Does anyone ever NOT reintroduce and just stay on it?


rollo

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The main reason to do reintroductions is to know how you react to certain foods so that when you do want to go off road on those special occasions you can make a judgement call on whether something is worth it. For me introductions didn't bring up any big red flags but if gluten had given me immediate intestinal distress I probably wouldn't want to off road on gluten foods at someones wedding...it wouldn't be worth it. Does that make sense? W30 gives you a nice clean slate to do some self experimentation and go into the battle with less healthy foods much more informed.

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I've been testing re-introductions for the past 4 years. :)  I go months and months eating on-plan foods and then occasionally try something off plan. I have had a noticeable problem just twice in all this time. I got diarrhea after eating a double scoop of mint chocolate ice cream at a concert and I got 3-5 days of GI pain after eating bread and pasta at a nice Italian restaurant. I have not had problems with bread, dairy, or pasta on the other occasions I ate them, so I wonder if something else was wrong on the two occasions I did have trouble. In any case, it is fine to just eat Whole30-style all the time. 

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I have not reintroduced anything either.  After my first Whole 42 first I struggled with giving in to sugar every 18 days or so but since beginning fitness classes (kettle bell training) I have not had a single sugar craving and am on Day 20.  I have never felt better.  Never.  and think I have beaten the Sugar Dragon at long last.  I'm afraid reintroducing will not only awaken it but undo progress on other levels and so I refuse.  And I'm not knocking anyone who does reintro, it's just my preference not to.  

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For me, reintro's are important because, well...LIFE! I want to know how my body reacts to things that have been omitted during the whole 30 so I can make the choice whether I want to include these foods in my diet. I'm not going to cook for myself every day, but I'd like to know how to make better choices.

The foods don't have to be eaten everyday, or even semi regularly, but I'd like to know all the same. I'll probably eat more mindfully knowing specific foods that cause issues, than if I were to not do proper reintro's and just off road on special

occasions.

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I did a similar low carb detox style plan at the beginning of the year and went 40 days without wheat or sugar. My test was to go to Costa for coffee and cake. It was fab. No reaction and it was so good to eat cake again. Roll forward six months and it was rare for me to go 40 hours without coffee and cake. So 40 days hadn't killed my sweet tooth :( Even though I got no gut reaction my psyche wasn't ready for it. I doubt it ever will be, which makes me very sad as I love the whole going to a café for coffee and cake scene. 

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You never know, I thought the same once. Now if I want the coffee and cake scene, I go to a local specialist chocolate cafe, have black coffee and a dark chocolate ginger truffle ( all hot drinks come with a free chocolate) or if I don't feel like the chocolate I get a wrapped one to take home and I don't feel deprived. PS after my first whole30 I did a 100 to kill my sugar dragon....

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I've given this a great deal of thought and tried out various strategies.  The fact is that for me, non-Whole30 foods do cause me both immediate and long term distress in various ways (tied in, I think, to some severe childhood food allergies).  The fact is also that, for example, a recent move combined with a home remodel and changing schools for my children left me needing to just eat whatever I could stand to put in my mouth.  So what I realize is that I do best eating Whole30 almost all of the time - and when I really need to access the convenience of readily available foods, I do that knowing I'll pay the price but I'll be back.  (I just started eating Whole30 compliant again last night after about three weeks off, and it is a great relief.)

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The only thing that I have successfully reintroduced has been cheese, and that I have only occasionally.  I have digestive issues that tell me fairly quickly (minutes) and rather dramatically (pain) when I've tried to reintroduce anything else.  I may well end up not eating grains, nightshades or legumes, and avoiding processed foods and additives (including sugar) for the rest of my life.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I did a similar low carb detox style plan at the beginning of the year and went 40 days without wheat or sugar. My test was to go to Costa for coffee and cake. It was fab. No reaction and it was so good to eat cake again. Roll forward six months and it was rare for me to go 40 hours without coffee and cake. So 40 days hadn't killed my sweet tooth :( Even though I got no gut reaction my psyche wasn't ready for it. I doubt it ever will be, which makes me very sad as I love the whole going to a café for coffee and cake scene.

Something that came to mind whilst reading this was the topic of habits. I'll try to be brief as I guess I'm off-topic.

I have weened myself off all kinds of things, but when I face a situation where I'm used to doing something, it takes a lot of conscious effort not to go back to old patterns. I haven't smoked in years, but when I go to a bar, I smoke. I don't even like the taste! But I do it, just because. I think I would have to retrain my brain and go to bars more often and not smoke, to override the old habit. Same surroundings, different actions.

So it's not necessarily physical craving, but just habitual, which can be very difficult to break as well.

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I felt so good at the end of my Whole30 that I *thought* I was going to keep it going forever. I reintroduced dairy and didn't like how I felt, so I didn't want to reintroduce anything else. Well over the next few months different things creeped back in here and there, which is fine, except my skin started breaking out and my energy suffered, and since I hadn't methodically reintroduced, I don't know what exactly was the culprit. So several months later, I'm on Day 4 of a new Whole30 so I can do the full reintroductions at the end, even though I intend to stick to this way of eating for the long run. Do reintros so you can have really clear knowledge about how specific food types affect you!

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Something that came to mind whilst reading this was the topic of habits. I'll try to be brief as I guess I'm off-topic.

I have weened myself off all kinds of things, but when I face a situation where I'm used to doing something, it takes a lot of conscious effort not to go back to old patterns. I haven't smoked in years, but when I go to a bar, I smoke. I don't even like the taste! But I do it, just because. I think I would have to retrain my brain and go to bars more often and not smoke, to override the old habit. Same surroundings, different actions.

So it's not necessarily physical craving, but just habitual, which can be very difficult to break as well.

 

I agree about habitual over physical. Just before I started my first Whole30 on Sept 9th this year I was going into a coffee shop and ordering a latte and cake "just because that was what I did whenever I was in town". I was also going into town (a time-consuming effort as I live in a village and have to drive there, pay to park etc) just to visit the coffee shop. The realisation that it was no longer a treat, and not even particularly enjoyable anymore was my biggest trigger to start Whole30. 

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I think the issue is remembering that Whole30 is an extreme form of a Paleo lifestyle.  From what I have observed, the reintroduction seems to focus on returning to a Standard (american) Diet that includes grain, dairy and sugar, rather than focusing on how to gradually ease up on the Whole30 concept into a more relaxed Paleo world - i.e., adding in some of the Paleo foods that are prohibited on Whole30, like foods based on paleo flours.  We end up scared to discontinue Whole30 because we know what happens to us when we go back to our old diets.  We are afraid to try any "reintroduction" whatsoever and talk about staying on the Whole30 for months on end.  Then feel like failures when we go off the rails.

 

I think there needs to be more discussion on how to graduate to a Paleo lifestyle from Whole30.

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I think there needs to be more discussion on how to graduate to a Paleo lifestyle from Whole30.

 

 

For me, Whole30 was my first venture into Paleo.  Prior to that I had been gluten-free for almost 7 years, so I wasn't eating the standard American diet. After completing my Whole30, I've also eliminated dairy, non-gluten grains and legumes at home because of the results I got on my Whole30 and during my reintro process. I also have much less desire for processed foods (e.g., haven't wanted a gluten-free roll at a restaurant, since after my Whole30).  So, aside from having quality dark chocolate here and there, I've ended up Paleo, even though that wasn't my original goal.

FWIW, I don't see the reintro goal as returning to a standard American diet. It's more to choose more healthy foods over less healthy foods more often.  To that end, here's the Whole9 guide to Nutritional Off-Roading: http://whole9life.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Whole9's-Guide-to-Nutritional-Off-Roading.pdf

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I also only really found out about paleo after finding whole9 which I got to from researching adrenal fatigue... I was dairy, legume and gluten free already but also low fat high carb/sugar. After my first whole9 last year I have stayed 99% grain and sugar free as well... That's one treat every month or two, wow. When not whole30ing I have red wine, potato chips and dark chocolate. When I dont eat the junk I don't miss it unbearably. If I have junk a few times in a row my cravings come back and are hard to satisfy with real food. Even more telling my blood work is normal when I eat this way and low in iron, vitamin d, b and with elevated liver enzymes when I don't....

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I felt so good at the end of my Whole30 that I *thought* I was going to keep it going forever. I reintroduced dairy and didn't like how I felt, so I didn't want to reintroduce anything else. Well over the next few months different things creeped back in here and there, which is fine, except my skin started breaking out and my energy suffered, and since I hadn't methodically reintroduced, I don't know what exactly was the culprit. So several months later, I'm on Day 4 of a new Whole30 so I can do the full reintroductions at the end, even though I intend to stick to this way of eating for the long run. Do reintros so you can have really clear knowledge about how specific food types affect you!

I'm kind of in the same boat as you... my reintros ended up just being a disaster, after I "thought" that I could do reintros while eating out. So wrong. I went into a downward spiral from there and now, I dare not weigh myself, but really do want to know what my issues are and so today I'm starting my 2nd Whole30.

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Thank you for all these responses to this post.. I'm only 2 weeks in to my first whole 30 but I'm already worried about having self control after and wondering how to maintain afterwards.. I know my habits will take more than 30 days to break so I may do 60 or 90.. This has been very helpful though!

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