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6 Tips Every Woman Needs To Steal From The Whole30

Plenty of women have found the Whole30 diet helps them to lose weight. But with all the work that goes into the 30-day regime—which includes avoiding all sugar, processed foods, grains, dairy, alcohol, and legumes and eating lots of veggies, moderate meat, seafood, eggs, and some fruits—it would make sense you’d notice changes.

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Inevitably, however, all the label-checking and cooking involved in the Whole30 can make it hard to maintain. “There’s so much prep that goes into it, and for people who aren’t used to a lot of food prep, they may have difficulty keeping up with all Whole30-appropriate foods,” says New York City-based nutritionist Jessica Cording, RD. “Some people find that without certain foods they really love, they’re miserable, which also makes it hard to follow,” she adds. Avoiding all dairy, including yogurt and cheese, as well as grains, can certainly make you feel deprived.

But just because you’ve decided the Whole30 diet isn’t for you doesn't mean that you can't benefit from some of its guidelines. “I have a client who does what they call a ‘Whole30-esque’ plan that works for them. They’re primarily compliant but allow for items that are really difficultnotto have,” says Cording. She says that even if you toss most of the restrictive parts of the diet out of the window, there are still a few things just about anyone looking to eat healthier can learn from it.

Here are seven of the best eating tricks you can steal from the Whole30 without actually going on it.

Pump up your protein intake.

Eat more protein
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The Whole30 is big on protein—a super-satiating nutrient that helps people to eat fewer calories on the diet without feeling like they’re starving all the time, says Cording. A 2015 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating between 1.2 and 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, spread out to about 25 to 30 grams per meal, may help manage appetite and weight; for a 130-pound (59-kilogram) woman, that means aiming for about 70 to 94 grams of protein a day.

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What’s more, because the Whole30 includes some animal proteins, it tends to work especially well for women. “A vegan-style, plant-based diet has health benefits and can be done well. But because women in their childbearing years need more of certain nutrients like iron, I’ve found that fatigue, energy, and menstrual difficulties tend to be less of an issue on the Whole30,” Cording says.

MORE: 14 Vegetarian Foods That Have More Iron Than Meat

Tune into portion sizes.

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While many people love that the Whole30 doesn’t involve calorie counting or restricting, it does require you to pay attention to the portions of meat. “You tune into sweet spot so you’re covering your needs and feeling satisfied without overdoing it,” says Cording.

The fact is, most of us are used to much bigger portions than we should really be eating. The “small” standard restaurant steak, for example, is 10 ounces; most women should aim to eat 4 ounces of red meat or 4 to 6 ounces of poultry and fish. As you get used to new portion sizes, Cording suggests cutting your protein into smaller pieces and spreading it out on plate to make it seem more exciting than a lonely single piece sitting in the corner.

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MORE: 7 Women Share How They Lost Weight Without Counting a Single Calorie

Avoid added sugar.

Cut back on added sugar
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“When people ask me what’s the one thing they can do to get healthier, I always say to cut out sugar,” she says. “Sugar produces an inflammatory response in the body. It’s very addictive and people have lots of struggles around it.” (Psst!Preventionhas an )

Big studies back her up: A 2014 study in the JAMA Internal Medicine found that eating an excess of sugar increases risk of dying from heart disease. A 2012 review study in the British Medical Journal found that people who weren’t trying to lose weight but cut back on sugar lost an average of 1.8 pounds over 10 weeks to six months, while people who upped their sugar intake gained about 1.7 pounds in around eight weeks. And a 2019 review study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine said that, in both animal and human studies, sugar has shown to be addictive, possibly as much as recreational drugs.

What’s more, Cording says, part of the reason people tend to lose weight so quickly on the Whole30 is that there are many sneaky sources of added sugar in foods you buy on grocery store shelves. Since processed foods are off the table, you also cut out excess calories from sugar.

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As you adjust to eating less sugar, it’ll help you to feel more energetic and experience less cravings—and you might even experience the natural sweetness from fruit more profoundly. “That’s a new experience for many people,” says Cording.

A good starting place is to notice the patterns around your sugar cravings. If they’re emotional, try to find something to temporarily distract you (reading, scrolling Instagram, playing with your dog). If cravings are physical or routine-based, Cording suggests incorporating naturally sweet foods into a balanced meal or snack, like a couple of dates with nut butter. “You get the flavor without the blood sugar spike and dip, since the protein and fat break down the sweetness,” she says. And when the going gets really tough, give yourself a pep talk. “It will get easier, but it can take a couple of weeks,” she says.

This is your body on sugar:


Cut back on alcohol.

Cut back on alcohol
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Being a teetoler must be good for your health, right? This Whole30 rule is actually a bit controversial in nutrition circles. “I have mixed feelings. I don’t know it’s the best approach for everyone,” says Cording. “When you cut out alcohol entirely, you don’t learn your relationship with it and the space it occupies in your life. As soon as you go off the diet, you go back to square one and never learn what moderation looks like.”

Still, you don’t need to be reminded that alcohol isn’t great for your liver or your waistline. So instead of cutting it out completely, Cording encourages her clients to come up with an alcohol-related goal for the week. That can be staying mostly dry but giving yourself the option to have a certain number of drinks per week—Cording says about four tends to be sweet spot for most people. “It allows you to enjoy it but prioritize what matters so you’re not drinking just because it’s available,” she says.

Skip 'diet' and other processed foods.

Avoid diet foods
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One surprisingly effective Whole30 trick: avoiding foods that are supposedly made with ‘diet-approved’ ingredients like pancakes, biscuits, waffles, cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and ice cream. “From a mindset perspective, that’s where I’ve noticed one of the biggest transformations,” says Cording. “You get into real food and realize you don’t have to have a diet product to meet your goals and feel great, which tends to be game-changer.”

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Putting the kibosh on diet foods has helped Cording’s clients to feel like they can do more things and be more social. “People are empowered to go about their lives and not stress about finding something that’s safe to eat, even if they don’t know the exact calories or grams of carbs,” she says. “You’re not hung up on whether you can bring protein powder in a bag and drink it at the restaurant.”

And while the evidence is still weak for some of the Whole30’s banned ingredients, such as carrageenan, MSG, and sulfites, what the diet does get right is encouraging you to skip baked and junk foods. “Focusing on whole, minimally-processed foods that provide lots nutrients is a win-win,” says Cording. “You get lots of good stuff and avoid the potentially less hazardous stuff.”

MORE: The 8 Best Bedtime Snacks for Weight Loss

Cook more.

Cook more
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The Whole30’s reliance on whole foods means you inevitably spend a lot more time in the kitchen. And eating at restaurants costs you extra calories and cash compared to cooking at home. A 2017 study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that people who cooked the most tended to have the healthiest diets; those who ate home-cooked meals scored a 74 on the Healthy Eating Index, compared to a 67 among those who cooked at home three times a week. What’s more, people who cooked the most also tended to spend way less on food: 1 versus 4 a month in people who ate out six or more times per week. That means once you’re more comfortable in the kitchen, you’ll save on both time and money in the long run.

Cooking, of course, can be a huge biggest hurdles in the beginning of any new diet—but stick to it, and most people see the benefits in just one month. “For people who don’t have experience cooking, Whole30 opens up a whole new world. They gain confidence in their ability to feed themselves once they show themselves they can prepare meals,” says Cording.

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Date: 12.12.2018, 17:06 / Views: 91283