Eb68

Almost done & still struggling

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I’m on day 22, and the struggle is real. I have been very serious about staying compliant and following the meal template for every meal, and I have yet to experience any positive changes. It’s actually been a relatively negative experience so far. My energy has been low since the start, I have vivid dreams every night (unusual for me), my endometriosis (which I’ve had under control for over a year) is flaring up, and I’m experiencing ocular migraines for the first time in my life. My appetite is also very irregular. I’m almost never hungry in the morning (though I eat a full compliant meal anyway), and I’m always starving a couple hours after dinner. I understand everyone’s Whole30 experience is different, but with just one week left, I’m worried I’ve been doing something wrong here.

Here is an example of an average day for me -

Breakfast - 2 egg and veggie muffins, heap of steamed broccoli, handful of berries, half an avocado, black coffee

Lunch - 4 small beef and pork meatballs, small salad with cherry tomatoes, roasted red potatoes, drizzle of olive or avocado oil

Dinner - chicken and bell pepper stir fry, sautéed carrots and snap peas, handful of almonds or olives 

I eat all of my meals on dinner plates, and I always make sure they are totally full. Occasionally I give into my hunger in between meals and will have a Larabar, an apple with almond butter, or some roasted veggies. I’ve been trying to use water as an appetite suppressant in between meals, so I’m definitely properly hydrated. I’m not sure where to go from here. Any and all recommendations are welcome!

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I would guess you are low on protein and probably fat. Eggs as a sole protein are as many as you can hold in your hand without dropping; 3-4 is a good start for most people. 4 small meatballs is probably barely a palm portion so you could double up on that as well.  Hard to say your serving sizes otherwise but veggies should be 2-3+ cups cooked or equivalent.

 

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Eb68 I'm wondering how you're doing now? Did you continue or did you throw in the towel? I'm at 21 days right now and also really not doing well with this. I've tried to be very accurate with the templates as well, but I am not experiencing good results at this point, and I don't seem to be getting much help here in general. :( 
I would love to hear an update from you to help me decide if I should keep going or if I should just stop and see if that will end the misery. I'm thankful for what I've gained so far (better insight how to incorporate veggies into every meal, and the ability to cut way back on sugar) but this requires an awful lot of time and energy that I just can't continue to give to it if I'm really not seeing positive results. Sigh. So disappointing... 

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@Michelle12 I’m so sorry to hear you’re struggling! It’s so frustrating to have to deal with this so late in the program, especially when you’re giving it your all. If you don’t mind me asking, what specific struggles are you experiencing? Are they mental or physical?

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Primarily physical. Still getting occasional headaches, but severe gas, bloating, and upset stomach. Pretty much the opposite of tiger blood -- exhausted most of the time and less energy not more. And my pants are honesty tighter than when I started which is just painfully depressing.

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@Michelle12 So frustrating! I’ve read multiple places that upset stomach/nausea are not normal symptoms to experience on Whole30, so that’s something to consider moving forward.

Unfortunately, the suggestions from the admin above did not help me. My sister in law has been through Whole30, and she confirmed the suggestions were good. Increasing my food intake only added to my problems (hello, digestive issues), and I decided on day 25 that I needed to quit the program. It was a difficult choice with the finish line in sight, but I believe it was the right choice for me. It’s not that this was “too hard”, it’s that my body was rejecting what I was doing to it, and my pain and fatigue were starting to interfere with my daily routine too greatly. I learned a lot from my 25 days, and as I’m reintroducing food, I’m finding there are foods that I should NOT be eating. So I did benefit from this, even though I was unable to finish. I’ve been off Whole30 for 4 days and I am no longer getting migraines & my energy is slowly improving. 

This is such a personal experience, and deciding to quit is a very personal decision. I am by no means encouraging you to quit. But I will say I’m finding this is NOT for everyone (google “quitting whole30”). My SIL and I could not have had more opposite experiences on our Whole30’s - she said she had tiger blood almost the whole time! If this is something you cannot physically push through for the next week+, I would encourage you to listen to your body. It sounds like you’ve already learned a lot and have the building blocks for a better way of eating in the future, which is a huge win. You can always give Whole30 another try in the future. Don’t feel like all of this has been for nothing - I can assure you that’s not the case! Whatever you choose to do, I hope you’re feeling better soon!

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Thank you Eb68! I'm glad to hear you're doing better. It's so interesting how different all of our bodies are! I (barely) decided to stick it out today and I'm trying to see if I can make adjustments to improve my results. I really want this to work for me! I desperately want some of that tiger blood!!

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Sorry to hear you didn't have a good experience... Since you seem to be open to learning about the foods your body does better/worse on - how was W30 different than your pre-W30 diet?  It always seems to strange to me when people say W30 doesn't work for them because W30 is nothing but food.  Real food.  So adding in processed food and feeling improvement seems a little counter-intuitive to me.  BUT some people have unknown sensitivities to eggs, FODMAPS, nightshades, etc and because suddenly people eat a lot more eggs and veggies during a W30 (which should NOT make you sicker in principle) they suddenly don't feel well.   You also ate very low carb (according to the day you posted) which if you are coming from a very high carb diet can take weeks to adjust to.  Fatigue and headaches are totally normal for a transition to very low carb diet.  And one other thing - you said you were drinking water as an appetite suppressant between meals - between the drop in sodium (often happens when people transition to a whole foods diet) and the increased water intake, you may have messed up your electrolyte balance a bit (again, headaches and fatigue would be a normal presentation of this).  I sure hope a bunch of salted bone broth wouldn't have been all you needed to feel better!

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@littleg  I moved away from the SAD diet several years ago. I had learned that keeping my sugar, gluten and dairy in check kept me feeling more like myself. I also follow a relatively low FODMAP diet. I tried Whole30 because I was starting to let some junk (mainly refined sugar) slowly creep back into my diet, and I had never tried eliminating foods like soy and non-gluten grains, so I was curious to see what it could do for me. 

I would say the main difference between my W30 diet and my everyday diet is the timing and the quantity of food. I’m a grazer- I eat several small meals and snacks over the course of the day, eating when I’m hungry, and stopping when I’m not. While the idea of eating a protein, a veggie and a healthy fat for a meal was not foreign to me, I struggled heavily eating entire plates of it three times a day. I was eating way more meat and way more fat that I ever had, and my body seemed to really miss the snacking. I was always either full and bloated with upset stomach, or I was starving - my appetite just couldn’t adjust. I was definitely eating fewer carbs, but I wouldn’t say I was eating low carb by any means. Since quitting W30, I’ve only reintroduced a small handful of non-compliant foods (and I’ve already decided to stay away from most of them), so I don’t think it’s necessarily that I feel better with processed food in my system. I’ve gotten back to eating smaller meals, and snacking when I need to snack. It just seems to be what’s best for my body, for whatever reason. I’m sure there’s an explanation for it, but in all my searching through the forum and various blogs, I never found one.

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