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So I have gotten into a really bad habit of whole30 "false starts" where I will go a day or five being whole30 compliant and cave when things get emotionally difficult for me. I am an emotional junk food eater and when I tell myself I cannot have bread or sugar, I run to them when the going gets tough. My first goal is to rid my house of all my trigger foods, but I have basically reverted to all my old comfort foods and I'd like some advice to get out of this rut. I need to heal my body. I don't want "false starts" to be the norm for me anymore, I want to be consistent. Anyone know what could help?

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A couple of things come to mind.

 

First, instead of saying that you cannot have bread or sugar, say you choose not to have bread or sugar. You could if you wanted to, but you choose not to. Changing your attitude toward it might be enough to help you not have the bread and sugary stuff.

 

Second, be sure you're eating enough at meals. Eat plenty of protein and fat and veggies, including starchy veggies. It will help keep your mood more stable, and I find that when I'm eating enough real food, I know that I'm not actually hungry, and that makes it easier to realize when I'm sad or angry that I'm really not hungry, which makes it easier to not eat.

 

Finally, like leahcarn said above, figure out what the feelings are that are causing you to want to eat. You might find journaling helpful, or talking to someone you trust. Or even just sort of sitting with those feelings, letting yourself feel sad or angry or whatever it is, and knowing that it's okay to feel that way, and that feeling will pass. 

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You might post a couple of days' worth of sample compliant meals to see if we can help you refine your meal composition. That might help to deal with the physical side of the cravings.

 

There's also the possibility that you're hungry. I find that when I first start a Whole30, especially if I've been on vacation or deliberately have been eating lots of less healthy foods, I really really REALLY eat a whole whole lot the first week back on clean eating. It's kind of shocking. Then one day I'm finally full and I can eat three human-size meals.

 

Sometimes women are taught that we are craving junk food when really we are physically hungry for nutritious food. I know that if a craving is not about hunger, that there are ways to deal with it; but I would suggest keeping in mind the possibility that a craving really is about hunger. Yes, even if you just ate a full meal an hour ago.

 

The point is that if you're hungry, eat a mini meal of protein and fat, or a full meal of protein, fat, and veggies.  If you are active, nursing, in a pre-menstrual part of your cycle, working shift work (or a SAHM, which is kind of like a 24/7 shift that never ends, especially with small children in the house), you may need lots of those meals.

 

Deciding to eat Whole30 is not the same as deciding not to eat very much food. We want you to feel full/satisfied/satiated. There's no virtue in going hungry and white-knuckling your way through cravings that could be given some nutritious food. :wub:

 

Hope some of this helps - let us know if you want tips on meal composition, and hang out here for support and encouragement.

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That is huge, AmyS....something that I was so happy to learn during my Whole30.  If I want or need to eat then I get to eat.  There is no points, no calorie counting, no times or restrictions or needing to run 3 miles first.  You hungry? Eat food.  The end.  And that basically created an ability for me and my body to be able to trust each other and before long I had three meals per day and very rarely a mini meal of egg & mayo if needed.  When you aren't polluting your body, heart and mind with hormone disrupting foods and foods that cause incorrect physiological responses, hunger is the need for food and food is not the junk that most of us grew up "snacking" on.

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I have done 3 successful whole twenty somethings. I have learned I'm at my worst when I am pmsing. I think there is a small part of me that is still terrified of eating too much. Even though I never successfully calorie counted, I know it enough to have it engraved in my brain "calories in, calories out"

I actually took an ice cream tub out of the freezer today to sit in front of the TV and veg out cuz I feel mentally exhausted. I decided to out it back and pull out a book instead. I feel very good about this decision. I know I crave because I'm trying to fill voids. I am starting to journal today, as well. Thank you so much. I Definitely have some issues with food. I know it will be a process, but I am ready for healing. IN This CAsE I Have To Admit It Will Probably Be More Emotional Healing Than Anything Else. As for cravings and nutrients? I agree. I will be eating when I want food, but I will be sure it is a proper meal.

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Excellent! Eat up! And you're not at your worst when pmsing, even though we women have been taught by our society that we are supposed to be at our worst when pmsing. We're not. We're just really freakin' hungry. And we really really need to eat. Lots of meals. Lots of carbs. Lots of fat. Lots of protein. It's shocking how much I eat these days. And I'm teeeeeeeeeny. And, judging from comments I get the longer I eat huge amounts of nutritious food, getting teenier. :huh: 

 

Have you gotten rid of your scale and anything you used to use to weigh/measure you food? That's a great set of next steps.

 

There is so much freedom in sticking it to the patriarchy by actually eating. :lol:

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I don't ever use a scale anymore for my food or my own weight. :) so I'm not so bad. It's just a thought in the back of my head all the time. I'm telling it to shut up ;)

I've been "off" sugar for over 24 hours now. This is probably my biggest struggle. Pretty sure my head is going to spin around at any moment...

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AliciaRenne, I too am a huge stress/emotional eater and was worried starting whole30 because it seemed so limiting.  However, I was careful to research prior to starting and even "mock" planning meals and emergency meals for those days where everything is just too much.  After reading up on the plan (the books are amazingly helpful), I made sure to adjust my thinking from, "I've got to track calories, portion sizes, and eat bland rabbit food" to "I can eat what I want, when I want as long as it's compliant" (within reason based on the reading I did).  If I want to eat a huge breakfast of sausage, spinach, and seasoned potatoe hash topped with a fried egg?  I'm going to have it.  Snack on homemade potatoes wedges with ranch dressing?  Good to go.  It's taken me years to break the old "diet" mentality and worrying about whether every single meal is perfectly balanced that I feel like the whole 30 give me the framework to be less stressed about things like that.

That being said, I think the main thing is planning/prepping.  I knew in times of stress I'd crave sugar and bread, so I planned for it.  I keep dates rolls with coconumt and almonds as an emergency cravings buster.  One literally cures the need to eat on the peanut butter cups in the world because they're so sweet on their own.  I also have learned to make filling, seasoned meals.  My lunches could be sautted shrimp (recipe from Whole30 book), side of cauliflour mash with spinach and mushrooms mixed in, and maybe another vegetable.  I try to not worry about having too much because I know that if I end up hungry in two hours, I may end up miserable. 

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