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fatigue getting worse

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I am on day 13 of the whole30 and although I have experienced amazing results concerning by gastritis, acid reflux, and IBS, I am still experiencing a significant amount of fatigue.  This includes difficulty getting out of bed in the morning and “brain-fog” all day.  More alarming however, is that I fatigue very rapidly during exercise.  My muscles weaken very quickly and I experience a very rapid heart rate.  Because of my commute, I end up walking about 4 miles per day, 2 miles on the way to work and 2 miles on the way home.  I also work on the 8th floor so I try to take the stairs most of the time.  Before starting the whole30, I was also exercising 4-5 times a week, mostly interval weight training with some cardio.  However, after starting the whole30, I’ve just been too tired to workout during the week anymore. 


I’ve looked through the forum to see what others have said on this topic previously, and most suggest eating more starchy vegetables and making sure you get enough fat.  Plus I’m drinking about 1.5-2 liters of water a day.  I feel like I’ve been doing all of that and I actually think I’m consuming more calories on the whole30 than I was before I started.  I haven’t weighed myself because I know the focus is on health and not weight loss, but I’m sort of freaked out I’m gaining weight.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to improve this?  I do take melatonin as a sleep aid because I suffer from SSRI related insomnia, and have considered stop taking the melatonin to see if this would help with the fatigue, but I’m also nervous about not getting enough sleep (I get about 8-9 per night). 


Does it just take your body a while to fully convert from carb-derived energy to fat-derived-energy?  Is this something I’m just going to have to push through?  I’ve included my typical meal plan for a day in case I’m missing something.  Any advice would be most appreciated.



2 cups coffee with splash of coconut milk

Cup of bone broth

Two fried eggs in clarified butter



3 cups romaine lettuce

1 sliced avocado

5 pieces bacon

1 cup sliced carrots

Homemade balsamic vinaigrette (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, compliant spicy mustard, spices


2 cups green tea



Chicken thighs

Sautéed vegetables in coconut oil (sweet potatoes, carrots, onion, green peppers, zucchini, garlic)

Coconut milk and curry spices

Cauliflower rice

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The big factor than stands out to me is that your breakfast aka meal 1 is tiny.  When  your first meal of the day is not substantial enough it sets you up for hunger / low energy throughout the day.


When eggs are your main protein they should be the number of whole eggs that you can hold in 1 hand.  For most females that is 3 to 4.

There are also no vegetables in your meal 1.  Try to incorporate them.  Even if you consume them in soup form (you are already drinking bone broth - so just make a blended soup with the broth.


There is no protein in your meal 2.  Bacon is more fat than protein - so bacon counts as a fat source NOT a protein source.  Protein sources need to be palm sized - this meals the height, width and depth of your palm.


You mention working out - you should also really consider adding a pre workout meal and a post workout meal.  Pre workout you should focus on fat + protein - so a boiled egg + olives would work well here, and post work out should be lean protein + starchy veg - so grilled chicken breast + sweet potato.


Also keep in mind it is perfectly normal for your workouts to suffer the first couple of weeks of this program.  But please remember your body needs fuel - so fuel it!

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You are doing a good job of eating fat, but you are way too light on protein and veggies. The lack of protein in your diet and the low amount of starchy veggies probably explains your fatigue. Review the meal planning template: http://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-meal-planning.pdf


You will not increase your body fat if you eat the minimum amount of food specified in our meal template. You might gain a few pounds temporarily as your body works out some issues, but you will lose weight over time if you have weight to lose. And you will have lots of energy. 


When consuming veggies, think in terms of a fist-size portion of starchy veggies at least twice per day for now. If you had plenty of energy, you might be okay with one serving, but while you are feeling fatigue, make it two fist-size portions per day. And think 2-3 cups of veggies per meal. It would be fine if you reduced the amount of fat you are consuming. I doubt it is a problem, but you are at the high end of our fat recommendations. 

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okay, thanks, I will try adding more everything to my first meal.  Loking at it now, it does seem small compared to my other meals, I'm just not use to eating large breakfasts in the morning.  I'll also up my protein at lunch and lower my fat.   I didn't realize bacon was a fat source instead of protein source, but that totally makes sense.  Thanks for the quick response.  

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I just wanted to let the monitors know that I've increased my moringin meals to include zucchini and some sort of starchy veggie with 3-4 eggs and it has made all the difference.  I have way way more energy and focus and can make it farther inbetween meals (even lunch and dinner) without serious hunger pains and low blood sugar.


THanks again for the grea advice

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