Utah woman's 'Whole30' success starts social media firestorm

- PLEASANT GROVE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - A Utah woman says the popular 'Whole 30' diet program helped her battle the bulge and gain a growing support system. 

'Whole 30' asks followers to eat fruits, vegetables, and plenty of protein.  Dairy, sugar, beans, and grains are restricted.

Critics say the program requires a dramatic lifestyle change.  For Ashley Reeves, a busy mother of three, it fit the bill.

"I had had my third baby," she said.  "I was not loosing any weight no matter what I was doing." 

Reeves tried the program and after a couple of weeks she was hooked. 

"I wasn't a stranger to healthy eating, I had tried a lot of different programs and different options, but I saw the most results and felt the best with 'Whole 30,'" she said. 

Reeves proved her point after anxiously posting her before and after pictures on Instagram. 

"I literally had like a heart attack... like I was so nervous to post those pictures," she said. 

The pictures showed her post baby body, midriff and all.  They also showed a 15 pound weight loss in just thirty days, starting a social media firestorm. 

"I actually thought no one is really gonna ever look at this, it's just gonna be a hobby for me," Reeves said in shock.  "I never thought that people would catch on." 

Right now, almost 75 hundred people follow her on Instagram.  Some of her Utah followers even started a journey of their own. 

After following Reeves, Salt Lake City's Kathy Leslie and Becca Swain cleaned out their fridge.  Now on their fourth round of 'Whole 30,' they have collectively lost almost 110 pounds. 

"There's a place for this in social media," Reeves said of their success.  "People want to see these pictures and people want to know that not everyone looks like super models right after they have babies." 

As her babies grow into young men, Reeves hopes to make healthy living a family affair. 

"It's an investment in myself, it's an investment in my family," she said. 

A new lifestyle she hoped will make the future bright. 

"You're eating anyway, so why not eat well and eat healthy and eat clean," she said. 

Critics of the 'Whole 30' program say the diet can be difficult to maintain and avoiding food groups could lead to vitamin deficiencies. If you are interested in starting the program, experts recommend consulting your physician. 

Click here for more information on 'Whole 30.'  For more on Reeve's journey and others follow @amazon_ashley, @clean cookery, and @becca__swain on Instagram. 

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