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Day 25, but I have been eating foods sabotaging my Whole30. Should I start over?

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I am on day 25 of Whole30, but I have never felt the tiger blood or lightness I was expecting to feel. I think it is associated with the overconsumption of nuts and other snacky foods. I have always had the need to snack on something, especially in the weekend, when the kitchen is just a few steps away. My diet on Whole30 is similar to my previous diet as I was Paleo; the reason I attempted a Whole30 was to get rid of my urge to snack on something, but clearly, I have failed due to my lack of willpower. I feel guilty. Should I start over?

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First, don't feel guilty. These kinds of changes can be very difficult. 

Should you start over? Well, that really depends on you. Here's what I would do, at least for the last few days of your Whole30. At that point, decide whether to keep going or not. As long as you haven't eaten anything that isn't allowed, you can do reintroductions if you want to, or you can keep going for as long as you want to.

First, make sure your meals are big enough that you're easily going 4-5 hours between meals. This may be more food than you're used to eating, but you're going to cut out between-meal snacks, so that's okay. It's so much easier not to eat between meals when you know you're not really hungry.

Second, think about getting all the nuts out of your kitchen if you can't resist them. This isn't necessarily permanent, but for now, look at the things you have around that are easy to snack on, that you reach for even if you're not hungry, and make it hard to get them, which usually involves keeping them out of the house. If you really, really need them for recipes, buy only as much as you need for recipes you'll be making in the near future, and keep them someplace hard to get to -- top shelf of a cabinet where you have to go get a stepladder to get to them, for instance.

Third, think of things you can do when you have an urge to go into the kitchen and get food during times you know you're not hungry. (If you're not sure if you're hungry or not, think about whether you'd eat something bland and boring, like plain steamed fish and broccoli. If you would, you're really hungry -- grab some leftovers or an egg or a handful of olives to eat. If you wouldn't eat that, you're probably not really hungry. Drink some water, and walk away from the kitchen.) Things you can do instead of eat include things like journaling, meditating, going for a walk, calling a friend to chat, reading  a book, working on a hobby, doing some exercise, cleaning something -- come up with a list of things that you can do that will keep your hands and brain busy for a bit until the feeling of wanting to eat passes. When you want to eat but know it's just boredom or habit, not hunger, pick something off the list to do instead.

Finally, this is all a process. It takes time, and sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may realize you're eating out of boredom or because you're stressed or whatever. That's okay, just figure out why it happened, make a plan to help it not happen again, and keep going. 

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