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Headaches (Day 17)


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I have read quite a few other chains on this topic, but wanted to get some similar advice/review here. I'm on Day 17 of my 3rd Whole30 and I'm having almost daily headaches. This didn't happen on previous Whole30s. I have a theory that I'm losing body fat and that it's the toxins in the body fat. I mention this crazy idea because I've ruled out some other common explanations:

  • My caffeine intake remains the same (one cup of coffee in the morning, one cup of black tea in late morning)
  • I'm drinking plenty of water (I use the restroom almost every two hours)
  • I think I'm eating enough; I'm also eating as much as I comfortably can in one meal (see log below)
  • I think I'm getting enough carbs (1-2 servings of fruit a day, one serving of starchy veggies a day) 

Any other ideas of what it should be? Going to see my acupuncturist on Saturday to take that approach. Not interested in taking ibuprofen right now. 


Example food:


Breakfast: 3 eggs with 2-3 TB ghee, 1 bell pepper mixed in

Lunch: Huge salad (3-4 cups of lettuce) with chicken (two palms worth), olive oil, a few nuts/seeds for crunch, grapes or an orange

Dinner: Pork and sweet potato stew, side of broccoli


Breakfast: Beef/pork chili and brussels sprouts

Lunch: same as above (every day!)

Dinner: roasted chicken (2 palms worth), half an avocado, bell pepper, kale salad on the side 

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I wonder if you are consuming enough salt. If you avoid salt like many people learn to do when eating processed foods, you will not be getting enough when cooking whole foods. 


Although I doubt you are eating so little that it would cause headaches, I would note the following. The two palms worth of chicken in your lunch means you are probably getting enough food, but four cups of salad takes up very little room in your stomach. It is very difficult to get enough to eat when eating salad because you need to eat a bucket load to get a meaningful amount of food inside of you. So your lunch is heavy on protein and light on veggies. That should not cause a headache, but your balance if off. Your veggies at the breakfast with eggs is light, so I wonder if you are getting enough veggies at other meals. 


Our recommendation for drinking water is 1/2 ounce per pound of body weight, so a 100 pound person would need to drink 50 ounces exclusive of extra water drunk during workout sessions. Restroom frequency is not a metric we use. 

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Thanks, Tom. I'll keep track of water intake and not measure by pee (lol =D). I'll also up the veggies - yay nutrient-density!


Ultrarunner, very interesting ideas. I have switched body lotions. I will switch back for a few days to experiment. 

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It is amazing the number of chemicals that are in our personal care products! In the past 50 years, we have added about 80,000 chemicals to our lives, and only a couple hundred have ever been tested for their effect on humans. I just read an article today from EWG about a new cancer causing agent used in many types of bread, in the US. It has been banned pretty much everywhere else. 


Check out your current body lotion at EWG.org, and see how it is rated.


Hope this helps. I hate having headaches, and I have always had a lot of them!

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sspayne, if you figure it out, please let me know. I am having difficulty sleeping (no coffee after 10 am) and wake with a headache or develop one during the day. This started for me about two weeks ago (Day 21 today).


Typical food day:


B: 3 eggs scrambled in ghee with salsa and either compliant bacon (3 slices) or avocado (1/2)

L: greek salad (no cheese, oil/vinegar dressing) with one palm chicken, a serving of fruit

D: steak, sweet potato dish, compliance slaw or other veggie.


I have no cravings. In fact, I'm rarely hungry and have to force myself to eat breakfast. I drink about 60 oz of water or more per day.

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Hi ramsrose - I got some acupuncture. Either that helped or my body got a hold of itself :) I couldn't figure it out. I think it was still adjusting to a different diet and a result of rapidly losing body fat (just a theory since I'm obviously not measuring). Looking at the forum it seems pretty common, so as long as your doctor isn't worried, then you probably don't need to be either. 

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I'm so glad you guys posted this. I'm on day 17 and waking up for the third day in a row with a pressure headache! And I never got headaches before I did this program! So strange.

I'm going to look more closely at my water, too. Thought it was enough, but I was counting the water in my workouts. It's good to know others are experiencing this!

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