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Help: Burping/acid reflux/headaches on Whole30


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I completed day 30 yesterday (yay!). I ate Whole30 today (minus a square of dairy-free dark chocolate) because I'm still having some issues that I want to solve before I reintroduce foods. The biggest one is acid reflux/indigestion. I had acid reflux pretty often before I started, and it's been less this month, but I'm still having problems with it. My acid reflux manifests as feelings of hunger and burping (and also some bloating), which makes things harder because when I feel hungry after I eat, I just want to eat more. I actually didn't burp very much before starting Whole30, but the first few weeks and this last week I've just been burping like crazy. It's kind of the worst! I also started having mild-moderate headaches the last week or so. I've been keeping a food journal, and I realized I've been eating almond butter/nuts and coffee w/ almond milk almost every day, and my worst acid reflux has happened a few hours after eating those foods. But some days I have no problems, and others I have really uncomfortable burping/reflux even w/ no nuts, etc. so I think there are other foods causing it, I just DON'T KNOW what they are. Very frustrating. I'm salting all my meals sufficiently (I think) and drinking enough water (at least 100 oz., I'm 146 lbs.). I get 8+ hours of sleep most nights. OH, and another problem: I've been really tired some days without really knowing why. Here are the things I want to try:

1. Staying Whole30 but eliminating coffee and nuts. 

2. Not drinking with meals--I usually drink at least a glass of water with all my meals, and I guess that might cause poor digestion?

3. If no nuts/coffee doesn't do anything after a couple days, taking digestive enzymes with each meal.

4. If that doesn't work, using HCL w/ pepsin w/ meals to see if I have low stomach acid.

5. If that doesn't work... low FODMAPS? AIP protocol? Cutting eggs? I'm not sure what to cut. 

Any advice here? What do I do next? What can I try?

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Hey @naomilemoyne

Can you give us a run down of what exactly you have eaten (giving specifics on fat types, portion sizes, veg types, liquid intake etc) over the past 3-4 days so that we can take a look and better equipped to help you troubleshoot. Yes the nuts, nut butters & coffee can be problematic, but so can a gazillion other things so it may be that you'll need to tweak further to get results...

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M1 (8:30): 4 eggs w/ olive oil,  1/4 sweet potato, spinach, mushrooms, 1/4 avo, a couple strawberries and a clementine

M2 (12:15): small baked potato, Aidell's chicken/apple sausage, mustard, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, 1 T coconut oil, strawberries, blueberries, 1 orange

S1 (2:30ish): pecan Larabar + apple + coffee w/ almond milk (been getting really hungry in the afternoons, not sure if it's actual hunger or indigestion. I held out on eating this Larabar for almost a week, though)

Pre-WO (6): HB egg + coffee w/ coconut milk (run)

Post-WO (7:30ish): chicken breast/butternut squash casserole w/ walnuts (from Mel Joulwan)

Acid reflux right after eating post-WO (first time that it's been really bad during W30)

M3(8-9): broccoli/cabbage/carrot slaw w/ tahini, olive oil, ACV, pollock SB egg, 1/4 kombucha (Kevita grapefruit)


M1: 3 eggs w/ pork sausage, onions, peppers, mushrooms, 3/4 kombucha

S1(1 pm): SB egg w/ homemade mayo, strawberries, small handful nuts

M2: can tuna w/ mayo, 2 SB eggs, aruguala and romaine w/ oo and acv, 1/2 avo

pre-WO: coconut milk w/ coconut oil and cocoa powder (strength training)

post-WO: chicken/bn squash

M3: 5 turkey/pork meatballs (w/ egg, onion, almond flour, spices), mayo, roasted sweet potato/beets/carrots + arugula with olive oil and balsamic, 1 zucchini w/ oo, some blueberries with almond butter

Headache at bedtime


Woke up w/ bad headache (left side of head). Took tylenol.

M1: 2 meatballs, 2 eggs, roasted sweet potato/beets/carrots, green beans, blackberries, 1 clementine, 1 bottle GT's cranberry kombucha

S1: BN squash casserole w/ 1/4 avo and coconut aminos

M2: tuna 2/ mayo, romaine w/ oo +acv, tomato, olives, 1 egg, 1 cutie

M3: broccoli slaw w/ chicken, mayo, raisins, walnuts, lemon, sesame seeds, + roasted root veg


M1: 1/2 potato in olive oil w/ cholula, 2/5 eggs w/ onion, spinach, mushrooms, pork fat, pork sausage, green tea, a few blackberries

S1: coffee w/ coconut milk and coconut oil (mild headache and acid reflux after coffee)

Pre-WO: small handful almonds (4 mi. run)

Post-WO: chicken/bn squash

M2: broccoli slaw w/ chicken, mayo, lemon, ACV, tahini, apple, raisins, walnuts, and pepitas

S2: banana w/ almond butter

M3: soup: chicken, spices, carrot, onion, potato, cabbage + roasted root sweet potato/beets/carrots + olives

Headache again before bed


2 eggs w/ olive oil, 2 meatballs w/ mayo, sweet potato/beets/carrots, small banana w/ almond butter, blackberries, green tea

Got mild headache mid-morning, drank salted water and that seemed to help

M2: Broccoli/chicken/apple slaw (see yesterday's M2)

S1: American w/ almond milk, butternut squash + chicken (1/2 serving of each)

Pre-WO: 2 meatballs, egg w/ mayo, chicken broth (strength training)

Lots of burping, burning feeling/indigestion right after snack (took digestive enzyme, not sure if it helped)

post-WO, M3 (9): 2 bowls chicken/veg soup (see yesterday's M3) + olives (about an hour after first bowl of soup)


M1: 2 meatballs, 2 eggs, mayo, sweet potato/beets/carrots, spinach

No indigestion in morning (mornings generally okay)

M2: broccoli/chicken/apple slaw (see previous)

Mild headache again after eating

M3: 2 bowls soup w/ extra olive oil plus banana, herbal tea (cabbage??)

Tons of burping + bloating/discomfort after that continued until after 8 p.m.

Pre-WO: HB egg (was going to run, but walked and stretched b/c I was too tired to run)

2 mini-meals later: 1: Kevita water kefir (helped a ton, burping finally stopped) chicken + butternut squash cass. + 1/4 avo, 2: 2 eggs, roasted sweet potato/beets/carrots, 1/4 avo

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Ok, I don't normally ever say this, but that seems like a lot of food, so I'm thinking it's more about indigestion than hunger.

You're not eating a HUGE amountnof FODMAPs but they are there. However, the fruit, nuts & nut products jump out at me a little more - I'd start in cutting the nuts & their by-products completely (nut milks & butters), and ease way back on the fruit, sticking to a handful of berries or the odd citrus if you feel you must have fruit.

When you're building your meals pay attention to the combinations of veg. On day 26/1 for instance you have a meal with sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli - they are all high FODMAP, but also all cruciferous veg which are also known to be problematic (so double whammy) - I'd limit those to one per meal & add in other veg.

Ease back on the volume of preWO too - this is not fuel for the work out as the body will still be processing the protein by the time you're done, so if you've had a meal or two AND a snack I wouldn't bother with a preWO at all - your body should have more than enough fuel on board. Keep the postWO in though.

Stick with digetsive enzymes & the kombucha - it may take a whilie for the enzymes to work, but they won't do any harm - and maybe avoid coffee too for a few days & see how you go.

Let us know how you get on...

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The last few days have been a little out of whack for me, so some of the days are atypical--like when I tried eating meat AND eggs and mayo pre-WO haha. Part of it is that b/c of my work schedule, I eat at noon, then work out either at 5 or 6:30, then don't get M3 until 7 or 8, so it's a long time in between and it's always tempting to eat more because by 5 I'm pretty hungry. Usually my pre-WO is just a hard-boiled egg though. And the post-WO is small, like 1/2 or 1/4 serving of chicken and squash/swt. pot. Good to get confirmation that skipping pre-WO is fine if I've eaten recently--that's kind of what I was thinking. I def. think you're right about the cruciferous veg.

I think part of the problem is that I'm just not very good at reading the signals my body is sending me. I guess I usually just interpret them as "eat more! you're hungry!" which is obviously not always right. For the record, I lost 4 pounds and 1.5 inches from my waist in a month--which seems pretty decent for someone who doesn't really need to lose weight (5'7" female, 146 lbs. now, and I have a fair amount of muscle). And I used to have to snack INCESSANTLY, and that is so much better now. Plus better skin + better awareness of what I'm actually eating.

Thank you for replying so quickly! I appreciate it. I'm cutting out nuts and coffee and I'll try to stick with the template better & watch my veg combinations the next few days and see what that does. & use the digestive enzymes.


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