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Here’s the skinny on the Whole30 diet that gave Dodgers’ Justin Turner a svelte look

Dodgers' Justin Turner runs the bases after hitting a home run.
Dodgers’ Justin Turner hit a home run during the first inning of a spring training game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday in Phoenix.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

With the goal of increasing his mobility and durability, he enters the 2021 season with the hope that being less Justin Turner means being more Justin Turner.

The Dodgers third baseman this week explained how he lost weight — dropping to as light as 192 pounds at one point — in an attempt to ensure his availability this season and limit the risk of injury.

Turner joined his wife, Kourtney, on the Whole30 diet, a 30-day program that prohibits — among other goodies — sugar, dairy, grains and alcohol.

The result has been shouts of “skinny” directed at Turner from the stands and, manager Dave Roberts observed, better lateral movement.

So what, exactly, is the Whole30 diet?

It was co-founded in 2009 when Melissa Hartwig Urban blogged about “a 30-day dietary experiment that transformed her health, habits and emotional relationship with food,” according to whole30.com.

Justin Turner heard the criticisms about his game while he was briefly on the free market, and he decided to do something about it by dropping weight.

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The website says millions of people have changed their lives through the program by “eliminating cravings, improving energy and sleep, reporting an improvement in allergies, anxiety, chronic pain, digestive issues, skin conditions; and losing weight healthfully and sustainably.”

An elimination diet, Whole30 forbids the consumption of foods that might contain common allergens or trigger inflammation. By adhering to the rules, the dieter can see how his or her body responds over the 30 days.

Registered dietician Samantha Cassetty did warn NBC’s “Today” show that there’s no scientific evidence to support the claims made by the folks at Whole30. There also has been little independent research done on the diet.

Another dietician, Karen Ansel, shared uncertainty with “Today” about how the program eliminates foods that are generally considered healthy.

Dodgers' Justin Turner and Max Muncy warm up prior to a spring training game.
Dodgers’ Justin Turner (10) and Max Muncy warm up prior to a spring training game.
(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

“My concern with Whole30 is that there’s a long list of what you cannot have, and that includes foods that are linked to good health in many ways,” she said. “When people are cutting out entire food groups, that’s always a big red flag.”

Still, there are plenty of glowing testimonials about Whole30 all over the internet. And there’s the evidence offered by the Dodgers’ suddenly svelte third baseman.

Even Turner’s beard has shrunk, although that’s more likely the result of an increased commitment to tighter grooming.

The Dodgers’ focus the last week of spring training is on veteran left-handers Clayton Kershaw and David Price, the last roster spot and impressive prospects.


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