Carbohydrate Dragon?


Zee26

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Hello all! I'm on day 14 of my first Whole 30. In general, things have been great! I feel so much better eating a clean diet and I'm really happy I did this. There is only one problem.... I can't seem to kick my carbohydrate addiction.

 

Now, I know it's recommended to eat starchy vegetables. The thing is, I'm already doing that and it isn't helping. It's to the point that when a craving hits (for things like bread, pasta, honey nut cheerios, oatmeal...) nothing I do to try and distract myself works. I know I am not hungry, as I always feel good and satisfied after my meals. I know I feel good, it's just my brain won't stop WANTING the carbs. I almost feel borderline depressed during a craving.

 

I do a modified Crossfit program 5-6 days a week, and while I don't think it's realistic for me to eat completely Whole 30 forever (I plan on sustaining it 80/20), I did want my Whole 30 to help me better resist carbs so I can incorporate more clean foods that would benefit my workouts.

 

Most people on here struggle with sugar cravings, but since I wasn't a big sugar eater before I haven't had that issue. I am struggling more so I think because I was raised in an off-the-boat Italian family where I was eating carbs very often as a child.

Now as an adult, prior to Whole 30 I was on a pretty healthy diet in my opinion and only ate carbs maybe 3x per week. Nothing excessive. So why do I want them so badly now!? Someone tell me how to get through this.

 

 

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Can you give us some idea of what you are eating each day, with approximate portion sizes based on the meal template? Maybe someone will notice something that could help.

 

On the days when you do your Crossfit program, are you doing pre- and post-workout meals? The post-workout meal is especially important to help your muscles recover -- it should be lean protein and starchy vegetable (no fat, no fruit) and eaten 15-30 minutes after your workout. Examples might include chicken breast or water-packed tuna with sweet potato or white potato or whichever starchy vegetable you like. This is in addition to your three meals.

 

Also, if you're female, at certain points in your cycle your body will want more food in general, and especially more carbs, and if that's the case, you should eat. One of the mods here mentions eating twice as much food in that time as she normally does. There are several threads in the forum that talk about this and give more explanation, like this one -- or google Whole30 PMS for more. 

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Typically my day in food looks like this:

 

Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with broccoli, tomatoes, and mushrooms in them. Side of 1 banana, 1 tablespoon nut butter. 1 cup plain tea.

 

Lunch: Spinach salad with tomatoes, chicken, cucumber, peppers, oil/vinegar dressing. Side of strawberries.

 

Pre-workout: 1 hard boiled egg, 1/4-1/2 sweet potato.

 

Dinner: Rib-eye steak with 1 cup carrots, 1/2 cup cauliflower. Side of a handful of raspberries.

 

And yes I am female :-)

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Hi Zee, I am on day 14 also and really craving some of the things that I can't have (donuts w/ my coffee this morning, a glass of wine right now). According to the timeline, this is normal:

 

"All joking aside, though, this phase gets really intense and for some people. This is the part of the program where our minds try to drive us back to the comfort of the foods we used to know. Our food relationships are deeply rooted and strongly reinforced throughout the course of our lives and breaking through them is really big deal. Journaling can be especially enlightening and helpful during this phase, and helpful for reflection later. Take some time to jot down what you’re craving, how you’re feeling and what tools you’re using to work through the cravings." - See more at: http://whole30.com/2013/08/revised-timeline/#sthash.vGEtDMMT.dpuf

 

 

I am really looking forward to days 16+!

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I know I am not hungry, as I always feel good and satisfied after my meals. I know I feel good, it's just my brain won't stop WANTING the carbs. 

When I've had craving issues while on the program, there's been times when it's almost like I was specifically looking for things compliant things to "cheat" with, like, following the letter of the law not the spirit of the law (probably why the SWYPO rules exist) ... anyway, not that this applies in your case, just wanted to say I understand how seemingly inexplicable cravings can be frustrating.

Most people on here struggle with sugar cravings, but since I wasn't a big sugar eater before I haven't had that issue. I am struggling more so I think because I was raised in an off-the-boat Italian family where I was eating carbs very often as a child.

Well, the good news is that whether it's candy, pasta, or a banana, it all turns to glucose in our body. Why is this good news? Because it means you *do* have a regular ol' sugar dragon! So not to fear: you'll be able to starve him out like many others have!

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You meal 1 is not nearly big enough.  

 

No wonder.

 

When eggs are your sole source of protein for a meal - they should be the number of whole eggs you can hold in one hand with dropping them.  For most people that is 3 -4.

 

When raw veggies are you meal - aka - salad - it doesn't fill you up like cooked veggies would.  Sure it looks like a lot - but it's not much substance. Unless the salad is the size of a medium to large size mixing bowl. For me personally salad doesn't fill me up long term.  I have a salad for lunch with a 6oz can of tuna + boiled eggs at 12:30 pm  - I will be hungry again by 3:30 - 4pm.  Also eggs seem to do the same thing - they don't fill me up long term.

 

Pre work out meal should be protein + fat, post work out should be lean protein+starchy carb.

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Definitely add more eggs as Carlaccini pointed out.

 

I find I need a little meat with my eggs. They simply don't keep me satiated. Extra fat can help as well. Remember the Meal Template is a minimum recommendation for your portions.

 

One other suggestion: Cut out the fruit at meal 1. Sometimes fruit consumed early in the day can make you hungrier. Try adding a few more veggies instead and see if that makes a difference.

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The thing is I'm a 4'9" 93 Lb female, so I the max amount of eggs I can hold in my hand is actually 2 haha. I worry that I will be overeating for my size (being so petite) if I were to add more food.

Except you are actually in need of the food and you know that because you are craving food.  Sure, your body is craving what it is used to (carbs) but if you eat enough at each meal, 3 times per day, those cravings are extremely manageable or even non existant.  Throw that extra egg in there or add a chicken thigh to your 2 eggs.  Experiment and see how you do!

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Zee,

  since crossfit is pretty intense, you'll want to utilize the pre and/or post workout meals. Remember, these are in addition to the 3 template meals. See the Meal Template (link below) for specifics. I don't usually do a pre WO meal unless I'm working out in the morning, but I almost always eat a post WO meal. Try and see how that works for you.

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I think part of the problem was I was eating breakfast at 5:30 AM and not able to eat lunch at work till 12:30 PM. 7 hours without eating wasn't cutting it, even with the extra egg. I needed a mini-meal in between, so now I eat a snack of protein and veggies around 10:30 AM. This helps keep me full till I can have my whole lunch. This is what helped eliminate the cravings, I think. I'm not constantly thinking about when I will finally get to have lunch.

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