"Meh" results. Where to go from here?


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So I am finally on Day 31! I think my biggest improvement/victory is a DRASTIC decrease in cravings. I actually haven't eaten anything non-W30 yet. I keep trying to think of what I'd want and nothing sounds tempting/appealing. This is pretty major for me!

 

The other improvements I'd been hoping for have been a little disappointing though :(

 

- Migraines, instead of decreasing, have actually INCREASED this month! :( I guess it COULD be the intense heat here/not remembering to drink enough. And I have found that they go away more quickly/don't get as severe as they did pre-W30.

 

- Digestion not great...often get tummy aches, frequently constipated...

 

- Still pretty tired, low energy, and short-fused. I did Dr. Perlmutter's Grain Brain diet (eliminates grains and legumes but not dairy, and I did eat some sugar and gluten-free grains) half a year ago and saw MAJOR improvements in this area within a week. I can't figure out why it's not working this time. Could be there have been some gradual improvements, but so gradual it's almost hard to tell... And I've also been working on getting to bed (much!) earlier than usual, so I feel like any improvements could easily be attributed to that alone.

 

- I only lost 7 lbs. I know, I know, that's a decent amount to lose, but my eating habits were SO horrible pre-W30 (almost no vegetables, lots of junk food, mostly ate grains/sugar/dairy) I was expecting more than this. :(

 

Here's a sample day:

Breakfast: 3 eggs fried in a generous amount of coconut oil, handful of cherry tomatoes and sometimes an avocado on the side. Not hungry for more till lunch.

Lunch: A piece of salmon roasted with olive oil and spices, some sort of veggie on the side - lettuce salad, roasted carrots, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted green beans...

Dinner: 2 hamburger patties, lettuce salad, tomatoes, avocado

I aim to drink 100 oz of water a day which is the correct amount for my body weight, but often it's less than that.

 

I also snacked on fruit and nuts quite a bit in the beginning, though that really tapered off towards the last 2 weeks and in the last week that was a very rare occurrence.

 

Also pretty recently, I'm adding in more veggies - like I'll usually add a cup or so of veggies to my eggs in the morning, or have butternut squash on the side - but the above is typical of the majority of my W30.

 

So, where should I go from here? Just keep up what I'm doing? Should I cut out carbs more? I'm just hesitant to do that because I suspect my thyroid is not functioining at its best (have several symptoms and lab tests came back normal, but on the lower end of normal) and I heard that's not good for low thyroid, and also I'm breastfeeding. Will adding in exercise (which I plan to do) make a difference? I mean, I'm sure it will for weight loss, but for the rest of my issues? Am I ready for a reintroduction yet? I would like to reintroduce dairy because I can't eat meat for the next week for religious reasons and it would be nice to have some other protein options.

 

Any advice would be appreciated :)

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Have avocados always been a part of your life?  Meaning have you eaten them previously prior to to the whole 30?

 

The reason why I bring up avocados is because your meals on average look good and I'm hard pressed to find any issues with it. Avocados are one of those funny foods.  Some people can eat copious amounts of avocados, others can have a tsp of avocado and they cause immediate bloating and discomfort.  I personally fall into the latter category.  Bloating (pregnant food belly), constipation and explosive diarrhea ensue.  (Sorry TMI, I know)

 

After re-reading your post some other thoughts:

I am not sure on the size or quantity of everything given.  Your meal 1 looks a little small.  Low on veggies.  Also most fat gets left behind in the pan.

Raw veggies if eaten often may cause digestion problems.  

Salads if consumed as your sole vegetable source for a meal should be huge - think mixing bowl size.  Think of greens all wilted down don't equate to much.

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Yes, I love avocados. Can't remember having any issues with them in the past. Also, as it happens I haven't had any this past week and I'm still constipated.

 

Re sizes, I usually eat between 1-2 cups of veggies at lunch and dinner. Often closer to 1 cup towards the beginning, closer to 2 now.

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If you are breastfeeding in any capacity, you should be eating four full meals.  Those meals should consist of around 3 cups of cooked veggies, each.  Lettuce salad, when chewed, is nothing unless your salads are mixing-bowl-huge.  Like the amount you would make to take to a party...all for you.

 

All those cooked veggies (6-9 cups a day) should help with elimination when combined with the water recommendations.  Which...by the way, are for the average, sedentary, non nursing person.  So your 100 ounces should actually be much more than that. 

 

The low energy/short fuse can all be attributed to not eating enough, it's something worth trying if you are going to continue with Whole30-style.  Eat more.

 

Did you find the digestive issues started to clear up at all later in your Whole30 when you eliminated/reduced the nuts?  Nuts are notorious for causing digestive issues.

 

Also be advised that if you do have an undiagnosed thyroid issue that it puts you in a different place than if you didn't.  Maybe when you tried the Perlmutter thing your thyroid was healthier? Regardless, the human body can make minute revisions that, separately, do not show up but when combined over enough time, come together as tangible healing.

 

Also know that weight loss isn't a caloric equation nor is it overly related to "low carb".  It's a hormone balance and body trust thing and only when everything is in line and feeling safe and happy, does healthy weight loss occur.

 

Don't fret, if I were you I would try to keep going with a few tweaks.

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Not drinking enough (especially with the intense heat) could be the reason why your migraines are worse. Please make an effort to drink at least 1/2 an ounce of water per pound of body weight, daily.

And 7 lbs lost over 30 days  is nothing to sneeze at.   That's an average of 1.75 lbs per week, which is a nice steady pace of weight loss: one that tends to work well in keeping weight off.

As far as next steps, that depends on your overall goals.  If you decide to continue, maybe test dairy now, go through your religious meat fast and then resume the Whole30 (or riding your own bike) afterward?

 

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If you are breastfeeding in any capacity, you should be eating four full meals.  Those meals should consist of around 3 cups of cooked veggies, each.  Lettuce salad, when chewed, is nothing unless your salads are mixing-bowl-huge.  Like the amount you would make to take to a party...all for you.

 

All those cooked veggies (6-9 cups a day) should help with elimination when combined with the water recommendations.  Which...by the way, are for the average, sedentary, non nursing person.  So your 100 ounces should actually be much more than that. 

 

The low energy/short fuse can all be attributed to not eating enough, it's something worth trying if you are going to continue with Whole30-style.  Eat more.

 

Did you find the digestive issues started to clear up at all later in your Whole30 when you eliminated/reduced the nuts?  Nuts are notorious for causing digestive issues.

 

Also be advised that if you do have an undiagnosed thyroid issue that it puts you in a different place than if you didn't.  Maybe when you tried the Perlmutter thing your thyroid was healthier? Regardless, the human body can make minute revisions that, separately, do not show up but when combined over enough time, come together as tangible healing.

 

Also know that weight loss isn't a caloric equation nor is it overly related to "low carb".  It's a hormone balance and body trust thing and only when everything is in line and feeling safe and happy, does healthy weight loss occur.

 

Don't fret, if I were you I would try to keep going with a few tweaks.

 

There is no way I can eat 3 cups of veggies at a time. No way. I will be force-feeding myself. Is that really a good idea?!

And EVEN MORE water??? Please tell me you're kidding?

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There is no way I can eat 3 cups of veggies at a time. No way. I will be force-feeding myself. Is that really a good idea?!

And EVEN MORE water??? Please tell me you're kidding?

Haha, sorry, not kidding.  But you don't have to start this very second and make yourself vomit, you can work up to it.  ;)

 

The templates are really the absolute minimum that you should be eating. As Carla said, there is nothing inherently wrong with your meals but the fact that you are still having issues is leading to a troubleshooting diagnosis.  And for women who are breastfeeding, they need more than people who aren't.  That doesn't necessarily come in the form of veggies, you could increase your fats and proteins and see if that helps with your tired/cranky.  

 

But more veggies and more water may help with your digestion and constipation, it's worth trying.

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And 7 lbs lost over 30 days  is nothing to sneeze at.   That's an average of 1.75 lbs per week, which is a nice steady pace of weight loss: one that tends to work well in keeping weight off.

 

Seven pounds in a month is grounds for celebration for anyone. For someone who is breastfeeding, this is AMAZING! When you're nursing, your body is focused on making sure that your little one has enough to eat and that means hanging on to calories (i.e. fat). The fact that your body is nourished enough to feel "safe" to let go of that extra weight is freaking HUGE and a sign that you're on the right path. Breastfeeding women often take months and months to drop any kind of appreciable weight due to the above. Your body doesn't care about your weight goals or how you want to look. Its one and only focus is the survival of you and your little one.

 

I would caution against trying to reduce your carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are important for nursing, important for female physiology in general, and important to support your thyroid and adrenals. I would worry about potentially sabotaging your success and further killing your energy and mood if you reduce your carb intake.

 

I would suggest you keep doing what you're doing, but start paying more attention to when your migraines/headaches and tummy aches are occuring. Look at those symptoms in relation to what you've eaten recently. You may still be eating foods that you're sensitive to like eggs, nightshades, or nuts. Try to focus more on cooked vegetables instead of all the salad greens. Salads are great, but raw vegetables can be hard on your stomach and can lead to constipation for some folks.

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Seven pounds in a month is grounds for celebration for anyone. For someone who is breastfeeding, this is AMAZING! When you're nursing, your body is focused on making sure that your little one has enough to eat and that means hanging on to calories (i.e. fat). The fact that your body is nourished enough to feel "safe" to let go of that extra weight is freaking HUGE and a sign that you're on the right path. Breastfeeding women often take months and months to drop any kind of appreciable weight due to the above. Your body doesn't care about your weight goals or how you want to look. Its one and only focus is the survival of you and your little one.

 

I would caution against trying to reduce your carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are important for nursing, important for female physiology in general, and important to support your thyroid and adrenals. I would worry about potentially sabotaging your success and further killing your energy and mood if you reduce your carb intake.

 

I would suggest you keep doing what you're doing, but start paying more attention to when your migraines/headaches and tummy aches are occuring. Look at those symptoms in relation to what you've eaten recently. You may still be eating foods that you're sensitive to like eggs, nightshades, or nuts. Try to focus more on cooked vegetables instead of all the salad greens. Salads are great, but raw vegetables can be hard on your stomach and can lead to constipation for some folks.

 

Thanks for the encouragement. I've read so many accounts of people dropping 15, 20, even 30 lbs in a month on W30 that I guess I was just expecting more...

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Thanks for the encouragement. I've read so many accounts of people dropping 15, 20, even 30 lbs in a month on W30 that I guess I was just expecting more...

 

You might want to read through this article. Your W30 is your W30, and your results were great. Try not to think about those other people, whose stories unfortunately stand out the most, but who really don't seem to be the norm at all.

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I feel very similar to you! Today is day 31 and I got on the scale to see I lost 10 pounds, which I am somewhat ambivalent about, was hoping for more, but okay with it overall.  I am not sure to continue the plan or if I should start to re-introduce.  I have experienced some positive and some negative results.  On the pro list, I am sleeping better, getting more sleep and less restless legs and arms at night.  I do not have cravings and don't often feel very hungry.  The cons list is: My skin has been in some form of breakout since day 3 (I didn't have skin problems before).  I have WAY less energy.  I also have incorporated a new workout plan and have to PUSH myself constantly to do it.  I wake up feeling very groggy and foggy often.  I have done an elimination diet in the past and saw good results, however this was similar except that you could also have gluten free grains, like brown rice, quinoa, etc.  I am going to try and reintroduce those first to see how they help with my energy.  I read other posts that said my skin condition could be from increased nuts in my diet, so I am thinking about also cutting those out.  I am not ready to completely throw in the towel, but also somewhat discouraged as I had lost 21 pounds in 3 weeks on the other elim diet.  I would appreciate any feedback.

 

Thanks!

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I feel very similar to you! Today is day 31 and I got on the scale to see I lost 10 pounds, which I am somewhat ambivalent about, was hoping for more, but okay with it overall.  I am not sure to continue the plan or if I should start to re-introduce.  I have experienced some positive and some negative results.  On the pro list, I am sleeping better, getting more sleep and less restless legs and arms at night.  I do not have cravings and don't often feel very hungry.  The cons list is: My skin has been in some form of breakout since day 3 (I didn't have skin problems before).  I have WAY less energy.  I also have incorporated a new workout plan and have to PUSH myself constantly to do it.  I wake up feeling very groggy and foggy often.  I have done an elimination diet in the past and saw good results, however this was similar except that you could also have gluten free grains, like brown rice, quinoa, etc.  I am going to try and reintroduce those first to see how they help with my energy.  I read other posts that said my skin condition could be from increased nuts in my diet, so I am thinking about also cutting those out.  I am not ready to completely throw in the towel, but also somewhat discouraged as I had lost 21 pounds in 3 weeks on the other elim diet.  I would appreciate any feedback.

 

Thanks!

Sorry you're feeling the way you do.

On the energy front, not eating enough, not keeping hydrated enough, lack of sleep, stress, and lack of starchy vegetables might be culprits. For folks here to best help you, create a new thread in this section and post 2-3 days worth of your typical Whole30 log including portion sizes, daily water consumption, nightly hours of sleep, exercise routine and current level of stress. That data can help us give you more specific feedback.

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So apparently I read the scale wrong, I weighed myself in a dark-ish room and thought a 5 was an 8. So I lost more like 10 lbs. Which for some strange reason makes me feel a lot better :rolleyes:

 

In other news, I had 3 cups of veggies for breakfast this morning!

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Question: You measure the veggies BEFORE cooking, not after, right?

 

I'd measure after, as I'm plating the food. Although I don't really "measure" so much as I eyeball it and make sure I have a bunch. Like,1/2 - 3/4 of the plate-ish. On a standard 10-inch dinner plate. A bunch. (And if you don't hit that every single meal, it's okay -- but aim for it at most of your meals.)

 

Honestly, though, if three cups raw vegetables that you then cook and serve is more than you were eating yesterday, it's great! I only say after cooking because some things cook down so much. Like spinach or kale -- you fill up the pan with them, and end up with like a cup of vegetables once they're cooked.

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I'd measure after, as I'm plating the food. Although I don't really "measure" so much as I eyeball it and make sure I have a bunch. Like,1/2 - 3/4 of the plate-ish. On a standard 10-inch dinner plate. A bunch. (And if you don't hit that every single meal, it's okay -- but aim for it at most of your meals.)

 

Honestly, though, if three cups raw vegetables that you then cook and serve is more than you were eating yesterday, it's great! I only say after cooking because some things cook down so much. Like spinach or kale -- you fill up the pan with them, and end up with like a cup of vegetables once they're cooked.

Right, that's why I was wondering! So I sauteed 3 cups total raw of red pepper, mushroom and onions and I'm sure cooked it would have measured less, but it WAS about 1/2 of my plate.

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Right, that's why I was wondering! So I sauteed 3 cups total raw of red pepper, mushroom and onions and I'm sure cooked it would have measured less, but it WAS about 1/2 of my plate.

 

Things that don't shrink as much, not as big a deal. It still ended up as 1/2 your plate, which is great!

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See the Meal Template. Your plate should look similar. 1 - 2 palm sized portions of meat and fill the rest of your plate with vegetables.

 

So your half a plate of cooked veggies was good.

 

Leafy greens are wonderful and you should eat them, but it takes a LOT to fill you up and let's say you measured out 2 cups of baby spinach, then cooked it. It would be about 4 Tablespoons. Definitely not enough to count as "filling the rest of your plate with vegetables." Yes, you still get nutrients, but not enough.

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