I told them about it, they said, “Oh, I could never do without my fruits.” I asked this person who just completed their Whole30 how many fruits they ate during the Whole30. “Two or three bananas a day as snacks, and some fruit with each meal.” They said that since fruit is allowed and even recommended on a Whole30 that they stuck to it to the letter, and that anything more restrictive would not work for them.


Whole30 is supposed to, among other things, help you break your addiction to sugar. Bananas and many fruits are filled with lots of sugar. The Whole30 I followed was very light on fruit. As a matter of fact, I avoided them altogether. Why? Because I read enough about low-carb diets that I knew that I needed to get there. I knew it was going to be uncomfortable and difficult for the first week or two, but that the discomfort would be worth it to reap the benefits of breaking my addiction to sugar.

Another thing that I hear a lot from people who were unsuccessful on their Whole30’s was that they ate as much as they wanted to. Once again, this is not in keeping with Whole30. Portion control isn’t a primary goal, but you are supposed to eat more reasonably. What does that mean? If you make a cup with both your hands, your dinner should be able to fit in it. Seriously. Yes, it’s a little difficult to get used to in the beginning, especially if you ate the way I used to eat when I was morbidly obese: I was all about eating lots of food. But that was part of my problem (along with the sugar addiction). Volume is important. A lot of food, even if it’s good food made from whole ingredients, will still carry a lot of calories. Too many calories will always keep you from losing weight.

If you did a Whole30 and it didn’t give you the results you were looking for, take a long hard look at what you did, how you did it, and where you went wrong. It’s not an indictment, and I’m not judging you. It’s a tough diet to get through, and for those who have serious eating issues or a strong sugar addiction (like I did) will find it very restrictive, but the rewards are worth the discomfort and difficulty. Once you get past the first week, life gets better. Just stick to the plan and reduce the carbs and portion sizes and try again.

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