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So, I'm on Day 24 on my Whole30 and so far ... nothing.


No apparent weight loss - clothes still fit the same.

No increase in energy.

No improvement in sleep - in fact it's worse now that I wake up multiple times a night to pee.

No decrease in acne.

No decrease in eczema.

And the added bonus of having the worst period I've ever had in my life last week.


I am so over this.  I have a good 20 pounds to lose and I just wasted 24 days.


Still waiting for the "Magic."  I won't be holding my breath though, I'm posiive this is a case of overpromising and underdelivering, but it'll be spun as something I did wrong.  When in fact, I have not cheated, slipped or made one excuse.  I'm not under exceptional stress.  I'm following the plan to a T.  It's just not everything it's cracked up to be.

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Well, it is a 30 day program, not a 24 day program, so I encourage you to stick with it.  :)

Yup, many women do experience a wide variety of changes - positive or negative - in their cycle while on a Whole30 (see the Ladies Only forum for lots of examples).


If you post 2-3 days worth of your food log, as well as  your activity level, folks here can give you feedback on possible tweaks.

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Oh yeah, in 6 days Gob Bluth might show up and MAGIC.  Right, I forgot.


Typical 3 days:


Meal 1 - Consumed within 1 hour of waking


Cabbage, kale, broccoli and mushrooms sauteed in coconut oil

3 eggs

~ 4 oz of sausage without nitrates, nitrites, sugar, MSG or gluten

2 cups black coffee


Meal 2 - Consumed ~ 4 - 5 hours after Meal 1


Romaine lettuce

Red pepper

Kalamata Olives

1/2 avocado

leftover roasted chicken breast

my special dressing made with garlic, shallots, anchovies, dijon, evoo and white balsalmic vinegar

sea salt



Meal 3 - consumed ~ 4 hours after Meal 2


Bunless burger made with grass fed beef, topped with mustard and pickles, sliced red onion

Roasted cauliflower

steamed green beans

Rooibos tea


Day 2


Meal 1 - eaten within 1 hour of waking


3 eggs scrambled with 2 large handfuls fresh spinach cooked in coconut oil

4 oz chicken sausage, with none of the bad stuff

2 cups black coffee


Meal 2 - same as before


Bunless burger leftover from night before

Chopped salad - red, orange, yellow, green pepers, carrots, English cucumber, evoo, balsalmic vinegar, salt and pepper


Meal 3 - same as before


Carnitas - I made them with pork shoulder, lime and orange juice, cumin

wrapped in romaine lettuce leaves

mango salsa - I made it, mangoes, jalapeno, cilantro, red onion - only used about 2 Tablespoons

tomato salsa


Day 3


Meal 1 - yadda, yadda


cabbage and kale sauteed in coconut oil

2 scrambled eggs

2 cups black coffee


Meal 2 - yadda


Roasted chicken breast

Kale salad with 2 slices thin bacon, crumbled, 1/2 avocado, and 1 Tablespoon pine nuts and mu special dressing

steamed green beans


Meal 3 - yadda


Roasted pork chop, bone in

beet salad - roasted yellow and red beets with the greens, 1 sliced orange (divided between 4 people) dressed with evoo, juice and zest from the orange, salt

Steamed broccoli

Rooibos tea



My water, coffee and tea consumptopn have not changed since Whole30.  I have a camelback bottle I typically fill 3 times a day and drink a tumbler of sparkling water at dinner.


I teach a one hour yoga class twice a week.  I also practice yoga on my own most days for about 30 minutes with a 15 minute meditation.  I walk on average about 3.5 - 4 miles a day.  Hike 7 - 10 miles at least once a week.  This is all normal for me and has not changed.


I sleep on average 8.25 hours a night.


Anything else?

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Didn't say anything about what to expect - was simply encouraging you to give it the full 30 days.

I agree that it looks like you've been compliant with the template. Your meals look delicious: I wonder if adding more veggies to get to 3 cups at all your meals would make a difference. Are you satiated between meals?  Are you feeling sufficiently fueled for your workouts?

How does this way of eating differ from how you ate before your Whole30?

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I love to cook and have actually enjoyed the meal planning. I am definitely getting 3 cups of veg at most meals. If I skimp on any it's meal 3 because I'm least hungry for that meal.

Whole30 differs from my previous diet mostly in the absence of dairy. A typical meal 1 for me pre W30 would be 2 pieces GF bread toasted with butter and topped with a slice of cheddar cheese. I would eat a Greek yogurt everyday with cherry jam and walnuts. A small scoop of ice cream at night. Parm cheese or goat cheese in salad. Swiss on my eggs and veggies. I love dairy, but have not had one nibble.

I also ate a lot of sugar. Homemade cherry jam. Altoids 3 at a time all day long. Candy here, honey there. GF desserts.

I'm also not eating white potatoes which I used to eat everyday. Mostly baked with sour cream or pan fried in butter.

I stopped drinking alcohol 4 years ago and quit wheat and most grains last year.

I'm not hungry between meals. I feel fueled for my workouts but I still energy crash at 3:00 and feel lethargic most of the time.

My cellulite has gotten so bad. I'm feeling depressed.

I'm sorry for my snarkiness but I'm so fed up with all the magic talk when I see and feel nothing. I just see lots of hype for nothing. And if I see another person say they lost 16 ppunds (but no pics of course) I'm going to send my copy of ISWF through the shredder.

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Most of the people that have a big weight loss are coming from a very SAD diet and/or have a lot to lose. You are in neither of those categories. I didn't lose a ton of weight on my W30 but I'd been pretty close to W30 for a couple months already.


As for the energy crashes you may want to try adding some more starchy veggies which is the only thing I see missing in the meals you posted with the exception of some beets in a M3. Try adding some sweet potato or squash to a meal each day and see if that helps with your energy at all.


On the sleep, perhaps you just need to drink less liquid in the evenings if the main reason you are waking is to urinate. 


On the periods, I've had both better and the same since going Paleo and I'm still trying to find what the trigger is but I'm starting to suspect sugar for me. When in your W30 did your cycle fall?

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My cycle started Day 11 of W30.  Day 10 I was miserable.  And I should preface this by saying I never have this problem.  I thought PMS was made up by women in order to get away with bad behavior and indulge themselves.  I apologize for ever even thinking that after what I went through.  I was bedridden for most of the day D10, the back pain was excrutiating, my cramps felt like I was having labor pains, I was crying, weepy, angry, irrational.  I was nauseated and thought I might actually throw up.  It was horrible.  When I actually started on D11 it was better, and my normally heavy flow for 7 days was shortened to 6.


If 20 + pounds isn't a lot to lose, what is? 30? 50? 100?  20 pounds is a hell of a lot on me.

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Sorry, posted too soon.  Re: starchy vegetables.  Beets I like.  Sweet potatoes I don't like without sour cream, but am willing to tolerate if it will help.  Squash is an absolute no go.  I have very few foods I won't eat and squash is one.  Are there any other starchy vegetables I can add?

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I'm sorry to hear you are frustrated, and you've already gotten some good feedback, but I wanted to chime in with a couple points.


Depending on how you are evaluating your current weight, it may be that you are currently at a healthy weight for your frame/muscle mass. Even if you are truely overweight, it sometimes takes more than 30 days to get to a point where your body is ready to let it go. The low energy and hormonal issues point to a need for more time and/or fine tuning. Stuff like hormone balance and acne and eczema really do need time and consistency before they resolve themselves. Sometimes 30 days (or 24!) is just not enough!


I would like to encourage you to stick it out. Listen to Bethany on starchy veg, that can really make a huge difference in terms of energy levels. Listen to Chris on increasing vegetable intake. Consider more consistency on protein intake (a few of your meals look low on protein to me), and give yourself a pat on the back for getting this far. Your meals look really tasty and healthy and this is not wasted even if you don't see immediate changes. Although you claim that this is "not so different" from how you were eating before, I can see a huge improvement in the nutrition you are providing for your body when compared to a breakfast of gluten-free toast with cheese, daily yogurt with jam and nightly ice cream. These 30 days of better nutrition are a gift you are giving to yourself that will pay off in some way in the future, even if you can't see that right now. Even better, sticking it out for the full 30 days, then doing a controlled reintroduction, will give you information you need to understand which (if any) of the foods you were eating have adverse effects on your heath (and which do not). That information alone is amazing and wonderful (MAGIC, really  ;) ) and totally worth it.


EDIT: and to add re: hormones. Sorry to say sometimes things get worse before they get better. Things in your body are shifting and changing and that could be a good thing. Try to be patient. --speaking as someone who had a bad period and a missed period and now many--while not exactly pleasant--brief and tolerable healthy periods since eating this way. Oh and not to mention the 50lbs I lost after not losing much if any the first month. It takes time. Try to be patient and enjoy the ride.  :)

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Coffee could be impacting the results you see (or don't see) on your eczema and acne. You mention the consumption of coffee hasn't changed since starting your whole 30, and your skin hasn't improved. Perhaps continuing on without coffee would allow you to see if this would improve either of your skin conditions.


I notice I wake up to pee during the night when i'm not eating enough, particularly enough carbs, to assist with recovery from my level of activity. I drink a lot, all the time, and when i'm support myself properly nutritionally I can sleep through the night. start exercising more or not eating enough and i'm up 2-3 times to pee. instead of eating more, I would swap some of your vegies for more carb dense options and see if that helps with energy and wake ups.  your back and hips may also be out - a trip to the chiro may help in this regard.

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Hi code14j - 


First, let me start by saying that I'm sorry you're feeling disappointed with your Whole30 so far.  I understand from your post that you feel like you're making a lot of sacrifices and not seeing any benefit. That can be frustrating under any circumstance.

Unfortunately, there's no one prescription for making Whole30 magic (as you can tell from the many suggestions above). The ultimate goal of the program is to kickstart your body on a path to better health, and sometimes that includes things like weight loss, clearer skin and resolution of issues like excema. The many stories on our testimonials page, in the Success Stories section of this forum, and on the walls of our Facebook pages can speak to the efficacy of the program - with pictures in many cases. However, for some folks, those improvements don't come right away.  Does that mean nothing is happening? No. Does that mean we over-promised and under-delivered? No on that front, as well.  What is does mean is that everyone has a very individual context, and issues that resolve in days for some take months for others. 

At this point, I would encourage you to finish out the 30 days, increase your starchy veggies to a serving or two each day, and try to relax.  Stress can be a big trigger for ALL the issues you mentioned, plus a fierce combatant to weight loss, and stressing out about your last week of Whole30 will just counteract what you're trying to accomplish. I mean, in the long run, the worst outcome you're looking at is 30 days of healthy eating.  No one has taken away your birthday, killed your cat, or forced you to eat donuts until you were sick. So, that's good news anyway, right?

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For what it is worth, I never lost more than 2 pounds per month when I started eating Whole30-style. I lost 2 pounds every month for 15 months until I was down 30 pounds, but it was never more than 2 pounds per month. I get pissed whenever I hear people express anger that they lost only 5 or 6 pounds during their first 30 days. I want to say, "Hey. It took me 3 months to lose that much weight! You should be grateful you lost weight so quickly." Perspective matters.

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I hear your frustrations, really. I lost a tad of weight on my Whole30 (not sure how much, because I got rid of my scale awhile ago), but I'm still wearing the same clothes, so it was nothing dramatic. I have PCOS and was really hoping for the Whole30 to help, but so far everything is the same there. I had a little more energy but rarely get the tiger blood people talk about. So I know a bit of where you're coming from. The dramatic stories get a lot of "publicity," I think, because the people who experience those changes are so excited to share them. People with less dramatic results don't talk about them as much. Plus as Bethany said, a lot of those dramatic stories are coming from people who weren't living nearly the lifestyle that you were pre-Whole30.


I have seen some positive benefits from the Whole30, but mine have thus far been more subtle than the dramatic stories you hear about. I don't get hungry every two or three hours. I don't crave starches - I crave vegetables. My massage therapist tells me there's less inflammation in my shoulders. I realize how crappy I feel after I eat a lot of gluten especially. These are all new things for me and tell me that something is working, even if it isn't what I'd hoped. I'd encourage you to give it the 30 days you've committed to and see what happens. And the reintro will give you some valuable information - a friend of mine with eczema did the Whole30 and because of it realized that dairy is, for her, a trigger of her eczema. She wouldn't have known that if she hadn't taken it out for so long. Hopefully that isn't the case for you, but you may find out that there's a specific food group that causes a flareup.


I don't think anyone necessarily suggested you eat more veggies - replacing some of the ones you're already eating with the starchy ones would be where I'd start. If you're full, you're probably eating enough - it's just that tweaking the components might give you more energy. And Chris's suggestion of sweet potato with homemade mayo is one I eat all the time. I make my mayo with apple cider vinegar, which is tangier than the lemon juice version and might give you some of the feel of sour cream.

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Hi There,


I understand your frustration.  I really do.  But I also have faith in the whole 30 system - but it took me over a year (3 whole 30's, 80/20 paleo inbetween) to figure things out.  I did not put my focus on weight loss (although that did need to happen and still does). 


My life prior to August of 2012 - 75lbs overweight, had been suffering moderate to severe PMS symptoms (ones that you described) for 24 years or so, and mid twenties started having menstral migrianes (lasted 3-5 days).  So 10 days out of every month, I was feeling pretty crappy, missing days at work, etc.  So obviously my hormones were a utter and complete mess.  On top of the above, I also suffered from Hidradentis Suppurativa (HS)  These are pea sized to ping pong ball sized boils in places where you really don't want them.


Did I see results in my first whole 30 - yes - I was sleeping better, my energy levels were up, my HS had alleviated siginificantly, PMS symptoms were better, and my first migraine afterwards was less than a day.  Over the next 6 months, the PMS symptoms/migraines were all over the place.  My normal standard 25 cycle jumped all over the place as well. Shortest cycle ever - 18 days. I became very frustrated during these times as well.  Weight loss had also stalled for me as well.  I didn't give up as I knew I was doing better than I previously had been.  So giving up wasn't an option, as much as I wanted to at times.


All of this to say - sometimes we are more messed up internally than we give it credit. And 30 days really, in the grand scheme of things, isn't that long.  True I came from a standard SAD diet - so I had years of damage to undo.  But do try to be patient.  Am I saying to expect changes in next 6 days - possibly not. 


Oh yes - Might I suggest along with your protein for meal 1 in the morning - try 1 cup of starchy veg, along with 1 cup of green veg.  That way you don't worrying about stuffing yourself. 


Best of luck and I hope you figure things out.

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There's a section on the W30 timeline called “kill all the things†that is predicted for days 4 and 5. Day 5 is also the day predicted for your body to realize it can't run off of sugar alone, and to start switching to fat burning. I wonder if you are just now getting to that point? Before W30 you were eating a fair bit of sugar and simple carbs (white potatoes, GF breads & desserts) which turn to sugar quickly in your system. If your body is stubborn and taking longer than average to process this change – and clearly it is IMHO – then maybe you have hit the kill ‘em phase and maybe that's an indication that continuing past the 30 days will bring the magic.


I've seen several posters here saying nothing happened in 30 days. Those people either drop it in disgust or go on longer. It seems a significant proportion of those who go longer have a BIG change within a week, day 32 to 35. As revolting as it may seem, it sounds like you are a perfect candidate for the extended version miracle.

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  • 2 weeks later...


Hi code14j,


I'm late to the party on this but I have to join in. I'm on day 47 of an extended W30. I, like you, didn't feel much magic until around day 28. So I was inspired to keep at it. I have arthritis, a lazy thyroid and also have been diagnosed with PCOS. None of this will be undone in 30 days. In fact, I intend to take this to 60 days, then 75 and maybe even 90. Please don't feel despondent or feel as though you have wasted your time. Eating well is a way of respecting and honouring both yourself and your body. I hope that you will continue and wake up one day (as I did) having made friends with your body. Yes, I want to lose weight, but I'm learning to love my body during the weight loss process rather than wait until after the weight is lost. I'm aware that this may come off a little preachy - that's not my intention. I just want you to feel as good as I do. The W30 is life changing. Believe it. 

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Well, I wanted this thread to go away, but I might as well update you because it seems like people keep responding and keeping it alive.  I finished the Whole30 and even extended it for an extra week.  I was 100% compliant the entire time.  And while I do see some results and am feeling better, I maintain my original assessment that it  over-promises and under delivers.  And the constant hyperbolic talk of MAGIC! MAGIC! MAGIC! does more harm to the program than help.  I think it would be far more accurate to say, "the results are subtle, require careful self analysis, take plenty of time and sometimes are only apparent when you go off plan."  If you really push people here, some will admit that your mileage may vary and results are not as MAGICAL and AMAZING as is stated throughout ISWF.


Yesterday was my son's birthday and I had a slice of gluten free, diary free birthday cake, which was admittedly a sugar bomb.  I felt pretty crummy afterwards and realized it wasn't worth going off plan for.  My husband, who did Whole30 with me, had a protein shake this morning for breakfast and realized he feels better with a real breakfast.  So we did learn that.


I'm sticking with it for now, with the planned indulgence of some added sugar on Christmas.  I begrugingly admit I feel a little bit better, and even a little bit better is better than not at all.  I lost a couple pounds and some inches.  I genuinely enjoy the food.  I have less gas and bloating.  It's a start.


I added in the serving of starchy vegetables a day that was recommended to me, and while I haven't found it do much for my energy levels, I did discover that I love roasted sweet potatoes with coconut manna and cinammon. 


So, I guess I will unenthusiastically say it was a success, and also a work in progress.  I would recommend it to the desperate, but qualify it with saying, don't expect miracles despite what the proponents promise.

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FWIW, I've had some pleasant Whole30s, some extremely awesome Whole30s, and some totally crappy Whole30s.  Over time, I found that eating this way cleared away enough of the food-inspired ickiness that I could actually determine what health issues still remained when I was eating really really well.


I can't help you much with the language of ISWF and the website.  I don't think I'm the natural target market for this program, since I'm not an athlete and I am really super duper not into enthusiasm about how eating THIS or THAT will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. 


But I think better, I eat better, I parent better, and I dropped a bunch of medications over a period of a year eating this way. 


All that to say, sometimes a Whole30 sucks.  Sometimes a Whole30 is heaven.  And sometimes it's meh.  If you're not into the language style used in the book and on the website, you could always follow my example and not pay much attention to it.  :lol::ph34r:   (Oh and don't get me started on the expression "tiger blood."  Really.  I have long speeches about the inappropriateness of that phrase.  Oddly, the folks over at ISWF Central have not asked me to repeat said speeches!  :lol:  )


I hope your holidays go well and that however you eat, you enjoy good food and good health in the company of those you love.  :wub:

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