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Tasha30

Last day tomorrow and no real change.

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Hey guys, so tomorrow is day 30 for me and I have to say I'm discouraged because I haven't really noticed any changes. I was seeing some changes in the first two weeks of my whole30 such as no new acne, more regular digestion with softer stools, and not napping everyday (though not exactly tigers blood), but in the last two weeks it seems like I've gone right back to how I was before I started the program. I'm breaking out again (probably from my menstrual cycle that just started), my digestion is back to being slow and hard, and I'm napping everyday again. I did accidentally have sugar on day 10 due to not looking at the ingredients of the smoked salmon I ate, but I've been 100% compliant (to the best of my knowledge) for the last 20 days. This last week especially has had me feeling like my old pre-whole30 self, so I'm not sure extending it another 10 days (to make up for the salmon) would really provide any meaningful benefit.

I don't have portion sizes or anything like that but here is a snapshot of what I've been eating:

M1 - compliant sausage (about a palm sized), two eggs with vanilla bean ghee drizzled over top, and some carrots with roasted red pepper sauce.

M2 - left over cinnamon basil chicken from last night and a salad consisting of: baby spinach, celery, carrot, tomato, onion, and guacamole on top

M3 - Brown mustard and balsamic vinegar marinaded chicken with a side of green onion and mushroom cauliflower rice.

 

M1- Sausage hash (apple, turkey sausage, kale, butternut squash, onion), one large egg, and a medium avocado

M2 - Protein salad (shredded chicken, apple, onion, bell pepper, carrot) with mayo as the creamy base over romaine lettuce

M3 - Hamburger (palm size beef burger with portabella bun, compliant dill pickle, onion, tomato, guacamole, and lettuce) with sweet potato dries and chipotle mayo for dipping 

 

M1- Compliant sausage patty, two large eggs, pico de gallo, and one medium avocado

M2 - Chicken fajita (shredded chicken, peppers, onion, mushroom all with compliant taco seasoning) over butterleaf lettuce, avocado, and pico de gallo

M3 - Hamburger again with an asian salad with red pepper mayo as the dressing.

I've tried to follow the meal template as much as possible but every once in a while there would be a fat or vegetable missing in one meal of the day. Generally, the vegetable would be missing more-so than the fat.

If I don't extend, then I'm going to finish off my whole30 tomorrow and probably do the slow re-introduction. I think I might try again in January after all the holiday festivities, so any ideas why this may have been a bust for me would be appreciated. Maybe there's something I can do differently in January? At this point I'm hoping that my before and after photos will at the very least show some body composition change if nothing else.:mellow:

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Thanks for sharing.  A couple things...

-Are you feeling full from your meals?  I’m assuming yes, as you aren’t snacking, but that isn’t always the case.

-It can be hard to recognize all of what IS going right, because your expectations may be skewed from what you “see” others have achieved.  My challenge to you is to make a list of what positive things you have noticed.  You list the “things that went back”, but have a possible explanation for each, so it could just be “poor timing” to end the W30.  This doesn’t mean you should extend it, but you may find that if you give it even a couple more days, the effects of your period returning may go away or ease.

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I do feel full from my meals. If anything I've been eating more than I am use to eating as I would normally skip breakfast, eat anything from salmon with asparagus to just a candy bar (if I didn't bring food to school) for lunch, and either skip dinner if I wasn't feeling hungry or eat something like a taco salad (baby spinach, ground turkey, ortega taco seasoning, guacamole, cheese, onion, tomato, and store bought taco sauce) for dinner, then maybe have a quarter of a pint of ice cream if I felt like it.

Although I lost 4lbs, there is no change between my before and after pictures body composition wise, so that's disappointing.

Looking at the NSV page of the Day-by-Day book:

In the Mood,Emotion, Psychology section I would say that I have fewer sugar cravings, carb cravings, and feel more in control of my food. With how much I was indulging in sugar, I would have expected my sugar dragon to rear it's ugly head when I stopped eating sugar for the month, but it never did. Maybe I didn't feel any cravings because I was eating so much more food than I normally do, so I guess if I'm eating enough then I can easily control my sugar and carb cravings.

No physical changes outside or inside.

In the Food and Behaviors category it's a mixed bag. I already knew how to read a food label since I was a health science major in undergrad, but this has made me pay closer attention to them. This program actually forced me to eat past satiety/not listen to my body since I am usually not hungry and have few/low hunger cues (hence skipping breakfast and lunch or dinner fairly regularly). I did learn how to cook, so that is definitely a win. I feel that this program does focus more on over-eating instead of under-eating, so I can't say a lot of this category applies to me.

No change in brain function, sleep, or energy, therefore no change in sport, exercise, or play either.

As far as the lifestyle and social category: I did get some new cooking skills, learned new recipes, and got more antiquated with my kitchen which I needed to do. 

I guess my take away is that I when looking at all the NSVs that could have happened (accounting for the ones that don't apply to me) vs what actually happened, I feel I got pretty little out of the month. My main goals were improved brain function, energy, and fitness (by extension) which did not happen. For how little and crappy I was eating before, I guess I thought I would get more out of this. I knew I wasn't going to feel like a million dollars and that I probably wasn't exactly going to feel tiger's blood, but I did think I would not be napping everyday and that I would have some more mental clarity and improved attention while in school.

Maybe the re-introduction will be more telling for me. I'm hypothesizing that being on the Whole30 might be equivalent to getting better very slowly where I don't see the benefits because it's a slow recover instead of a dramatic recover. Whereas I'm theorizing that maybe a re-introduction might have more dramatic consequences when I eat something that doesn't agree with me. Acne heals very slowly but explodes quickly for me, so while I have still been getting some menstrual acne, maybe eating dairy or grain is going to cause a very sudden (and unfortunate) explosion of acne that I can't ignore or write off as menstrual.

My menstrual cycle comes always comes at the end of the month, so maybe I'll try a whole 60 beginning January to see if things improve after my period.

If anyone has any other thoughts or suggestions/tips for my January Whole30 I'd love to hear them.

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The biggest thing that jumps out to me is that you saw differences during the first half but not the second, and now you're dealing with your period... which can have so much bigger of an effect than just breakouts and craving certain foods, because it's a massive hormonal shift that happens in our bodies. I've found that I have to "cater" my meals based on where I am in my menstrual cycle -- for instance, if I expect it to start in the next week or so, I know I'll feel my best if I go ahead and start boosting my protein and maybe also my starchy veggies, while avoiding anything remotely like a nut (including nut milks, creams, flours, etc.); once I "start", I try to make sure I get plenty of iron and calcium, and most of my portions are nearly double what I would've been eating 2-3 weeks earlier; the week after it ends, I'm in recovery, which means I keep making sure I get my iron and calcium but am generally able to reduce my actual portion sizes and thus how much I'm eating per day overall.

I'd actually suggest trying to continue compliantly until a week or two after your period ends, if you're up to it, just to get the best possible benefits before venturing into the world of reintroductions and the food freedom beyond.

One other thing I wanted to point out (after reading your response above) is that the list of NSVs in the book is full of things that have been reported by some but don't necessarily happen for all. That list, for me, is a way to take some of the focus off weight, since so many programs focus so heavily on how much you lose and how your body changes... whereas Whole30 really isn't for losing weight, because it's about eliminating common problem foods and then finding ways to determine what foods cause the problems in our own bodies. I honestly didn't even look at the NSV list in terms of what I hoped to get out of this, because I am far too aware of how my body likes to defy expectations... so I just took the journey as it was, and got out of it what I could. I'm happy to say that much of what I learned along the way is still sticking with me, as I continue forward in my own food freedom.

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Hi Tasha,

  Another question for you, how is your sleep? How about your stress levels? Are you drinking enough water? When you snack, what time(s) does that usually occur and what are you snacking on? 

  Hoping your period ends soon and you are feeling on top of the world in the next phase of your cycle.

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Hi, Tasha.  I did my W30 almost 18 months ago and I never had any tiger blood either :) - but I did notice lots of little things that were pretty nice (as you have) - and the good things (and the weight loss) continued for MONTHS after my reintroduction period until I kind of leveled out into a good place maybe 6 months later and have stayed there all this time.   We are all different - so if you aren't seeing any negative effects, I'd encourage you to stick it out through the end (yay day 31!) and then listen really closely to what your reintroduction tells you.  Gluten makes my joints hurt.  Soy makes me a little itchy.  Other grains (corn, rice) slow down my digestive system for days.  Dairy doesn't seem to be a thing for me.  But I only know all of this and can make choices accordingly because I went through the reintroduction phase.  So hang in there and enjoy the science experiment part of it, and maybe the benefits will continue to build for you.

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On 10/4/2019 at 1:39 PM, ultrarunnergirl said:

Hi Tasha,

  Another question for you, how is your sleep? How about your stress levels? Are you drinking enough water? When you snack, what time(s) does that usually occur and what are you snacking on? 

  Hoping your period ends soon and you are feeling on top of the world in the next phase of your cycle.

As far as sleep goes, my biological clock is that of a night owl and has been since middle school at least. I fall asleep easily once I actually go to bed, but I often do not lay down before 12am as I am a grad student and I've been conditioned to stay up late since my dad has worked midnights most of my life (I had to stay up if I wanted to hang with him and that hasn't changed even now). I am an night owl who is forced to wake up for 8am classes, which I know is one of the reasons I'm always tired and why I'm not expecting to feel tiger's blood from this program (just a moderate improvement like maybe still feeling a little tied but not needing a nap in the day). I also probably do not drink enough water as I often forget to drink anything during the day. I haven't been snacking during the whole30 since I always feel full.

I did start drinking more water and tea during the whole30 but probably still less than recommended. I did not change my sleep schedule because I'm often studying until late at night. Also, much like the re-introduction where we are only adding in one variable at a time to determine the effects of that variable, I also chose not to change my sleep schedule because I wanted to only change one variable (my eating habits) to see if it would really make a difference. So eating habits changed while everything else (except water) remained the same. My sleep schedule is going to change in January as I will be out of school and in my clinical internships which will force me to get on a more regular sleeping schedule, but with that, I won't know if the new Whole60 I'll be doing will have made a difference in my energy levels, or if changing my sleeping schedule made the difference. Energy was not the only thing I was evaluating though, my diet was really bad so I was hoping this would make me feel lighter, and just generally healthier. Maybe giving it 60 days will allow for more overall healthy feelings.

@Jihanna Thank you for detailing how you handle the changes that come with your cycle. I decided not to keep going since I had planned to be done in October so I could participate in all the Halloween festivities, but I'll refer to what you posted for my January Whole60. I think I'll do Whole30 for January and February to get through a cycle and have ample time post-cycle to see if there is a rebound in any benefits I was experiencing that may disappear while on my cycle.

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I definitely saw more differences in my first round (this past January, where my cycle somehow started the same day my W30 did, yikes!) than I did in the second one (cycle in the middle). Our hormones can get all jumbled just from the eating changes, so when we add in the natural hormonal cycle we're dealing with, it can really start to mess with one's head! Doing an extended round that allows you to get through an entire cycle and then some is probably a really good idea, and I hope it works out well for you!

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