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I'm thinking about quitting... Advice?


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I'm on day 7 of Whole30! I am very proud of myself for getting this far. I've learned a lot this week: I can tell when I need to eat vs when I want to eat, and I've learned that my cravings are all mental. I see a bag of chips and no longer feel the NEED to have them. I don't even miss non-Whole30 foods (other than the convenience).

But there's been some issues. 

First, I noticed I am feeling dizzy. I went into the Whole30 with fluctuating vitamin deficiencies. Not sure if that was a good idea! I wake up not wanting to eat, disgusted by Whole30 foods... which isn't helping!

Second, I got my period 15 days early. I'm sorry, I've seen forums about it being "normal" on the Whole30... but that can't be healthy can it?!

Thirdly, I feel like the "you either complete the Whole30 or you fail it" aspect is really affecting me. Not only will I feel really guilty for quitting, but I also feel like I will despise myself for not attaining the physical benefits of the challenge. 

Is this challenge healthy for someone who struggles with vitamin deficiencies? Is my period coming 15 days early despite being on birth control a red flag? CAN SOMEBODY GIVE ME A PUNCH IN THE MINDSET? I'd love to hear your advice and some non-physical/appearance benefits you guys have received from the Whole30.

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Your dizziness may be from not having enough salt. If you were eating a lot of processed foods before you started your Whole30, your sodium intake has been greatly reduced and that can make you dizzy. When it happens to me I lick my finger, dip it in table salt and then lick it again. I usually do it a few times and it always helps me.

Whole30 will get your hormones aligned if you stick with it but it takes a little bit. Right now your hormones are all wonky and that may be why your period is early even though you’re on the pill. That’s probably also the reason you’re not hungry in the morning. If you stick with it you’ll start waking up really hungry (happened around day ten for me) and that’s one way you know your hormones are starting to align. 

Lastly, there is no failing a Whole30. You decide to start it and you decide whether you finish. It doesn’t make you a failure if you don’t finish. It makes you human. I started my first Whole30 in July 2017 and ate ice cream on day five. I started again the next day and again lasted five days. Third time was the charm for me and I was able to go all 30 days. I wasn’t a failure the first two times - just a human who really liked ice cream. :)

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Hi @Mackenzy 

Oh gosh that does sound like a lot to deal with at once! I will preface this by saying I’m not a medical professional and if you’re truly concerned about your health, please visit the doctor. That said... 

Your dizziness could be a result of not eating enough (especially since you said you’re not hungry in the morning and are disgusted by the idea of Whole30 food). Is there any Whole30 food you can try to eat? Don’t worry about perfectly following the meal template right now. Does an apple with almond butter sound good? Or maybe some pan fried plantains and bacon? What about a “smoothie” bowl? Maybe a compliant beef jerky stick or RX Bar? Think about foods you haven’t eaten in the past week so that you can have some variety. In particular - what kind of carbs are you eating right now? Especially if you’re coming from a diet with tons of processed carbs, you may not get the amount you need on whole30 without making a conscious effort to consume them. Personally I need a decent amount of carbs - typically at least 2 of my meals has a starchy veggie (pumpkin, squash, sweet potato, regular potato, plantains, etc). Not getting enough carbs could be why you’re dizzy. 

Periods are weird - I don’t know how being on BC would affect it but I’ve found that during times of immense stress, or when I’m eating poorly, I tend to start my period much earlier. I feel like my body is saying “Yeah, this is a REALLY bad time to get pregnant, let’s throw out the baby house.” Your body is experiencing stress right now because of all the changes - this is the hard part of Whole30 unfortunately. You have to go through some pretty tough times to get to the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Please don’t feel guilty if you don’t complete the Whole30 this time. You are correct, it is an all or nothing task - you complete it or you don’t. BUT you can always try again. My first attempt at Whole30, I drank a margarita at a wedding - so yes, I did fail, and I no longer count that round in my total number of Whole30s completed. But I don’t feel guilt about it - I choose to give myself grace. This is a learning process. 

I truly believe you can do this and will benefit by sticking it out - try to eat anything compliant that sounds good because not getting enough food will definitely cause lightheadedness! 

I hope this helps! You can do this!

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  • Whole30 Certified Coach

I’m sorry you’re struggling.  To answer your last question, “is this challenge healthy”

...eliminating the foods as outlined in the W30 is not “un-healthy”.  Giving yourself only whole, unprocessed foods will not be harmful.  Your body is responding to the lack of these foods, which is more likely thank not, a good thing.  I’d take the advice from the others and see if it helps with your symptoms.

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It's normal to feel not only not hungry when you begin but also disgusted by food. Your cortisol is likely out of whack and eating protein when you first wake up in the morning is key to fixing this. Don't succumb to fruit and nut butter! Try leftover chicken, scrambled eggs, some breakfast sausage and potatoes ... you can do this.

Hang in there. And yes, eat more and salt your food, and drink enough water. I'm rooting for you!

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