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Every other month Whole30 for longterm weight loss?

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Folks,

I have a thought and want to see if it's crazy, so please chime in or share your experiences!

Background: I've done two Whole30's in the past 6 months and lost weight on both, looked great, etc etc. The "off-roading" was the hard part and I inevitably ended up going crazy and eating horribly. Then, my crossfit box started a 9-week paleo nutrition challenge, and I thought it would be a good time to learn how to eat Whole30 most of the time, but still drink/eat socially once or twice a week. I've finally learned how to do exactly this, and keep on the Whole30 track outside of these few times a week.

I'm very happy to learn how to drink and eat socially a few times a week without getting far away from a Whole9 life, however, this social way of living isn't helping me lose weight, if anything it's just keeping an average standard of health. I still have a ways to go before I get rid of my desired amount of fat.

Plan: So my plan is to go every other month (so I don't go socially crazy) - Whole30, maintenance, Whole30, maintenance - until I reach where I want to be! Then, I'll use the Whole30 as a few-times-a-year tool to get back on track if I feel icky.

Has anyone done this? Does it seem nutty?

Thanks!

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After reading the book and learning about the things we eliminate from our diet to become healthier, I no longer think of those other things as fuel, but treats. I do not plan to cheat for a certain amount of time and take care of myself for 1 month. I plan to take the best care of myself that I can through most of the year and treat myself occasionally when something absolutely worth it comes along. Still, I no longer thing of those things as the fuel that my body and soul need.

As for weekly social events, what happens there that can't fit the plan? I'm seeing that a lot of decent restaurants can make accommodations that get extremely close to compliance. And, others offer tips of eating ahead or bringing a compliant dish to share. And, there are plenty of diversion tactics if your friends aren't supportive. It sounds like that weekly event will happen over and over again, so it isn't as special as a cultural dish that comes along once a year or a trip to a place you may only visit once.

That is my take after reading the book and reading about off-roading.

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My off roading is limited and I quit losing weight more than a year ago, so I can't talk about this from experience. However, when you lose weight on a Whole30, but don't lose weight outside of a Whole30, I worry that some important lessons from the Whole30 are not coming across. I would think that the portion sizing learned from the meal template and learning to eat mostly nutrient dense foods would allow you to lose at least a pound or two each month even while you have a drink or eat a serving of pasta occasionally. My feeling is that doing a Whole30 every other month is far from its concept and suggests it is a diet program and not a way of eating.

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Interesting post. I did my first W30 in January and lost 20+ lbs and lots of inches, and like yourself, wanted to continue the trend. So I took a few weeks off, did the reintro's and started another W30, ending @ W25 with a pile of stress and a bottle of wine. My thought process was a lot like yours in trying to reach my target/ healthy weight of 145 by doing intermittent W30's. I didn't loose weight after my W30#2, but my body is still changing… as well as my behaviors. What I have found during my reintros and off roading is that when I give into the “wants†(wine, dessert, pinterest ect) I put less time, energy and focus on my “needs†(cleaning, meal prep/cooking, exercise). Much like potatoes and pasta push good things off my plate, succumbing to non whole9 behavior pushes my healthy priorities/ decisions and goals off my plate.

So I'd have to agree with Tom… For me, if I want to continue to loose weight and feel great I need to stop choosing the wants over the needs and make my lifestyle a healthy one. It really is a b*tch making that decision and sticking to it. Clearly, as otherwise there wouldn't be hundreds of people struggling with this that and the other thing. It sucks looking at my decisions and knowing where I need to make the changes but don't want to because it isn't fun/ sweet/ how I've always done it. So- as much as I'd like to think that W30 on/ W30 off would work for me, it will not. Because I know that I am not truly committing to the lifestyle switch 100% of the time, and prioritizing my decisions the same across the board… all the while knowing in the back of my head in 15 days I can have wine/chocolate/fried whatever. The time has come in my life to Sh*t or Get Off the pot.

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I do one Whole30 a quarter (4 per year) and I work on riding my own bike during the in-between times. I do still really struggle with riding my own bike and I'm usually ready for another Whole30 when the time comes around! It's a nice reset.

I still feel like my ultimate goal is to just be able to eat well--mostly Whole30 with off-roading during really special times--year round and not have to "declare" Whole30s. But I'm not there... and regular Whole30s help me keep coming back to health and remembering *why* I don't want to eat the other stuff.

I will say that I've pretty much stopped losing weight during Whole30s, other than bloat and a few water weight pounds. But I don't really feel like I need to lose weight, so it isn't something I'm working for during Whole30s.

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I did a 120 .... And since have only eaten white rice three times,soy once, and there may have been a off plan hidden ingredient at a restaurant once or twice, but otherwise I'm real happy eating this way.... If something special comes along I will weight the consequences and decide without guilt.

I like sushi and will have it when I feel like it if I'm not on w30.... The white rice does not effect me that I can tell so I won't obsess...

I also like pizza and beer but I just can't justify having them... I've been out plenty when my friends are swilling and stuffing their faces, and I eat a plain salad and water and I'm so happy knowing I will feel great the next day. It has never deterred from me having a good time socially.

Do what ever works for you. If Every other month works for you, great.... I know myself and it I would find an excuse to go two months off...then three... Bdays,Xmas, vacation, Arbor Day ..... Just easier to stay complient and treat my self to rice once every couple of weeks..

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What I have found during my reintros and off roading is that when I give into the “wants†(wine, dessert, pinterest ect) I put less time, energy and focus on my “needs†(cleaning, meal prep/cooking, exercise). Much like potatoes and

pasta push

good things off my plate, succumbing to non whole9 behavior pushes my healthy priorities/ decisions and goals off my plate.

Absolutely brilliant!

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I have been considering trying a 2nd W30. But every time I think about picking a start date, I catch myself daydreaming about what crap I'm going to eat right before. This has been my standard operating procedure for many years now (pigout for a week before my diet starts). I think for me, scheduling W30s on any kind of regular basis like you are suggesting would cause me to overeat a lot more than just trying to stick with the lifestyle on a regular basis, with occasional "worth it" treats/meals. I'm not terribly social though, so that would certainly make it more of a challenge. Personally I think W30s every other month is kind of a health yo-yo that could do more harm than good (also wouldn't you be gaining back a percentage of the weight you just lost the previous month?).

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I have been considering trying a 2nd W30. But every time I think about picking a start date, I catch myself daydreaming about what crap I'm going to eat right before. This has been my standard operating procedure for many years now (pigout for a week before my diet starts). I think for me, scheduling W30s on any kind of regular basis like you are suggesting would cause me to overeat a lot more than just trying to stick with the lifestyle on a regular basis, with occasional "worth it" treats/meals. I'm not terribly social though, so that would certainly make it more of a challenge. Personally I think W30s every other month is kind of a health yo-yo that could do more harm than good (also wouldn't you be gaining back a percentage of the weight you just lost the previous month?).

I've decided to do a W30 in April and tonight I went the most off track I've been since I finished my first W30 in January. Your post made me realise why!

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I've decided to do a W30 in April and tonight I went the most off track I've been since I finished my first W30 in January. Your post made me realise why!

Getting to the end of my first W30 and deciding how to move forward these two posts really resonated with me! I don't want to fall into this pattern because for me I know it leads to more excuses like "I've already had a bad day so why not eat x, y, z and start again tomorrow".

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Getting to the end of my first W30 and deciding how to move forward these two posts really resonated with me! I don't want to fall into this pattern because for me I know it leads to more excuses like "I've already had a bad day so why not eat x, y, z and start again tomorrow".

It's certainly not simple!

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My thoughts on the one month on, and one month off is that it seems like a large scale binge/purge behavior and could negatively affect your psychological relationship with food. One thing that the Hartwigs really seem to believe in as much as putting healthy food in our bodies, is having a healthy relationship. Using the Whole 30 as a crutch because you're scared of what you'll do when you're off it, sounds like you're also scared of riding your own bike with a little swypo thrown in for good measure.

I would think about making a bigger scaled plan of attack on your nutrition and habits. Perhaps do a Whole 30, then strict paleo (which is a little more liberal), then maybe experiment with primal (more liberal still). Do each of these for a month while you're figuring out for yourself where your body feels good and comfortable, and where also your psychology can stay its course.

It's not easy, but it's worth it! You'll do great!

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My off roading is limited and I quit losing weight more than a year ago, so I can't talk about this from experience. However, when you lose weight on a Whole30, but don't lose weight outside of a Whole30, I worry that some important lessons from the Whole30 are not coming across. I would think that the portion sizing learned from the meal template and learning to eat mostly nutrient dense foods would allow you to lose at least a pound or two each month even while you have a drink or eat a serving of pasta occasionally. My feeling is that doing a Whole30 every other month is far from its concept and suggests it is a diet program and not a way of eating.

I've made the decision to stick with Whole30 long term with occasional 'treats' if I feel like it's something I want or for a special occasion. I think I'm a better person overall for doing so. My pantry is almost completely compliant now, and I feed my husband and son as well, using real foods cooked artfully and deliciously. My doctor suggested I not sweat the small stuff. I do believe I've embraced the concept of the program. 

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