W30 during the week/chill on weekends?


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Hi all. I am just curious if anyone has a method of W30 maintenance by being strict during the week and relaxing on the weekends. I finished my W30 in march and did a W5 first week of April. I just did some major off-road eating during Passover, which I planned for, and I want to try and find a balance that works for me. Thoughts?

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When I off road it does tend to be on weekends, but what works for me is isolating it to a single meal and then getting right back to template at the next meal. Mind you, I'm not hyper vigilant about added sugar and seed oils in sauces as a general rule when not doing a strict Whole 30 (or series of W30 days as a mini reset), so I'm talking about the biggies such as rice, maybe a little dairy, maybe a special dessert. I still avoid gluten, soy, and alcohol as a general rule. 

 

Have you done reintroductions and figured out what, if anything, is no-go for you even when off roading?

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I try to keep most of my meals, cooked at home, within the template.  Weekends do tend to have more relaxed rules, but it's only been a couple of weeks since I finished my March W30, and both weekends have had unexpected outings.  I do find after off roading that my body does not feel great, nor does my mind.  Fortunately, for now, it's been fairly easy to return to template meals. 

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Reintroduction... sigh. Well I did reintroduce in moderation my first week off. I handled things ok. Problem with the holiday is it is pretty much impossible to go slow, since you eat matzo and grape juice in one meal, plus so many other temptations! That's why I have decided to do at least a W14 if not W30. I feel amazing during a W30, which is why I want to try and stick to it as close to possible on a long term basis. I am just thinking if I have no wiggle room that might no be so realistic.

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What you're describing is pretty much how I lived pre-whole30. It worked great for the most part, but eventually it became a habit to off-road, rather than a need/choice, and the off road food choices became poorer & poorer, and the next day was always like a very miserable ground-hog day, starting over...

My plan going forward is to off-road only for occasions I feel truly warrant it - & that will be at most once a month I'd have thought, but most likely less, and only after a proper slow roll re-intro which will most likely only ever include dairy, alcohol & added sugar (I've a freezer full of smoked salmon I don't plan on throwing out!!). I already know how grains, legumes & soy effect me so those won't ever be making a reappearance. 

I think making a conscious decision to off-road *every* weekend will eventually lead to your undoing..... Although I guess it also depends on just *how* off road you plan on going. 

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Post W30 is such a slippery slope. I know I am not alone, I see so many posts discussing the challenges of reintroduction. The biggest challenge for me, and I see for others, is the sugar dragon. I think maybe on weekends I could have an approach that foods such as dairy and gluten free grains can be consumed if I really want (which often times I don't anyway), but stay away at all costs from sugar, which is my real issue.

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Another approach to consider is eating predominantly (or completely) Whole30 at home, and selectively/consciously eat off-plan food while dining out or at someone's home, independent of whatever day of the week it is. This has worked well for me since completing my first Whole 30 in 2013.  Aside from occasional red wine and quality dark chocolate at home, this is how I roll. In both instances I keep 100% gluten-free, as it's never worth it for me to do otherwise.

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I guess it depends what off roading is. For me it's eating after my evening meal. Sometimes dark chocolate. Sometimes a swypo dessert. Sometimes just some fruit and maybe coconut cream or nut butter. Or occasionally eating out. I've tried to do the week vs weekend thing but it's like starting a w30 every Monday and it's pretty depressing. I always cook compliant or 98% compliant meals at home anyway and I always stick gluten free because to do otherwise is not worth it. It's intolerance that keeps me on the straight and narrow really. I'm finding general compliance with an occasional treat is working better for me. I'm on strict w30 this week because I had a lot of alcohol and chocolate at the weekend and am away this coming weekend.

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What you're describing is pretty much how I lived pre-whole30. It worked great for the most part, but eventually it became a habit to off-road, rather than a need/choice, and the off road food choices became poorer & poorer, and the next day was always like a very miserable ground-hog day, starting over...

 

This!  For years, I was able to manage my weight by following a very strict (and calorie restrictive) menu during the week and relaxing on the weekends.  I could stick to it most of the time (days off during the week were extremely challenging, though), but I was constantly craving sugar and other "weekend foods," so I was constantly battling the sugar demon.  I didn't even realize this wasn't normal until I completed my first Whole30.

 

I never would have considered Paleo or Whole30 had I not developed health issues.  Because my health issues are not resolved and I learned the hard way that the Sugar Dragon can return with a vengeance (you are right, baltomom, about reintroduction being a slippery slope!), I don't think a weekends off approach to Whole30 would work for me...although a part of me wishes that it would. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

What you're describing is pretty much how I lived pre-whole30. It worked great for the most part, but eventually it became a habit to off-road, rather than a need/choice, and the off road food choices became poorer & poorer, and the next day was always like a very miserable ground-hog day, starting over...

.

.

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I think making a conscious decision to off-road *every* weekend will eventually lead to your undoing..... Although I guess it also depends on just *how* off road you plan on going. 

 

THIS! Nailed it! 

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  • 1 month later...

This is the question I came to the forum for.

 

I'm only on day 8 of W30.  So far eating like this doesn't seem like a big deal other than being inconvenient.  I do have much better energy and lack of bloating, but am always hungry.  Just checked the calendar and apparently the hardest days are coming up later this week. Anyways...

 

I have no intention of eating this way all the time.  I am doing it because I need to drop some weight and a friend lost weight doing this.  And I wanted some tool to recalibrate my eating habits.  I guess I could eat like this, but I have no desire to give up many things that I enjoy.

 

What does seem like a reasonable compromise to me is eating this way on the weekdays and eating what I want on the weekends.  I'm interested in hearing if anyone has done it successfully. 

 

What have you experienced the last month ande a half Baltimom?  Anyone else?

Thanks!

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 but am always hungry. 

 

If you're always hungry, you more than likely are not eating enough. Be sure you eat at least the minimum amount listed in the meal template

 

This means three times a day, eat 1-2 palm-size portions of protein (that's the length, depth, and width of your palm), 1-2 thumb sized portions of fat (don't count the cooking fat, actually add fat -- drizzle oil over salads and vegetables, have 1/2 to a whole avocado, a heaping handful or two of olives or coconut flakes, have mayo or some other sauce or dressing), and bare minimum, one cup of vegetables -- preferably more like 2-4 cups of vegetables at each and every meal.

 

In addition, if you work out, have at least your post-workout meal -- lean protein and starchy vegetable -- within a half hour of finishing your workout.

 

Occasionally have some fruit with a meal if you want to -- it's absolutely not required though.

 

If you do all that, and find yourself hungry between meals, you can have a mini-meal with protein, fat, and vegetables, and it means you may need to eat even more at meals.

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Oh, I'm eating alot more than that Shannon! :)  I probably should have described the hunger as cravings as I think that's more of what it is.  It's not as bad now as it was last week.  I probably need to cut back on my eating, but I figured the first week or so, I would let myself eat what I want to get over the cravings. 

 

My big question is what I'm going to do after this because I didn't really have any intention of being 90% plus paleo for the rest of my life.  Maybe I'll decide in 3 weeks that those sacrifices are worth it, but right now, that doesn't seem like a lifestyle I would want to live.  I guess we'll see.

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My big question is what I'm going to do after this because I didn't really have any intention of being 90% plus paleo for the rest of my life.  Maybe I'll decide in 3 weeks that those sacrifices are worth it, but right now, that doesn't seem like a lifestyle I would want to live.  I guess we'll see.

It depends on the state of your health coming into a Whole 30.   If you're in excellent health, you'll probably want those foods back that fit your unique lifestyle. Those of us that needed real changes for health purposes - we are not going back.  We've drawn our line in the sand.  Celebrating or rewarding ourselves with food is no longer the apex of my life. There's nothing about sugar that is so worth it.  I'm going on without it and to say I won't is to underestimate my personality by a 1000 degrees.  I've avoided sugar for a year without any regrets. 

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It depends on the state of your health coming into a Whole 30.   If you're in excellent health, you'll probably want those foods back that fit your unique lifestyle. Those of us that needed real changes for health purposes - we are not going back.  We've drawn our line in the sand.  Celebrating or rewarding ourselves with food is no longer the apex of my life. There's nothing about sugar that is so worth it.  I'm going on without it and to say I won't is to underestimate my personality by a 1000 degrees.  I've avoided sugar for a year without any regrets. 

That's great ML!  You're right.  i don't have that same drive for life change.  It will be interesting to see how I feel when I reintroduce foods.  I'm hoping I can pull off the 5 on / 2 off strategy, but maybe that's not as easy as it seems.

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I completeled my first W30 in March and have done a W5, W20 and W7 since. I think we have to realize that part the reintroduction process is to find what will help you stay focused on W30 in the long run. For example, I put a small amount of milk in my coffee in the morning. I enjoy it and am satisfied when I am done, and I eat W30 compliant for the rest of the day, even my breakfast. But if I put coconut milk in my coffee, wbich is something I dislike, I will not be motivated to eat W30 whatsoever. Does that make sense?

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Baltomom - Have you read Dallas Hartwig's new article about life after a Whole 30?   It's an eye opener.  

 

 

 

WHY DALLAS NO LONGER NEEDS THE WHOLE30

 

30 March, 2015

From Dallas Hartwig, Whole30 co-creator, professional Science-English translator, motorcycle aficionado, and part-time hooligan. Photo credit: Stephanie Gaudreau

I haven’t done a Whole30 in four years. In fact, I’ve only done two since we created the Whole30 back in April 2009. I’ve found a really great balance with eating nutritious food the majority of the time, and going “off plan” occasionally with a glass of scotch or some Jeni’s ice cream. Corn tortillas and sushi rice also make regular appearances, but they don’t seem to have any immediate consequences for me.

 

Back to the Start

Let’s go back to 2009. I had been researching nutrition in the context of evolutionary biology for two years, and had learned a great deal about food, our immune system, our digestive tract, and our psychological response to food. I’d been changing my day-to-day eating habits towards a Paleo-ish template, but I still had some minor health issues. At that time, I was playing competitive volleyball and experimenting with Olympic weightlifting to improve my sport performance. I was lean and muscular and… my shoulder hurt all the time. I had some pretty significant inflammation, and I couldn’t even sleep on my left side. I tried resting it, icing it, physical therapy (I myself have been a licensed PT since 2001), and eating ibuprofen like candy (I didn’t know yet that non-steroidal drugs increased gut permeability and actually slowed healing of connective tissues). I went so far as to get cortisone injections in my shoulder before playing at USVBA Nationals just so I could continue to function. Nothing worked.

 

After coming across a research paper that discussed the immunology of certain proteins found in food, and something clicked. I thought, “If food components can directly cause inflammation in certain populations (like people with autoimmune disease), I wonder whether it could also be contributing to the chronic inflammation in my shoulder.” Unbeknownst to me at the time, that was the thought that ultimately led us to create and share the Whole30 program.

 

I experimented with some dietary changes (eliminating the large amount of beans and grains that I was eating for a few weeks). And… magic. My shoulder stopped hurting altogether, and I’ve had zero shoulder pain since then. Incredible, I thought.

 

Fast forward a couple years, and Melissa and I were doing some weightlifting training at a gym in Boston, and I sprung the idea of a super-strict, no-cheats elimination diet (based on the Paleo template outlined by our friend Robb Wolf) on Melissa when she was exhausted (and probably cognitively compromised). She agreed, and that was the prototype for the Whole30, even though we weren’t calling it that back then.

 

My Whole30 Lessons

I learned a lot about myself through that first “round.” I learned that there is sugar in everything. I learned that, without the convenience of protein bars and shakes, I had to plan ahead a lot more to have good food around when I was hungry (which was often). I learned – through the systematic reintroductionprocess – that wheat makes me sad. Like, actually sad and apathetic for 48 hours or so. Other grains (like rice and corn) seem to not have that effect, which is why I still eat sushi rice at a good restaurant and street tacos with corn tortillas when I’m in Mexico. I also learned that milk and ice cream are Not Okay (for me, it’s the lactose).

 

But notice this: even though the Whole30 often helps people address their unhealthy emotional relationship with food, none of the things I mentioned about me really fit into that category. And that’s okay. We’re not trying to convince everyone that they have messed-up relationship with food. I simply didn’t. I used to eat unhealthy foods basically every day, but I didn’t have any guilt, and I didn’t use food as reward or punishment. It just wasn’t how it worked for me. Of course, that’s not to say that those food choices were good for me, because I’ve since learned that they are definitely not. There are direct and indirect consequences of my choices, but they affect my mood, sleep, digestive tract, and skin instead of an inner-voice-that-scolds-me.

 

Over the last five-plus years, I’ve gotten stronger, stayed leaner, slept better, and felt mentally sharper than ever before. And that makes it easier to stay on track with my dietary choices, although with travel and a toddler and personal stressors, I still find myself gravitating towards sweets when I’m notably stressed. That, too, is normal, though obviously not a healthy choice.

 

So I don’t do Whole30’s anymore. Through the program, I figured out what foods are not my friends, and I only hang out with my friends. I have also learned that I have some leeway with some non-Whole30 options. During my hard training at Gym Jones, I use SFH’s whey protein as a fast and easy source of protein. I can keep large amounts of amazing single-origin chocolate in the house for weeks and only eat a little here and there. I make a conscious effort to “clean it up” if I’ve found that I’m drinking more than once a week, or that all the Jeni’s ice cream in the freezer has magically disappeared.

 

Beyond that, food is not complicated for me, and the Whole30 gave me the self-awareness to easily make good food choices consistently without ever (!) feeling deprived. And if I want a dram of Glenfarclas 25, I just have one. 

 

- See more at: http://whole30.com/2015/03/dallas-whole30/#sthash.9jZTn7rv.dpuf

 

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I completeled my first W30 in March and have done a W5, W20 and W7 since. I think we have to realize that part the reintroduction process is to find what will help you stay focused on W30 in the long run. For example, I put a small amount of milk in my coffee in the morning. I enjoy it and am satisfied when I am done, and I eat W30 compliant for the rest of the day, even my breakfast. But if I put coconut milk in my coffee, wbich is something I dislike, I will not be motivated to eat W30 whatsoever. Does that make sense?

That's interesting!  I was telling my wife on Saturday that the thing I miss most is having coffee the way I like it.  I love beer and certain non-W30 foods, but the thing I miss most is a delicious coffee in the morning.  I'm drinking espresso which is ok, but not the same, so it does make sense! :)

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  • 1 month later...

Having finished my first Whole30 at the end of July and totally going back on my promise to myself to reintroduce foods slowly, I drank myself silly, stuffed my face with cake and have consequently felt as sick as a fish for the past 2 weeks! I have also noticed the return of muscle tinges that had disappeared during the Whole30. The thing that I missed during W30 was alcohol. I didn't miss anything else. But looking back over the past 2 weeks has made me realise how alcohol inhibits my food choices (like Melissa said it would in the book!).

 

I've just read Dallas' article, which I found extremely helpful. I also like the idea of the 5 days on, 2 days off in some respects but can see others' points of view on how the weekends could be something to obsess over and to force yourself to 'eat dirty' just because you can (as I have been doing for the past 2 weeks!). No one solution will be perfect for us all. Just keep thinking positively and be true to what you and your body needs. 

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I am now just starting another W30. I identify with a lot of Dallas's sentiments, I really don't feel that guilty when I off road because... well I am not sure. I suppose it's because I have the tools to get back on when I am ready. I have tried to stay W30 true to the best of my ability, but between vacation and moving into my first home (!) it has been nearly impossible to prep all that food. But I have gotten back on track and I am excited to give my body mind and soul what it needs.

But specifically about this weekend thing... I have to say it works only so-so. IF I seriously indulge over the weekends it's very difficult to get back in the swing of things come Monday. But if I let's say, just put some milk in my coffee, eat a non-compliant food one or two meals, then it is really not so bad. Also! Do not get too hungry. Then you'll just eat loads of junk.

Those are my 2 cents at any rate!

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I can't remember who said it (I thought it was jmcbn on another thread) but there really isn't enough time between weekends to really get back to basics if you really go for it on your "off roading".  Two and a half days (because let's face it, Friday night) of eating whatever/whenever isn't corrected in the next 4.5 days you have before you go off road again.  This is something that it's taken me awhile to get the hang of in my life.  For awhile I would write down on a magic board all the things I ate that were off plan and if you really look at it, the weekends can be a blood bath for your body!

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I can't remember who said it (I thought it was jmcbn on another thread) but there really isn't enough time between weekends to really get back to basics if you really go for it on your "off roading".  Two and a half days (because let's face it, Friday night) of eating whatever/whenever isn't corrected in the next 4.5 days you have before you go off road again.  This is something that it's taken me awhile to get the hang of in my life.  For awhile I would write down on a magic board all the things I ate that were off plan and if you really look at it, the weekends can be a blood bath for your body!

Yep, that was me, and I'm still of that opinion.

PreWhole30 I ate pretty much Whole30 (except for dairy) Sunday to Friday. Saturday was my 'cheat day' although because one of my main training sessions is a Saturday morning I ate well pre & postWO and then it all went to the dogs. Once I'd crossed that bridge on a Saturday there really was no going back and it wasn't pretty, and I'm not proud of it. Sundays were about recovering from a food hangover, and every Monday was Ground Hog Day- that feeling of complete lack of control, followed by the feelings of regret the next day were what brought me here.

I've spoken to many people about the whole 'cheat meal' scenario and they all say the same - they can't just have a normal sized 'off plan' meal - its the largest pizza available, the family sized bag of doritos with chemical filled dip, it's the entire NY baked cheesecake, and a 2litre bottle of Coke (well at least they all know not to waste their time with the diet stuff!  :P ), because in their heads they have this one meal to eat whatever they want before they get back to the program. None of us would normally eat that amount of healthy food in one sitting so really it's just an excuse to binge.

Many people do their Whole30 and then say when they're done they're going to eat this way 99% of the time. But even by off roading every Saturday only, & not Friday evening or during Sunday, as was my case it's still only about 86%.

Right now I'm much closer to that 99% goal and I feel very much in control.

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There are individuals who've never had any issues with food.   They can gauge what's appropriate and off-road like a pro.  They can eat whatever and whenever and it doesn't make them cray cray...ever.   I don't know anyone like that but I wish I did.  I'd follow them around, take notes and observe them like hawk.

 

There are folks on the opposite side of that spectrum who have an eating disorder by proxy.  My relatives would probably fall into this group.   They take great delight in making all kinds of homemade things and watching other people eat them.   They get their kicks by proxy.   I'll just watch you eat that and pretend I'm enjoying it, too.

 

Eating disorders and thrill eating comes in all varieties.  I've been in the midst of most variations on a theme.  The Week-End Blow-Out.     Eat real food during the week and exercise a ton.  Thrill eating on the weekend.   

 

Food is medicine and if you get it right it will heal your body and mind.  

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