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Darla

Zero appetite. Is this normal? Day 13

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Hi Everyone!

 

I'm a picky eater and by Day 4 I hit food boredom. I've remained 100% compliant and have eaten 3 meals a day with some occasional snacking just to be sure I get enough calories. I'm now on Day 13 and I have zero appetite and I don't get hungry. It's almost as if I'm forcing myself to eat now. Is this normal?

 

I suspect I'm now in a catch-22. I'm not hungry so I'm probably eating less which is probably contributing to my not experiencing any of the good stuff yet. No energy surge, sleep not really improving, etc.

 

Should I just ride this out or what can I do to pick things up a bit? Since eating foods I like has become a chore, trying new things probably isn't in the cards right now.

 

Thanks!

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It is not normal to lose your appetite.

 

I can't comprehend food boredom by day 4. When I first started eating Whole30-style, I cooked a new recipe every day and sometimes twice per day. My recipe blog features over 400 Whole30-compliant recipes. I could easily have 600 up by now, but I got bored with writing them up and publishing them. I made a new recipe on Saturday that was fabulous, but I was hungry when I plated it and started eating without taking a picture first, so it will have to wait for another day to be added to my blog. 

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While I agree with Tom, I'd like to amplify.

 

When you drop sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes from your diet, your hunger cues change quite a bit.  It's entirely possible to go an entire day and never have the kind of tummy rumbling that we all associate with hunger.  In fact, what we discover is that what we formerly considered hunger cues were actuall sugar crash cues.  So it is essential to do just what you are doing and eat the three meals, so that you consistently get enough nutrition.  I suspect that part of the reason three meals are planned in is because we stop feeling the tummy rumbling light headed irritated feeling that we've always thought was hunger.  In the absence of that cue, we may forget to eat unless we put it on the schedule.

 

So I'd say that a changing sense of how you know when it's time to eat next is in fact normal.  Tom is correct, of course, that losing your appetite entirely is not normal; but it may very well be that you are simply not feeling any sugar crashes by day 4, and so you are needing to look for other cues for hunger.

 

The other piece of your post is about feeling that you are a picky eater.  If that's true, then you may want to slowly branch out from some select dishes that you know you can trust.  In the interest of full disclosure, during my first Whole30 I mostly ate about the same thing most days (and I don't consider myself particularly picky).  You may find it helpful to have a set group of foods you know you can turn to no matter what, and then roam the vegetable aisle of the grocery store looking for something new or odd to try.  If all else fails, you can usually chop up a vegetable, coat it in oil (usually coconut around these parts), add salt, and roast at 400 degrees until it is soft-ish and caramelized.  Super easy, super yum.

 

Remember, no sugar means no sugar crashes.  And expect your palate to shift over the course of 30 days.  If you're bored with your current food choices, it may be a sign that your palate has already changed and is ready for a little adventure.  Hang in there and go for it!

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Thanks Tom and AmyS for the reply!

 

In a nutshell, I have the eating habits / taste buds of a 6 year old but as a grownup I at least have enough sense to steer clear of the junk. So, take those eating habits - the junk. and that's me. There not much left! Ugh.

 

I've eaten grilled steak and lots of peppers with EVOO and garlic salt probably every other night since I started - and I'm fine with that because I like them both and start looking forward to the meal as it gets closer even if I'm not hungry. I've also had hamburger with peppers, onion, and avocado several times because it's easy. For lunches I'll have shrimp or left over chicken, carrots, peppers, and radishes, and breakfast lately has been scrambled eggs with yet more peppers and onions and avocado. For eating fats and/or snacks I've been eating cashews, olives, and a few varieties of fruit.

 

Seeing it like that suggests that I'm getting more variety than I thought but I only like a small fraction of the produce department so this is pretty the much the extent of it. I am trying new things like sweet potatoes (I'm easing into those) and tonight I'm trying roasted cauliflower and baked cod. I figure if my taste buds have checked out on me, now might be a great time to try new things.  ;)

 

To Tom's point about recipes, I'm not much of a cook nor do I have a sophisticated palate. I've always eaten very simply and much of what I'm eating now is exactly what I ate before. I've looked at many recipes but most just don't sound good - probably because they involve ingredients that I don't care for. I did make a bbq sauce last week and, well, I was hoping to like it better. That experience is probably influencing my lack of desire to get too far out of my comfort zone again.

 

All that said, it just seems reasonable that I should be feeling more actual hunger because my calorie intake is far less now on Whole30. It's very possible that I'm not recognizing the signals as Amy suggests, or, maybe I'm not eating enough and I'm in starvation mode.

 

Tomorrow I'm heading back to the gym after a couple week break and will try eating more fat and take another stab at sweet potatoes. Maybe that will kick my appetite into gear and let my body know that I'm very willing to feed it if it just gives me a sign.  :)

 

Thanks again for the feedback!

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Start making sauces. Having a handful of different flavors to add on top of your meals can totally change everything. Some basil pesto, some herb-y dipping sauce, some well-emulsified balsamic vinaigrette, some fresh mayo with lemon zest and dill or chives. Most of them are high fat, and can be used as your fat source if you're sick of avocado. Speaking of avocado, you can treat that differently too. Top with lemon juice, fresh cracked pepper, and salt. Or lime juice and salt. Or cumin. Or... anything. :)

 

You could start chopping your food up smaller, and turn it into finger food. Take bites of steak and avocado together. 

 

So many things you could do. :)

 

ETA - also, roasted cauliflower, yum! Since it's so hot here in the summer, I do pan-roasted cauliflower. Usually I make a slurry of compliant curry powder (Sun brand Madras curry is great) and olive oil, coat the little florets in it, then put in a medium pan until they get crispy. I can happily eat an entire head of cauliflower this way.

 

You could do the same treatment to sweet potatoes. I love sweet potato home fries. Nuke a sweet potato, put it the fridge 'til the next day, then cut in half length wise, cut that in half length wise, then cut the other way into bits, put in a medium pan until crispy, turn over, (maybe 10 minutes each side), then sprinkle liberally with salt, remove from pan, and nom.

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