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I don't feel any different


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I'm on Day 12, and other than a sugar hangover on Day 3, I haven't felt any different. It's very discouraging, because I generally feel like crap, which is why I wanted to do Whole30 to begin with. Am I unrealistic in expecting that I should feel even a teensy bit better at this point? Because, NOTHING! I'm not expecting to feel amazing yet, but I was hoping to notice some positive change by now.

And I'm following the plan 100% exactly as written. Cooking at home, no unapproved ingredients at all. I know I'm eating better than I used to, and since there are so many yummy things on plan I haven't really felt that deprived or had many cravings for my old foods at all. The closest I've had to a craving is a couple of benign dreams where eating candy (which I don't even like in real life) is just a side action and not the focus of the dream.

Is it normal to have such an easy time following the plan but to see zero apparent benefits after 11 days? I feel like the fact that it's been so easy means I was SUPER psychologically ready for a change. I'm just a little discouraged now. I plan to see it through the full 30 days, and do the fast track reintro, but wondering if/when I'll start to see any benefits.

 

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Hi @Bellatrixie & welcome to the forums

Just a gentle reminder that this is a 30 day program, and many people don't feel the magic until the latter stages... I know you say you're following the plan to the letter, but it's possible your meals may need some tweaking, or you could do better with a reduction in something like dried fruit/nuts etc., so if you'd like to check you're on the right track please feel free to post what you have eaten over the past say four days, providing specifics on portion sizes, veg types, liquid intake, activity levels, sleep & stress levels, along with any medical conditions (or meds) and we'll be more than happy to take a look.

It could be that you just came from a good place anyways and so your results will be more subtle... :)

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Hi jmcbn, thanks for responding. Not to sound defensive (because I really appreciate your trying to help), but in my original post I specified that I know it's 30 days and I do intend to see it through. I'm not expecting "magic" yet, just even a tiny bit of improvement that I can see. :)

I don't like dried fruit, and really am not big on fruit at all. The only fruit I have is an apple with almond butter every other day or so. I might eat a half a banana a couple times a week if my daughter doesn't finish hers (and she usually does). But that's it.

My meals have followed a general formula, as follows:

Breakfast: an egg dish, either scrambled or a frittata (i usually eat 2 eggs or the equivalent frittata serving), stuffed with veggies (this week, the frittata had leftover collard greens from New Years, peppers, onions, and tomatoes). Side of 1/4 or 1/2 of an avocado. I also drink 2 cups of coffee in the morning.

Lunch: Salad of romaine with a carrot, usually 1/2 of a big cucumber, peppers, usually 1 hard boiled egg, but sometimes leftover meat, tossed in homemade whole30 ranch. Other times it's leftovers from dinner.

Dinner: Some examples of recent dinners include stuffed cabbage (with ground beef and cauliflower rice and onion and crushed tomatoes) and steamed broccoli, grilled pork tenderloin with mashed white potato/turnips and the aforementioned collard greens (which were sautéed in ghee with red peppers and apple cider vinegar), pot roast with carrots celery and sweet potato. Portion sizes for dinners of meat and veg have been by the book.

Other than the coffee, I only drink water and an herbal tea in the evening. I don't snack other than the previously mentioned occasional apple with almond butter.   

I have no diagnosed medical conditions besides seasonal allergies. 

My activity levels are that of a stay at home mom with a toddler and a dog. I practice yoga as often as I can in studio, usually once or twice a week.

I wasn't eating well before this at all. Think fast food multiple times a week. Maybe my system is taking longer to heal because it was so bad before. But I'm really keeping my fingers crossed to start feeling better soon. I am proud of myself for sticking to it, although that's tempered slightly by surprise at how relatively easy it's been to do.

Again, thanks for offering support. Fingers crossed I turn a corner soon!

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Sorry - having been around here a while you get used to people expecting big things in a few short days so it's always good to give the reminder...!

Honestly though your meals don't look too bad to me, although perhaps a little light in protein in some cases ie. the lunch where you mention one hard boiled egg for instance - this is fine if there is another protein source, but a serving of eggs when it is your only source of protein in a meal would be the number of whole eggs you can hold in one hand, which is 3-4 for most females.

How is your sleep?

It could well be that your body is taking longer to adjust, or perhaps your body is prioritising some kind of internal healing (gut inflammation etc), or it could just be as I mentioned previously that your results will be more subtle for whatever reason. Either way I think you're on the right track - hang tight!

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@Bellatrixie I'm no expert but from my experience as a relatively healthy person to begin with, workouts a few times a week, healthy weight on the higher side of normal, low cholesterol, no medical conditions and I've always slept like a rock, my first W30 I didn't feel any different until probably day 25. By about day 15 I started waking up easier in the morning with more sustained energy throughout the day but it wasn't magic. 

What I think was most significant for me was when I started to reintroduce stuff. I got severe stomach pains and vomiting. Food should not give your body such a negative reaction. 

It is different for everyone and maybe you don't feel any different in the end but at least you did something good for your body and you had the self-control and dedication to stick to a very challenging lifestyle and that is a NSV!

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jmcbn: Honestly, I used to be a "magic pill/quick fix" seeker, so maybe my adjustment from that "instant gratification" desire isn't quite as gone as I'd hoped. ;)

You asked about sleep. As I think about it more, I remember the past two nights being annoyed that I was still wide awake at bedtime (usually I read until my eyes get droopy, but no eye droops happened). But even so, I was asleep fairly quickly after turning out the light. So that's a positive! I'm still waking up super groggy, but I wake with an alarm 30 minutes before my toddler's wake up time, so maybe I need to go to bed earlier until I can wake up at that time naturally. We'll see.

It's interesting to think that I might not be getting enough protein. I'll try that tweak and see what happens.

As I think about it more, I really think it must be some internal healing going on. I need to recalibrate (or, ideally, let go of) my expectations and allow this little frustrated phase to just be part of my process.

I appreciate you meeting me in my place of discouragement with positivity and support--I feel a lot better now!

Karen Twin-Cities: Thanks for sharing your experience...most of what you read is the "magic light switch" experience, so hearing about a more nuanced process is helpful too.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update (in case anyone's curious):

Day 17 or 18 I started having better energy levels. Still waking up fairly groggy, but once my day has started it's been fine.

Day 19 was the biggest benefit thus far--I noticed my anxiety levels (usually fairly high but off the charts since having my daughter 15 months ago) are MUCH lower! That alone is worth doing this program. Interested to see how reintroduction goes and whether I'll be able to pinpoint any particular food group that exacerbates my anxiety so I know what to eliminate for good.

Thanks for the support when I needed it! :)

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@Bellatrixie That is great news! I'm on Day 15 (third round), and I know the good stuff is coming, but it's not all here yet. Sleep, digestion, energy - still waiting on the "magic light switch" for those. :) My moods are better, and my pants aren't so tight, so those are wins. If you haven't seen Melissa Hartwig's article (http://whole30.com/2014/01/whole30-tough-love/) it might help. It's something I go back and read every so often for the tough love and the reminders, whenever I find myself wondering if it's worth it. My experience has been similar to @Karen Twin-Cities in that I really started feeling much better near the end of the 30 days.

Keep going, and hang in there! You're doing great.

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