The people behind Whole30 have a ton of experience. Luckily, they have shared it all with the rest of us newbies.
For my own sake – and yours also if you are interested – I have written the shortened version of the Whole30 timeline here, which can give you an idea of the process your mind and body goes through during the 30 days of detox.
Day 1: “What’s the big deal?”
You have eating healthy and plenty all day, and it feels great. You can’t really see why anyone thinks that this is hard. You feel empowered by the good choices you have made all day!
Day 2-3: “The Hangover”
You feel awful, with your head pounding like you did a row of tequila shots the night before! All of the bad stuff you have eaten before the Whole30 is now coming around to bit you in the butt.
Day 4-5: “Kill all the things!”
On day 4 you wake up with an overwhelming urge to punch everyone in the face. Your temper is through the roof, and you just feel like screaming!
Day 6-7: “I just want a nap…”
You have made it though day 4 and 5 without killing anybody, now you feel like you could sleep standing up. Your body is learning that it can’t rely on all those easy-access energy sources it used to.
Day 8-9: “For the love of mercy, my pants are tight!”
At this stage you feel bloated and uncomfortable, and your jeans suddenly don’t fit as well anymore! Your body is healing, and this can be uncomfortable.
Day 10-11: “The Hardest Days!”
This is the most likely time of the program for you to quit. The ‘newness’ of the program has worn off and you haven’t experienced any of the promised magic transformations. You are cranky, impatient, and so tempted to call quits.
Day 12-15: “Boundless energy!”
Finally! Your pants fit again and your energy levels are better than normal. But you are still craving anything that is full of sugar, fat, or salt, which you haven’t had in to weeks.
Day 16-27: “Tiger Blood!”
You have climbed the steepest hill and now it’s a long downhill slope – life is beautiful, energy is through the roof, cravings are under control, clothes fit better etc.
Day 21 (Interlude): “I am so over this”
Although you are feeling better, your skin is clearer and so on, you still dread breakfast. Or any meal for that matter. You love how your body is responding to the program, but you are sick of cooking it.
Day 28: “28 is the same as 30, right?”
It’s day 28 and you almost made it! But you are having some doubting thoughts: “isn’t 28 the same as 30? What else could possibly happened in two days?”
Day: 29-30: “Holy moly, it’s almost done and what am I going to eat?”
A small sense of panic can creep up here. All of the hard work is now over. Will you just go back to the way you lived before?
Day: 31: “Deep Breathing – and maybe some ice cream?”
You have come out on the other side of the Whole30 bubble – Hallelujah. You have gained so much, but now it is also okay to celebrate with some ice cream.
The timeline is based on Robin Strathdee’s article, which you can read here.
As I have not yet tried the Whole30 program, I don’t know if I will react in the same way as described above. But I am looking forward to find out.