What Are Whole30 Diet Alternatives?

What Are Whole30 Diet Alternatives?

Whether you have completed the Whole30 diet and are looking for something new to try or are interested in what Whole30 alternatives are, you will find plenty. Some of these alternatives are the low-fat Whole30, high-protein Whole30, and a strict Whole30 diet.

Diets like Whole30 are designed to aid in weight loss while focusing on overall health. While restrictive, they have proven results that most people love. If you are ready to venture away from the Whole30 diet, check out these diets similar to Whole30 but are different enough that they may interest you on your weight loss and health journey.

1. Paleo Diet

The paleo diet is often associated with a hunter and gatherer diet since you only eat natural foods like meats, veggies, berries, other fruit, and nuts. You are not supposed to eat processed foods, added sugars, grains, legumes, dairy, and some vegetable oils.

Both diets help aid weight loss and improve specific health conditions like reducing the risk for Type 2 diabetes.

Whole30 and the paleo diet are similar because they require restricting the same food groups and products, but their main difference is how you implement them. The Whole30 diet is a one-month program to help reset your metabolism, and after one month, you can start reintroducing foods to your diet. 

The paleo diet is designed to be slightly less restrictive from the beginning and is considered more sustainable in the long term than the Whole30. 

Advantages

  1. It is less restrictive at the beginning than Whole30
  2. You are eating fewer preservatives and chemicals
  3. You may feel fuller between meals due to the high protein intake

Disadvantages 

  1. Paleo is challenging for vegetarians since you cannot even eat legumes
  2. It can get expensive purchasing a lot of meat and fish

2. Keto Diet

The keto diet is another widely popular diet that many people have been trying. Keto and Whole30 are popular and have some similarities. 

They are both restrictive in the permitted foods category, but keto is much less stringent than the Whole30 diet. You still cannot have added sugars, most grains, or legumes since they are a high-carb food.

The main thing Whole30 and keto share is being a high-protein diet. Both diets encourage you to eat plenty of meat and fish. They differ because the Whole30 is more of a cleanse of fats, dairy, and other oils. 

Keto allows you to eat cheese and other dairy products. It is also a high-fat diet, unlike the Whole30. You will also eat non-starchy veggies, where the Whole30 lets you consume any vegetable you want. You may experience the keto diet flu just like you may experience the Whole30 carb flu. 

Advantages

  1. Much less restrictive than the Whole30
  2. Can help Type 2 diabetics maintain a healthy glucose level
  3. Aids in weight loss 

Disadvantages 

  1. Not sustainable for those who need carbs in their diet
  2. You may experience the keto flu when starting out

3. Atkins Diet

The Atkins diet may be one of the most well-known diets next to the Whole30. This alternative is similar to Whole30 because it requires restricting certain food groups to see results. Both diets require incorporating more of certain foods at some point. 

The Whole30 allows you to start slowly incorporating more food groups after one month, while the Atkins diet has four phases, all requiring you to add more carbs to your diet. The Atkins diet requires carbs such as grains, unlike the Whole30.

These diets are similar to each other in the sense that they are geared for weight loss in the short term. Others like keto are more of a lifestyle change, while Atkins and Whole30 are not sustainable forever.

You will also enjoy dairy on the Atkins diet and can drink protein shakes, while Whole30 restricts dairy entirely.

Advantages

  1. Perfect for those who want to decrease their carb intake but still enjoy them
  2. It can help with high blood pressure
  3. You can buy Atkins brand food at many grocery stores to assist 

Disadvantages: 

  1. Restricting carbs and then beginning to eat them in higher amounts can cause you to gain back all the weight you lost
  2. It can cause leg cramps in the beginning

4. Dukan Diet

Like Whole30, the Dukan diet is a high-protein, low-carb, and low-fat diet. It is similar to a hunter and gatherer diet, making it a comparable alternative to Whole30. Dukan is restrictive like Whole30, only allowing participants to consume 100 different foods initially. 

Of the 100 foods, you will find 68 proteins and 32 veggies. Much like Whole30, you can introduce more food into the diet in the later stages. 

Similar to Atkins, the Dukan diet has four stages. Each stage allows you to start incorporating more foods. A critical difference between the Dukan and Whole30 is the latter promotes exercise, but it is not a program requirement. 

The Dukan diet requires a specific amount of exercise per day to follow the plan. Another main difference is that the final stage of the Dukan diet is geared toward long-term use, while the Whole30 is more of a one-month cleanse and not sustainable every month.

Advantages 

  1. Incorporates exercise into each phase
  2. Allows you to introduce more foods along the way
  3. It helps you develop a long-term solution to healthier eating

Disadvantages

  1. Potentially linked to kidney and liver disease
  2. More restrictive than Whole30 to start

How To Choose the Best Type of Diet Instead of Whole30

Choosing the best diet for you, whether it is the Whole30, a variation of this diet, or a Whole30 alternative, is essential. You will need to select something that works well for your age, gender, and weight, then factor in any health conditions and allergies you may have.

If you are a generally healthy person with no prior health conditions, try a standard version of the Atkins diet. Similarly, otherwise healthy individuals who are looking for a long-term weight loss solution should try the Dukan diet. Conversely, for those with Type 2 diabetes, the Keto diet has helped maintain a healthy glucose level.

For example, an individual who is in their 20s and wants to lose weight over the long-term should look for a lifestyle diet, not a cleanse like the Whole30. The Dukan, Atkins, and Keto can all be good choices. 

However, someone who is looking for something temporary to restart their metabolism or clean out their system should focus on something more restrictive. This includes the Whole30 but also Paleo or even Dukan.

Everyone is different, so considering all these factors can help you make an informed decision.

What Diets Are Easier Than Whole30?

For those who find it challenging to go without cheese or other dairy products, the keto diet is much easier to follow than the Whole30 diet. On keto, people can eat cheese, use coffee creamer and consume other dairy products, while Whole30 prohibits those items.

Atkins is another diet many people find easier than Whole30 because the former allows a small number of carbs from grains per day, while the latter cuts this food group out for an entire month. The Mediterranean diet is one of the easiest diets to follow and is much less restrictive. 

What Diets Are Harder Than Whole30?

One example of a diet that is harder than the Whole30 diet is the Dukan diet because it is more restrictive. You are limited to 100 specific foods in the beginning stages, but you can still have coffee, eggs, and other foods on Whole30.

In addition to being more restrictive initially, you can only use basic seasonings and herbs for your food, while Whole30 is slightly less stringent in this department. Utilizing seasonings is helpful in a healthy journey to ensure you are enjoying your meals. If you love a variety of seasonings, then the Dukan diet will be more challenging for you.

What Diets Are More Expensive Than Whole30?

Since Whole30 is a one-month elimination diet, any diet that lasts longer than one month can be more expensive than it. For example, the Atkins diet is similar to Whole30 but lasts longer. So, you will be spending more money trying to keep the Atkins diet going than the Whole30.

While similar to Whole30, the Dukan diet can be more expensive. Since you are only allowed to purchase “pure” proteins and fresh produce, these can add up very quickly. Other expensive diets to follow include Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, and an all-organic diet.

What Diets Are Cheaper Than Whole30?

Keto tends to be a cheaper alternative than the Whole30 diet. It is more affordable due to being able to buy cheeses and avoid buying a ton of fresh produce. Depending on where you live, fresh produce can get expensive. 

Other cheap diets you can follow that are more affordable than Whole30 are the Mediterranean diet and flexitarian diet. These permit you to eat a larger variety of foods, which allows you to make better financial decisions since you can choose between lower and higher-priced items. 

Carbs like rice and other grains are cheap foods for diets, but there are plenty of options available.

Athletic Insight

Athletic Insight Research

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

The Athletic Insight Research team consists of a dedicated team of researchers, Doctors, Registered Dieticians, nationally certified nutritionists and personal trainers. Our team members hold prestigious accolades within their discipline(s) of expertise, as well as nationally recognized certifications. These include; National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CPT), National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC), International Sports Sciences Association Nutritionist Certification.