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MommyMarko

Combining Whole30 & 21DSD & Calorie Counting

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A little history. I am not new to weight loss. I have lost between 30 and 100 pounds on 13 occasions over the last 19 years. I have done South Beach, clean eating, high-fat low-carb, just eating right, calorie counting, ABS diet. After very successful losses, I always fall off the wagon... I've learned it's because of my Sugar Dragon. I've always known about my sugar addiction, but now I realize I really can't touch it ever… Not for birthdays, Christmas, vacations, ever. The dragon awakens fiercely with one bite.

I am combining the Whole 30 with the 21 Day Sugar Detox and calorie counting with My Fitness Pal. I have my fitness pal calorie level set up to lose 1.5 pounds per week. However I am pretty decently active and still nursing, creating a huge calorie deficit and therefore I should be losing faster. Because my ultimate goal is to lose the addiction and weight. During my history of 13 previous weight losses, I typically lose about 30 pounds in the first 4-6 weeks. Please tell me, as I am beyond flabbergasted, as I sit here 25 days in(3 days shy of 4weeks) and I am gaining weight. Because I'm a big fat cheater who checks the scale, and because my clothes fit the exact same if not worse. When I lost my largest amount of weight ever, 100 pounds, I was sedentary, calorie counting, and eating sugar and Stevia and chocolate bars every single day. I lost 80 of the hundred pounds in four months. After nearly 20 years of researching food, and experimenting, I am so completely at a loss. I mentioned I once tried high-fat-low-carb.... I quit that after three weeks and an 11 pound weight gain. Am I simply not designed to eat protein and fats??

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A little history. I am not new to weight loss. I have lost between 30 and 100 pounds on 13 occasions over the last 19 years. I have done South Beach, clean eating, high-fat low-carb, just eating right, calorie counting, ABS diet. After very successful losses, I always fall off the wagon... I've learned it's because of my Sugar Dragon. I've always known about my sugar addiction, but now I realize I really can't touch it ever… Not for birthdays, Christmas, vacations, ever. The dragon awakens fiercely with one bite.

I am combining the Whole 30 with the 21 Day Sugar Detox and calorie counting with My Fitness Pal. I have my fitness pal calorie level set up to lose 1.5 pounds per week. However I am pretty decently active and still nursing, creating a huge calorie deficit and therefore I should be losing faster. Because my ultimate goal is to lose the addiction and weight. During my history of 13 previous weight losses, I typically lose about 30 pounds in the first 4-6 weeks. Please tell me, as I am beyond flabbergasted, as I sit here 25 days in(3 days shy of 4weeks) and I am gaining weight. Because I'm a big fat cheater who checks the scale, and because my clothes fit the exact same if not worse. When I lost my largest amount of weight ever, 100 pounds, I was sedentary, calorie counting, and eating sugar and Stevia and chocolate bars every single day. I lost 80 of the hundred pounds in four months. After nearly 20 years of researching food, and experimenting, I am so completely at a loss. I mentioned I once tried high-fat-low-carb.... I quit that after three weeks and an 11 pound weight gain. Am I simply not designed to eat protein and fats??

Wow, that's quite the history you have. Let me address a couple things that might be going on.

 

First, calorie counting and Whole30'ing do not blend together.  At all.  Pick one or the other but trying to do both is ultimately doing neither successfully.

 

Second, given this long history of weight loss and weight gain along with various eating programs, your hormones are surely completely out of whack.  Healthy weight loss is a hormonal equation not a caloric one.  A body will release weight when it feels safe and is hormonally balanced enough to do so.  This means that if, while eating Whole30 foods in appropriate portions in order to be satisfied for 4-5 hours at a time, your body chooses to prioritize healing over weight loss, that is something you would want to respect.

 

Finally, the "huge calorie deficit" that you are creating is working against you in a "real foods" situation. You're still nursing which means that you need extra calories to support this.  And you're moderately active which means you need extra nutrition to support this as well.  Plus general body functions need nutrition.  If you create too large a gap, your body isn't going to let go of anything coming in because what is coming in is not sufficient for its needs.

 

Whole30 wants you to learn to eat real food. In quantities appropriate to your context.  No weighing, measuring or calorie counting.  Whole30 is not a quick weight loss diet and in some cases when people have been restricting themselves for so long (years and years) and then they start eating nutritious foods in proper amounts, they may temporarily gain weight.  This is all a result of the body being a complex system that knows how to protect itself.

 

If you'd like, please give us a run down of what your typical intake looks like (include portions and timing), fluids, sleep, stress and exercise.  We can take a look and advise if there are any tweaks that may make your progress move forward.

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The calorie counting is an easy no-brainer for me. Plus I have a Fitbit which connects to My Fitness Pal account. Combining the whole 30 and 21 day sugar detox was a natural decision. The diets are super similar. The only difference from Whole 30, is that I'm not allowed fruit, sweet potatoes, or cashews. The reintroduction is similar, too.

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Combining other dieting programs with a Whole 30 doesn't work.  Many have tried and flopped.  

 

The Whole 30 is not a diet and was not created to be a diet.  Weight loss can happen within the 30 day food reset but often it doesn't.   It depends on the state of your body coming into a Whole 30.   This food reset needs to be combined with a Reintroduction Phase.  You'll want that for testing what foods will or will not work for you in the future.

 

There are all kinds of  HFLC or other dieting sites around.   Many have been there for a decade trying to lose the same 10-150 lbs...over and over and over through the years.   They log their daily weigh-in, religiously count every calorie, macro/micro and end up right back where they started after years of dieting.

 

Dieting is the problem and giving it up for good is the solution.   I suggest reading through the strong and wise advice given here to achieve what you want.  It will be slow going and that's exactly what you'll need for healing the body and mind.

 

Even weight loss surgery is only a tool.  It doesn't fix the root cause of weight gain or food addictions. Counsel given face-to-face is another tool.   Dieting messes with the dopamine center of the brain.  Eat three meals aday of real foods.   Start early in the morning with breakfast.  Like Tom Denham always says..within one hour of waking.   

 

You've reached a fork in the road.  Take the road that's been well traveled with success.  No more dieting.

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Calorie counting might be an easy no brainer but it heavily discounts your body's ability to tell you what it needs.  It relies on some stranger's interpretation of what your needs are when that person has never met you or assessed your life.  It also numbs the conversation with your body that you should be learning to listen for.  For instance, if you are starving one day after lunch, do you go ahead and eat some healthy, whole foods and respect that signal? Or do you check and see how many calories you have left in the day, make an assessment about what is for dinner, how much that food will "cost" and then decide if you can nurture yourself?  Similarly, if you have 200 extra calories left before bed, do you go ahead and eat them even though you aren't hungry, just because you "can"?

 

It's a scary leap to make, to trust yourself and know that your body has not betrayed you all these years.  But it's the first in a series of steps that changes your relationship with food and with yourself.

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A few things come to mind:

 

You are nursing and restricting calories - I'd imagine this might be sending some signals to your hypothalamus saying "HOLD ON TO EVERYTHING FOR DEAR LIFE - WE ARE STARVING!".  But maybe not.  

 

You weigh, log, count, focus on every morsel that goes in your mouth.  Maybe that triggers a bit of a cortisol response just because you are so.focused.on.those.numbers.  

 

If you are nursing I'd imagine you have a pretty small person around... who maybe doesn't let you sleep all that well.

 

As per your low carb efforts - was that Atkins style - a la, processed meats, cheese, fake sugars, etc?  I'd imagine if it wasn't a super clean low carb effort (meat, veggies) it might be a possibility that the processed foods just weren't for you.  And, at the end of the  day if one eats nothing but steak and butter - but eats too much of it - it can lead to weight gain.  Low carb diets often work by naturally decreasing appetite and thus intake.  If that wasn't your response and you were *hungry* but eating a lot of fat those calorically dense foods add up quick.

 

Do you lift weights?  Do you get sunlight and a decent amount of non-stressful activity (walking, hiking, play time)?  

 

And at the end of the day, do you really *want* to count calories for the rest of your life?  Weighing food, logging it into some app, fretting over if it was too much or too little?  Eating W30 principles can NOT be worse for a person than anything he/she is currently doing... you simply can't get worse by eating real, wholesome food and prioritizing sleep, healthy amounts of activity, etc.  So even if you can't lose 100 lbs in 4 months maybe you could lose it in 1 year.  And during that 1 year you might feel really friggin good instead of how I'd imagine one would feel on a diet that lets them lose 100 lbs in 4 months :)

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@ladyshanny - i'm sorry, I am not familiar with how to reply to your post directly as I'm not familiar with the forums.

You say a body will release wait when it feels safe and hormonally balanced enough to do so… So how I was able to lose weight in the past? How was I able to lose the largest amount of weight possible in my entire life without exercising, and eating sugar daily, and calorie counting?
And why would the Whole 30 and calorie counting not go well together?
I can include what I eat in a day, thank you for asking. This adds up to around 1900 cal in a day. I currently weigh 240 pounds.

B: mushroom broccoli red onion scrambled eggs 2eggs, 1cup whites), One full Italian sausage
L: cabbage and chicken breast stirfry
D: 9 ounce chicken breast, one boiled egg, one whole avocado
S: coconut oil and almond/pumpkinseed/walnut/pecan/cocoa cup, escargot with clarified butter, Green apple pork patty

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@ladyshanny - i'm sorry, I am not from Milyer with how to reply to your post directly as I'm not familiar with the forums.

You say a body will release wait when it feels safe and hormonally balanced enough to do so… So how I was able to lose weight in the past? How was I able to lose the largest amount of weight possible in my entire life without exercising, and eating sugar daily, and calorie counting?

And why would the Whole 30 and calorie counting not go well together?

I can include what I eat in a day, thank you for asking. This adds up to around 1900 cal in a day. I currently weigh 240 pounds.

B: mushroom broccoli red onion scrambled eggs 2eggs, 1cup whites), One full Italian sausage

L: cabbage and chicken breast stirfry

D: 9 ounce chicken breast, one boiled egg, one whole avocado

S: coconut oil and almond/pumpkinseed/walnut/pecan/cocoa cup, escargot with clarified butter, Green apple pork patty

What I said was "Healthy weight loss is a hormonal equation...".  The word "healthy" deserves the credit there.  Anyone can lose weight if they severely reduce their nutrients.  But that's not healthy. And as you state, it was not sustainable because now here you are again.  The diet industry, calorie counting, macro blending, scale weighing, app updating, excessively marketed plans are designed to come between both you and your pocket book and you and your self worth.  It's tragic and so easy to fall into, so many of us here have.  What you're getting in this feedback though is people who have been where you are and who have seen a new light.  One that sees them respecting the body-mind conversation.  One that sees them no longer chained to numbers or apps or a misplaced sense of self worth.

 

If your initial inquiry is what I think it is; a disguised request to help you make a change in your life, then these conversations are ones you need to have with yourself.  Does your weight make you more of less of a human being deserving of love and respect? Does the number on the scale every morning tell you whether you will have a good or a bad day? Does that same number tell you whether you will love or hate yourself? If you are sick of the mindf$*k, take a step back and realize that the Whole30 is completely different from anything you may have ever tried.

 

The Whole30 wants you to nourish yourself because we believe that you are a good and beautiful person regardless of your current weight.  We also know that your weight fluctuations over time and as large as they have been are a guarantee that you are metabolically deranged and hormonally misbalanced.  Will you correct this in 30 days? No, you won't. But you can start to do the mental work and free yourself from everything that "they" say you have to do and be in order to be valuable.

 

As far as your food goes, check out the meal template linked below in my signature.  1-2 palms of protein at every meal. If that's eggs, it's as many as you can hold in your hand wihtout dropping; 3-4 whole eggs is a good start.  Skip the egg whites, they're useless.  1-3 cups of vegetables at every meal. Aim for 3 cups, this is the volume that is going to help you go 4-5 hours between meals and it's where the micronutrients are. 1-2 thumbs of fat or half to whole avocado or handfuls of olives.

 

Here's how you could revise the menu you posted above in order to be more in line with the recommendations

 

B: 3 eggs, 1 sausage, 3 cups of mixed steamed/roasted veggies (brocoli, pepper, mushrooms), drizzled with ghee

L: cabbage & chicken stir fry with sunshine sauce (1.5 palms chicken, 3 cups veggies)

D: 1-2 palms chicken (stop weighing the food), 1/2 baked sweet potato, 2 cups roasted brussel sprouts, 1/2 to whole avocado

S: ideally you would not eat snacks.  You especially will not eat the nut/cocoa cup concoction as this is certainly against the rules of creating "treats" while on Whole30 even though the ingredients may be compliant. If you need to eat between meals until you can figure out what you need to go 4-5 hours, have a mini meal of either protein and fat or protein and some veggies.  Avoid snacking on fruit or nuts as they can raise the sugar dragon and can be "hand to mouth" which is difficult to control.

 

Since you are nursing I would suggest that you may need at least one more meal during the day (eg, sardines and homemade mayo on a shredded salad).  

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@ladyshanny ...after years of weight loss/gains and posting/questioning in other weight loss forums for same/different reasons - you have been the most helpful, and in the shortest amount of time, too. I always felt like I couldn't trust my hunger radar - I am ALWAYS hungry. The question, if you had a plate of fish & broccoli before you, would you eat it - my answer is always yes. But I'm clearly not filling my plate well enough, requiring snacks between meals, staaaaarving. It's because I need more. I've been afraid that my stomach is stretched, and enlarged, and that to reduce my hunger, I needed to adjust my stomach size, by slowly decreasing the amount of food/calories I intake. Leaving me forever starving.

I am going to throw every one of my researched preconceived notions and beliefs to the wayside, and simply trust and believe.

Thank you.

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Note that because of chronic restricted nutrients, you could need to eat a lot for awhile. Fish and brocoli might sound like a "yes" for a long time while you rebuild your stores of micronutrients but that's alright, no one's health was ever negatively impacted by eating cod and steamed brocoli more than once.  :)  Hunger isn't just a signal from a physically empty stomach, it's also a signal of needing nutrients...and when you start to give them to yourself without restriction, your body is comin' to the party!  "Shrinking" your stomach is a short sighted and not entirely correct concept from the dieting industry. If you are relying on food-like products then yes, you need a physical sensation to stop eating.  But if you are eating protein, veggies and good fats the "stop eating" message is built in. But you have to trust it.  

 

This is a lot of mental work, moreso than reading a yes-no food list. It is more self searching and self care and shattering personal myths than anything you've done before.  Fortunately all the nutrients you'll be getting from the food will help!  :)

 

Please keep us posted, we're here for you!!!!!!!

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Rooting for you MommyMarko! Give this a shot without mixing in a lot of other variables. I've been on the W30 journey for the last 7 months and my only regret is that I didn't find this sooner!

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Oh MommyMarko.... I just want to reach out and hug you until you are still. Relaxed. Breathing. Calm. Really.... give yourself the gift of calmness, if nothing else.

 

If your past programs didn't result in something that was easily sustainable for you... they didn't work. I don't care what your scale said. They. Did. Not. Work.

 

If you typically attack every new program with the kinds of checks, re-checks, and double checks that you are using here, that should tell you something. That. Does. Not. Work. Either. 

 

The one thing that we can all agree on, no matter what background we come from, is that everyone's body needs solid nutrition to function properly. Whole30 is perfectly balanced. P-e-r-f-e-c-t-l-y. You do not need to track anything. You have a lot to learn, so skip that other stress-inducing stuff - especially your scale and your trackers. Instead, spend your time reading the forums and the blog. Prepping nutritious food. Cuddling your baby. Nurturing yourself. Enjoy this wonderful and nutritious journey. Look forward to your next yummy meal. Subscribe to the Daily e-mails (so fun & informative!).

 

Right now, your body doesn't trust you, and you don't trust your body. Relax and know that you are ingesting the best nutrition possible... and that's all you need to know, really... everything else will fall into place. Give it time and honest effort, without other, unnecessary distractions. Your body needs to heal. It's been a long & rocky journey so far. Your first order of business is to give your body the tools it needs to do that necessary healing. The journey of a thousand steps begins with one. Step One is to heal. 

 

Sleep, rest, de-stress, smile. And at the end of each Whole30 day, tell your body "I bet you liked all that wonderfully nutritious food I gave you today! You're welcome!"

 

One other thing.... post a log. Food, quantities, stress, sleep, water... You will NOT believe how helpful that is.

 

I am looking forward to your amazing journey. ((Huggggggggggsssssssssssssssssss))

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