Yes, You Can Go Whole30 Without Ruining Your Social Life

The Whole30 diet trend is no joke. Post after post will tell you about the trials and tribulations that come with attempting the highly-restrictive diet for a staggering 30 days. But the one struggle that seems to surpass even the strongest of banned food cravings is the dieter’s ability to maintain a relatively normal social life while avoiding all things sugar, alcohol, dairy, grains and legumes. (Yeah, that’s quite the list, we know.) We won’t deny that it’s a challenge indeed, but there are several strategies you can focus on to make the experience that much more manageable.

Vet restaurant menus ahead of time.

Yes, brunch is still on the table! You just have to choose wisely. When it comes time to pick the place or make a reservation, be an active participant in the process. Check out the restaurant menus online to see what your best options will be, and pick a spot from there. Luckily, a lot of brunches involve eggs, bacon and veggies, so your plate will probably look surprisingly normal.

Propose outings that have nothing to do with eating (or drinking).

Unsplash/Priscilla Du Preez

We have a very pro-food and beverage social culture, but that doesn’t mean you can only consume things when you’re spending time with people you care about. Try out a new fitness class together, go for a day hike, check out the latest museum exhibit in your neighborhood or head to the theater. There are plenty of activities you can enjoy with your social circle that don’t involve food. They might take a little adjusting to if your crew tends to only be seen in bars, but if they love you, they’ll at least give your new ideas a try.

Offer to host the next potluck.

Your kitchen, your rules, right? Design the core of the dinner menu yourself without worrying about having to schlep a bunch of dishes down the street (or on public transportation). Your friends can bring their wine and cheese and sweet treats, but you’ll have a strong base of foods to nosh on, which will make you feel a lot less like the sore thumb of the party. Plus, the home-field advantage naturally boosts your confidence no matter what you’re doing.

And BYO snacks all the time just in case.

Unsplash/Rachael Gorjestani

Yes, you’re going to be the person carrying around hard-boiled eggs and your Whole30-approved salad dressing, but who cares? If that’s what it takes for you to be able to immerse yourself in a social scene and still fuel your body away from home, it’s really not that big of a deal. Who knows, your friends might even like your homemade condiments better than what’s sitting on the table at the restaurant.

Lean into the relationships with friends who understand rather than whine.

At the end of the day, you’re exploring the Whole30 setup for the sake of your health. Whether you’re trying to identify a pesky food intolerance or just develop better habits for the long haul, these are proactive moves you’re making in your life. And a solid, empathetic friend should be proud of you for taking the reigns like this — not bitching on and on and on about how you can’t throw back shots at the bar tonight. So practice gratitude for the friends that are supporting you in this journey, and maybe distance yourself from the friendships that aren’t serving you… at least for the next 30 days.