The only way this works is if you give it the full thirty days: no cheats, slips, or “special occasions.” This isn’t a hazing, a boot camp, or us playing the tough guy. This is a fact, born of science and experience. The Whole30 is, at its heart, an elimination diet. Just a small amount of any of these inflammatory foods could break the healing cycle; promoting cravings, messing with blood sugar, disrupting the integrity of your digestive tract, and (most important) firing up the immune system. One bite of pizza, one spoonful of ice cream, one lick of the spoon mixing the batter within the 30-day period and you’ve broken the “reset” button, requiring you to start over again on Day 1.
To get an idea of what that means, we turned to the experts, including Loren Cordain, PhD, a professor emeritus at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the author of The Paleo Diet; Erin Holley, RD, of Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio; and Lona Sandon, PhD, RD, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
I understand the concept of what they’re trying to say, but I feel awkward likening a lackluster cauliflower pizza to dry humping. We’re going to be practicing abstinence for those 30 days. In short, keep your pants on and don’t try to make pancakes. It’s too sexy. It might tempt you to take your pants off eventually and go full-pancake. I’m going to stop talking about taking my pants off now. Perfect.
You’ll lose weight because any time you restrict entire food groups, your calorie intake tends to be lower, Sandon says. And whenever you burn more calories than you consume, you'll have weight loss, she says. (2) The focus on lean protein, fruits, and vegetables over calorie- and sodium-rich processed foods can also contribute to weight loss, though she also points out that the paleo diet wasn’t created to be a weight loss diet. (3)
A metaresearch group at Tilburg University in the Netherlands investigates scientists’ research methods and operations, scrutinizing questionable practices such as selective reporting of statistical tests and data massaging. The group instead advocates for practices such as preregistering studies and making experimental data immediately available for open external review and verification. Its members are optimistic that “the perverse incentives of careerist academia, to hoard data and sacrifice rigor for headline-generating findings, will ultimately be fixed.”