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1st time Whole30er starting to freak out a little


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Hi all! My name is Brittni and I started my first ever round of Whole30 on March 6th.

I am committed to staying 100% on program and completing but I have some concerns...ok they've actually become legit fears that are starting to consume me and take up time from my day with time spent worrying about them. I was hoping to see if anyone else shares these fears or has any feedback for me?

Here's what's bothering me:

-I feel like I'm eating too much of four basic things and that's it going to impact me negatively:

1. Oil. It seems like all my sides and most of my entrees from The Whole30 and The Whole30 Cookbook are cooked in oil. Healthy oils, such as coconut and olive, but the amount has me worried. I'm following the recipes and I know we need more fat on this program but it just seems like SO much - there's a cooking fat on everything!

2. Potatoes. I'm not going to lie, I have always been a bit scared off by carbs, even the complex ones I don't want to have too much of. I have found since starting this week that having some roasted red potatoes or some sauteed spiralized sweet potatoes have become my favorite part of every meal. I look forward to them, especially at breakfast or sweet potatoes in a salad. My worry is, I've noticed that I've been fitting some in at every meal. Granted it's never a whole potatoes worth at every meal but I'm concerned that having them in some way at every meal is excessive? Especially when I'm doing it every day?

3.Salt! I was never a salt user before starting Whole30, I literally cannot remember the last time I voluntarily put salt on something or used it as a seasoning when cooking before this week. I've started to add it in my meals this week and I'm worried going from never additionally adding to using it consistently now is too much and may screw with my health?

4. Red Meat. I will be the first to admit that I love red meat, mostly in the form of steak but I've never really cooked it myself, I've always just waited and had it out a few times a year. Well Melissa's directions for the perfectly cooked steak worked and I loved it. I bought two sirloins, total weight for both was a little under a pound, and have used, or plan to in the next day, them as a main protein alone with sides or on delicious steak salads for 3 meals this week. I'm hooked. But is having that much red meat in one week excessive? Bad for your heart health and cholesterol? Can I have red meat for a few meals every week without it being detrimental? 

Honestly I know I know I've only completed three full days so far but I feel like I'm eating a lot more, taking in a lot more calories, am still finding myself getting hungry and I feel bigger than I have in years. I'm starting to really be concerned that I'm taking in too much or doing something wrong and I'm going to end up in bigger pants after the 30 days! 

Sorry, I know that was long and full of rambling and maybe some stupid fears! Thank you for reading and I would LOVE any feedback. Thank you!!


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First, relax. Three days is way too early to start predicting how your Whole30 is going to turn out. You might find the timeline helpful -- it's a somewhat humorous look at the things you may experience throughout the month (but keep in mind, not everyone experiences every item, some experience them out of order, etc., it's just a general look at common things that people mention).

So, for your questions.

Fat. Lots of people are concerned about the amount of fat, especially when mods point out that cooking fat often stays in the pan and it really is okay to have more on top of that, so if a meal sounds like it would be better with some avocado and some olives, or some mayo, or some ghee or oil on your potato, or some hollandaise sauce on your eggs,  but the veggies are already cooked in oil -- don't worry about it. We want your meals to keep you satisfied for 4-5 hours at a time, and while the protein and vegetables are important, fat is a big part of making that work.

Potatoes. It is fine to have potatoes. In general, most people feel best if they have a fist-sized serving of some kind of starchy vegetable once a day. People who are active, who are prone to anxiety and depression, and women who are pregnant, nursing, or in the week or so leading up to her period often need more. A few people -- those who have problems with insulin resistance, who have a lot of weight to lose, or who are mostly sedentary, might do better with less. Assuming you're pretty healthy, as long as you're eating a variety of other vegetables as well, don't worry about it too much right now.

Salt. If you previously were eating processed foods -- at restaurants, tv dinners, deli meats, cheeses, crackers, salted butter/butter substitutes, for instance -- you may not have been adding salt, but you were consuming salt. When you cut those items out of your diet, you cut your salt intake a lot. We do need some salt -- if you cut it out completely and weren't getting any at all, your electrolytes would get out of whack, and you'd feel tired and sluggish at least, and could possibly get pretty sick if you didn't address the problem. It's okay to salt your food so that it tastes good to you. (Obviously, if you have any health issues and your doctor has given you specific instructions about how much salt to have, follow those directions. Nothing on these forums should ever take the place of advice from your doctor.)

Red meat. Eating red meat a few times a week while you're on Whole30 is fine. If you check out this older thread on the forum here, scroll down a little bit and there's a post from moderator Tom Denham with links to several articles about cholesterol that may help you feel better about this.

Finally, this is purely anecdotal, I have no particular scientific studies to back it up, but reading people post in the forum, it seems like sometimes people start a Whole30 and find themselves craving healthy, Whole30 compliant foods that they may have limited in the past -- like potatoes, or healthy fats, or meat. They may eat a bunch of it for a while, and then after a while, they don't want them quite as much. I don't know whether it's a psychological thing, where suddenly these things are okay so they just go for it, or whether there's a physical component where there's something in these items that their body is really needing, or some of both, but especially in the first week or two, try not to worry about it. As long as you're eating other things as well, it'll all work out.

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