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Underwhelmed with my results..making the most of my last week?

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Hi guys! Story of my life...all the new health and fitness things I ever try never seem to work as well for me as they seem to for everyone else. So far I feel pretty great energy wise, but last night I tried on some of my jeans and was a little dissappointed to find that they weren't feeling any looser.


Here is my backstory: I'm not coming from a place of being really overweight or having any health problems (thankfully). I am just hoping to maybe drop a size, improve my body composition and break some of my bad habits. The only thing that I suspect might hinder my results is years of calorie restriction and then eventually losing my will power binging on junk. For the past couple of years, I have been focused less on restriction, and more on eating whole, nutritious foods, and less processed and sugary foods. Stopped "calorie counting" about 6 months ago and have maintained my weight eating this way. On a regular basis, I wasn't really eating gluten or grains or desserts about 80% of the time. Mostly paleoish diet--a lot of veggies and protein for most meals. I was also experimenting with intermittent fasting (drinking just bulletproof coffee and not eating til about 1pm), or having just a green smoothie for breakfast. I would eat things like soy, dairy, and things like quinoa and legumes a few times a week. I have a big sweet tooth and would make a lot of paleo desserts and eat dark chocolate almost every night. I'd also have a few drinks a couple of days a week, and would often have cheat meals like pizza on weekends. After two weeks in Europe, living it up (as one might do in Europe) on bread, wine, and sweets, I felt awful and felt like a needed to go hard-core. Thus, Whole 30. :)


A couple of meal samples from the past few days:

 Breakfast: kitchen sink scrambled eggs (2-3 eggs) with lots of veggies prepared as the book described

                  and/or pastured ground pork sauteed with cinnamon and apples (about 4 oz)

                  (Today I had a smalller portion of both, yesterday was just a larger portion of the eggs)

                 Coffee with about 1 tbspn of coconut oil or ghee, or just a cup of tea (green, herbal, depends on my mood and energy level)

 Lunch: Wednesday-Soup with zucchini, spinach, compliant chicken sausage, tomotoes--HUGE bowl.

             Thursday-Mason jar salad--a big one full of kale, cucumber, tomato, avocado, green onion, smoked salmon, olive oil,

             dill, and lemon.

             I might pair lunch with a piece of fruit (clementine, pear, grapes) and/or some cut up veggies dipped in cashew butter

             or cashew "cheese" (basically ground up raw cashews with nutritional yeast, olives, and lemon)

 Dinner: Wednesday-Chicken stir fry from the book--didn't really measure, just a plate sized portion. Added a hard boiled egg 

             cause I was still hungry.

              Thursday-2 palm sized portions of meatloaf (meat, spices, tomato sauce, egg, almond flour), cauliflower mash, and 

              a small salad.

 I can't seem to break the need for something after dinner---sometimes it's nuts, a spoonful of coconut butter, a peice of fruit (though I try to keep my intake at 2 or less servings a day) or some homemade kombucha instead of a drink. Herbal tea doesn't always cut it for me, but sometimes it does. I have a feeling that could be part of the problem, but I still feel like this is still way better than what I used to do after dinner--drink wine and eat excessive amounts of chocolate or paleo cookies. I broke myself of the larabars and dates early on too, so I call that a small win. Also, I love to cook, and sometimes "sample" while making (compliant) food for later.


 I am a busy person, and sometimes get stressed out because of it, but I have many jobs that I love. No major stressors besides that in my life. I am a dance and fitness instructor. I teach between 2-7 classes a day (not as bad as it sounds, as I don't demo every class full out), and usually do my own workout--either a dance class, yoga class, or strength/cardio at the gym. Pre-post workout if I'm hungry I eat things like hardboiled eggs, avocado, raw almonds, or a compliant Epic chicken siracha bar---not always great about timing it...I just eat if I'm hungry.


 I average about 7 hours of sleep a night, but that's usually more like 6 on some nights and 8 on others. Sometimes my work scheduled prevents me from going to bed as early as I'd like. But I try to catch up when I can. And when I sleep, I sleep like a baby! No trouble falling or staying asleep!


 Anyone else like me out there? I suspect that my post-dinner habits might be part of the problem, as might be my busy schedule. I still feel like what I am doing now is a vast improvement from where I was at a couple of months ago, and I feel really healthy and energized, but before Europe, I also felt pretty good too. Sooo any thoughts on how I can make the most of my next week or so and actually feel like this whole month wasn't a total waste? I think I could maintain this on a pretty permanent basis, but I'm not really ready to give up wine, cheese, chocolate, and ask what kind of cooking oil they use at a restaurant forever. Not looking for judgement--just advice please! :)

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Here are my judgment-free thoughts:  :) 
- previously intermittent fasting and calorie counting you describe might have resulted in your hormones being out of balance. That may take longer than 30 days to sort itself out.

- moreso, consuming what you have compared with the class schedule you have, it truly makes me wonder whether you're eating enough? (the after dinner snacking is a possible additional indication of that)   Have you tried a mini meal of protein, veg and fat when you're hungry after dinner, or bumping up your portions in earlier meals to the upper end of the template? 

- getting closer to 8 hours of sleep on average would be a prudent move to further help with hormonal balance


- how much water are you drinking daily?

- it's unclear whether you have any belly bloat: if so, I would try dropping the nuts/nut flours/nut butters and/or raw veggies see if that makes a difference for you, body composition-wise 

- overall, it sounds like your energy is much improved, along with your eating.  Your body might be telling you it's happy where it's currently at.

- whatever you decide, I encourage you to perform reintroductions afterward, so you get a complete picture of whether/how the foods you eliminated affect you. 


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Thanks GFChris! That definitely sheds some light on the situation--I was actually just listening to a podcast about how too much intermittent fasting combined with intense exercise or an overly active lifestyle can cause hormonal imbalance in women. Wouldn't be surprised if that was the case with me, although when I was doing that I didn't feel bad...I actually felt great most days. Bummer, because cooking breakfast takes time! The good news is I am starting to feel hungry for breakfast now, so maybe it's starting to sort itself out?


In regards to how much I'm eating, I can tell you this...I am rarely, if ever hungry on Whole 30. Still trying to find the right balance just because I'm eating different foods at different times now. Sometimes I wind up eating enough to keep me full for hours and hours, other times I find myself hungry again sooner than I thought. The problem with the after-dinner snacking, isn't so much a hunger thing, as it is a satiety thing. Because of my non-traditional work schedule, I tend to eat a later lunch (2 or 3pm) and not have dinner till I get home from work around 9:30 or 10pm at least 3-4 days a week. I've been that way for years, because dance teacher hours are 4-9pm. I just feel like I need something to "seal the deal" after dinner, and while I've been able to banish things like chocolate, dates and wine, herbal tea doesn't always cut it. How much do you think things like nuts or a piecce of fruit or a champagne flute or two of kombucha after dinner are hurting me? And any tips on how to break myself of that need or why it occurs? Also, you don't think it's possible that I'm eating more than I used to now, and it's causing me to not lose weight? By the end of the day I am severely out of willpower, and when I try things like herbal tea, or filing my nails I feel like I want to punch someone in the face. ;)


And yes, I do need to work on the sleep situation, and it's something that always seems to make it to my list of goals. Unfortunately, depending on the time of year, and my work schedule, that is not always possible. The past 3 weeks, have been particularly busy for me. But I do try to aim for at least 7 hours, especially on the days when I don't have to work early and/or late, and supplement with naps when that's not possible.


I drink so much water! I have a 16 oz glass bottle and refill the thing more times than I can count. Some people don't like drinking water, but I actually have always loved/needed it.


Nuts and raw veggies for bloat...hmmm I do notice I feel bloated sometimes on Whole 30. Although it's usually after I have eaten meals with a lot of cooked veggies. I love spaghetti squash and brussels sprouts, but have since determined that they make me feel bloated. Similarly, I have no brakes when it comes to roasted or grilled vegetables of all things! I could eat piles of them! Who gets addicted to veggies?! 


I think I am going to try to stick to mostly-Whole 30 style eating once my 30 days is over, and try a gradual reintroduction when the occasion calls for it (i.e.: social events). I'll let you know what my results actually are in a few days once I a finish and can check the scale, measurements, and selfies. 


Thanks for your input!

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Hey dancincrazy,


Just a quick thought - the last thing you eat before sleep can be pretty important in terms of weight loss and body composition changes.  I've read around here that if you absolutely need to eat in the evening after your last template meal that the best choice is lean protein and the worst choices are carbs and/or fats.  Something to do with HGH release during sleep.  Might be the final frontier for you in terms of using food as a "routine" or emotional crutch in the evening.


Good luck - you say you're not seeing results, but the fact that you're feeling energized and happy and fueling your busy life without feeling hungry are all good signs.  I too, focus on outward things (do I "look" lean; number on the scale, size of clothes, etc.), but you might be doing your innards a WORLD of good that isn't visible but will benefit you years (and decades) down the road.




-Lauren (GGG)

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Thanks for that, Lauren! Something interesting to consider. The thing about my evening meals, is that my last "template meal" is usually eaten late. 9:30pm or later when I get home from work, about 2 hours before I go to bed at night. Eating dinner at a "normal" time is not an option for me on most days, and hasn't been for years. The improvement here, is that I am now eating things like meat, vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats at 10pm instead of things like pizza and chocolate.  


 Just finished my 30, and I think I'm going to keep going for awhile longer, opting for the slow reintroductions when the situation presents itself-ie restaurants, parties, etc. I also plan to try to reintroduce some of the technically non-template foods that I used to love like green smoothies, lentils, quinoa, and the (occasional) paleo pancake on a lazy Sunday. ;) My results were minor, but I'm no worse off than I was before. Lost 1/2 an inch in my hip and thigh and an inch in my waist. My scale is one of those fancy ones, and I came back .3 lbs heavier than I did on day 1, but 1/2 a lb lighter in terms of fat weight, and .5% less body fat. I'll take it. My jeans fit similarly to how they did before, but in my before/after pictures I look less "puffy", and my skin looks brighter. I feel healthy, and am having less "fat days" than I used to. Also, the fact that I stayed at pretty much the same weight without counting calories or ever going hungry is a good indication that my metabolism probably isn't broken. Maybe I'm not meant to lose that last 10lbs, but I'm curious to see what a little more time of mostly eating this way will do. 


 I've been working on my sleep this week. For the past few days, I've not set an alarm and allowed myself to sleep in until whenever my body wakes me. Typically that's been around 7 hours. Do you think it's possible that that's the amount of sleep my body actually needs, as opposed to 8? I can tell you this...I never have any trouble falling asleep, never wake up in the middle of the night, and have been known to sleep through thunderstorms, multiple alarm clocks, and construction in our house! 

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