Clemency

Bloated, looking awful, feeling low

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I know it's a common problem on W30 but it's making me a bit crazy.

So, I've just finished day 9 of my first (and prob last) Whole 30. Prior to this, I've always eaten basically well, including all grains, legumes and dairy, but never enough vegetables or fruit, and way too much sugar. I had sugar in tea and coffee, frequent chocolate, and lots of biscuits and sweet treats! So I'm doing this to reset my diet and get rid of my sugar cravings once and for all. Normally, my digestion is very good, and although I did get bloated after a carb heavy meal such as pasta, once I took steps to reduce my sugar consumption and eat more veggies, my stomach would flatten within a couple of days. I have no medical issues at all. My challenges are that I have a one year old and I'm a working single mum, so I find it hard to get out to exercise unless it's pushing a pram around the streets.

Now, I'm having problems I've never had before! Bloated always, a bit better in the mornings but worse at night, just as if I'd eaten a big refined carb meal. Gas (ugh). Bunged up for the first 5 days, then intermittent runs since then. And now, pale, floaty poo, making me think that I'm not digesting fat properly. It's NOT FAIR!

I'm 100% compliant with the regime with no cheats or technicalities. Here is a sample of what I'm eating, what I had today (I'm getting lots of variety too with different meals every day, all cooked from scratch, including red meat, poultry, eggs and fish, many different veggies).

1. Scrambled eggs x 2, mushrooms sautéed in ghee, grilled tomato, baby spinach leaves and 1/3 poached chicken breast, plus 10 cashews.

Mug herbal tea

2. Big bowl chicken and veg soup with homemade stock and 2/3 added poached chicken breast, 1 banana

(veg in soup was sweet potato, carrot, zucchini and spring onion)

Long black coffee

Hard boiled egg and 6 cashews for emergency snack (don't usually snack but felt hollow today)

3. Roast lamb with roasted sweet potato, carrot, pumpkin and steamed broccoli, gravy made from pulsed leftover roast veg, pan juices and balsamic vinegar

I usually have a couple tablespoons of coconut butter with an apple or a handful of berries after dinner, but didn't tonight as had already had banana for lunch.

Plenty of water, at least 2 liters a day.

The advice I'm reading on the forums for digestive issues seems to be to take enzymes and to add a probiotic. If this way of eating is so fabulous, why should I need supplementation to help my body do what it's always done well before (when I was eating "dirty")? Is it possible that some people's guts are just not suited to this regime, or rather, this regime is not one size fits all!

I am starting to worry that a high animal protein/high fat diet could be causing lasting harm to my digestive tract. I don't want to turn into one of the many, many people who can't eat grains or legumes or dairy foods without getting stomach aches! Is this regime possibly going to cause me a problem where previously none existed?

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Your gut flora adjusts to whatever you eat habitually. When you change your habits, your gut flora must adjust too, but those changes tend to be slow. Your digestion is probably disturbed right now because your gut flora is still good for your old diet, but has not grown in the proper ways to digest your new diet. That's why you need digestive enzymes and maybe probiotics. Many people can adjust without taking supplements, but for those who adjust slowly, the sensible thing to do is supplement. Many people no longer need supplements after their bodies have had enough time to adjust.

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Everything Tom said, and additionally...the first 2 weeks of the W30 is rough for most people. "Rough" can manifest in a few different ways, and digestive issues are unfortunately one of those ways. I personally rode it out, but short term supplementation is the way to go if you're just really bothered by it. Stick it out the 30 days and do come back if you have continued problems!

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And just to add to the conversation:

Changing your diet in this way will not "create" problems digesting grains, dairy, legumes or what-have-you. It simply allows the chronic inflammation to calm so that you become aware of your body's natural response to those foods. The fact that you experienced any bloating after a grain heavy meal serves as an example of this. Except in specific circumstances (like now, when your body is readjusting its processes), bloating is not a healthy response to any meal.

I, too, encourage you to stick this out a bit longer.

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Clemency,

I hear you. I had digestive issues for a good 20 days. I am on day 28 and it has only been the last week and little bit that my gut has been reacting like it is really happy.

So it does come. I did not take any flora because I, like you, honestly thought that if I was eating good food it should iron itself out. Mind you my gut has always been somewhat erratic, so I figured changes in my diet would obviously take some time for my gut to re-adjust. Especially since I didn't consume large quantities of meat previously. (I was kind of a high carb girl)

So it does come, just be patient with your body. It is adjusting itself. After all Rome wasn't built in a day, so you can't expect your gut to re-adjust itself quickly when you are eating completely different foods than pre-whole 30 days.

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Hi, friend. Sorry to hear this is starting out poorly. Are you noticing any positive improvements at all? Energy, skin? I have definitely had low points where I felt like I was creating problems rather than solving them, but I try to listen to the mods instead of the nasty inner voice when that happens. I hope that you stick with it and find that things turn around quickly.

J

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Thanks everyone for your replies. I will certainly be sticking it out for the full 30 days, regardless....I'm doing this with my partner and our pact is that if one of us breaks, we both have to start all over again! Plus I don't like being a quitter.

It's taking a big leap of faith, though. I feel like I've joined a cult. There're a lot of theories about what our gut flora is doing....but are there any studies where some microbiologist has actually examined the composition of the bacteria in different parts of the colon, and how it's changed in response to various diets? I bet there aren't. Has anyone tested markers of systemic inflammation such as CRP in a cohort of people doing the whole 30 or paleo? We're all just guessing and trying it out. I suppose the lack of hard empirical evidence makes me feel uncomfortable when I'm doing a drastic change like this.

(and what is the Crossfit connection? Why is everyone doing that too? Does one have to

do Crossfit for this regime to work correctly?)

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There are actually empirical studies about gut flora changing a your diet changes. I'll try to hunt some down for you. Robb Wolf also has a bunch of data from his risk assessment work with the Reno fire department, but that hasn't been published yet. (it's probably in review)

More important than the scientific research, is eating minimally processed, nutrient dense foods, rich in veggies and high quality protein, from local sources with ethical/responsible practices REALLY that drastic?

So you've ditched sugar and grains and dairy...but there is not a single macro or micronutrient in those foods that you cannot get with this program

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Oh, additionally, have you read the book? The genius of the program/book is that it takes logic, applies the science and them considers their own clinical experiences. Yeah, it's not a RCT, but if it works for thousands of people? It's compelling information (even though it doesn't PROVE anything)

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Yep, no crossfit for me either... and really no plans for it in the future. Hang in there it gets better... I think it's natural to question the gut issues when you didn't feel like you had them when you ate grains and dairy... I went through that whole thing as well...although I think I just really wanted to eat oatmeal and greek yogurt ;) I was just whining and really had an emotional attachment to those foods even though I knew they weren't good for my body!

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have you thought about taken enzymes to help with digestion? is it possible more sensitivities are exposed now, ie FODMAP's? I noticed that once i started paying closer attention to the foods i was eating (as i removed triggers) i would have issues and it was easier to expose the source ie FODMAP's for me big time, putrid gas, bloating... I have fructose sensitivities, as most do; and find onions/garlic/pears/grapes to be big offenders for me. Avocados are on the FODMAPS list too, and i notice i can tolerate them but not daily.

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Clemency, I'm wondering if your bloated feeling got any better? I'm on Day 8, no cheats, and my stomach is huge; I look six months pregnant! Like you had no digestive issues before but have them now. THE major reason I did this was belly fat - in every other basic measure I am and feel healthy - and I'm a bit alarmed at the "wrong direction" this appears to be taking. I get GREAT sleep 7-8 hours a night. I feel like I'm eating a lot, but it is within the guidelines in the book. My exercise since starting has been only light hiking and running after kids. I don't really feel better or worse than before I started, but my major negative health indicator - waistline - looks and feels worse (haven't measured since starting). So I'd love to hear if things improved for you now that you are at or close to the end of your Whole30. Thanks!

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Clemency, I would like to touch on the CrossFit connection.

Before my first Whole 30 in July of this year, I was working out like your average chick. I would go to the gym very regularly to lift weights and do cardio. Sometimes I would go twice in a day to get fasted cardio in the AM and do weights at night. I was meeting with a personal trainer once a week for 30 minutes. I did all of this to change my appearance. I was trying hard to lose something like 7 pounds. THat is a lot of effort for 7 pounds of vanity.

I was also doing some weird things with my diet to get rid of the 7 pounds including: weighing, measuring and calorie counting every bite of food in my body, drinking like a gallon of water a day (seriously unnecessary), even doing "carb cycling" and generally obsessing about my body image. I really thought I was healthy because I was active and ate "right".

Then came my Whole 30 where I began to see the harm in what I was doing day in and day out. It was almost an out of body experience, I was up in the sky looking down at myself and had an "Aha!" moment. Everything I was doing was in vain. I took a break from the gym and slowly started leaning towards CrossFit. The reason is that CF is about fitness not vanity. There are no mirrors. The gym is dirty. It's in a warehouse. Nobody gives a shit what you look like or how much you lift, just as long as you put in the effort. I saw in a CF video not long ago where someone walked into a CF gym and said "Where are all the machines?"..."We are the machines."

I went from trying to have the cutest workout clothes to wearing T-shirts again. I don't want to worry about what I look like when I am trying to move a bunch of weight in a short period of time.

Basically...the ideas behind the Whole30 and CrossFit kind of go together, but not purposefully so. They are both geared towards optimal health in an inordinate way.

I thought I would also mention that I stopped counting, measuring and worrying about how much I was eating and focused on what I was eating. The pounds and bloat melted off my body while I took a break from working out, slept more and ate real foods. I actually didn't start CrossFIt until after my Whole 30 was over because, like you, I wanted to focus on one thing at a time. There is nothing more special then being the very last person to finish a workout and have 8 other people cheer you on. No one would ever do that in a regular gym.

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I love this lifestyle especially now that my body has adjusted to it. I feel amazing...and the biggest thing is that I can breathe! I was diagnosed with asthma as a kid and I can tell you that I have zero asthma symptoms when I am not eating the grains, dairy, and sugars. It is awesome. Inflammation is a terrible thing. My stomach bothered me initially when I began my first Whole30. Give it some time. Something else to consider...coconut might not set well for you. It kinda bloats my stomach. As for CrossFit...I have never done it and I'm losing weight and feeling great! Think positively. I understand your doubts and concerns, but the "normal" everyday diet of grains and such, has so many problems...and if it was working for us and helping us all to feel our best, we wouldn't be searching for something else. Read the book. It really helps to explain what certain foods are doing for your body. Give it some time. 30 days was great for me...but after 60...it was even better. You may need more time for your body to adjust. Best wishes!

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There is nothing more special then being the very last person to finish a workout and have 8 other people cheer you on. No one would ever do that in a regular gym.

THIS is why I do CrossFit.

I, like Laura B, started CrossFit after my Whole30 was complete. I've been doing it about a month now and have found it to be the most inspiring, difficult, and fulfilling pursuit I've ever done in my life. Eating clean only makes it that much easier to improve in workouts. I recommend CrossFit to everyone and anyone as much as I do eating Whole30-style. :)

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HI all, I'm on day 4 and am feeling the same bloating as mentioned above. Does this go away? How do I make this go away and will I gain weight vs lose weight?

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20 minutes ago, Mad Dog said:

HI all, I'm on day 4 and am feeling the same bloating as mentioned above. Does this go away? How do I make this go away and will I gain weight vs lose weight?

It's pretty normal to be bloated early on in a Whole30, especially if it's much of a change from how you were eating before. Drink plenty of water, follow the meal template for your food, and as for gaining vs losing weight, you've got 26 more days to go. Relax and embrace the program, enjoy the food you get to eat, watch for non-scale victories, and try not to worry about it. 

Timeline of what you might expect through your 30 days:   https://whole30.com/2013/08/revised-timeline/

Non-Scale Victory checklist:  https://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-nsv.pdf

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Thanks for the update on the bloating. i also realize while I was compliant. I was snacking between meals mostly fruit; one day nuts and dates. Is snacking a no no?

 

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50 minutes ago, Mad Dog said:

Thanks for the update on the bloating. i also realize while I was compliant. I was snacking between meals mostly fruit; one day nuts and dates. Is snacking a no no?

 

It's not a Rule, but it is a Recommendation. You should aim for eating enough protein, fat and veggies (2-3 cups) at each meal so that you can last 4-5 hours until your next meal. In the beginning, you may need a snack until you figure out how much you need.

Start with the Meal Template portion recommendations and adjust depending on how long it is until you feel hungry again.

Much of snacking is habit, boredom, stress ... and we want you to be able to listen to your body and determine what's a craving and what's real hunger. 

How to tell? When you feel like you want to eat, ask yourself if you'd eat something bland like fish and steamed broccoli or if you're craving sweets or similar. 

If you do need a snack, best choice is to include protein and fat or protein and a veggie. Think baby carrots and guacamole or a few bites of chicken. Avoid eating fruit alone as it's not very satiating, and will keep your Sugar Dragon alive and well.

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This is my second time. 1st was septwmber and made it to day 27 . This time im in day 33 and my stomach and digestive system is worse than before. Help!! So massive and digusting!

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4 minutes ago, Danniellew30 said:

This is my second time. 1st was septwmber and made it to day 27 . This time im in day 33 and my stomach and digestive system is worse than before. Help!! So massive and digusting!

If you would like help, we'd need to know a bit about what you're eating, portion sizes, ongoing medical concerns that could be contributing etc.  Some things right off the top tho, nuts and their products can cause bloating, raw greens (romaine kills me and iceberg lettuce kills my sister), raw cruciferous veggies (cauli, broc), raw peppers and onions/garlic and then of course, if you're at all FODMAP sensitive, it could be that as well.  (google 'FODMAPS' and you'll find good info about what they are and the symptoms you can get from them if you are sensitive... obviously just disregard the items on any 'ok' list that are not Whole30 compliant for as long as you're on the program.

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On 9/25/2012 at 12:03 PM, Carlaccini said:

Clemency,

I hear you. I had digestive issues for a good 20 days. I am on day 28 and it has only been the last week and little bit that my gut has been reacting like it is really happy.

So it does come. I did not take any flora because I, like you, honestly thought that if I was eating good food it should iron itself out. Mind you my gut has always been somewhat erratic, so I figured changes in my diet would obviously take some time for my gut to re-adjust. Especially since I didn't consume large quantities of meat previously. (I was kind of a high carb girl)

So it does come, just be patient with your body. It is adjusting itself. After all Rome wasn't built in a day, so you can't expect your gut to re-adjust itself quickly when you are eating completely different foods than pre-whole 30 days.

I don't know if you still get notifications for this post... but if you do... My stomach either feels amazing, full of energy or I'm bloated and constipated. I'm on day 28. I would say when I feel good I feel really good and am very impressed with the program... and when I feel bad, I'm quite discouraged.

 

I've felt the same... if I'm eating so healthy, why should i need a probiotic? But if this is true, will it take more than 28 days for my good bacteria to get on track again? Should I continue with the program for a bit longer, or try reintroducing foods?

 

thanks!

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