What is Sex With Your Pants On (SWYPO) & How Does it Relate to Whole30?

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If you’ve taken a leap of faith into the world of Whole30 (applause for you!) you’ve probably heard a weird-sounding term floating around – SWYPO.

Confused? Wondering if it’s a typo? Nope! Let’s strap in and unmask this sneaky little saboteur in your Whole30 journey.

What the Heck is a SWYPO?!

SWYPO, or “Sex With Your Pants On,” is a term created by Whole30’s creator Melissa Urban. It refers to those sneaky “almost,” foods that are technically Whole30-compliant when it comes to the ingredient list, but mimic the processed junk food we’re trying to escape from.

It’s referring to those false imitation foods that will never be as good as the real thing. Hence, sex with your pants on — it’s never going to be as good as the real thing!

Common examples of SWYPO foods include:

  • Paleo muffins and pancakes. These can be technically Whole30 compliant if made with almond flour or coconut flour and other compliant ingredients. The reason they fall into the SWYPO category is that they still mimic a grain-based, sweet breakfast food and keep your sweet cravings alive.
  • Brownies and cookies made from dates, nuts, and cacao. Again, these are technically compliant because they do not contain any explicit non-compliant ingredients. But once more, they continue to foster a craving for desserts and sweets.
  • Chips or fries made from baking or air frying veggies and carbohydrates, like sweet potato fries. The ingredients are compliant, but they mimic a food that is typically deep-fried and served as a snack, encouraging mindless eating or feeding your salt cravings.
  • Pizza crusts made with cauliflower or almond flour – while made with compliant ingredients, they play into pizza cravings, which is non-compliant food in Whole30.
  • Smoothies and juices: Even though every ingredient might be compliant, having your fruit in a liquid form can cause a faster consumption and less satisfaction rate prevent from seeing and experiencing the eating process, which can, in turn, lead to overconsumption.

Remember, the Whole30 program is not only about eating technically compliant foods, but it’s also about changing your relationship with food and curing unhealthy food habits. This is why foods that closely mimic ‘junk food’, although made with compliant ingredients, are classified as SWYPO and discouraged.

Why is SWYPO a Problem? If Ingredients are Compliant, Why Does it Matter?

SWYPO foods are saboteurs of the new healthy eating habits you’re trying to create. Those paleo muffins and pancakes can spur on cravings for the real deal, keeping you shackled to old food habits, and potentially even trigger a diet downfall.

One of the main tenants of Whole30 is to break those old, unhealthy food habits and crutches we’ve relied on in the past. So grasping onto these fake imitation foods is doing you more harm than good.

How to Avoid the SWYPO Siren Song

Many Whole30-ers have been temped by a frozen cauliflower pizza on a Friday night. The draw to imitations of our old favorites is understandable.

Avoid the temptation by focusing on planning ahead and not losing sight of why you’re on your Whole30 journey.

Plan your meals like you’re going into battle – armed and prepared. Resist the urge to recreate your old faves with Whole30-compliant ingredients and instead, embrace the opportunity to explore new and exciting flavors.

Yes, SWYPO is a cheeky little wrench in your Whole30 journey, but with some planning and dedication, you can dodge those tempting treats and stick to the foods and new habits you want to be embracing.

Have you struggled with SWYPO foods in the past? Let us know in the comments!

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about the author:
Meg Mars
Meg is a writer who is passionate about healthy eating. From Whole30 and South Beach Diet, to paleo and intermittent fasting, she's experimented with several healthy eating regiments and is passionate about helping readers find the perfect food plan match for their lifestyles.

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