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Persistent Bloat and Bumpy Bowels

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Im wrapping day 17 and my bloat is getting worse and my bowel movements (sorry!) are not improving. I’m regular (yay!) but the amount seems too much and is not solid. The bloat is ironic because understanding what makes me bloat is a big reason I did this! For me this was not at all about weight loss and was about establishing a healthier relationship with sugar and impulsive eating. I recently cut back on nuts and that hasn’t helped.

about me: 30. Healthy, Very active and fit. (Daily workouts, 50+ mile bike rides, running, swimming, biking, lifting etc) before whole 30: generally healthy with a tendency to binge on peanut mnms, ice cream and dessert.

what I’m eating:

breakfast: I started whole30 with a banana and almond butter. Lately I’ve had a pre workout banana and then breakfast of scrambled eggs, raspberries, and sautéed spinach. 

Lunch: salad of arugula and kale usually, cucumbers, snap peas, avocado, grilled chicken, sometimes an egg, sometimes a berry. Olive oil and balsamic.

snack: changed from nuts to carrots recently. Sometimes I have dried mango (yeah I know I’m not supposed to snack, I do) I had apples last week and felt better than this week.

dinner: usually chicken, sweet potato and shisitos peppers. Sometimes shrimp for the protein. I’ve been out to dinner as well and those nights surprisingly don’t end up in terrible mornings. I usually have meat or salmon with cooked veggies.

drinks: water. I don’t drink tea, coffee or those bubbly drinks!

how can I conquer this bloat in the time I have left!!! Thank you!!


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First, I'm so sorry that you're going through this. 

Depending on how recently you started reducing nuts, your body could still be recovering from the effects. Hormones can also play a very big part in all of this, so if you deal with a menstrual cycle (or used to) then it's possible for that to have some effect as well.

Regarding the example of what you eat...

Arugula and kale are both cruciferous, so could be giving you gas, leading to bloat. Regular lettuces (from iceberg to radicchio) and spinach are not part of that group, but it does include standard "greens" (collards, mustards, and turnips), a portion of Spring Mix (arugula, mizuni, tatsoi), cabbages, radishes, and of course broccoli and cauliflower (along with some others). Sometimes cooking them helps, not always, it'll depend on your body.

When there's a choice, I'd opt for fresh fruit over dried, but it might be worthwhile to skip the fruit for a while. Fructose (the natural sugar found in fruit) and fiber can be fermented in the large intestine, which can cause gas and bloating.

Last thought on food -- in your shoes, I'd be looking into FODMAPs and considering a low-FODMAP diet, at least for a trial period (2-4 weeks to be sure your system has time to adjust and see if there's benefit). Whole30 removes a ton of high-FODMAP foods just by nixing the food groups it does, but leaves a lot also... after all, Whole30's focus isn't low-FODMAP unless you craft your personal W30 experience to do that.

Good luck to you.

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  • Whole30 Certified Coach

Very good advice above.  Something to consider is if the bloat remains and your bowels don't normalize, you could have some underlying GI issues.  This is when you could consider a Functional Medicine Practitioner to help identify the root cause so you know how to treat it.  There's resources in the back of the Whole30 book to get you started should you consider this route. If low FODMAP foods provide you relief, I would encourage you to get some testing of your gut to see what could be going on.  I hope this information isn't discouraging, but gives you some more ideas of how to tackle your ongoing GI distress. 

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