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The Elimination diet

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Having fresh cold cuts is a popular meal option.

Has winter left you with a small tummy that you would like to do away with? Or have the summer months ensured that your skin looks patchy? It’s that time of the year when going on a diet seems like a good idea as vacations are over and partying is a low priority. Called Whole 30, it’s a diet that works on elimination, to be followed for an entire 30 days.

There are no shortcuts here. There aren’t any cheat days either. And it’s also a perfect diet to try out in the run-up to the monsoon to shed a few kilos.


Though it was first conceived in 2009, in India, it is still making inroads. The Whole30 hasn’t caught up as much in India as the keto diet is still a rage here. But I won’t be surprised if it catches on pretty quickly as the new fad diet in town, as people are always looking for a quick option to lose weight now, says Carlyne Remedios, group manager, Clinical Practices, Nutrition & Product Development, Digestive Health Institute by Dr Muffi in Mumbai.

She further explains how the Whole 30 diet was established by Mellisa Hartwig who started off by eliminating sugar from her diet whilst she was a fitness trainer. She built the diet based on her experiences and gradually had multiple followers who were testament to the fact that the diet changed their lives. In 2012, Hartwig co-published her first book that became a bestseller, she adds.

The diet essentially involves avoiding sugar and all its alternatives and artificial sweeteners, alcohol, all grains including gluten-free grains, legumes, soy and dairy. The above foods are completely eliminated from the diet as it is believed that they are inflammatory and gut damaging and hence eliminating them for an entire month helps repair the system, explains Remedios.

After the 30 days of diet are over, one is allowed to re-introduce each item and monitor their effect on the system. It gives you a better understanding of which foods agree with you and which don’t, she adds.

You are allowed to eat meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, juices, nuts and seeds, coffee, tea, green beans, ghee, clarified butter. It is still not as popular as other diets as their is restriction of dairy, whole grains and legumes which are present every day in the menu of most Indian households,” says Dr Siddhant Bhargava, fitness and nutritional scientist.


The highlight of this diet is that it allows you to eat more natural and also unprocessed foods. This diet also helps to build the habit of reading labels and makes the person understand what they are eating,” says Dr Bhargava.

The whole concept of Whole 30 is to be mindful of what you are eating, to figure out the triggers behind the immediate problem, what works and what doesn’t.

I think this is a good time to follow Whole 30 diet, to help the body adjust better to the change in season” says celebrity chef Ranveer Brar, on how to incorporate this diet in your daily schedule. He advisies people on this diet to eat a lots of vegetables and fruits that have high water and fibre content.Your meals have to be healthily cooked, eat eggs for protein, ghee definitely, lean meat, seafood are all good. Smoothies aren’t enough so one can try salads and light eats, he adds.

While on this diet, choosing your meat wisely is essential. A lot of brands in the market use soya/ bread crumbs as fillers in their products which you cannot have in any of your diets specially the meat diets. So we ensure that our products are made with 100 per cent meat, water and spices. It is completely gluten free, it is ketofriendly, doesn’t have any of these additives, and hence it is a better option for various diets, says Lisa Suwal, CEO of Prasuma, a fresh and chilled Deli meat brand, that has seen a spike in orders in the last two years as more people have become health-conscious.


The first step in determining a diet should be based on what your body needs to gain and what it needs to lose. Again, mindfulness comes in here. It’s good to consult an expert, if need be, to find out what works, says Chef Brar.

Be dedicated to the diet. Even after the goal is achieved, do not shock the body by immediately switching back to old eating habits. It is always best to follow a disciplined regimen for long term. I strongly believe that as long as we eat balanced, eat seasonal, that itself becomes a holistic diet on its own, says Chef Brar.

Most prescribed diet programmes have some drawbacks that need to be tackled. The exclusion of cereals, pulses, and dairy, which are part of the five most important foods is one of the drawbacks. It reduces the consumption of nutrients like iron, fibre, vitamin E, calcium, and also proteins. All these nutrients are needed to improve a few health conditions, says Dr Bhargava.


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