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I didn't get a response in the thread I commented in so I'll start a new one.

I'm discouraged and frustrated. I'm on day 21 and the bloating and gas are awful. My clothes were fitting looser for a while, but now they are actually tighter. No tiger blood of any kind -- just exhaustion. I need more sleep not less. I feel horrible in the mornings and exhausted all day and I'm struggling to keep up with anything. The amount of time and energy I'm spending on food is just not doable for such disappointing results.
I'm 42, have 11 children (10 still at home including a nursing baby.) I stopped really working out or playing sports after baby #7, and we homeschool so it's just gotten busier from there. I drink a lot of water all day, but don't keep track of exactly how much. I get as much sleep as I can but I've not gotten a full night's sleep in decades with this brood ;) I have always been able to do well with limited sleep -- until whole30 it seems. I'm sure I could be told to get more sleep, but that's not always an option. I need a diet that will sustain me in my life rather than requiring me to make unreasonable changes so I can sustain it, if that makes sense. I always ate relatively healthy before (whole grains, lots of fruits and veggies) but I rarely ate meat and I did eat too much sugar and baked goods (I make AWESOME chocolate chip cookies and bread, sigh) so I've been glad to reboot and get rid of the sugar. The painful and horrible smelling gas and bloating combined with the utter lack of energy are making me miserable. I would be willing to stick through that if there were other gains, but the complete lack of weight loss (and what feels like a bit of weight gain, UGH!) is beyond depressing and making me lose hope that this is the right diet for me...


A few typical meals
Meal 1: Fritata with TONS of veggies (peppers, onions, mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, asparagus, etc) served with an avocado and sometimes some compliant sausage.
Meal 2: Giant cobb or taco salad. Tons of spring mix with various veggies and mango or other fruit slices. with balsamic and olive oil.
Meal 3: Roast beef with onions, carrots, rutabega mashed potatoes prepared with plenty of oil and spices (whole30 compliant) and a few drinks of coconut almond milk.

Meal 1: Super veggie Fritata with leftover shrimp or salmon and a baked sweet potato slathered in cinnamon coconut oil.
Meal 2: Twice fried plantains (deep fried in coconut oil) with pico de gallo, leftover steak, celery sticks with a bit of almond butter and a few raisins and coconut
Meal 3: Grilled Salmon salad. Tons of veggies and spring mix with Salmon and oil/vinegar.
I've also used celery with a bit of almond butter and coconut and maybe a hard boiled egg as a small snack when necessary. And I've drunk some coconut almond milk when I felt I needed it (nursing mom.)
Any help would be appreciated. I'm 5'10" and weigh probably around 175-180 -- size 14 -- and not losing baby weight like I used to. I'd like to lose at least 20 pounds, preferably 30 and two or three pants sizes. I would gladly settle for 10 pounds or so and one pants size on this go round.

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I'm sorry to hear you're experiencing this! I honestly don't have a ton to offer except maybe some compassion! I cannot even imagine trying to do this while having 11 children! Well, honestly, I cannot even imagine having 11 children at all, but I digress... 

I didn't struggle with bloating on my Whole30 but I did struggle with energy. I did a Whole43 and honestly never really got a lot in the way of energy gains. I wasn't exhausted but I wasn't exactly vibrant or energetic. For me, I think fat was the culprit. It looks like you're eating fat, but maybe pause and really make sure you're getting a full-size serving or two or three of fat with every single meal! 

Anyway, from doing a little Google research, it sounds like the following are common causes of bloating: 

  • nuts or seeds
  • not drinking enough water
  • eating raw or cruciferous vegetables

Arr you having nuts or seeds every day? Are you drinking 90 oz of water every day (1/2 your body weight on ounces is the recommendation)? It might be worth buying a large water bottle and tracking your water? It definitely looks like you eat a lot of raw veggies as salads. So maybe try cutting that back?

Honestly, I hope someone more informed chimes in but I wanted to offer a little bit of sympathy and support. I do hope you figure out what's causing your problems and find more success!! I didn't achieve all I had hoped for but I have no doubt in my mind that this is the right thing for me and I'm thrilled with what I did achieve. I hope you find that too! 

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As a nursing mom, you probably need four full meals (or three meals and a couple of mini meals, if that's easier schedule wise -- but as much food as four full meals.) Definitely try to drink plenty of water -- at your weight you'd want to aim for 88-90 ounces a day. Get a container that you know how many ounces it holds, and figure out how many times you need to drink it and refill it, then keep track of that -- a notepad in the kitchen where you make a mark every time you finish a glass would work.

Are you salting your food? Definitely salt so that it tastes good. Too little salt can contribute to exhaustion.

Your meals look okay, assuming that your servings match up to the meal template -- you haven't really listed serving sizes here. When you have protein, make sure you have 1-2 servings the length, width, and height of your palm, or if eggs are your only protein, have as many whole eggs as you can hold in one hand, which is probably 3-4.

 Is there anything you're eating now you weren't before, or that you're eating a lot of now that you weren't before? If there is, maybe that is something you're having a reaction to. Some people find raw vegetables cause bloating. Nuts and nut butters do for some people as well. Sometimes people who are not used to eating meat and add it back in have trouble digesting it -- digestive enzymes can help with that, although I do not know if they are okay for nursing moms, so definitely consult your doctor. 

There's no way to control how much weight or inches you lose. This isn't about that. This is about eating foods that make you healthier, which will lead to weight loss in people who need to lose weight, but it may not happen as fast as you'd like. You've spent a lot of time over the last several years being pregnant, nursing, and recovering from that -- your hormones are probably all over the place, and it can take time for that to settle down. You're also older now than you were when you had your first one, and like it or not, our bodies change as we age, and changes that used to happen quickly, take more time now.

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Sorry your post in the other thread was missed - definitely not intentional!

You may want to consider removing high FODMAP foods from your diet for a few days and see how you do... onions, garlic, mushrooms, asparagus, mango are all high fodmap foods which cause gas and bloating unfortunately.  Here's a link to a chart but do a little bit of research on high/low fodmap foods so you have an understanding of what the potential issue might be

highFODMAPchecklist_dec2017.pdf

Secondly, I would remove the salad greens as they can also cause bloating and gas and replace those with cooked veggies for a while and see how that goes.

Third, nuts and their products can be very gut disruptive so you may want to consider reducing your consumption of those as well and hardboiled eggs are the hardest type of egg to digest for a lot of people so that could also contribute.

It could be all of these things or some of these things or none of these things but like with anything, you have to remove them and then add them back to see how you do with them.  There is a LOT of discussion on FODMAP here on the forum so you can google 'whole30 fodmap' and you should get lots of threads with lots of good advice and I know our moderator @jmcbn has linked a really good list on some of her posts as well.

With regard to your expectations around weightloss results, as you know, this is an elimination diet meant to heal your gut and then allow reintroduction of foods in a somewhat scientific way to determine their impact on you.  Weightloss is a sometimes side effect of changing a diet but depending on where you came from diet-wise previous, it's not guarenteed.  We also lose weight slower as we get older and the more times our body has to bounce back from weight gain, even when it's for a baby, the harder it can be to lose the weight but do know that the more you support your body through proper diet, the more likely it is that over the long term, you'll end up at a statis of weight that your body is meant to be at.

 

 

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Thank you so much for the replies! I'll keep at it and try some adjustments (although giving up onions will be a killer! -- roasted onions and peppers is one of my staples that I LOVE) 
I did already experiment with cutting out almond butter and didn't see much improvement, but maybe I should try again. I don't eat much of it at all but I only cut it out for about two days and maybe it takes longer. I can also cut out salad and raw veggies for a while (although I never had problems with salad or veggies before -- so I don't know if that is really the problem. Would my digestion change so much that I could no longer handle lots of salad greens and veggies like broccoli when I've always eaten a lot of them? I don't see how that would make sense or be an improvement.)

I'll start tracking my water. I have a HUGE cup that I just refill all day and it would be pretty easy to measure how much it holds.
I do use plenty of pink salt (I have low blood pressure and have been told that i need consume a lot of salt.) 
The MAIN thing I'm eating a LOT more of than I used to (other than veggies) is meat. It feels to me like that's the source of a lot of the problems, but I could totally be wrong. I ran out of kombucha a few weeks ago and haven't bought or finished brewing more so that might be part of the increased problems? Maybe that was helping?
And alas, yes it is MUCH harder to lose weight after each baby and as I get older. That's a BIG part of the reason I wanted to try whole30. I do LOVE the feeling of feeding my body good food and knowing I (and my baby) are being nourished, but I hate feeling fat and bloated and I am really really wanting results in weight loss as well :( Are there any tips you could give me to possibly help with that? 
And if anyone has had any success getting a family with a bunch of kids and teens on board at all with this kind of eating I would LOVE to hear your ideas. I'm dying preparing two completely different meals three times each day... But getting my kids to eat meat and veggies for breakfast (or for any meal with some of them grrrr.) or being able to afford this kind of food for my entire family seems to be a no go.

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The problem may very well not be the salad greens but because they ARE problematic for some people and you're currently having problems, the best way to determine if they are or aren't a problemf or you are to remove them and then add them back.  Same with the nut butters and onions etc... it's likely not forever for every item but it could be that you find that you have a limit tolerance to say, onions... that would mean that you can eat them twice a week persay but that more than that causes problems... that's something you find out through trial and error and while it is annoying and lengthy, there's not much way to figure these things out except to experiment - which is what Whole30 really is!

As far as tips to lose weight, no we don't give out that kind of advice.  We want you to nourish your body sufficiently, especially since you have a nursing child.  Eat three (or four in your case because you're breastfeeding) times a day a template meal that keeps you full for 4-5 hours (or a little less since again, breastfeeding).

I can't give any advice around the family as I am a single woman so I only have me to worry about and a family totalling 13 people is a bit different ;)  There have been people with large families who have done the program.  Google being the best way to search the site, I suggest googling 'whole30 large family' and similar and you should come up with some forum posts and maybe even some articles from the blogosphere of those who have done the program with a large family.

Edit to add: One more thing, you might want to look into digestive enzymes if you feel meat digestion is part of the problem.  You can also google 'whole30 digestive enzymes' to get some results to look into of brands and how they help.

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Oh, and I'm actually really glad to know that eating some additional snacks or mini meals is okay even if I'm not exercising. I've had times where I'm barely hungry at all, but other times when I'm just ravenous and felt like a pig eating even more than my huge meals. I'm glad to know to chalk it up to nursing all day. :)

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11 kids!!! That is amazing! I wish I'd met my husband much earlier, so we could have such a big family :) I have 3 and people act like that's a ton, ha!

I am nursing my 19-month-old, and have been nursing nonstop (often tandem, when I have a newborn) since November 2011, when my first was born. I am with you 100% on the sleep deprivation!!! I will say that I eat white potatoes almost daily and TONS OF FAT (like, more mayo and ghee and coconut cream in my tea than I can even put into words) and those two things are the key to my tiger blood despite crap sleep.  This is my third whole30 and I'm feeling the tiger blood already on day 2 and I really do think it's all because I eat SO much fat and carb-rich vegetables. I eat a LOT of salt and protein, too. I have always been crazy for salt and I do not hold back with the whole30. I have only had trouble when I don't get enough fat, though; that seems to be THE number one factor in my feeling great in this crazy mom-to-small-kids life.

As for feeding kids what I'm eating, my kids are small enough that they just kind of... get what they get, and often the toddler just sits on my lap and shares what I eat from my bowl/plate.  Also meals are SIMPLE here (compliant sausage and fried potatoes with tons of ghee/mayo, side of raw pepper or greens or olives maybe, or ground beef/chicken with chopped veggies and potatoes/sweet potatoes)... lots of one-pan simple things I throw together.  Then maybe the older kids eat theirs with a little ketchup, too.  But my kids are not picky and unless things are super spicy they'll usually just eat it if it's what I'm serving them...

I really hope you feel better soon!

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