6 Foods You Think Are Helping Your Summer Body But Aren’t

I once learned in AP European History that the first king of England was too fat to get on his horse, so he decided to eliminate all food from his diet and only drink alcohol in the hopes of shedding a few pounds. A thousand years have gone by, and it feels like our diets haven’t really progressed (and tbh his sounds pretty logical). We’re constantly being harassed by new diets and healthy foods, and some of the facts can get confusing, mostly because it all comes down to your own individual body. Although there aren’t specific foods that will straight-up make you fat, there are some foods that are marketed as super healthy, but they aren’t really doing you any favors. Here are some of health foods that are not so healthy.

1. Gluten-Free Bread

The “gluten-free” buzzword is often written on food items, but unless you’re actually gluten intolerant or have Celiac disease, these products aren’t necessarily healthier for you. In fact, gluten-free bread is usually packed with so many artificial ingredients and sugars to make up for the lack of gluten. You’re honestly better off eating regular bread. 

2. Orange Juice

The whole “fresh orange juice” health fad started like, 60 years ago, but let’s keep in mind that women were still smoking while pregnant at the time. AKA, it’s outdated. I mean, I’m not saying orange juice made with minimal ingredients is at all dangerous for you, but if you think you’re drinking a glass of health with your oatmeal in the morning, you’re wrong. Orange juice is basically a cup of sugar, and even if it’s just made with oranges, which have a ton of vitamins, it’s a lot of sugar to gulp down at once. Plus, lower sugar fruits like strawberries and papaya have more vitamin C than oranges do, so there goes that excuse.

3. Granola

Granola is one of those foods that really isn’t terrible for you, but it’s marketed as this magic bag of health and wellness, and honestly, nobody takes the serving size into account. Most granola companies, even the ones that use “clean” ingredients, don’t make it clear that the serving size is usually 1/4 cup. Anyone who’s ever looked at a measuring cup knows that is tiny. Many people (hi) end up eating entire bowls of granola, ingesting like, 600 calories in one snack. Granola is meant to be sprinkled on top of Greek yogurt or snacked on in small doses, so keep that in mind when eating half the bag before lunch.

4. Restaurant Veggie Sides

I’m one of those people who are guilty of going out to dinner and ordering a bunch of vegetable sides, thinking that it’s the healthiest option on the menu. Honestly, they’re usually not that healthy. It’s pretty much known that vegetables suck, taste-wise, so these restaurants often douse them in oils and sauces and butter to make people want to order them. Like, if you’re wondering why your Brussels sprouts appetizer tastes like french fries, maybe it’s born with it, maybe it’s tons of added fat. You’re better off ordering a lean protein, like fish or grilled chicken. You don’t have to avoid vegetables completely, but just be wary of what you’re actually ordering when you’re out to eat.

5. Agave Nectar

Ever since Miley went vegan and açai bowls became trendier than Momofuku cake, agave nectar is trending in the wellness world—but unless you’re vegan, it’s not that healthy for you. Like, agave is supposed to be the “healthy” sugar substitute, but the reason it has a low glycemic index is because it’s filled with fructose, which, when ingested in large quantities, turns to fat because your liver can’t turn it into energy. Instead of demonizing sugar and turning to agave as an alternative, just add sugar in moderation and realize what you’re actually putting into your body when you buy these alternatives.

6. Dried Fruit

Ugh, this one makes me so sad because dried mango is actually the best thing since watermelon Sour Patch Kids. Dried fruit is similar to granola in the sense that it’s really not harmful for you, but nobody talks about serving sizes, and they’re SO sad. Dried fruit is all carbs and sugar, and often companies add even more sugar to them. Like, have you ever realized why Craisins are so much sweeter than actual cranberries? Spoiler: it’s sugar. If you’re eating dried fruit, find a brand that has no added sugar, and try not to eat the whole bag in one sitting. You can do this.

Fruit

Images: Jannis Brandt / Unsplash; Giphy (4)

Whole30 Diaries Part Two: Bet You Thought You’d Seen the Last of Me

I would love to sit down and tell you all how the rest of my Whole30 experience went, but first I think that we, as a group, have some shit to clear up.

Monday, March 19th, 2018 is a day that will live in infamy for two reasons.

  1. I accidentally started a war with the Whole30 community, a sentence that I hope ends up on my tombstone one day.
  2. Against all odds and only serving as further proof that irony is the realest force of nature, it was the day that my Whole30 experience turned around. I’m serious. The day that the rabid Whole30 community came crashing down on me was the day I woke up with the energy and overall healthy feeling I’d been promised all along. God is a messy bitch and She lives for drama.

When part one of my Whole30 diary went up two weeks ago, I didn’t expect much. By now, regular readers of Betches know that any of my fad diet diaries (don’t call Whole30 a diet though. It’s NOT a diet, it’s a PROGRAM) are about 40% background and methodology and 60% me talking about how much I wanted to die during the duration of it. That’s kind of the whole point—I’m not a nutritionist or diet expert, just a person who enjoys subjecting myself to various fad diets and programs and is extremely honest.

So, you could say I was more than a little shocked when I checked out my article midday Monday and found that a full-scale battle had erupted in the comments section. I now know this was due largely in part to Melissa Hartwig, who posted a swipe-up link to the article (thanks for that, loved the traffic) as well as a series of stories in which she discussed why I am just the worst. (In her defense, I am the worst—but this single, initially unsuccessful, venture into her program isn’t the reason why.) However, I would like to state for the record that this short series of stories is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and it will be playing at every one of my major life events until I die.

My husband and I will take our first dance as a married couple to the dulcet tones of this woman talking about my shitty attitude. My children will breathe their first breaths of air as The Great Ivy Whole30 Rant of 2018 plays in the background. If I ever win any kind of major award, I’ll be waltzing up to the stage as “YOUR ATTITUDE BLOWS, IVY” blasts through whatever auditorium is misfortunate enough to be hosting me. The Whole30 program could not have given me a greater gift than this.

Thank You

Now, I know that ignoring the comments section is one of the cardinal rules of writing on the internet, but some of the things that came up were too good not to address. Please bear with me while I take a minute to offer up a few thoughts.

To the people who left supportive advice or general words of encouragement: you’re all sweeties. Your comments were actually very helpful and I like to think that you’re the best of this otherwise ravenous community of nut pod enthusiasts.

To those who questioned the integrity of my degenerate friends and their rampant alcohol consumption: you’re not wrong and also they loved the shout-out.

To the people who called me a lazy, whiny, junk-food-eating monster, and guessed that I look shitty in Rag & Bone jeans (possibly the strangest deep cut of all time): holy shit. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for the single most entertaining Monday of my entire life.

To the one person who said that drinking black coffee isn’t as bad as having both of your parents die from cancer: I mean…yeah. You got me there. Seemed like a really unnecessary argument to make, but I don’t disagree with you.

To Dallas Hartwig: I am sincerely sorry for getting your name wrong. I can’t imagine anything more deprecating than being mislabeled a Doug, and I take full responsibility for that mistake. This is the only apology I will be offering throughout the course of this article.

To the people whose lives have been changed by Whole30: I am truly happy for you. It’s great that you found a program that makes you feel good about yourself. However, your experience does not have to be my experience, and vice-versa.

The fact that I didn’t feel great for my first two weeks should not and does not negate whatever life-changing results you’ve accomplished. In fact, if I were you, succeeding where some snarky stranger on the internet is failing would actually fill me with a perverse kind of satisfaction. But, hey, maybe you’re just a better person than I am.

All jokes aside, there is something I’d like to clear up here. I understand people questioning my motives, my incessant complaining, and my general alcohol consumption, but what became clear to me after the publishing of part one is that my dedication to the program was now under fire. In light of that, I’d like to stress that I did, in fact, take this process seriously.

I read blogs. I pored over forums. I made meticulous grocery lists. I sat on the floor of more grocery stores than I’d like to admit, Googling the ingredients of every single item I bought. I spent an obscene amount of money on those groceries. I spent hours upon hours meal prepping. I said pretentious things like, “would you happen to have any Whole30 compliant sugar-free bacon?” to real life waiters. I tried. I tried really hard.

I also did a lot of things that I probably shouldn’t have—like get a little heavy-handed with the almond butter in the beginning there—but I grew from those mistakes and adapted. There’s a learning curve to cutting out half your diet, and I was admittedly slow to adjust to it. Nothing made this more apparent to me than St. Patrick’s Day, potentially one of the lowest points of my entire experience.

Take a moment to picture this, if you will: me, sitting in a raucous bar on March 17th, blandly sipping a sparkling water and wondering if I’ve ever been as drunkenly confident as the people standing in the middle of the room screaming the words to “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”

Too Sober

If I learned anything these last 30 days, it was an understanding of drunk people as an entity. Suddenly I understood why people who don’t drink don’t like going out with their friends that do: not because it’s impossible to have fun sober, but because it’s nearly impossible for drunk people to let you.

Explaining to my friends why I was abstaining from the festivities was one thing. Correcting every bartender who had assumed I’d ordered a vodka soda was expected. But the only time I witnessed any disappointment that even came close to mirroring my own was when I had to fend off a group of drunk girls who had selflessly bought out the bar’s stock of jello shots and insistently handed them to every person they encountered. Some people are truly to good for this world, too pure.

I went home that night tired and annoyed, my only comfort the roasted potatoes I had made in an attempt to restore some kind of festivity to the day. The knowledge that I still had 15 more days of this routine was weighing on me as I fell asleep, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t dreading it. But then I woke up a mere two days later, invincible.

As mentioned earlier on, March 19th was the turning point. I felt great throughout all of week three, better than I could have imagined during the darkness that was the first 15 days. I had finally got the hang of meal prepping, was waking up naturally and less groggy than I had in quite some time, and even found the energy to start exercising before work.

That entire week flew by. Work was busier than ever but I was, for once, preternaturally equipped to deal with it. There were no mid-afternoon crashes, no multi-alarm snoozes. I woke up ready for the day and went to bed ready for the next.  I was on top of the world—and then week four hit.

Me halfway through week three: My body is a TEMPLE and I am its GODDESS I am one with NATURE.

Me the first day of week four:

Without any major changes in my routine, any glaring cheats, or any other perceptible differences, I was back to being tired and moody during week four. It was like reliving week two with a new element of irrational anger that I think stemmed from the fact that any and all novelty had completely worn off.

I don’t know what happened here, and I honestly wasn’t pressed enough to find out. This was the last stretch of a marathon, and I was that dog that saw people running and just joined in without knowing what it was getting itself into. My last three days of Whole30 were my lowest, due in large part to the fact that I stopped caring.

So was it all worth it in the end? For me, personally, no. But before the angry mobs arrives outside my apartment, let me explain.

I understand that part of the deal here is to forgo eating out for 30 days. Fine. I didn’t eat out. But I wasn’t ready, or all that willing if we’re being honest, to abandon my social life completely. It sounds trivial to complain about not being able to eat and drink with your friends, but I’m going to complain about it anyway because it’s a very real thing. I’m in my twenties. A large portion of my social life consists of going to dinner, going to happy hour, going out at night, and in general consuming things that I didn’t have to meticulously prepare myself. Whole30 didn’t stop me from joining those events, but it did stop me from really enjoying them. More than an inconvenience, it’s just plain awkward to be the only person at a table not eating, drinking, or having fun.

As for changing my relationship with food, I’ll say this: I liked where that relationship was to start with. It’s taken me 26 years and a lot of trial and error to get there, and I don’t see any reason to alter it.

Is 30 days that long in the grand scheme of things? Of course not. But it’s how long it took me to realize that food should be experienced, not just consumed to ensure that our bodies continue functioning.

Maybe if I were someone who suffered from dietary issues to start, I would be telling you a different story right now. I’m lucky enough to have a digestive system that can process grains and an unholy amount of dairy without causing me any grief, so for the past month I was effectively cutting something out that I enjoyed and that hadn’t ever truly wronged me. I understand why someone with a lurking gluten or lactose intolerance would sing the praises of a program that revealed it to them, but I went in knowing that I didn’t have to worry about any of those kinds of things, and thus couldn’t help second-guessing why I wasn’t allowing myself to have them.

In the end, I lost eight pounds, which is less than I expected but still no small feat. Admittedly, I feel fine now and am generally psyched about the possibility of there being a bone structure hiding beneath my typically rounder face, but it’s not enough to make me consider adapting this program on a long-term or repeated basis. Because on the other side, I’ve felt alone and isolated more times in the past four weeks than I have since the dark days of middle school and I can’t, in good faith, participate in a program that causes that. But, hey, maybe I’m just not cut out for Whole30 after all.

Images: Giphy (4)

I’m Two Weeks Into Whole30 And These Are My Stories

Let me just start off by saying, I never wanted to try the Whole30 diet.

Once people find out that you’ve made a hobby of testing out miserable fad diets just so you can write about the trials and tribulations, they start lobbing all kinds of ideas at you. Among some truly horrifying suggestions (the potato diet), and a few that I actually considered tackling (still the potato diet), the Whole30 diet always seemed to pop up.

I had a handful of go-to excuses prepared for when it inevitably came up: too mainstream, too similar to keto, too boring, etc. But much like death, taxes, and the nervous breakdown I’ll likely suffer as a result of numerous fad dieting experiments, Whole30 seemed to be inevitable. And while none of my stock answers were especially wrong, none of them really touched on the true reason I avoided the Whole30 diet up until now, which was, quite simply, that I thought it would fucking suck.

Well guess what? I was right. It does fucking suck.

But before we get to that let’s rewind a bit, because maybe some of you live truly blessed lives and don’t know exactly what this hellhole of a program entails. In short, it’s an elimination diet. Created by Melissa and Doug Hartwig in 2009, the Whole30 diet is a regimen that emphasizes “whole” foods while cutting out sugar, grains, dairy, alcohol, legumes, and joy. The logic here is that any one of these things, either on their own or collectively, could be negatively impacting your health, and therefore cutting out every single one without any rhyme or reason will cleanse your body, letting it heal and recover from whatever shit you’ve been putting it through for the last 26 or so years.

Rather than just help you lose weight, the Whole30 diet’s aim is to ultimately change your relationship with food. It’s not just trying to teach to you abstain, but to eventually forget about the foods you love that are supposedly ruining your life. Because of this, they have zero tolerance for cheating and don’t support any kind of alternative replacement treat.

Clearly, I have a few issues with the ideology. For instance, say I were so unfortunate as to be cursed with a dairy intolerance but was unaware of the exact cause of my ailment. By cutting out all the things that the Whole30 diet forbids, I would know that dairy could potentially be the problem, but it could also have something to do with the four other categories of food that I stopped eating cold turkey. At the end of the 30 days, re-introducing these foods to my diet would be akin to traversing a minefield, just waiting for the meal that would send me sprinting to the bathroom for an extended period of time. Honestly, I think a trip to an allergist could save you a month’s worth of suffering and provide you with a definitive answer to your problems.

But hey, that’s just me.

Me: Wow I kind of wish I could have some cheese right n-

Whole30 Diet:

Also, as a rule of thumb, I have an instinctive distrust of any diet that allows you to eat potatoes. I appreciate it. I respect it. But I don’t trust it. It is the diet equivalent of “I’m not a regular mom, I’m a cool mom.”

You would think my general hatred of Whole30 stems from the restrictive nature of the diet, but that’s not even it. I get restrictive, it kind of comes with the territory in these experiments that I voluntarily put myself through. Do I miss dairy and alcohol? More than I’d like to admit. But if I’ve learned anything by this point, it’s that I can put myself through some pretty heinous shit if I know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. There’s also usually the added benefit of generally losing some weight, but that’s not the case this time around.

The Whole30 diet has been a miserable experience thus far, in large part because the effort I’ve exerted and suffering I’ve endured aren’t being offset by any kind of benefit. In fact, the results are negligible at best. I’ve withstood sugar withdrawals, blinding headaches, extreme bloating, borderline narcolepsy, mood swings, general malaise, and verbal abuse from friends who find out that I’m abstaining from alcohol for an entire month, all for what? Losing a measly four pounds? Rumored benefits that have yet to kick in? Widespread resentment from every barista in Portland that I’ve grilled over the sugar content of their alternative milk? Cool. Thanks, Hartwigs. My life has truly changed for the better.

In fact, my biggest qualms with the Whole30 diet have come down to the two beverages that have essentially defined my life up until this point: alcohol and coffee. While I’ve had two weeks to come to terms with that single sentence, I’m still not crazy about it. I don’t say it to sound pathetic or try and draw parallels to those Hemingway fanboys who write about drinking whiskey and hating women. I say it because, like most twentysomethings who are trying to reconcile their hopes, dreams, and aspirations with the current climate of the world and their place in it, it’s true. Also, I like drinking. Sue me.

First and foremost, I hate black coffee. I would say 30% of that hatred is due to the actual taste, and the remaining 70% can be attributed to what black coffee stands for. People who pride themselves on drinking black coffee are the same people who list “sarcastic to a fault” in their Hinge bio. The level of pretentious it takes to think that drinking black coffee makes you enlightened is the same level required to loudly discuss your cryptocurrency portfolio at a bar. We all drink this stupid, acidic bean water to make waking up and existing every day just the slightest bit more tolerable. You’re not special because you can stomach it without cream.

Now to the arguably biggest drawback to the Whole30 diet: no alcohol. If you want to get yelled at by your friends for a month straight, boy do I have the diet for you. As if being the designated sober person for 30 days isn’t hard enough, you will also have to deal with every possible drunk person you come into contact with telling you that you’re making the single greatest mistake possible. This isn’t hyperbolic. That is what every one of them will say.

If I’m being honest, the alcohol restriction was the biggest draw of this diet for me, largely in part because it was so challenging. After you do stupid things like eat ice cream for a week straight, food challenges start to lose their gravitas. But a month long abstention from drinking? That’s new territory. In fact, that’s probably the longest I’ve gone without drinking since I was 18 years old, another sentence that truly makes me hate myself.

And while avoiding hangovers for four weekends in a row is definitely a plus, what I didn’t realize is how much I would miss casual drinking. A glass of wine after a long day of work. A cold cider at happy hour on the first sunny day for the year. A vodka soda to cling to at the bar when you find yourself separated from your friends and attempting to avoid eye contact with creepy guys.

In all fairness, I am only two weeks into this ordeal and thus can’t accurately report on any real results. By breaking my experience into two installments, I’m hoping that my thoughts will be easier to both outline and digest. Perhaps two weeks from now I’ll be 10 lbs. lighter, eating my words alongside a bowl full of grilled vegetables and tahini dressing (the only ray of light in this otherwise dreary experience). But right now, I’m not convinced.

Week One: Sleeping (Not) Beauty

Week one is supposed to be a rollercoaster of emotion, starting with a far too confident “what’s the big deal?” phase, which quickly declines into a roaring hangover from the carbs and sugars you stuffed into your body immediately before starting out under the pretense of “well…I’m going on a cleanse.”

After that, you’re likely to fall victim to mood swings that can be very easily mistaken for PMS, followed by two to three days of a full-body tired that you haven’t felt the likes of since high school. If you just read all that and thought to yourself, “but when do the good things start to happen?” you and I have a lot in common. Which means you’ll also be devastated to find out that no real benefit of this diet is due to kick in until around day 12. And yet here I am at day 15, wondering when my will to live will return from war.

My first week of the Whole30 diet can be summed up in a single word: exhausted. I have truly not been this tired since the tender age of 16, when my body was growing at an inhuman rate and required every ounce of energy within me to keep my knees from disintegrating.  In fact, on day three I almost fell asleep at lunch, and then crumbled into an absolute pit of despair when I momentarily believed that the reason I was suddenly succumbing to narcolepsy is because I was going through another growth spurt at 26.

Me on Day One: I’ve tackled keto. I drank spicy lemonade for 10 straight days. I ate Halo Top for a week. I’m invincible.

Me on Day Six: *Googling whether or not it’s physically harmful to sleep for 48 consecutive hours*

I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t communicate. I couldn’t muster the energy to pretend to be interested in things that I didn’t even remotely care about. But it wasn’t until I cancelled a workout class, six minutes before it started and with zero regard for any kind of cancellation fee, that I realized something was amiss. It was at this point that I finally decided to do some research into why it felt like I was dying, and discovered the Whole30 diet timeline.

They do caveat that the timeline is subjective and everyone’s experience is unique, but I still decided to blindly trust it. This meant that I was at least marginally justified in sleeping about 30 hours over the course of the next three days, but was still full of dread for what I knew was to come.

There were many lows of week one. Usually that kind of sentence is followed by “but there were also a handful of highs.” There weren’t. Not a high in sight. Every morning that I woke up and remembered that I had to force down black coffee just so I could make it to work unearthed a new level of rock bottom that I personally was not prepared for.

“But what about coconut milk? Almond milk? Any form of alternative milk that is available in Portland, OR—the home of alternative milks?” Great question that will inevitably show up in the comment section. Here’s the thing: most alternative milks have some kind of sugar or preservative in them that isn’t Whole30 diet compliant. If you read the label on any given food item and don’t recognize, or can’t pronounce, one of the ingredients, odds are it’s not allowed. So, short of making my own almond milk, I was out of luck. Did that stop me from having a painful conversation about the sugar content in my favorite coffee shop’s house nut milk trio? No. Did I feel good about that? Also no.

Certain canned coconut milk is allowed, but it’s the kind you cook with. Was I ready to become the girl who came to work with coconut milk and a can opener just because my high-maintenance ass wants something slightly resembling a latte? Idk, talk to me in a week in a half.

Week Two: The Great Bloat

After lamenting the lack of coffee creamer in my life the entire week before, I remembered that there’s a work-around for this: bulletproof coffee. By replacing grass-fed butter with ghee or coconut oil, I was able to drink something that was at least marginally more enjoyable than the black coffee I’d begrudgingly come to tolerate. Just throw 16 ounces of coffee and one tablespoon of your fat of choice into a blender, and mix until nice and frothy. I found that coconut oil coffee was lighter than Ghee and an ideal start for the first sunny day in Portland this year, with the added benefit of keeping your lips moisturized all morning. Ghee provided a richer taste, which I found paired perfectly with the cold, dreary mornings that immediately followed.

Week two was when I really hit my stride with meal prepping. Make no mistake: The Whole30 diet requires an outrageous amount of meal prep. Eating out isn’t easy, so I spent three hours of the last two Saturdays preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week ahead. I didn’t expect to enjoy this part, but I’ve actually begun to find it kind of soothing to know that I don’t have to worry about coming home and cooking anything after work.

Week two meal prep, however, was almost entirely derailed when I woke up Saturday morning feeling like I’d consumed six vodka sodas and absolutely zero water the night before. In my early morning haze, I quickly accepted the fact that I’d waste my morning lying in bed hungover before I realized that there was zero reason to be feeling this way. I hadn’t gone out the night before, definitely hadn’t had any alcohol. In fact, I was asleep by 9:30pm. After an hour of deliberation and the slightly irrational conclusion that maybe I had contracted salmonella, my roommate pointed out that I was very likely going through a sugar withdrawal.

This was news to me because I really don’t consume that much sugar in my normal diet, certainly not enough for the migraine that was slowly blinding me. But some quick research verified her claim, which is how I found out that some health and wellness professionals assert that sugar withdrawals are on par with cocaine in terms of severity. Now, I’m not saying that a cocaine diet would likely have better results for just about the same level of suffering, but I’m also not not saying that.

Throughout week one I developed a heavy dependence on almond butter. It became my life, my love, my reason to be. I went through an entire jar in the first week, usually accompanied by some kind of fruit. Why does a diet that wants you to cut all sugar out of your life allow you to have fruit? Great question. All I can say is that, after what I experienced, it probably shouldn’t.

The closest I’ve come to a peak is when I discovered a Whole30 diet compliant recipe for banana chia pudding, which became my nightly treat. With just three ingredients (banana, coconut milk, and chia seeds), it was easy to make and a relatively guilt-free indulgence. Or so I thought.

I’ve been eating bananas all my life and up until these past two weeks, there have been zero negative side effects. But since starting Whole30, I can’t eat bananas without becoming comically bloated. Like, we’re talking post-Thanksgiving levels of discomfort. At first I thought this might be a fluke, a weird side effect of the diet. But after I (illegally) whipped up some fake banana ice cream the other night and went to bed looking four months pregnant, I realized something was very, very wrong. So in line with the logic of the Whole30 diet, I’m cutting bananas out of my life for the next two weeks. I don’t know what I’ll do if I can never have them again, but I can promise it won’t be rational.

The thing is, even when I wasn’t suffering from banana-induced weight gain, I have yet to feel good throughout this experience. You know when you start a diet and after two days, despite any discernible difference in your appearance, you just feel amazing? You’re confident to the point of hubris, breaking out jeans that haven’t fit in months “just to see,” walking around with a pep in your step, generally just happy with your outlook? Yeah, that has yet to happen, and I’m two weeks into this mess. In fact, I feel worse.

Logically, I know I’ve lost weight—four pounds, to be exact. But that’s considerably less exciting when you take into account that halfway through week two, I was one pound above my starting weight. So I’m technically netting four pounds, but only three below where I started.

Probably my biggest lesson so far is that knowing I’ve lost weight and feeling it are two vastly different things. I understand that there’s more at stake here than just weight loss, but if a diet doesn’t make you feel good, especially one that requires so much effort and upkeep, then what’s the point? Usually you’re miserable and dropping weight left and right, or you’re making slower progress but feeling stronger and energized than usual. I’m not succeeding at either of those things, and it’s even more frustrating when I remember how much money I’ve spent on groceries over the past 14 days.

Today begins week three, and morale is at an all-time low. I know things are getting bad because I found myself watching Tasty videos for 45 straight minutes last night. If you ever find yourself at the point where you’re salivating over the idea of a crunchy taco ring or lasagna chips and dip, you’re in bad shape.

I don’t know what the next two weeks hold for me, but I can promise that I’ll be angry for at least 90% of it. Stay tuned for the second installment of the Whole30 Diet Diaries, and maybe consider pouring one out for my sober ass on St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow.

Images: Giphy (5)

This Just In: The Whole30 Diet Is Bad For You

STOP THE PRESSES, because we literally found out that another fad diet has, essentially, eaten shit for false claims and making you subscribe to unhealthy eating habits. As we’ve told you before, most fad diets, or, really any diets that tell you to cut out whole food groups are bullshit. So, this shouldn’t be a big surprise to our LOYAL readers, but it’s true: Whole30 is bullshit.

WTF is Whole30?

Whole30 is a diet regimen that is based on cutting out food groups like grains, beans, all sugar, and dairy. Also alcohol—so I’m assuming literally no one reading this has tried it. So far, it sounds fucking awful. The idea is to “reset” your body and help you figure out which foods are making you tired/fat/bloated/poor. What can you eat? Mostly meat, fruit, veggies, eggs, etc. Think of it as the trendier Paleo diet, which, uh, it is. And since the Paleo diet has been proven ineffective by our good old buddies, the scientists, you can kinda already see what we’re in for.

The Burn Book Diet Rankings

That brings us to the annual ranking of diets in U.S. News & World Report, the magazine/journal you may know of because you stalked their college rankings to decide where to apply senior year. But back to the diets list, though: Where did Whole30 land in a list of diets examined by important medical people? Fucking LAST.

Awesomely-named scientist Dr. Katz, an expert on this diet expert panel, said that he considered Whole30 generally shitty because it overly promotes chomping into beef, pork, chicken, and other animal meats. These things aren’t BAD in moderation, but eating all meat while ignoring, say, whole grain bread or black beans isn’t that awesome. We assume he also spoke at length about the absolute preposterousness that is associated with not having a bottle of wine every night, but we’re still trying to track that quote down.

Of course (yawn) the creator of the diet claims it’s super awesome and healthy and has changed fat people for the better, but, honestly, so does the Master Cleanse, and I still fail to see the merit in hallucinating for a few days so I can lose 3 lbs. I can go to Burning Man or Coachella and do the same shit without realizing I’m dieting.

Do yourself a favor and stick with eating healthy ALL the time and not DIETING. Oh, and work alcohol into your diet, because, like, health benefits.