How I Lost 10 Pounds in 30 Days

weight loss results from Whole30
Losing 10 lbs on the Whole30 ain’t so bad…

…and gained nearly half of it back the very next weekend.

If you’ve been following my blog and reading my emails, especially during the month of February (of 2016), you’re familiar with the Whole30.

For 30 days, from February 15th to March 17th, I followed the Whole30 plan to (nearly) a T.

This is how the plan works (click here for the actual Whole30 guidelines):

  • No dairy.

  • No grains (including rice, oats, legumes, or corn)

  • No paleo baking, or as they put it ‘no sex with the pants on’, i.e. no making blueberry muffins with non-grain based flours. Sounds gross to me anyway.

  • No simple sugars which means avoiding sugars in cured meats and other products.

  • No honey, maple syrup, and so forth.

  • No processed anything, really.

  • No artificial sweeteners, including stevia.

  • No alcohol.

  • Meat is good.

  • Veggies are good.

  • Fruit is good.

  • Even potatoes – sweet and regular – are good.

  • Tree nuts are good (no peanuts as they are technically a legume).

  • Tree nut oils, coconut oil, and avocado oil are all fine.

  • Coffee and tea are fine.

  • Coconut milk and water are fine.

That’s what you can and cannot eat for 30 days, should you choose to accept the challenge.

Between sticking to this eating plan and walking 10,500 steps a day, I had some wonderful results.

  1. I lost 10.1 lbs

  2. My resting heart rate went from roughly 83 to 63 beats per minute (amazing, if I say so myself).

  3. I never woke up with heartburn.

  4. My wife complained nearly zilch about my snoring (after the first week or so).

  5. My energy was through the roof.

  6. I discovered spaghetti squash and learned how to make curry chicken.

  7. I had tea and walnuts instead of sugar at night for my snacks.

whole30 resting heart rate results
Resting heart rate down nearly 20 beats per minute during the Whole30

Why do I think this is such a good plan and why did it work for me?

Let’s keep going with the bulleted lists…

  1. Having Restrictions Improve Self Discipline. I hear more and more about studies that say self-discipline is like a muscle. As we make choices throughout the day, we slowly tire. This weariness makes choosing healthy food over yummy snack food more difficult. With a program like Whole30, you don’t have the option at all, so you don’t have to make the choice. Certain foods are simply off limits. The awesome thing is you can eat as much of the Whole30 compliant food as you want.

  2. There’s a Community: If you try the Whole30 for a month, check out the Instagram and other communities that have grown up around the program. I got so many great recipe ideas and some wonderful encouragement from others in the program. Follow me on Instagram to see how I wowed folks with my food photography. Pardon the before and after selfie.

  3. Energy Begets Energy: Once the benefits start showing up, they encourage you to keep going. I started feeling better and better, so keeping it up became an easy choice (at least for the 30 days).

  4. It Encourages Fun in the Kitchen: You might not be as into cooking as I am, but even if you’re not, you’ll find that having to prepare meals by hand is a reward in and of itself. There’s something awesome about eating what you prepare. We don’t do nearly as much eating what we kill these days, so this is the next best thing.

  5. It’s Really Not That Restrictive: You can eat as much as you want. You can have fruit. You can eat steak. You can have nuts and oils and coffee and tea. I mean… people survived for quite a long time without Doritos and Patron.

But the Plan Has Down Sides (not the plan’s fault)

In the end, the tough part is that we’re addicted to convenience, sugar, and sandwiches. At least I am.

It can be extremely hard to build in an additional few hours a week of food prep and avoid snacking, especially when others are indulging or when you hit those emotional lulls that lead to leavened bread and Moose Tracks. 

But the toughest part of the program is that it’s for 30 Days. And that is the reason why I gained nearly half of the 10 lbs back the very next weekend – I stopped the plan without a plan (even though the fine folks at provide very meticulous reentry plans).

My weekend:

  • The convenience of a Friday night pizza night.
  • The celebration of birthdays Saturday, i.e. a beer or two, nacho bar, and chocolate cake.
  • Then leftovers of those nachos and that chocolate cake on Sunday.

It was a clinic in gluttony.

I had planned to mostly stick to my plan, but the hard and fast rules were gone and there was birthday cake. You do the math.

What I’ve learned and am learning about my particular brand of self-discipline is simple:

  1. Reduce my choices, but give me freedom within those guardrails.

  2. Find others to provide support, accountability, and mutual whining. Basically, I prefer community over going it alone.

  3. Give me some quick wins. While long-haul, marathon perspectives are necessary, having a few early quick wins can go a long way to cement a habit.

My sense is that I really do need to keep this plan on a day in, day out basis. I can make allowances for a special occasion here and there, but other than that i need to keep to it.

Each time I try something new, I learn a bit more about myself. The tough part is being brutally honest with ourselves about what works and what doesn’t and making the commitment to what works.

Whole30 works for me. It’s time I step up and stick to it. 


  • What works for you?
  • What eating plan or exercise plan always gives you results?
  • What plans in other areas of your life work but you struggle with going all in and keeping a commitment to those plans?

Get Free Email Updates!

Signup now and receive an email once I publish new content.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.