Great question! And to put it really simply, Whole 30 is just an ultra strict form of Paleo. But now you probably have more questions, then answers. So here we go!
Whole 30 is intended to be a reset. That’s why it ends in “30”. It’s meant to be a 30 day reset, learning more about why you crave things like sugar and carbs and the negative effects a poor diet has on you. It is a reset to heal your body and break you of bad habits. But then after this 30 days they want you to reintegrate the items you have omitted slowly. Really paying attention to the foods (ie legumes, rice, gluten etc) that may make you feel worse, so you can stop eating them in the future. This reset is intended to not be a lifestyle. You may find you need a longer amount of time to heal your body then just 30 days, and so some people do Whole 60s or 90s. But Melissa Hartwig, the author and creator behind Whole 30, really stress the importance that this is not intended to be a full time lifestyle.
Paleo is a lifestyle. It is looking at getting more sleep, reducing the stress in your life and eating the diets humans used to be healthy and happy eating. Paleo foods are the foods our ancestor’s ate. Before agriculture and big time dairy farming, when we weren’t sedentary. And actually, looking at our history the many many generations of humans that ate before us, before our new modern and western life. The paleo diet is intended to be a long term switch to whole vegetables, fruits and animal proteins.
And therefore it makes sense that Paleo includes foods that Whole 30 asks you not to eat. Here is a full overview of the similarities and differences between the two:
What I really like about both, is the focus that what works for one person may not be the same for the next. It is important to reconnect with our own bodies and understand that if something makes us feel worse, even if it is something that we continue to be told is “healthy” then we still need to just stop eating it.
The switch to paleo may seem just too simple and yet for others may seem impossible. But it’s all about reconnecting with your body and to whole foods. The way nature intended.
Have any more questions? Please write in the comments below. I would love to hear from you and be able to add more information to this based on what you all want to know!