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Would I reccommend Whole 30?

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Just a quick note to say that Whole 30 doesn't work for everyone.  I hope you won't feel like a failure if it doesn't work for you.  This is a fad diet dressed up in whole food clothes.  That doesn't mean that it won't work for you.  It may be the jump-start you need to make healthy changes in your life.  But it wasn't for me or any of the people I have spoken with in person after they finished the 30 days.

I made it to Day 24, and felt pretty impressed with myself for getting that far.  But I had a sneaking suspicion the whole time that this diet really wasn't right for me.

After 24 days, I was glad I'd done it just because the eliminations were so helpful in giving me insight into my usual diet (there's definitely room for improvement).  I'm grateful for that.  But I felt so deprived by this diet that even two weeks after stopping, I'm still feeling starved in a way that I did not experience before the diet.  I feel like I've done more damage than good (not that there was any obvious good, in the first place.  I didn't lose weight, feel full or fix any physical issues that I can tell).  Say what you want about sugar dragons, but mine were friendlier BEFORE this diet, so I won't be recommending it to anyone.  I had to add a lot of egg and meat to my diet to stay compliant and for me, it didn't feel like a better way to eat.

I know this may not be what you want to hear, so just take it as a humble suggestion to trust yourself.  If it feels right...go for it!  But if you suspect that you need something a little different, you're probably right.  

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Curious, when you started, did you have a particular issue you were trying to get answers on? I think a lot of people do W30 when they're feeling fine, but have read about how amazing it is. Thing is, unless you do actually have an intolerance to something, or a bad diet to start with, then it is very restrictive and the plus sides may not be worth it at all. It's quite individual.

Me, I never got Tiger Blood, but by the end of week 1 I was free of the chronic vestibular migraines that had gotten so bad I was thinking of cutting back on work. It also fixed my IBS and my chronic reflux. BUT this all happened because I have food intolerance issues. If I didn't. it would have been a lot of work for a lot of not much, i suppose, because my diet was already pretty good, and varied. 

Plus, I never felt deprived because cooking is my passion and through W30 (and my super slow reintro) I have explored all sorts of new recipes, foods and really enjoying what I've been eating. 


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I have to agree with Schrod on this one, and add a few thoughts of my own...

Those who seem to experience the biggest results (from what I've read and judging my own experience) seem to be those with issues that either clear up or get better while they've let go of the foods... and those who experience the biggest continued success seem to be those who dove deep into the psychological side of things. Now by "biggest results", I don't mean weight loss, because that's really not what this "diet" (read: what you eat and drink) is all about; and by "continued success", I don't mean that they've continued to follow the strict Whole30 diet, but rather that they've identified underlying causes (whether that's cause of physical reactions or of their habits and addictions) and they've begun to adjust things in a way that allows them to continue forward in a healthy (or healthier) way. I also don't mean that none of the success stories should ever want or need to do another round -- because it's in practice that we find perfection, and finding your perfect diet and food freedom honestly isn't any different from anything else in that respect (it takes experimentation and experience so we can continue to tweak things and find our "personal perfect").

I'm sorry that you didn't get out of this experience what you expected that you would, and that you didn't see the value in continuing for the entire 30 days... but you DID get value out of the eliminations (and, I assume, the reintroduction) and how your body reacted. That's honestly what this diet is, in my mind -- it's an elimination diet that encourages you to address the underlying reasons behind the food relationships we've cultivated throughout life so far. It's not intended to be a fad diet, nor a quick-fix for weight, nor even really a quick-fix for anything else... but it IS often an eye-opening experience that can be used to inform life-long changes for the better. That said, it's very much a "your mileage may vary" type of thing, because every body is different (and so are the minds that drive them).

I definitely recommend "Whole30 or a similar elimination-style plan" to anyone I speak with who expresses an issue that I know might be helped by what they could learn through this kind of experience.


Edited to add: Like Schrod, I never actually felt deprived during my Whole30. I DID have times when I would lament the absence of something on my plate (such as comparing my usual Barberito's bowl to the compliant one I built during W30 -- no rice, no beans, no cheese)... but inevitably, I would rave about how GOOD it tasted without all the stuff I skipped, and I had to admit that I honestly didn't miss the taste of those things. I think part of my success in that respect is that I mostly avoided things that I thought needed the taste of something that's not compliant, and I have a pretty good understanding of tastes and how they blend so I knew what I could put together to create a flavor that I'd enjoy without feeling like it was "missing" something I couldn't have.

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Hi SchrodingersCat,

You're so smart to do a super slow re-introduction!  

I worked as a nutritionist after college, so anyone who's using this diet to address food sensitivities would do well to follow your example.  SLOW introduction, one food at a time (i.e., milk alone; NOT a variety of milk products).

I'm SO glad this worked for you!  Which foods seemed most impactful to your migraines?

I had migraines before, during and after Whole 30, and there wasn't much else that I was hoping to improve upon.  Now that I'm done, I do wonder if there were other (milder) issues that may have been improved by the diet.  For example, I don't breathe very well through my nose.  It's something that has come and gone throughout my life, so I wish I'd noticed whether it was happening during Whole 30, but it wasn't on my mind.


Thanks for your response too!  Whole30 is a very different diet for each person.  I didn't find it that hard to adjust my diet (a happy little surprise), I just never felt satisfied.  I was proud of myself for taking all the empty carbs out of my diet for a while, but I didn't enjoy adding so much meat and eggs.  All the hype about protein doesn't seem to apply to me.

I eat a lot of homemade whole foods.  My challenges are that I eat constantly and I do like sweets.  I sometimes wonder if I've ever been full (the way other people describe it).  I had hoped that eating the Whole30 way (I was 100% compliant) would make me feel satisfied longer between meals and snacks, but that didn't happen for me.  The verdict, for me, is that starchy carbs are the best cue to my body that my meal is done.

I made some amazing meals on Whole 30 that my family will continue to eat (Curry chicken with cashew cream and turkey Chili were our favorites).  I didn't feel starved for flavor, I just never felt satisfied without bread, grains, crackers or beans.  I know some people don't get hungry between meals, that's just not the case for me.  I have a healthy BMI, I just thought this diet might help me lose a few pounds before a trip, and give me some insight along the way. 

The insight I got is that I LOVE food! 

If Whole30 helped with my migraines, I'd be telling a different story, but as it is I suppose I'm lucky to have discovered that none of these dietary changes improves my life.

I know Whole30 doesn't claim to be a weight loss diet, but they don't mind selling books to people who are looking to lose weight either.  I haven't met anyone (I live in Southern California) who was using it for any other purpose (people in so-cal are pretty gluten avoidant, to begin with). 

If I had it to do over again, I'd title my post "Would I recommend Whole30 for weight loss"? 

This is just my way of letting people know that they don't need to feel alone if this diet didn't do what they expected.

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