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Many Whole 30s -- Always Different Results

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Hello, W30 community!

I have been doing 1-2 Whole 30s per year for the last 4 years. I've also done a few Whole 45's, and several shorter stints (5-14 days) as re-sets in between. I have always gotten slightly different results ie, more/less gain in energy, more/less weight loss, more/less control of sugar dragon, more/less clear headedness and improved moods. I'm ok with the differences and just chalk it up to the many, many variables in the process. And I learn a little something with every experience, so that's good.

Something I hadn't counted on, though, was completing a Whole 30 in May and seeing basically NO improvements. In fact, I feel a little worse than when I started. I am SO TIRED by mid-afternoon, my sugar dragon is raging, I'm not sleeping great, my workouts/recovery suck, and I'm having a lot of digestive trouble (constipation, gas, and bloating. OMG, the bloating!)

When I wasn't starting to feel good around day 20, I thought, "OK, this is just one of those times that I have to add a couple more weeks to get the results." I'm happy to do that, but I'm thinking I also need to make some tweaks to push things in a better direction. I've already started adding more starchy veg to my meals, as that has helped in the past with the energy. (Not much help so far.) Also, just making sure I am eating enough can be a challenge. Other tweaks I know I can do make are around better control of my habits. A few that have been harder to break during this round include drinking too much coffee and relying too much on dried fruit--I've been justifying the caffeine for the energy boost and more prunes than usual to try to keep my fiber up for the constipation. Oh, and almond butter. That's always a food with no brakes for me, and I've been turning to it too much lately.

Here's some recent meals: 

2 sm. salmon cakes, 2 eggs over arugula salad w/olive oil & lemon juice, sliced avocado.

Grilled beef kabobs (about 4-5 ounces) w/roasted peppers and onions over cauli-rice.

2 roasted chicken drumsticks with roasted carrots and brussels sprouts.

zucchini hash with chorizo, lime cilantro, and avocado.

shrimp stir fry with broccoli, peppers, onions, mushrooms and almond butter-based sauce.

*Most meals in the last week also include a small helping of potatoes, sweet potatoes or squash.


Any suggestions to help me turn this around? THANKS!




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I've found that just making sure I have a given amount of starchy vegetables isn't enough for me to feel at my best... it really depends on when I eat them and not just how much I'm eating of them. My meal times during Whole30 are usually around 6-6:30am for meal 1, around 11:30-noon for meal 2, and 6-6:30pm for meal 3. Starchy veg with my first meal helps me get to meal 2 without feeling starved, and I need a full serving (or little more) of starchy veg at dinner for me to sleep well overnight... but even a few bites of starchy veg for that middle meal and I'm looking for a pillow by 2pm. This is why my dinner leftovers usually find their way to my breakfast plate, and I'll grab a salad or something for lunch so I can avoid heavy eyelids in the middle of the afternoon. Playing around with the timing of your starches might be worth considering if you've been adding a little in everywhere. :)

Other thoughts are just about things you noted... dried fruit could be feeding your sugar dragon enough to keep it kicking, especially if you didn't manage to starve it out to start with this time... nuts and nut butters could be contributing to overall digestive stuff and even hormonal issues, which can throw everything out of whack quickly... I'd be curious to see what kind of results you'd experience if you could leave out nuts and fruits for a week, but I'm not sure if that would work for your lifestyle as well as it would with mine. :) 

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  • Whole30 Certified Coach

It sounds like you are already so “in-tune” with your body and have already done some self reflection.  I would suggest limiting the amount of dried fruits and nuts/nut butter you are eating.  These foods may be contributing to your sugar cravings and low energy levels.  

Also, the caffeine from the coffee is likely contributing to your energy levels.  Try slowly decreasing the amount of caffeine by mixing it with decaf. 

Last, I’m not sure how much you’re exercising or the intensity but this is important to consider.  You may not be eating enough food! 

All of the meals you have listed sound delicious!!!

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Thanks for the feedback, ElainaR and Jihanna! Will think about how/when I integrate starch. Also I had a Lara bar this afternoon and almost immediately had some bloat and discomfort, so, yeah, I guess I'd better step away from dried fruit and nuts. 

Duh! :) 

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I have Hashimoto's, Celiac, FIbro and arthritis. So, I stopped gluten almost 2 years ago, but also continue to have some of the same issues you commented on and others, such as coughing and wheezing. I'm only on day 6, but have had no ill effects. I'm using this elimination program to include eggs and nightshades to check for intolerance to those. So, no tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers, etc. You may want to consider that something like that could be hindering progress.

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