60 days is 8 weeks. This is the perfect time to take a good hard look at your eating and spending habits and ease into a successful Whole30 meal plan. The reason I love Whole30 is because it is hard. It gets back to the basics and is a true sacrifice. So taking 8 weeks to lead into it, not only helps your odds of being successful, but it also starts building smlal habits before you completely jump off the sugar wagon and into delicious healthy food.
The basics of the 60 day ease-in to Whole 30
While some people dive into whole30 on a whim from a weekend chat with friends, the true goal is to work towards better health. It is said that a habit takes 28 days to make and obviously long-term success of a habit depends on how consistent you are.
And if you have a habit of buying bad food for 28 days or more before you start whole30, it’s so much easier to fall into a trap and not have the success you had hoped for! So take 60 days of planning, budgeting, testing, and habit building to make your transition to a true Whole30 a success.
But even more important, use those 8 weeks + 30 days to make life-long dietary changes for the better. It’s what I call the 90 day nutrition schedule.
How to use 8 weeks to prepare for a successful Whole30
Especially if you’re not used to spending so much money on meat, it’s time to start learning to reallocate your money and/or shop differently. In fact, I found that shopping itself took longer when I followed the advice of Whole30 and did meats, veggies, fruit, then fats because I was walking around the store 4 times. So budget your time too. Because it will take longer especially in the beginning. You can also use a meal-planner tool to help you at least eat Paleo (slightly different) have an auto-populated list of greoceries you need.
Speaking of taking longer, learn to read labels.
This makes shopping eve longer in the very beginning. I would find a package of what seemed like just ground beef, but then there would be something else in it! So just know, you have to be careful and grocery shopping the first 2-3 weeks may take some time.
Find a Whole30 meal plan that works (troubleshoot your food options)!
This means start troubleshooting meals. It’s better to focus on what you can eat rather than what you can’t. So in our lead in to Whole30 I would make a meal and tell my husband and kids, this is a great meal for Whole30 and everything is approved! It put a positive spin on finding great food that worked.
STOP buying food at the grovery story that isn’t approved.
Create that habit on day one of your 60 day lead-in. You’re training yourself to not buy the “bad” stuff. It doesn’t mean you still won’t eat out in this time frame or that you don’t still have a stock pile of unapproved foods at home. It just means you’re habit-building your shopping experience.
Start buying ahead of time and stock piling great food.
This is easier on your budget, your time commitment, and your success. Because since your body will be learning not to run on carbs and sugar, you might eat a lot more meat than before and go through it a lot faster than you thought. So buying as much in bulk as you can over time is super helpful!
Start a whole foods supplement supply if you can.
B vitamins are great for fatigue, and who doesn’t feel overly tired when they drop sugar? In general, arming yourself with great vitamins and supplements means you’re less likely to go through the torturous first week of Whole 30.
Build a positive attitude and outlook.
You’re in it for longterm health and success. So maybe adding a few things back in when you’re done with whole30 so you’re on a Paleo meal plan is your end game, then this is a great way to wean yourself off of crappy foods and into a better, more manageable nutrition plan.
8 Weeks to eat better (What to cut each week)
I am not going to judge you if you eat what you’re cutting that week. Because really, you’re not wasting something that you’ve paid for and was made. So just do what you have to do each week to work towards completely cutting it by the next week!
- Week 1: Cut Dairy. It’s the most likely to go bad in a short amount of time.
- Week 2: Make sure you try to remove obvious sugar from your house.
- Week 3: Ged rid of the bread, crackers, and simple grains.
- Week 4: Start removing more complex grains such as quinoa, brown rice, etc.
- Week 5: Read all the labels in your pantry and separate what is approved (if any) and go through your freezer.
- Week 6: Start looking for more hidden sugars and troubleshooting meals you want to try that are with approved ingredients.
- Week 7: Make a list of local restuarants that you can have approved meals at and keep troubleshooting meals at home.
- Week 8: Buy your pantry items that you still need and do one last sweep of the house while continuing to troubleshoot meals at home.
- Week 9-12: Start and Rock Whole30
- Week 13: Use this online meal planner with Paleo options & video tutorials as well as auto-populate shopping lists to not fall off your progress.
Find more Whole30 & Paleo Resources
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!