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Abdomen weight gain & breast soreness


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Hi everyone, just wanted to check in on my current experience. Perhaps it's all hormonal -and I just need to be patient. Just want to check and get some feedback please.

I'm on day 13 and I'm experiencing some pretty noticeable weight gain, particularly in my midsection. I also am experiencing breast tenderness, which only usually comes around when I am about to start my period, or while I'm gaining weight. I just finished my cycle earlier this past week. One other quite noticeable shift lately, I am Uber emotional.

Just wanted to check in and see if this is hormonal, or if I am eating too much, or I'm a little late in experiencing the "for the love of gosling my pants are tighter" phase? Or maybe a combo? I don't think it's that I'm eating too much, I just got feedback in the forum a few days ago that I'm not eating enough (although I did adjust my food intake so I am eating more than about a week ago. However not THAT much of a difference).

Looking forward to hearing any thoughts on this. Thanks so much!

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I'd say you're at the 'for the love of gosling my pants are tighter' phase. The Timeline is a guide, and it's all relative to where you weere health/diet wise pre whole30 rather than an exact science.

Keep eatiing according to the template, & it'll keep getting better......

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Well Amy, being in a same sex relationship, it would be immaculate. ;) But HEY! Crazier things HAVE happened before, right? ;)

Hahaha! Well, certainly pregnancy would be completely deliberate. You'd know to within an inch of your life if you were pregnant. So we scratch that. Welcome to Whole30 sistah, and let's see if we can get you feeling unbloated. How about posting a couple of days' worth of meals, plus any other relevant info (water intake, sleep, exercise, any stress) and maybe we can pinpoint some things you can do.

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Sounds great!


Meal 1: 2 eggs + 1 egg white, 1 link chicken sausage (3 oz, not a baby sausage), Swiss chard sautéed in ghee, coconut cream w my coffee

Meal 2: Cobb salad hold the cheese, iced tea

Pre wo: hb egg

Post wo: yams + chicken

Dinner: burger patty, mashed sweet potato, roasted artichoke

Meal 1: same blast as prior, but sautéed sponach instead of Swiss chard

Meal 2: ground beef w 2 cups chopped kale, salsa, avocado

Meal 3: lemon artichoke chicken from the performance paleo cookbook

I haven't worked out much this week, Im just coming off of a pretty uncomfortable bronchial cold (think cough city!). I sleep 8-9.5 hours a night. And well. Yes I have a challenging job which requires a lot of multitasking, service, management (I manage a dental office). I drink over a gallon of water a day, commensurate with my body weight, caffeine intake and workouts. Thanks!!

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How different is this from how you ate before? Are there any foods you are eating a lot of suddenly, that you didn't eat prior to this? I'm asking because sometimes we discover some random vegetable that in large quantities causes our individual systems digestive distress (I'm looking at you, cauliflower).


In general, a few thoughts (though this may or may not have anything to do with feeling bloated/sore):

1. Eat the whole egg. The nutrition/protein/fat is in the yolk, so we're not into ditching it here in Whole30land.

2. Your meals actually look good, assuming your portions are template-sized (1-2 palms protein, 1-2 thumbs fat, 1-3 cups veggies) and it looks like they are.

3. Some folks, who are eating quite differently in one way or another from pre-Whole30, find that digestive enzymes help ease digestive issues that present themselves as the body gets used to this new way of eating. I found compliant digestive enzymes at my local natural foods store, and I keep some in my kitchen cabinet for occasional use even now.

4. If you're coming off of a bad bronchial cold (bronchitis?), your body may just be generally wonky (technical medical term there!) for a few days. Good nutrition and as much rest as possible, plus some of those digestive enzymes, might help things settle down.


I don't mean to be vague, but I think you're doing pretty well actually - if you are still in need of relief in the next day or so, you might try the digestive enzymes, and look at any possible new foods eaten in larger quantities than usual that might be swapped out for, maybe, a variety of smaller amounts of different veggies (wow that was vague, but I hope you know what I mean).


One final thought, on the Cobb salad: if you are eating a restaurant-prepared version, the deli ham/turkey/whatever is almost certainly not compliant due to sugar or carageenan, if not actual msg, in the ingredients. So that's worth checking into (though it may not be the culprit in your current symptoms, just something to consider in general).


Any of this ring any bells?

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Wow thanks for your detailed response Amy. I really appreciate it.

The only thing I'm thinking that is different is that I'm eating cleaner. And more food. Prior to this I was eating clean, but having BP coffee in the morning and since I can't handle ghee in my coffee (hello Exxon Mobile Valdez oil spill in my tummy!!!), I'm having 1/3 c coconut cream instead. Maybe the coconut is the culprit? Seriously, I used to eat clean before, with the occasional night out for a good gluten free pizza and salad. I'm having lots more starchy veggies than usual? It was suggested I increase due to my workout regimen (lifting 3 x a week, circuit/xfit like training 2 other days a week). Perhaps I'm eating too much...?

Also, regarding your other suggestions, thank you. I will eat the whole egg. I am definitely going by the guidelines (I guess I could eat a little more veggies)...I am taking a bunch of supplements, and a digestive enzyme is one of them. So I already have that down :) Thank goodness it wasn't bronchitis, just a bad chest cold and I got all clinical in my wordage, sorry :) Maybe I am just out of whack due to that. Or maybe my body and my hormone just need some time to adjust...and yeah, I'll take the bacon out of the Cobb salad just in case. Maybe I'll be one of those people that shows up with a ziplock bag full of bacon and puts it on their salad. Given that it's in the middle of a lunch meeting with my boss, that would be awesome! ;) LO

Maybe I should cut back on the coconut cream? Or I have white potatoes more now these days...maybe cut back on those?

Thanks again :)

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First off, you're not eating too much. As you point out, you could always eat more veggies (most of us could, really). Women are socialized to believe we're eating too much if a bite of anything passes our lips, so we tend to blame overeating for just about any ill that befalls us. You're doing just fine on eating, really.


Also, keep the starchy veggies - we need them. Some folks report doing better if they have their starchy veggies with Meals 2 and 3 (plus PWO) only. You can try to tweak this - for instance, unlike those who report success with starchy veggies later in the day, I have an autoimmune thing going on and starchy veggies in quantity are pretty important with most meals most days.


It could be that coconut is causing some discomfort, it does for some of us. If that seems like a possibility you could go without it for a week or so to see if you feel better without it. I'm not sure white potatoes are necessarily a cause of digestive distress (they're pretty mild), but you could see if you do better without them, or reducing them.


When it comes to restaurant-purchased salads, you're good with the undressed veggies and hard boiled eggs, but you won't be able to count on any meats being compliant. Bringing your own specialty bacon to a lunch with your boss will definitely make you look like an uber hipster. :lol:  Have you seen the hipster soap for sale online? Supposedly it smells like locally roasted coffee, specialty bacon, and craft beer. :lol:


Keep eating heartily, tweak the things that feel right to tweak, and see how you feel in a few days as your body recovers. Let us know how it goes.

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I read somewhere around here that the lining in some coconut milk cans can contribute to breast tenderness, though I don't recall the chemical that triggered that or safe brands that don't have that in the lining. Long shot, but something to consider?

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Totally Karen.  I recently read that in the forums as well.  I'm subbing almond milk for coconut milk for a week or so to see if that helps.


FYI, had a lunch meeting today...cobb salad no chicken...and I forgot my uber hipster move of bringing my own bacon!  Got so wrapped up in my agenda that I had the bacon on the salad, totally forgot to omit the bacon in the order.  I'm concerned that either there IS sugar in the bacon or in the dressing.  I had swollen fingers (and possibly in my head, but possibly not), a swollen midsection when I got back to the office.  


I have to have another lunch meeting tomorrow, and I will for SURE bring my own hipster bacon AND EVOO & Vinegar!    B)  B)


(Does anyone think I should start over since I had this type of response BTW?)

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Totally Karen.  I recently read that in the forums as well.  I'm subbing almond milk for coconut milk for a week or so to see if that helps.


FYI, had a lunch meeting today...cobb salad no chicken...and I forgot my uber hipster move of bringing my own bacon!  Got so wrapped up in my agenda that I had the bacon on the salad, totally forgot to omit the bacon in the order.  I'm concerned that either there IS sugar in the bacon or in the dressing.  I had swollen fingers (and possibly in my head, but possibly not), a swollen midsection when I got back to the office.  


I have to have another lunch meeting tomorrow, and I will for SURE bring my own hipster bacon AND EVOO & Vinegar!    B)  B)


(Does anyone think I should start over since I had this type of response BTW?)

Accidental sugar is not a cause for restart (check the "Do I have to restart" article linked in my signature below).  And normally sugar would not give you that kind of reaction. Could be the cooking fat that they used? Or you are still going through your transition and some swelling and fluctuation is going to be normal for right now.

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Hey everyone -- just an update, I forgot my hipster bacon, but added 1/2 avo to my cobb salad lunch at my meeting.  AND, I brought 2T EVOO + 1T Bal Vin that I had in lieu of their salad dressing.  And BOOYAH!  No swollen fingers after eating!  Woo hoo!  Thanks!


I also have removed coconut cream and my breast soreness has reduced...I think I'll buy some of the AROY-D coconut cream others have talked about as I want it still as an option for recipes, coffee, etc :)


Still feeling super bloated and heavy, I feel like I've gained nearly 5+/- lbs around my midsection (I feel it when I sit, etc)....I still need to be patient for that to shift, I guess.  I have a lot of great energy which makes me happy....making me think I'm nearing the Tiger Blood phase, and hopefully I'll shift into a more fat adaptive mode shortly.


One other cool thing, my gym is doing a group Whole 30 contest!  Starts tomorrow. I'm not partaking (I'm already into it with my spouse, on day 15), but they DID ask me to go tonight to their kickoff meeting and speak about W30 from an "I did a Whole 30" perspective.  Pretty Cool!  Can't wait to tell them how awesome it is!


Thanks so much to all of you for your support!  

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It was a "lemon vinaigrette." Sounded harmless.

Oh, wait, you had a restaurant-prepared dressing? Just keep in mind that it's about 99.99999(etc.)% sure that you will not get a compliant dressing in a restaurant. Beyond this, folks who shop for salad dressings to use at home report that usually they have to order them online at shocking expense. Commercial dressings are almost always made with soybean oil, a serious gut distruptor.


We recommend that if you're going to have a salad in a restaurant, that you order it without dressing. Many people bring small bottles of oil and vinegar and spices mixed together to make their favorite dressing flavors. As it turns out, even what's given to us as olive oil on the table at restaurants is rarely pure olive oil.


One thing Whole30 will do for you is give you a rather regular series of shocks about how much junk is put into food that is otherwise considered healthy or even gourmet.

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I would actually go so far as to say that if you make your own dressings (creamy ranches and coleslaws, dijon balsamic vinigiarettes, balsamic orange drizzles etc) for 30 days and then taste a commercially prepared one you may gag, I did.  The sweetness and chemical overtones in most commercial dressings is STRONG.


My favourite dressing:

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp whole grain dijon

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar



Either whip that with a whisk to emulsify, or as I do, triple the batch in a bowl and then use the immersion blender to emulsify it.  It is SOOO good.....

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I'm on Day 15 and experiencing almost identical symptoms! Partner that with feeling extremely sick for most of yesterday, and I decided to double check that my husband and I aren't (surprise) expecting. Not pregnant!


The only coconut milk I've had for the last two weeks was in the curry I made at the beginning of last week, and I haven't eaten any meals out, so I'm feeling fairly certain I haven't been accidentally dosed with sugar. I have been enjoying quite a bit of cabbage and cauliflower though, which I think has contributed to my tight pants feeling.


It's a relief just to see someone else is experiencing weird body changes, so thank you for posting. My only suggestion is do you feel like you're sleeping enough? My last few nights of sleep have been less than optimal, and I think that has contributed to some of these "normal" Whole 30 symptoms feel a little more pronounced.

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Katherinediane, I'm sorry you're experiencing this! What helped me was making sure I was drinking enough water, and I did eliminate coconut cream. I also read in blood types that my blood type (O-) MAY not do well with coconut. So I have stepped away from it for a while. I did but some AROY-D when I decide to try it again. Cocont cream in my coffee was really great in the morning. It added a great flavor and helped keep me satiated until lunch. Yes cauliflower and cabbage aren't always the best for me either :)

I also sleep a ton. 8-10 hours a night. And I cover my eyes with a cloth or something...my bedroom is not as dark as I would like, so the cloth helps me sleep more soundly.

Most importantly, I have taken the time and energy to remind myself why I didn this round of W30 in the first place....to be healthy. To help rid myself of my anxiety with food and self hatred. I took the opportunity to be kind to myself and practice patience and know that weight loss isn't what I'm ultimately after (although it has been a hope for me). The great feels, boundless energy and amazing mood is what I was after. And I got it. And I actually now do feel like my body composition has started to shift into a more ideal place. I'm feeling myself change which feels awesome, all other times I have focused on what I hate about my body and myself. This time I'm working hard on focusing on appreciation for my body, its abilities, and the process. I'm sure your body will come around, too!

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