likelaiks

Late Stage of Whole30 - inflammation/bloat?

Recommended Posts

I've read a million topics on this but am still confused by my whole30 experience so far...the first two weeks I experienced none of the negative effects (no carb flu, no 'kill all the things') and felt incredibly lean, as if I could physically see chronic inflammation subsiding in my stomach, arms, and face. However, the past 10 days I have had awful on-and-off bloating and generally feel like I look exactly as I did on day 1. I'm discouraged, especially since I was so excited about my progress at the halfway point! I keep psyching myself out thinking I'm eating too much or just "doing it wrong". Would love any advice or encouragement--here's some background and food info: 

 

- I'm 5'9", ~150 lbs pre-W30 with a good amount of muscle, so I'm not expecting significant weight loss.

- Currently training for a 1/2 marathon, running short to mid distance ~3x a week and doing HIIT/strength training ~2-3x a week. 

- I generally get 7-8 hours of sleep a night and energy levels are typically good.

- Throughout my whole30 work has been much more stressful than usual due to upcoming deadlines for a big project I'm managing. I've noticed my stress response is much more pronounced than I'm used to (crying, shaking, splitting headaches etc), and I think this might be related to me not using food as comfort in difficult situations...so I guess it's a good thing? But still odd. 

 

Sample food logs

 

(I workout @ 6:30 am, breakfast directly after @ work -- I've tried preWO protein and can't stomach it) 

 

M1: slice of frittata with sweet potato, spinach, chicken sausage and ~2 eggs, 1/4 avocado, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1 cup coffee

M2: 6-8 oz roast chicken, raw pecans and 1/4 sliced apple on mixed greens with balsamic dressing, rest of the apple with ~2 tbsp almond butter

M3: zucchini noodles from 2 zucchinis, 1/2 almond meal crusted chicken breast, 2 fried eggs, all cooked in coconut oil 

 

M1: 2 hard boiled eggs, 1/2 roast chicken breast, 1 big sweet potato with 1 tbsp almond butter, 1 cup coffee

M2: Curry chicken salad with homemade mayo + chopped mac nuts on mixed greens, apple with 2 tbsp almond butter 

M3: 4 egg omelet with 1/2 roast chicken breast, 1 cup broccoli, guacamole, salsa, and 1/2 cup plantain chips

 

I know the daily apple and almond butter could be a red flag, but I had no issues with them during the first two weeks of whole30 and find that they completely eliminate my need to snack between 12pm lunch and a 7pm dinner, which is miraculous as I used to put away 1/2 a family sized bag of kettle corn, a few oreos, and handfuls of swedish fish around 3pm on most work days...

 

Anything stand out that might be the culprit? Or is this inflamed, day-1 feeling just part of the process for some people? Thanks!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting inflamed late in the 30 days suggests the issue is not food. Maybe it is the stress. The few things you might do to rule out the likelihood of the issue being food would be to eliminate all nuts and nut butters. 

 

I don't think you are eating enough. You are working out 5-6 times per week and adding no food to account for the extra energy demands. You are eating light for a sedentary person and you are very likely undernourished for an an active person. This might be causing physiological stress. You need post-workout meals and they are best consumed immediately after you complete a workout. We say there is a "window of opportunity" to feed hungry muscles within 30 minutes of completing a workout. The best approach is to eat fast digesting lean protein as soon as you catch your breath so that there is time for the protein to reach your muscles before the window closes. Note: The window of opportunity is really longer than 30 minutes, but if you wait longer than 30 minutes to eat, the protein probably won't reach your muscles in time to achieve its ideal effect. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In addition to Tom's on-point feedback, consider dropping the nuts, nut butters, almond meal, etc..  Nuts are to be used on a limited basis only on a Whole30, and can cause bloat for some.

Same comment on raw greens/vegetables, in that they can also cause bloat. Try switching to all cooked veggies.

 

How much water are you drinking daily?  For you, we'd recommend at least 75 oz daily (1/2 oz water per pound of body weight)

 

Side note: The plantain chips: did you make those or are they commercially prepared? (The latter is off limits on a Whole30, and the former is out if you made them and they were deep fried.)


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, appreciate the feedback! 

 

Tom - 

It's totally possible that the bloat is really stress related, but it's a foreign concept to me since pre-whole30 I had always been bloated on a regular basis :P 

For postWO meals, I figured my breakfast would be sufficient since I'm typically done with my workout by 7:30 and in the office heating up my food by 8? Should I add a hard boiled egg directly after, or just increase the overall size of my breakfast instead? 

As for the food intake, I'm shocked to hear that I might not be eating enough...I've been feeling like I'm overeating past "comfortably full" pretty regularly, partly because I really want to avoid snacking. If anything I thought my meals were too big and protein heavy! Any advice for getting even more food in? 

 

GFChris - 

I'm hesitant to remove nuts altogether since they reliably keep me satisfied, and I don't eat them in a "snackable", food-with-no-brakes way...but I guess I may have an unhealthy relationship with them if I'm this nervous to give them up!! I can only stomach so much avocado before I feel ill, and I don't feel like I can get enough fat from eggs, meat, and coconut oil alone, but I'll give it a try! Ditto with the raw veggies, but I'm curious how bloat related to nuts or raw veggies could suddenly appear after 2 weeks with no problems? 

For water intake I usually get 60-75 oz, with ~15-20 of those coming from sparkling water...I know sparkling water can distend my stomach a bit, but I don't think it could contribute to my whole-body bloated feeling. I could probably drink more, though. 

And the plantain chips are baked in the oven...I don't feel totally in control with my portions on them though, so I should probably cut em out as well :(

 

Might be tough figuring out how to increase my food intake while cutting out a few of my standbys! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It could be a cumulative effect on the bloat: you've been essentially eating some form of nuts at two meals a day, and salads twice a day.

Also, the carbonated water is probably not doing you any favors.

Don't use a hard boiled egg post WO: the post WO recommendation is protein and optional carby veg, no fat. The yolk is a fat. Egg whites would work here for your protein. Chicken and sweet potato is a popular post wo option.

On getting more food in, if you switch from salads to 1-3 cups of cooked veggies, that may help, along with adding a post workout meal

Other fats instead of nuts: olives, homemade mayo, sauces made from mayo or olive oil, coconut milk/oil are additional considerations. When you use an avocado, have at least 1/2 of it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been known to cook several hard boiled eggs and eat a few yolks as a PreWO meal and the whites after as my postWO meal.

^ Yup. This!! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am sorry about your anxiety and stress levels. Stress can do horrible things to the body, I know from experience. My stress and anxiety reactions like to migrate from one part of my body to another, just so all of me gets effected. :)  I started out with anxiety young and ended up getting an upper GI b/c my stomach hurt all the time and we couldn't figure out why, then it decided to go and give me horrid headaches and migraines. Then it morphed to upper back trigger points that end up giving me a laundry list of issues. Next it decided to nestle in my neck and cause ocular migraines that basically messed with my vision and made part of my body numb, I ended up getting an MRI to rule anything out, and the neurologist confirmed what I had suspected. Now, I am onto a fun combination of headaches, brain fog, dizziness, fatigue, crying, racing heart and depression. I am working on it and it is partially why I started W30...but I can say, that if I end up crying a lot, I get really bloaty from sucking in so much air and swallowing it. 

 

Sorry for the long response just for that, but I wanted you to be fully aware of how anxiety can mess with you, and I don't want to see other people have to go through what I have. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

Hoping someone can help!

Am on day 24 ...with zero results, so very confused...even AFTER making more adjustments (trying to figure out what the issue is!)

1)  Severe (not like the "ads" for bloating, I mean literally should-have-given-birth-two-months-ago) bloating - from my pubic bone to my rib cage.

2)  Skin is broken out as if I were 13 again. (I am 58, and haven't had skin problems since being in my twenties)

3)  Not sleeping well at all (waking up in the middle of the night - can't get back to sleep), which is odd, considering I have been taking Ambien (severe insomnia my entire life) for more than 15 years without issue.

4)  Fatigued & "weak" .... even walking up and down the stairs to do laundry (or carrying laundry) makes me breathe hard.

5)  I "look" horrible, bad skin, bloat, am certain I am gaining weight (haven't looked, though.)

6)  I am constipated.  (I don' like this one, especially since I had a sigmoid resection in 2004)

On Day 11, I removed all NIGHTSHADES and ALL NUTS

On Day 14, I removed all FODMAPS, ALL FRUIT and AVOCADO

On Day 17, I removed EGGS & COCONUT

On Day 20, I started taking magnesium glycinate 120 mg (Pure Encapsulations), TWO with each meal & before bed (8 per day).

I drink 70-100 ounces of water per day (I weigh 135 lbs).

Typical meals...

Breakfast:     Black coffee (ONE cup per day) / bone broth with spinach & chicken / black olives

Lunch:     Chicken (baked, stir fried, ground) / chicken stock / zucchini / green beans / half sweet potato with ghee (once per few days) / green olives

Dinner:     Chuck-eye Steak (grilled), a couple times per week - usually chicken or turkey / stir fried kale / steamed carrots / black olives

This is exactly the same everyday...just changing the veggies & protein around from lunch to dinner to breakfast...

My food list is down to:   

chicken or beef, bone broth or chicken stock, green beans, kale, spinach, zucchini, carrots, cucumbers (sparingly), sweet potato (sparingly), green olives, black olives.  I drink one cup of black coffee per day and only water the rest of the day.  "Seasonings" are down to: sea salt, ground pepper, oregano and parsley.  I use EVOO, coconut oil or ghee only.

Seriously... I don't know what more I can do...

Any suggestions?

Thank you so much.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would almost hazard a guess that you are not eating enough food. What are your actual portions like? How much actual vegetables are you eating? Eating too little can cause bloating and constipation for sure.

What did you eat before Whole30? Sample of a day?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Ladyshanny for a response...

Well, I am not eating huggggge portions...but I would say I am a pretty solid eater... I have never been accused of eating too little....lol.   

Before Whole30,  I never ate breakfast...would start my first meal about 1pm (was just never hungry)...would eat probably cold chicken, or soup, veggies, maybe fruit.  I would eat "junk" if it was in the house  - most times, I just don't buy it because my sugar dragon could be insane.  Ps. - I have had ZERO problem giving up sugar, fruit, nuts, ...really not even on day one...I didn't have any cravings - I just attributed that to my "being ready" to do this.  

Dinner would typically be beef, chicken, occasionally pizza made with zucchini or cauliflower crust...

Drink once or twice per week...never too much.  Usually straight tequila or vodka..or red wine.

I drink a green juice that I make (kale or spinach, cucumber, celery, ginger and lemon)...which USUALLY makes a real difference in my mental clarity, energy, etc...

Sometimes (which I have been "good" for about 4 years), I will over eat sweets... gluten free cookies, cakes, etc (all home made by me)

I have been gluten free for about 4 years (except when it's been an unknown)...due to bloating issues... or so I thought.  Now I'm wondering, what the heck?  Still have the bloating!

That's why this is so odd to me... I surely thought it was either sugar (I would say I could be an "addict" over it), or all the rice flour & sugar (from the gluten free products).  Even fruit I suspected.

But to be this strict (again "weird" thing - I have had absolutely zero problem giving up any of these foods), I am really down to very few ingredients, and not see any results - is quite strange...

Oh,  I had done Paleo several years back and remember the bloating going down within days...and I ate cheese, eggs, etc...which is why I had such high hopes doing this.

Thanks for listening.. 

I will definitely try eating larger portions... but honestly, 3 cups of spinach, or an entire zucchini, or 3 cups of soup (homemade bone broth, spinach, ground turkey,etc)... I wouldn't suspect it to be "under" eating.

Another thing...I convinced my partner to do this with me, and her results are great...and she is eating Larabars for breakfast, SNACKING (lol), eating fruit by itself, eating a ton of nuts, etc...all things I am not even touching!    I do all the cooking - and I even do mine separate, so as not to add any nightshades, fodmaps, nuts, coconut, etc...

Anything else you notice - please feel free to say... I am open to any suggestions.  I am determined to get this figured out once and for all!

Smrty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello...

I am actually on day 27...but this is the most recent blog I can find on bloating...(in addition to the bloating/constipation.. I have experience excruciating lethargy, headaches, distrupted sleep, etc.).  I expected some stuff - but certainly not this late into it.

I have had serious bloat (LARGE, from pubic bone to breastbone), every day ...  I started this program with no problem emotionally - had no issue giving up any foods, very rarely hungry, no cravings...which I just attributed to my being "ready" to do this.

My meals were good.. except in the first week,  guess I misunderstood about breakfast being mandatory & not eating fruit alone.. so I rectified that as soon as I re-read the book.

NO results...serious bloat, headaches, debilitating fatigue, foggy brain, waking up in the night)...so

On day 11:  Eliminated nightshades, 

On day 13:  Eliminated fodmaps, all nuts, shredded coconut, coconut milk & all fruit.

On day 16:  Eliminated eggs (including home made mayo)

On day 18:  Added magnesium glycinate

Pure Encapsulations: 

Supplement Facts
1 capsule contains:
Magnesium (as magnesium glycinate) 120mg
Other Ingredients: ascorbyl palmitate, vegetarian capsule (cellulose, water).
Contains NO: artificial additives, allergens, GMOs, environmental contaminants or added excipients.

Recommended Use: 
Adults: As a dietary supplement, take 1 to 4 capsules per day, in divided doses, with meals.

(I am taking 2-6 per day)

On day  24: Eliminated bone broth & green olives (histamines??)

On day 26:  I couldn't take it anymore....

I am literally down to:

Proteins: chicken/turkey/beef

Vegetables:  spinach/kale/carrots/green onions (only green part), occasional sweet potato

Fats:  Evoo/coconut oil/ghee/black olives... even DRINKING the olive oil to get plenty of fat.

Plenty-of-water:  70-100 ounces per day (room temperature) ..  I weigh 135.

So, I did a Vit C flush (https://beyondhealth.com/media/wysiwyg/kadro/articles/vitc-flush.pdf)

(which I have done in the past)... it took 14 doses (just over 2000mg per dose)...before I was at the required result...SUCH relief...if you get my drift...

Day 27:  due to the 'flush', my abdomen is 1/2 the size.. (FINALLY & Thankfully).

This is the FIRST day I don't feel lethargic / moody / hugely bloated (since the flush obviously).

So, today I started with:

REINTRODUCED (after 8 days) 2 pasture raised (local) eggs fried in evoo, sauteed spinach (3 cups), black coffee infused with ghee & coconut oil

*immediately after eating - had post nasal drip.  (I actually removed eggs last week because I was waking up every morning with puffy eyes and thought...maybe...eggs?)

Lunch:  pan fried steak / steamed spiralized zucchini / drank olive oil

It is only 1:30 pm, so only breakfast & lunch so far.

BLOATING is back....sigh...

CLEARLY....being "constipated" is the issue, as the Vitamin C FLush worked...  but why the bloating ALREADY today?

Like I stated earlier... I have done this in the past...  But my hope was - that eating this way (Whole30), would eliiminate (no pun intended) the NEED to do the Flush.

Would be nice to just eat and not have to wear a mumu... I mean... feeling good and being able to wear something other than a maternity top & leggings (I am 58 mind you) , is the goal... I don't feel "good" as of yet.

I ate pretty healthy previous Whole30, but would be in trouble occasionally with sugars...cakes, cookies & such, foods with rice, etc. (all GF, but still way too much), and would even say addiction, because if it's in the house...I eat it...and can't seem to stop.  So for the most part - not in the house.

Any ideas going forward?

Thank you to anyone that can give suggestions...

Smrty

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Smrtygirl,

The pubic bone to rib cage bloating you described is consistent with dysbiosis seen in SIBO and SIFO if you also have digestive issues. The small intestines immediately below the breast bone may be noticeably inflamed. Given your history of moderate alcohol consumption and regularly eating GF high sugar and high carb snacks, you could have either an overgrowth of yeast in the bowels or an overgrowth of bad bacteria, or both. 30% of people with IBS and bloat have both. 

Changing your diet causes gut flora changes that can lead to temporary problems, even if there were no noticeable gut issues before now. You can search the web for protocols on restoring gut health. The first step is to remove all sugar and alcohol, and introduce herbal treatments like Oregano Oil that kill both yeast and bad bacteria until symptoms subside. The second step is to introduce probiotics, naturally fermented food, and high-fiber food to establish good bacteria in the gut. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Lime LaCroix... I have (obviously) been off sugar & alcohol for 27 days (will continue until I get this resolved!).  And definitely will look into Oregano Oil... 

I have tried probiotics many times in the past with no results.   I have also tried digestive enzymes for 3 months straight without results...although I suppose it could have been brands in both of these cases...

Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you do have SIBO, probiotics will either have no effect or make the problem worse until the bad bacteria overgrowth is in check. There is a bacteria called clostridium difficile (c diff) that frequently causes constipation. This is a real medical problem that goes beyond simply dietary advice, so it could be worth a visit to a GI specialist if you don't get relief soon. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am quite sure it is not C-diff..   

  • Watery diarrhea 10 to 15 times a day
  • Abdominal cramping and pain, which may be severe
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fever
  • Blood or pus in the stool
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Swollen abdomen

swollen abdomen is the only symptom that matches.  It is definitely constipation as the 'Vitamin C Flush' works any time I have needed it to...

As far as alcohol is concerned...it really was not even "moderate"...  more like occasionally...  anyway.. 

The 'Vitamin C Flush' was done on Day 26...(took 14 "doses" to get the required result per protocol). 

Woke up with at least 1/2 the bloat gone.  As soon as I ate breakfast....came back.   The reality is...ANYTHING  I eat causes severe bloat...not "slight" bloat..FULL ON.

Die off???   Should die off last this long?

I am down to chicken / cooked green beans / baby spinach.

Day 28.  Feeling pretty defeated. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Smrtygirl said:

I am quite sure it is not C-diff..   

  • Watery diarrhea 10 to 15 times a day
  • Abdominal cramping and pain, which may be severe
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fever
  • Blood or pus in the stool
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Swollen abdomen

swollen abdomen is the only symptom that matches.  It is definitely constipation as the 'Vitamin C Flush' works any time I have needed it to...

As far as alcohol is concerned...it really was not even "moderate"...  more like occasionally...  anyway.. 

The 'Vitamin C Flush' was done on Day 26...(took 14 "doses" to get the required result per protocol). 

Woke up with at least 1/2 the bloat gone.  As soon as I ate breakfast....came back.   The reality is...ANYTHING  I eat causes severe bloat...not "slight" bloat..FULL ON.

Die off???   Should die off last this long?

I am down to chicken / cooked green beans / baby spinach.

Day 28.  Feeling pretty defeated. 

THis is not a normal reaction to eating - Go to the Doctor please.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello.

Day 33 here..  

No improvements...   5'5", 135.... still 135.

In addition to the Whole30 rules,

I eliminated:   Nightshades / FODMAPS / All fruit / All nuts / Coconut (milk, cream & shredded) / Avocado / Olives / Eggs

I added Magnesium Glycinate (good brand)  6 - 12 pills per day.

I drink 1 cup of black coffee (with 1 tsp ghee & 1 tsp coconut oil) per day

I drink 100 oz water

My partner did this with me (without all the eliminations).  She also "cheated"every.single.day.  (Has a Larabar & banana everyday for breakfast.  Snacks on nuts, fruit....and is not even the minimal amount of fat) - and is feeling great, has energy, lost weight, etc.

Skin is worse.

Fatigue is worse.

Sleep is worse.

Have had constipation and severe bloating since day one.

Yesterday, I started:

- Organic free range chicken (whole) boiled, in stock from the chicken (cooked no more than 3 hours), with boiled vegetables (green beans / spinach / carrots / bean sprouts / green onions) with only sea salt for seasoning. 

3 x day.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you.

Smrtygirl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Smrtygirl said:

Hello.

Day 33 here..  

No improvements...   5'5", 135.... still 135.

In addition to the Whole30 rules,

I eliminated:   Nightshades / FODMAPS / All fruit / All nuts / Coconut (milk, cream & shredded) / Avocado / Olives / Eggs

I added Magnesium Glycinate (good brand)  6 - 12 pills per day.

I drink 1 cup of black coffee (with 1 tsp ghee & 1 tsp coconut oil) per day

I drink 100 oz water

My partner did this with me (without all the eliminations).  She also "cheated"every.single.day.  (Has a Larabar & banana everyday for breakfast.  Snacks on nuts, fruit....and is not even the minimal amount of fat) - and is feeling great, has energy, lost weight, etc.

Skin is worse.

Fatigue is worse.

Sleep is worse.

Have had constipation and severe bloating since day one.

Yesterday, I started:

- Organic free range chicken (whole) boiled, in stock from the chicken (cooked no more than 3 hours), with boiled vegetables (green beans / spinach / carrots / bean sprouts / green onions) with only sea salt for seasoning. 

3 x day.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you.

Smrtygirl

Go to the doctor.  That was my advice previous.  If changing what you're eating is not changing how you're feeling, then go to the doctor.

I've moved your post to this thread to keep the consistency of the conversation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, definitely not.  However, if you're down to eating boiled chicken 3x a day with three vegetables and you're still feeling terrible and having these types of issues, then you should go see a doctor.  It only STARTS with food and this is not a normal reaction to doing the Whole30.  By all means if someone else has any advice for you, I would hope they give it, but if you've already eliminated everything we would suggest you eliminate to try and find the problem and that hasn't worked, then it's not unreasonable for us to suggest you see a doctor.

It's likely that you're tired and your sleep is bad if you're not eating enough which it sounds like you're not because you also don't have fat in your boiled chicken and veggies meals.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay... my hope for reaching out is that maybe SOMEONE ELSE has had these same issues and FOUND RESOLVE and would be able to SHARE it with those of us struggling to find answers...  I felt that was the point of the forum.

I am eating this homemade chicken stock (with boiled chicken/boiled veggies (spinach/carrots/green beans/green onions/sea salt) 

3 x day, and DRINKING at least 1/4 cup of evoo with every large bowl.  I have a black coffee with ghee & coconut oil (one cup in the morning).

So, I don't believe I am lacking any fat. 

I will give this a full week or so to see if there is improvement.  (The theory here is maybe "resting" the bowel.) 

I felt this was the best way to get consistent protein, fat & veggies at every meal and keeping it to a minimal ingredient list would be easy on the bowel.

Starting today (had to order)...

Adding:  Betaine HCL / Pepsin

               Oil of oregano

               Neem Leaf

               Chinese Coptis

               Aloe Vera

               Candida Cleanse (Purely Holistic)

Day 34.

Again, just looking for people who may have had similar journeys

If you only allow me to post on "one" day's forum (this one - 'Day 24') you limit my access to only those who are searching for Day 24 results.

Thanks.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now