You need to be prepared.
The reason most of us cave to the sultry temptations of fast food is because we "don't have time" to make a meal at home or are "in a rush" as we zip around from one commitment to another. Our lives have transformed into a "Go! Go! Go!" routine that leave little time for crucial things like preparing our own food.
This is one of the many areas where my wife took the baton. She made sure to prepare a week's worth of breakfast foods on Mondays when she had the day off of work. I would have severely struggled with this plan if I wasn't able to just grab some of the pre-made egg muffins and sweet potato/apple hash every morning. If all I had was a banana, my usual cravings would have reared their ugly heads much earlier in the day making it really hard for me to make it through the work day without grabbing sugary snacks from the pantry.
Have a partner in crime.
In the past, I've tried to tackle weight loss programs or diet plans on my own. If they would have gone well, I wouldn't have the need to try Whole30 this past month. But doing this alongside Karin made all the difference. Having someone where to keep you accountable and go through the same struggles helps you keep moving forward from days one to thirty.
Make dinner leftovers into next day lunches
To cut down on having to make SO many meals, Karin made a point of making large dinners every night that could then be turned into leftovers for the next day. Again, easy to grab at 5:30 in the morning as I toss together my lunch to take to work.
Become best friends with your grill
My landlord couldn't have had better timing when he offered us a large, free, propane grill for our back "patio." When you fire up the grill as much as we did this past month, a charcoal grill just takes too long - especially when I don't get home from work until 6 or later sometimes. It made it easy to grill everything! I made chicken, pork chops, steaks, corn on the cob, zucchini and Italian sausage! And I will continue to use the grill well into the fall and winter. It just tastes so good!
Stick with the same 4-5 meals
To avoid killing yourself trying to always make a new and different meal, it's a great idea to find a handful of items that you enjoy and keep making them. Over the course of our 30 days, while it took some trial and error to find the meals that worked, Karin found some solid meals that we utilized many times. Even though most of them just contained a meat with a side of veggies, a handful of them were pretty creative! Check past blog posts to see some of the meals we had!
Get rid of tempting food
If you're like me, you find it extremely hard to eat healthy if there is something unhealthy in the house. If I know there are cookies in the pantry or ice cream bars in the freezer, it's a struggle to stay away. So before we started Whole30, we gave away a ton of our snacks and non-Whole30 foods to my brother in-law who lives in the same building as us. Problem solved! A win-win for everyone!
Eat before parties
During Whole30, the main thing that made me regret doing the plan was when we attended family / group parties. These were the types of functions where they were serving pizza, soda, chips or even meat/veggies marinated in the wrong mix of spices/oils. The two things that come to mind were my fantasy football draft and our family Labor Day get together.
To combat that (and hopefully curb fits of rage), we tried to eat something BEFORE going to these parties. In the case of the draft, I brought my own Italian sausage to eat so I stayed away from all the other snacks that were set out.
Let me know if you've had success with Whole30 in the past. And if so, what tools you utilized to stick with it!