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Side Effects of Whole30


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Well, I am only on day 5 and I have had a raging headache that ebbs and flows for the last couple of days.  I'm also finding that I'm not very hungry at lunchtime but make myself eat something.  Is this normal?  No one I know has ever done this and I don't know if it's all related to the whole30 process or if something else is going on.  I'm also feeling meh about my food variety and as my husband is not participating I have to limit how much I'm buying and preparing so as not to let anything go to waste.  I also really miss crunchy snacks like chips, triscuits and popcorn.


All in all I am not having a very good time so far and my resolve is ebbing a little more each day.

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Make sure you are eating enough fat and add in some starchy vegetables like sweet potato, carrots, any kind of squash, or other root veggies (besides white, yellow, or purple potatoes. Those aren't allowed. Purple sweet potatoes are allowed though!)


What you are likely expiriencing is "carb flu" which is basically your body going into freak out mode because it's not getting all the easy to digest carbohydrates it's used to. Your brain needs carbs to function, but the rest of your body can convert over to burning fat instead of carbs. Carb flu is the adjustment period where your body starts shifting over to burning fat instead of sugar and carbs for energy so that it can shunt all the carbs you do eat (from fruits and veggies) straight to your brain. Eating some extra starchy carbs from veggies can help smooth the transition. Also make sure to drink enough water. Eat plenty of fat to make sure you are getting enough calories - you have to replace all those calories from grains and sugar with something and fat is the best choice!


Also, you may be expiriencing some detoxing as your body tries to filter all the junk out of your system. The worse your diet before the whole30, the worse the first week will be for you.

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Thank you for all the tips and suggestions.  Before starting this I ate a lot of dairy, pasta and white potatoes as big parts of my diet in addition to veggies, protein and some fruit.  Here is what I've been eating so far:


Meal 1: 2 eggs over hard, steak, orange juice

Meal 2: apple slices w/ almond butter (I ate meal 1 late and meal 3 was only a few hours away so I wasn't that hungry at the time)

Meal 3: Mediterranean cod (recipe from everyday paleo that called for ghee, calamata olives, artichoke hearts, garlic, basil and lemon juice), sautéed carrots, squash and zucchini in olive oil

Meal 4: 2 scrambled eggs, chorizo link, sm glass of OJ

Meal 5: salad made up of romaine lettuce, spinach, carrots, green peppers, two boiled eggs, jerk chicken w/ tessamae Italian dressing.  I also had a sm bowl of raisins, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds.

Meal 6: cabbage, carrot, mushroom, onion, sausage stirfry (I used some coconut oil).

Meal 7: 3 scrambled eggs and chorizo link, sm glass of OJ

Meal 8: leftover cabbage/sausage stir fry, carrot sticks

Meal 9: steak (rib eye), roasted broccoli in olive oil, and garlic

Meal 10: two eggs over hard, leftover rib eye

Meal 11: carrot sticks (I was so not hungry and did not eat the salad I had made)

Meal 12: this was a bit of a botched meal.  I tried to make the cod dish again but the fish I had was not good so I ended up eating roasted asparagus in olive oil, kosher salt and pepper and the last of the rib eye.

Meal 13: baked chicken wings, carrot sticks

Meal 14: the salad from the previous day which was romaine lettuce, carrots, onions, sliced steak and the Italian dressing.

Meal 15: fresh batch of cabbage/sausage stir fry

Meal 16: sm glass of OJ (I ran late this morning and had no time to make anything)

Meal 17: will be the rest of the cabbage/sausage stir fry

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Ok, I'm going to assume that you're eating 3 meals a day, so you're now on day 6?


Things that jump out to me:
- orange juice.  Sorry, but juice is to be used only in limited quantities as a flavoring in cooking, not as a beverage, and certainly not in place of meal.  So, please drop the OJ.  :) 
- do you have a copy of the meal template? Every single meal should have 1-2 palms of protein, 1-3 cups of veggies and the appropriate amount of compliant fat. You have several meals (looks like your Meal 1's) missing veggies.  It's hard to tell whether you're getting the appropriate amount of fat at every meal.


If you're feeling meh about your food, I wonder if digestive enzymes would help, or fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha)?  If you're not that hungry at lunchtime, at least eat the minimum on the template: 1 palm of protein, 1 cup of veggies, 1 fat.

Also be sure you're staying sufficiently hydrated. Aim for drinking water, in the amount of at least half your body weight in ounces, daily.

If you want more crunch, there was recent discussion on that topic: http://forum.whole9life.com/topic/15301-crunchies/

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When you talk about fat are you just talking about the oils/ghee I use to cook with?  Or something else? 


If I drop OJ, that leaves me with just water to drink then right (I don't drink coffee)?


For drinks, you have several options: http://whole9life.com/2012/10/quench-your-thirst-whole9-style/


The fat used to fry/saute - much of that stays behind in the pan and doesn't end up on your plate. So take that into account to make sure you get enough fat at eat meal. This might mean adding things like avocado, homemade paleo mayo, and olives.

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"Because “fat burns in a flame of carbohydrate,†a very high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet promotes ketosis. The lack of carbohydrate inhibits formation of oxaloacetate, slowing entry of acetyl CoA into the citric acid cycle and rerouting acetyl CoA to form ketone bodies. Given time, however, the body can adapt to a very high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet and avoid ketosis. Eskimos, for example, sometimes live almost entirely on fat but do not develop ketosis. Even brain cells can adapt to derive 50 to 75 percent of their fuel from ketone bodies (principally beta-hydroxybutyrate) after a few weeks of a low supply of glucose, their preferred fuel.

Source: (Insel 293) Insel, Paul,  Don Ross,  Kimberley McMahon,  Melissa Bernstein. Nutrition: Custom Edition, 4th Edition. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 04/2010.


Unfortunately this book uses 'ketosis' and 'ketoacidosis' as the same term. Ketoacidosis is a life-threatening condition, but ketosis is a totally fine state for your body. Based on your food intake, looks like you're under the 100g of carbs/day mark, so you're likely going through this. Of course, because you're detoxing from pasta and dairy, the effects can be mixed together, and amplified. Also just wanted to correct the previous post, since the brain in fact seems to thrive the MOST off of a low carbohydrate diet [1].


Hang in there! I have eaten poorly for a few days (after becoming long adapted to a paleo diet) and then it took 3-4 days of much better eating to feel better. Just stick it out, you can do it! :)
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Veggies at breakfast, for me, help my stomach to digest my protein better. And if I was eating steak and eggs, I'd definitely aim for plenty of veggies. If you eat just protein/fat (ribeye and eggs do have both), your stomach is going to struggle with digesting that mass of stuff. If you get some veggies for fiber, it will help digestion along throughout the process and you'll probably find yourself more hungry at lunchtime.


I would suggest turning your meal 1 protein into one or the other - eggs OR ribeye. You only need 1-2 palms of protein (for eggs, a serving is how many un-broken eggs you can hold in your hand, usually 3-4) and even if it is just 2 eggs, adding in steak will likely put you at the very high end of 2 or even into 3 servings. My "serving" of eggs is usually 3; if I'm going to have bacon with it (2 slices or so) I cut it down to 2. So if I were having a ribeye, I'd cut it back to either no eggs or just one cooked runny and served on top. But I'd also have a sweet potato hash or whatever veggies I had lying around to eat.


Then again, on my first W30, I had a chicken thigh and broccoli for meal 1...and freaked out everyone around me!

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