Life Post Whole 30 - Struggling with Weight Gain and Normalcy


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Hey everyone, I just completed my first Whole 30 and lost quite a bit of weight while on the program. After going off, I did indulge in alcohol, dairy, sugar, etc. as I was home visiting family, and gained at least half of the weight back. My biggest motivation for going into Whole30 was to establish a healthy relationship with food. I always tend to see things as good or bad and if a ate a "bad" food I would let it ruin my day. Luckily on Whole30 eating whatever I wanted (but all healthy food) helped me stop trying to restrict myself so much. Now reintroducing things back into "normal" life I find that I'm letting one glass of wine, or a small piece of dark chocolate completely ruin my day/mood...I really want to still have a social life and not be as restrictive as I was on W30, but I'm struggling striking that balance and focusing too much on weight as an accomplishment...any ideas?!

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This is where finding your food freedom takes practice. Take the info you learned most recently and then do some experiments.  Maybe one glass of wine is fine but wine plus chocolate opens doors that should stay shut. Maybe chocolate is fine when with other people but too hard to manage when you're alone. Experiment with it and see if you can find your personal balance.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/16/2018 at 6:26 PM, ladyshanny said:

This is where finding your food freedom takes practice. Take the info you learned most recently and then do some experiments.  Maybe one glass of wine is fine but wine plus chocolate opens doors that should stay shut. Maybe chocolate is fine when with other people but too hard to manage when you're alone. Experiment with it and see if you can find your personal balance.

Good morning- I can relate to this post. I’ve had three weeks of visitors family holiday etc and got off eating healthy and do miss how I felt. Getting back to no sugar no bread etc is harder for some reason than first time. especislly with Xmas looming.  I did food freedom but it opened door to too much Sugar etc. I e gotten out my journal to look at it.  Anyway to return without going cold turkey and going to beginning again? Elizabeth 

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I totally agree with you, the holidays and being home kind of "ruined" it and I feel absolutely awful. I'm trying to change my viewpoint (i.e. good vs bad days), but it's so hard not to see things as extremes! I also 100% agree that no sugar/bread is way harder this time around. It's crazy, there's nothing different between right now and when I was on Whole30, other than apparently my willpower. I'm trying to eat as Whole30 clean as I can, allowing myself red wine, and doing my best not to beat myself up if I indulge in something (a sweet treat or dairy) but it's such a slippery slope. How much indulgence per week is too much? Is the sugar addiction so real that I need to forgo sugar altogether for good? Lots of living and learning post Whole30!

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  • 2 months later...

This IS what you have to learn for yourself - and reprogram what "indulgence" looks/feels like.  

As far as dealing with your social life, I have found it totally acceptable to my friends for me to say "yeah, I'm not willing to risk this (dramatic hands sliding down the new bod) for that".  It gets a laugh because of the dramatic hands slide :) and is a good reminder to yourself - and moves past the topic.  Your friends have seen that you look and feel better and they will get it and move on.  I also found new things to drink socially - sparkling water with lime and a splash of your chosen poison may be better because it's so close to sparkling water that you can have one and then go back to just plain sparkling water with citrus without feeling self-sacrificing or looking like you are "switching" to your friends and causing a stir (if this bothers you).  

Every day is a new day to make better choices - don't let yesterday's bad ones define today's (sort of like the rest of life, huh?) :)

 

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  • 2 months later...

I'm wondering about the topic of "life after" a 30. I found myself able to "mostly" stay on track for months, but ever so slowly over the course of a year, I've returned to old "pre-30" habits (and gained 10 pounds too.) I realize this program is not about weight loss and I also realize I felt so much healthier when I was 10 pounds lighter and eliminating sugar, bread, and alcohol.  I'm on day 10 of my second whole 30 and wondering if  I can expect to experience similar results the second time around?  Also wondering what supports are available to assist in maintaining the Whole 30 lifestyle, permanently? I have experienced a sort of "all" or "nothing" with this. I either stick w/ food guidelines with fidelity or I don't and then one off plan choice leads to another and another and another... and hello 10 lbs!

Thanks for any help/suggestions you can share.  

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42 minutes ago, AC16 said:

I'm wondering about the topic of "life after" a 30. I found myself able to "mostly" stay on track for months, but ever so slowly over the course of a year, I've returned to old "pre-30" habits (and gained 10 pounds too.) I realize this program is not about weight loss and I also realize I felt so much healthier when I was 10 pounds lighter and eliminating sugar, bread, and alcohol.  I'm on day 10 of my second whole 30 and wondering if  I can expect to experience similar results the second time around?  Also wondering what supports are available to assist in maintaining the Whole 30 lifestyle, permanently? I have experienced a sort of "all" or "nothing" with this. I either stick w/ food guidelines with fidelity or I don't and then one off plan choice leads to another and another and another... and hello 10 lbs!

Thanks for any help/suggestions you can share.  

You may want to check out the book Food Freedom Forever.  Melissa also just started a new podcast called Do The Thing with Whole30's Melissa Urban -- the first episode just came out today, and I haven't listened yet, but it is focused on why changes have not worked for you in the past.

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1 hour ago, AC16 said:

I'm wondering about the topic of "life after" a 30. I found myself able to "mostly" stay on track for months, but ever so slowly over the course of a year, I've returned to old "pre-30" habits (and gained 10 pounds too.) I realize this program is not about weight loss and I also realize I felt so much healthier when I was 10 pounds lighter and eliminating sugar, bread, and alcohol.  I'm on day 10 of my second whole 30 and wondering if  I can expect to experience similar results the second time around?  Also wondering what supports are available to assist in maintaining the Whole 30 lifestyle, permanently? I have experienced a sort of "all" or "nothing" with this. I either stick w/ food guidelines with fidelity or I don't and then one off plan choice leads to another and another and another... and hello 10 lbs!

Thanks for any help/suggestions you can share.  

Hi, AC16.  I did my W30 in March last year - so...wow, 13 months ago.  I have mostly managed to find an equilibrium that works for me - and I guess it's that every day is a new day (actually every meal is a new meal...) - and I've found that really freeing because if I do something "stupid" one night, I know when I wake up I can just eat my kale and eggs :) and RESTART (vs. letting that "another and another and another" continue).  Now granted, you can't do that every day or it's not really the lifestyle we are looking for!  I also think the re-introduction period is SUPER IMPORTANT because that is where you actually LEARN and that's where the power of choice gets activated.  So if you didn't really do that part (and honestly, I think it continues way after) then be sure you do that this second time.  For instance - I have learned that corn tortilla chips and salsa are pretty much my go-to "violation" (corn).  Do I eat them sometimes?   Yep.  And I learned through re-introduction that I'm going to get to be constipated for about 3 days afterwards.  After I did that a few times (yeah, I really love chips and salsa) I figured out that #1 there are grain-free tortilla chips (Siete brand) so I try to have those around instead and #2 it gives me something very specific to think about before I decide to grab corn chips.  It's not "oh, I know these are bad for me but I really want them..." it's "okay - I know these are going to stop me up for 2-3 days - what am I doing in the next 2-3 days and am I willing to add this discomfort to those experiences?" - that's pretty darn informative and makes it a different internal conversation.  But without the full-on re-introduction part of the W30 I would never have figured that out.  So, that's a long way around to say maybe that's what you do differently this time.  Sending you very good wishes!!!

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  • 1 year later...

I do know that weight loss per se Is not the main purpose of Whole30– but my PCP is keeping records of my weight and blood pressure numbers.  I know we aren’t supposed to care about the numbers on the scale, but That’s what my doctor cares about — they aren’t interested in NSVs (not quantifiable). 
 

So, reintroducing went well and was uneventful— no reaction to any of the things. Food Freedom sounds great— but presently I have a little “food fear” instead because I lost ~6 pounds in the month. I want to keep losing gradually, and I don’t want to gain it back (otherwise the whole project was to no purpose).  But it also says that we aren’t supposed to stay on W30 forever. 
 

What should I do next?

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, 2GreyCats said:

But it also says that we aren’t supposed to stay on W30 forever. 

That is true... but that doesn't mean that it's Whole30 or off the rails.  How about reintroduction and then try and make a plan that works for you... it can be very close to Whole30... for instance, maybe you choose to eat only Whole30 compliant food for breakfast and lunch but for dinner, you don't mind if there's some sugar in the ketchup or rice in your meal... we can't tell you exactly what that's going to look like but you get to make your Food Freedom whatever makes you comfortable while still meeting your goals.  What we DON"T want you to do is take the Whole30, turn it into a food prison and live by 'our' rules forever.

Many of our long time posters here and mods will have a Food Freedom plan that looks a LOT like Whole30 but is tailored to their specific context and needs.

Lets try and work out what that might look like for you... what things are you missing right now and what things do you see yourself doing without/never eating again (for me, I never brought beans back... not sad about it at all...).  Lets start there :)

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Thanks— I suppose I should actually read the book to start with! But what you are saying makes a lot of sense.

For me, I am thinking of reversing the meal profile, just to work with me and my schedule, once I have classes to teach again. I am thinking of making lunch and dinner be mostly Whole30-ish, and having more “conventional” breakfast menus — add a slice of toast or some grits with the eggs, or porridge. Lunches and dinners are a lot easier for me to create on the guidelines than breakfast was.  There were a few days when I never had breakfast at all because nothing sounded appealing and I didn’t have time to cook or create stuff.

Appreciate the encouragement, and I will start by borrowing the book and go from there. :)

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14 hours ago, 2GreyCats said:

For me, I am thinking of reversing the meal profile, just to work with me and my schedule, once I have classes to teach again.

Perfect!  This is exactly what we want you to do! Figure out a framework and a list of 'worth it' foods and write a 'Whole2GreyCats'.  Live on it for a while, reassess and see what's working and what isn't, return to Whole30 if things went really off the rails and then reformat your 'Whole2GreyCats' with what you learned... unfortunately it's not a one and done process but it does mean that you're going to figure out exactly how 2GreyCats' body likes to be fed.

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