Popular Diets & WLS: Edition 3 “Whole 30”

Steph Wagner MS, RDN

May 4, 2017

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Welcome to Edition Three of “Popular Diets and WLS” – The Whole 30®

Read Edition One: The Ketogenic Diet

Read Edition Two: The Vegan Diet 

What is the “Whole 30” Diet?

The Whole 30® is a trademarked program and more can be found on their website as well as the published book.

The website states the “rules” of the program as this:

Eat real food

Avoid for 30 days:

added sugar (real or artificial)


no grains

no legumes (ex: beans, lentils, peanuts)

no dairy

no MSG

no baked goods, junk foods or treats with “approved” ingredients

do not step on the scale for all 30 days

The Whole 30® challenges people to give this style of eating a try for just 30 days to know for themselves how much better they will feel. It does have some restrictions that are perhaps more strenuous than the bariatric diet – but certainly fits goals and guidelines for a post-op patient.

The foods you ARE encoruaged to enjoy include meats, seafood, eggs, lots of vegetables, some fruit, natural fats, spices and seasonings. Every one of which is approved for a post-bariatric surgery patient.

If anything, this diet requires MORE of you than the post-op diet many programs recommend such as avoiding dairy and foods with no processed ingredients at all.

The website includes several other books and eating plans. The time I spent reading about the program and sifting through their website – if a patient came to me asking about this eating plan, I would approve it for most all patients. Not unlike the Vegan diet, it does ask for extra measure of planning and time grocery shopping to find products that are approved and appropriate.

Final thoughts: When is a meal plan that focuses on lean protein and fresh vegetables a bad idea?? For post-ops, it’s a great fit. Finding recipes that are “Whole 30” approved are often going to line up with the bariatric diet.

This may be a great way to get back on track. Using the 30 days to get really “cleaned up” and perhaps at the end of the 30 days you could slowly re-incorporate things like reduced fat cheese if needed but staying off high carb and high sugar foods. The danger in a “30 day diet” is that it turns into a yo-yo or fad diet but as “they say” it takes 30 days to make a habit so it may be the time you need to get back in your groove.

Things to watch – too many healthy fats that can increase caloric intake pretty quickly. Also watch if it’s causing too much stress in your life that you’re back to an “on and off” lifestyle of eating healthy. Choose an eating plan that fits your lifestyle and feels the most realistic to stick with long-term. Only you know what that might be.

In the end- the bariatric diet that will lead to success is to focus on a ratio of 50% protein, 30% fat and 20% carbohydrates in your diet. Using MyFitnessPal will help you know where you are with you ratios. And this blog will show you how to use MyFitnessPal

Whether you use a Whole 30® approach or one with a few changes to fit your own needs – make it something that can last!

All my best in health,

Steph :)

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2 thoughts on “Popular Diets & WLS: Edition 3 “Whole 30””

  1. How can I take one of your meal plans and substitute another protein for seafood. Or do you have any plans that contain no seafood. Thanks

  2. @lesann61 The meal plans are designed to be adapted. There are several meal plans without seafood (click “meal plans” in the top navigation, can also click “more meal plans” to see older ones). If you don’t like a particular recipe, you can cross it out. All the recipes are numbered and the ingredients have the matching number next to it. So if you cross out recipe #2, then cross out all the ingredients on the shopping list with #2 next to it. I hope that helps!

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