Fundamental

Day 14 Weight Gain and Minor Inflammation

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Hi! I am starting day 14 a bit frustrated. I subscribed to the Real Plans meal plan, because I'm mostly pescatarian and I knew that I wouldn't be able to stomach all the meat in the "average" whole 30 recipes. I've followed the meal plan almost exactly, except that time has required me to sub in meals of chopped raw vegetables and boiled eggs 3 times. (I don't love the plan, btw, but that's another topic).

I have felt normal/fine the entire time. Diet hasn't been tricky because I'm used to cooking all of my meals and, despite my holiday behavior, I generally eat food that makes me feel good which sometimes means restrictions on what I'd enjoy eating. My workouts have been basically the same as always, except for a bit of joint pain the past couple days that I'm not used to.

I started this to reset myself after an overindulgent holiday season and more importantly to try to get to the bottom of my eczema/psoriasis. I was born with it, but went roughly 20 years without having it. For the past 3+ years I have periods of it being severe on my hands. I thought the winter would be a good time to try Whole30 to get rid of it, because it's generally not as bad in the cold weather months, and I knew that a flare-up could occur during the early "detox" phase. I've tried AIP, Paleo, Vegan and Keto diets (I think that's all of them) in the past to get rid of this and none of them have done the trick. 

So here's where I am:

  • Eczema on hands is roughly 20% worse than it would normally be in January
  • I have not-terrible eczema on parts of my body that haven't been affected for years (scalp, behind knees, face)
  • Lots of energy (but this is normal for me on my usual diet, just kinda got sluggish over the cookie-laden holidays)
  • LOTS of weight gain. Like a lot. Like my period pants are tight. This concerns me, because it's hard for me to lose weight, so I normally just don't gain it through basic, sane, diverse, thoughtful eating and exercise. 
  • No real appetite or cravings. Normal for me when I'm not eating processed sugar. 
  • My digestion, which is normally great (I eat fermented vegetables daily), was a bit off from days 5-8 but is back to normal. 

I'm kind of at the point where I feel like this probably isn't for me, but I'm willing to hold out until day 30. I am starting to get a little stressed because I have an important conference a week after Day 30 and I would really prefer not to have a muffin top pouring out of my pants and skin flaking all over people while I'm there. 

I'm guessing the people in my situation have moved on to greener pastures and aren't lurking in these forums, but if anyone here has had a similar experience and made it through, I'd love to know about it. 

Thank you for any help you can offer.

 

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Sorry that you're going through this.

It's difficult to give you directed help because we don't know what you've been eating.  Post a few days of your intake including portion sizes, specific veggies, protein and fat, meal timing, workouts, sleep, fluid intake etc... and we can see if we can help.

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Thanks for your reply. I think the IP rules of the forum prevent me from posting exactly what I'm eating, but I can give you an idea. Hopefully none of this is off , though, since this is the meal plan I purchased directly from Whole30.

 
L: Whitefish packets with broccolini and carrots (1/3 lb fish, tablespoon fat, lots of veggies)
D: Salmon Stuffed Avocados and Steamed green beans.
 
B: Pumpkin Quiche (3ish eggs per portion)
L: Halibut with Mango Ginger Chutney and arugula salad (1/3 pound fish, 1 T fat, lots of veggies and a little fruit)
D: Asian White Fish Packets (1/3 pound fish, 1T fat, lots of veggies)

 

Thanks for any help you can offer. 

 

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my eczema flared up for quite a while and didnt start to settle down until towards the end of my last w30

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22 hours ago, SugarcubeOD said:

Sorry that you're going through this.

It's difficult to give you directed help because we don't know what you've been eating.  Post a few days of your intake including portion sizes, specific veggies, protein and fat, meal timing, workouts, sleep, fluid intake etc... and we can see if we can help.

Meals are listed above, but I just realized I didn't reply to your other points. 

I haven't changed anything else from my normal routine so I don't think that could be super relevant. 7:30 wake up (sometimes 8:30 on weekends). Bed sometime between 11-12pm. 5 x week HIIT workouts. Cardio intervals 6x week.  Low back exercises every day. Yoga 2x week (yin or restorative, I consider this mental health, not exercise). Walk 8-13 miles a day, in the course of my normal commute and errands. Occasional lazy Saturdays of 5 - 6 miles, but that's rare. 

I drink roughly 200 oz of water/day, plus a mint tea, green tea or ginger tea (home-steeped). I have 2x had strong black tea with a teaspoon of coconut butter in it since I started Whole 30. 

This diet is less diverse and lower in fat than what I'm used to eating, but otherwise, it really doesn't feel that different. I am really confused about how I could be gaining weight, when I look at all of this put together. It's pretty frustrating. Thanks for your help. 

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7 hours ago, foursimplewords said:

my eczema flared up for quite a while and didnt start to settle down until towards the end of my last w30

Thanks for sharing! Hoping I'll have a similar outcome. 

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17 minutes ago, Fundamental said:

Thanks for sharing! Hoping I'll have a similar outcome. 

I reduced my white potato intake too which helped :)

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2 minutes ago, foursimplewords said:

I reduced my white potato intake too which helped :)

I haven't included potatoes in my diet at all, so that's not my issue. But thank you for the thought!

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25 minutes ago, foursimplewords said:

I reduced my white potato intake too which helped :)

Although I was thinking about it and I won't now.  (A few recipes have called for them and I've excluded them or used sweet potatoes instead.) 

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22 minutes ago, Fundamental said:

This diet is less diverse and lower in fat than what I'm used to eating, but otherwise, it really doesn't feel that different. I am really confused about how I could be gaining weight, when I look at all of this put together. It's pretty frustrating. Thanks for your help. 

You can add more fat if you need to. For instance, in your deviled eggs, you could for sure use more than a tablespoon of mayo. White fish are generally not very fatty, so you're not getting a lot of fat naturally from your protein sources in those meals, so definitely don't worry about adding a little extra to those. Keep in mind that the meal template lists a range, 1-2 thumb-sized portions of fat -- and the template represents a minimum.

My guess is that what you're perceiving as weight gain might be less weight, and more bloating. If something you're eating is causing the eczema, it might be contributing to bloating too. For instance, some people find that nightshades make skin conditions worse, and can cause bloating. There's an explanation of what nightshades are here.  (Some people also have issues with FODMAPS, but my understanding is that they're less likely to cause skin issues, which is why I suggested nightshades first.)

 

This last bit isn't food-related, and some people get really touchy about this subject, but I'm just throwing it out there as food for thought.

46 minutes ago, Fundamental said:

I haven't changed anything else from my normal routine so I don't think that could be super relevant. 7:30 wake up (sometimes 8:30 on weekends). Bed sometime between 11-12pm. 5 x week HIIT workouts. Cardio intervals 6x week.  Low back exercises every day. Yoga 2x week (yin or restorative, I consider this mental health, not exercise). Walk 8-13 miles a day, in the course of my normal commute and errands. Occasional lazy Saturdays of 5 - 6 miles, but that's rare. 

 

You're not always getting 8 hours of sleep. If I read that right you're doing HIIT and cardio intervals both five days a week, plus an extra day of cardio intervals. You're stressing a bit about the Whole30 itself, and worrying about whether you're going to end up gaining weight during the Whole30. These are all stressors. And I'm sure like all of us you have other stressors, even if each is fairly small -- relationships, work stuff, bills, housekeeping/maintenance -- all the stuff that you don't think about, but which is contributing to stress levels. This article has a section about stress and how it affects your body -- it's concentrating on working out and recovering and things like feeling tired, but stress can present as skin issues as well. Just read through it and consider if extra stressors at this moment may be affecting you negatively, and if perhaps you need to find ways to cut some of them out right now for a little while.

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Hi Shannon,

Thanks for taking the time to reply! I'm sorry to be a tough case, but I I'm not sure that those make sense in my situation. 

A few things: I have done elimination diets that removed nightshades in the past and had no issues reintroducing them. I also eat them in my day to day, so they shouldn't be causing a flare-up just because I've switched to to Whole30, right? (Same goes for FODMAPS).

For fat: I have been following the diet exactly as written because I've seen in the forums when people who have trouble write that they modify, that's usually the thing called out as the culprit. I wanted to be sure that I was doing it right, so I made no variations other than those mentioned. I'm happy to add more fat, but, again, I'm following the Whole30 as written, so I'm not sure why not modifying the amount of fat would be the issue. 

RE: Bloating. I can see/grip more fat on my hips and thighs and for me, bloating is generally most apparent in the belly and face (no apparent bloating in the belly or face right now). But I guess it's possible. The only thing is that It doesn't actually matter that much to me what it is if I don't know what caused it and can't get rid of it. 

As for the stress, I strongly disagree with that one. I have definitely faced that down in the past! A major cause of fat belly for me. I have worked hard to learn to manage it.

  • My workouts have not changed since starting the Whole30, and they still make me feel good.
  • I only started stressing about the weight gain yesterday. I know people who've had a lot of success with Whole30 and most of the plan seemed logical to me, so I was just excited to be reset from the holidays and sure the weird weight gain and inflammation would work themselves out out. Hitting the 2 week mark made me less certain, aka new stressor! 
  • I meditate daily for stress management
  • I have had 8 hours of sleep or more every night I've been doing the Whole30. 11-7:30 is my jam during the week. 

Thanks for linking to the meal template. That's neat and I'd missed that!

 

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