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Despondent after Whole60


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In the past, I have completed two Whole30s before and I absolutely loved them. I felt incredible and lost 4kg (8.8lbs) both times. However, I got very off-track after completing my second Whole30 and gained back the 8kg I had lost, plus a few extra kilograms to put me at my highest weight in a long time. I was feeling awful so I decided to do the programme again.


Because I wanted to shed quite a bit of weight, I decided to do a Whole60 this time. I knew at the start that I shouldn't expect to lose 8kg in 60 days (even though I lost 4kg in 30 days) but I was hoping to lose about 6kg during my Whole60. Well, I've just finished and I lost a measly 3kg. I know it's not about weight and I should be focusing on non scale victories but I can't help feeling despondent, disappointed and confused. How could I lose less weight in 60 days than I did in 30 days? I have maintained the same exercise routine and ate the same foods as I did before. I have PCOS so I know that losing weight will always be challenging for me, but it really seems like something went wrong here. I'm feeling very down and wondering if anyone has any advice? Would really appreciate it!

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You're not the same person now as you were when you did your previous Whole30's so it's entirely possible that what you ate then just won't work for you now... You could be more stressed, you could be sleeping less, you might not be composing your meals effectively for your activity levels, you might not be including pre and/or postWO meals when you should...

If you post a few days worth of your typical food/liquid intake, indicating portion sizes, along with activity/sleep/stress levels we can take a look and see of there are any tweaks that you could make going forward.


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Thanks for responding so quickly - really appreciate it! I see what you're saying about not being the same person, but it hasn't even been that long since my last attempts! My first was October 2014 and my second was April 2015... just a few months ago. Typically my meals are something like this



Green tea or 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar diluted in a glass of water

2 eggs (boiled or scrambled), 1 cup of roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts, handful of tomatoes 


2 eggs, 1/4 avocado, handful of tomatoes


2 eggs, handful of tomatoes, one sausage 



Green salad with 1/3 of a roasted aubergine, 1/4 - 1/2 avocado, 4-5 olives, small handful almonds, tomatoes, cucumber, tahini


leftovers from supper (below)



Beef meatballs with courgette 'noodles' and a tomatoey sauce (homemade)


Thai chicken curry with cauliflower 'mash' 


Bolognese with mashed or roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts


Lamb chops (1 or 2), salad with avocado, tomatoes, olives, almonds (olive oil and lemon juice dressing)


Sometimes I have 3 or 4 strawberries after supper and if I'm hungry during the day, I occasionally snack on a boiled egg or 1/2 avocado or crudite (celery, carrots, mange tout) or biltong (dried, cured meat - similar to beef jerky). 

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Ok.... you're not eating enough.

When eggs are your only source of a protein in a meal a serving is the number of whole eggs you can hold in one hand, which is 3-4 for most females. Eat a half an avocado rather than a quarter, and don't forget to add fat on the days the avocado is not included.

Your lunch (when it's salad) mentions no protein - nuts are a fat source on Whole30, as is tahini, and greens when chewed down amount to very little - I'm not surprised at your need to sometimes snack on hard boiled eggs of dried meats on some days.

Your dinners sound better composed, but given the obvious size of your other meals I'm guessing they are too small, and only one meal lists a fat.

There is also no mention of any pre or post WO meals even though you mentioned exercise in your first post.

Restricting food is counter productive as your body fears a famine and goes into survival mode holding on to every morsel it gets.

You also don't mention current levels of stress or sleep - both of which can have a HUGE impact on our weight....

My advice would be to ensure you're getting adequate rest, adequate water (a half an ounce of water per pound of body weight daily), and to eat more in general - but particularly vegetables which you look low on. Depending on your exercise regime you could also benefit from a pre WO meal of a lean protein & some fat, and a post WO meal of a lean protein & a starchy carb - an addition to your standard three template meals...


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Thanks for the feedback, I'll add in some extra protein at meal times and try to eat pre and post WO meals more often than I currently do. I know in theory that restricting food leads to the body going into survival mode but I'm so desperate to lose weight, I was secretly hoping that eating a bit less would speed up the process. I'll definitely implement your advice and see how things go... Thanks! 

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  • 4 months later...

Hi there,


I feel the need to post again because I'm just as frustrated (if not more so) than I was late last year when I first posted. I'm currently nearing the end of my 4th Whole30 in less than 18 months but just like the last Whole30 I did (which was actually 60 days), I haven't lost mucchany wight! Just to give you a bit of context:

  • Whole30 1: lost 4kg (68 to 64kg) then regained weight after Whole30 so that,
  • Whole30 2: lost 4kg (69 to 65kg) then regained again (I have PCOS so I gain weight very easily)
  • Whole 30 3 (60 days): lost 3kg
  • Currently: Whole30 4 - day 22: I know I shouldn't have done it, but I weighed and have only lost 0.5kg. I also know that the number on the scale isn't the most accurate measure but my clothes are absolutely no looser so I feel that the scale might be telling the truth! Current weight 70.5kg

Again, I know that non-scale victories are key and I honestly am feeling the benefits of the programme... I feel pretty good, I don't get afternoon slumps, my skin is clear etc but I tend to feel like that even when I'm not on the programme (I tend to be about 70% Paleo even when I'm not on Whole30) so my goal for this Whole30 (as always) was to lose weight. I don't have unrealistic expectations... I know that PCOS and my body type mean that I'll never be a super slim 55kg woman, but I was hoping at the very least to get nearer to 65kg as I was happy when I was at that weight. I just don't know what's going wrong.


Since my last Whole30, I visited an endocrinologist who took blood results and prescribed supplements: DHEA, Vitamin D and Burnout (for adrenal fatigue), all of which I've read are supposed to help with PCOS/weight loss. I also take Glucophage (1500mg), Wellbutrin (300mg) and Yasmin (for PCOS management).


I am exercising 3 times a week and sleeping 8 hours a night and following Whole30 100%. I eat 3 meals a day and rarely snack (maybe 1-2x per week) and I don't usually feel hungry until meal times.


I am absolutely at my wit's end... I feel like I've tried everything and I'm working so hard but not seeing any results. I'm 25 and I get so upset when I think about the fact that I will probably face this problem my whole life. Everyone I know eats more or less what they want and doesn't struggle with weight. I'm not jealous of them because I don't want to be eating junk food anyway but I'm frustrated that even though I am following Whole30, I still struggle with weight.


Please - any advice would be most appreciated! I am getting so desparate and the lack of progress is devastating.




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I totally understand where you're coming from Juliet. Hang in there.


I'm a lot older than 25 and the one thing I've learned about weight loss is it's completely pointless to compare your losses or your efforts with others, we are different ages, have different health issues and often start our journeys from different baselines.

Some people eat rubbish and look great, but I can tell you as the years go on a lot of those people aren't so healthy and some people are putting in a lot of effort, it's not just easy (making lunch every day, etc). Some rich people are lonely, some poor people are really happy and some people have the cutest puppies. Everyone has some genetic benefits and annoyances (I've always wanted to be tall), but just like being born a rich royal or being born with different coloured hair, don't spend time dwelling on things you can't change. Envy can be a poisonous thing and it can stop you appreciating the good things in your life, as well as being more likely to derail you with constant comparisons (which can have the same stress effect as a nagging scale or even an abusive relationship). Stress is really bad for us, but a lot of traditional weight loss behaviours are actually stressors, undereating, overexercising, being critical of ourselves and our efforts. Don't forget to spend some time thinking about good things your body does or can do (I can walk for longer than just about anyone else I know, not super fast, but good endurance, I can lift heavy stuff and my fingernails grow really fast). Your body will be with you longer than any friend, any family member, any life partner, so make sure you spend some time thinking about the good times together.


Something my doctor would say to you is "imagine if you hadn't been putting all that effort in, what you might be weighing today". Don't think your efforts count for nothing, even if the results aren't what you had hoped. In approx 540 days, you've been on Whole30 for 142 of them and when you're on it, it looks like you're doing pretty well. You actually got to your goal twice :wub:  :wub: if I'm reading your numbers right. I'm not seeing any lack in dedication here, but you might need some tweaks on your post phases if PostWhole30 is undoing all the great progress of your Whole30 times.


How are you eating after Whole30? How did you go with Reintroductions?

I can't see any food log, do you keep one? Have you made any tweaks since you started?

What kind of exercise do you do? What time of day?


I find it really useful to help me track what works and what doesn't (drinking is one of the things I learned I really can't afford in weight loss, if I drank every weekend, I'd just never get anywhere Post Whole30, so drinking is a once or twice a year affair for me).


You can get reviews of your food log on here without waiting until the end (including PostWhole30 or Reintroductions too), sometimes small tweaks make really big differences. I learn new things on here every day. Every. Day.

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Thanks for your encouragment and advice! I know comparing one's self to others is useless and disappointing, but I'm also disappointed when I compare my current self to myself a year or two ago! I'm just struggling to understand why something that worked for me before isn't working now and why I can't seem to get under the 70kg mark this time.


It cheers me up to hear your doctor's advice and it is true, but like I said, I'm incredibly disappointed that I can't get back down to my goal, despite my most valiant efforts.


You're right, my post Whole30 diet isn't always up to scratch. I trained as a chef and work in the food industry so I'm constantly surrounded by the stuff! I am immensely proud of myself as I very often turn down 'treats' (even when I'm not doing a W30) but when I do have a non-Paleo treat, I tend to let things slide a bit far. I haven't managed to perfect the 80/20% concept. I'm more like 100% committed or 0% committed - all or nothing. Obviously I know this is why my weight shoots up after W30s but working in the industry and having food as a passion makes it difficult to stay 100% on track.


I don't keep a food log, but it's not a bad idea and perhaps I will start one. I exercise 3-4 times a week, usually in the evenings, after work/before supper. I usually do a combination of jogging and lifting weights.


Thanks again for your advice. I'll give the food log a go and try to stay positive about the fact that I am healthy and happy, even though I'm a bit overweight.

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For some people the 80/20 doesn't work so if it's not working for you, you may want to do some tweaking.


It sounds like your actual Whole30s are going well, but it's afterwards that the weight comes back on. I was surprised to find a few things *really* impacted my weight, much more than just "calories" which is why I gave up on counting them in the first place, some things just mess around more with my body.


Are you eating your Pre & Post Workout meals?


Are you doing anything different this time around from your first Whole30? (sometimes this question can take awhile to think through)

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I'm also learning that it may start with food, but it's not just about the food. I see so many friends trying this program who will make a "breakfast" of nuts with a handful of blueberries and half a banana. The ingredients are compliant, but the meal template is nonexistent, and vegetables are nowhere to be found.

I'm not saying you do it to this extreme, but if you step back and try to find areas to improve, I bet you can find some. For me, it was implementing a strict 3-meal, no snack, no dessert rule. I think of my choices as VEGETABLES-Meat-fat for every meal. Fruit only served as a condiment with a main course, and nut butters only in recipes. I drink only broth, plain water or herbal tea.

The difference between doing a "strict" W30 like this compared to "what can I get away with in terms of fruit and nuts and snacks, etc" has been very noticeable.

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Thank you both for the feedback. The first two Whole30s I did were extremely strict - limited snacking, limited fruit and no nut butter. But since then, I've become a bit more relaxed (probably too relaxed) and have allowed snacks and more fruit/nut butter than before. I'm still eating a lot of vegetables, but now that I think about it, probably not as much as before.


When I posted my food log, someone said that that I'm not eating enough, but I feel full after each meal and couldn't possibly eat any more in one sitting. That said, I tend to get peckish between meals, especially between lunch and dinner which is when I turn to fruit, nuts/nut butter or beef jerky (biltong).


As for WO meals, I rarely have a pre WO meal because it makes me feel sick to exercise on a full stomach but I usually have dinner or breakfast straight after my workout (depending on time of day obviously).


I know that 'traditional' ideas of losing weight that advocate small meals/calorie cutting, low fat, high carbs etc are outdated but I still worry about eating too much. As I said, I am never hungry after a meal (and stay full for a few hours after meals) and I do think I'm eating quite a bit, so I'm very nervous to start eating more in case it has the opposite effect and I end up gaining weight!

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I think you need to look at the snack side of things, these aren't template and could be holding you back and as you said, this is something you have changed, not what you used to do.


You may want to try a mini meal instead of a snack. Template ratios (no fruit), but snack sized.


For your pre WO meal you don't need a huge meal, some people just have a boiled egg and some mayo. Skipping those extra meals will be keeping you hungry and throwing off your hormones too.

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