Karin Cournoyer

Loss of appetite on second Whole30?

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The title kind of says it all...I'm on my second Whole30. I did the first one from Oct.28-Nov. 30 (Whole33, I guess), and I had some rough patches, but by the end, I felt pretty great. The holidays came around, and I definitely fell off the wagon, although I didn't too horribly, and I didn't gain any weight.

Anyway, I am now finishing day 12 of my second Whole 30, and I have had major appetite loss lately despite not being sick. I have been getting plenty of sleep, not over-exercising (that was an issue for me last time), and avoiding all nuts because I know at least one type bothers me, but I haven't been able to narrow it down yet. I have had a very gassy stomach on this round too, just constant gurgling. But I also just feel like nothing appeals to me. I am hungry in the morning, but then I get less and less hungry as the day wears on. I am eating as much as possible, but I am having trouble actually wanting anything. The past three nights have I had to force myself to eat dinner, and I was unable to finish what was already a pretty small portion.

Does anyone have a similar experience or any ideas? Am I doing something wrong? I'm not sure what to do, but I'm feeling discouraged and I am almost considering stopping to try an elimination diet. I should mention that I have several food sensitivities, including gluten, which of course I am avoiding. Help!

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Funny you mention this. I am on day 12 of my second Whole 30 (45) and experiencing a similar loss of appetite. This was definitely NOT an issue during my first W30. Lately, I find I'm very hungry in the morning, but not so much as the day goes on. I often force myself to eat lunch or dinner and get full very quickly, but I do make sure I eat a big, healthy breakfast. I crave nothing and I never think about food unless I'm starving. I'm sorry I don't have any advice for you, but it would be interesting to know if others have this experience. Personally I don't "think" you're doing anything wrong. I wonder if it's your body just adapting to how much food you really need after all. It will be interesting to hear what others have to say. Hang in there. :)

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I'm on day 14 of my 2nd Whole30 and I'm experiencing something similar. Although I've been battling an upper respiratory infection the last 5 days and I've have been blaming that for my lack of appetite, I'd be interested to hear if anyone has any theories on what may be causing this. Hopefully someone else out there will have experienced this too and give us some advice.

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I'm starting to wonder if it could be that I'm more fat-adapted this time around since it was only about 30 days in between rounds? So maybe I'm overdoing it and/or I don't need to eat quite as often as I did before? I'm mostly just eating three meals/day with the exception of some very small additional meals to make-up for my post work out meal (breakfast always ends up being post workout). Maybe a mod could weigh in here and help us out? Thanks!

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Count me in this group, too! I am on Day 12 as well and I've been having trouble choking down food the last few days. I am diabetic and about 100 pounds overweight, so I need a certain amount of food to keep blood sugar up. But sometimes, even though I know I need to eat and I may even have some hunger pangs, but I don't "want" the food. I don't crave carbs either. I'm just feeling indifferent about food. But not enjoying my meals is not ok. Does anyone know how much someone like me should eat at each meal in order to keep (actually, GET) strong? I am very out of shape and looking forward to seeing lots of improvements in my strength and energy, as well as weight loss. But I need more of a guideline. I know everyone says to eat when hungry and not to overeat, but exactly how much fat and protein should I be eating to be optimal? If I knew that, then I could just make myself eat that much and go on, whether I feel like eating or not. Help!

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I should add that I'm worried about eating too little and then causing my metabolism to kind of shut down rather than ramping it up. Here's a sample of what I eat in a day:

Meal 1: homemade breakfast sausage and roasted sweet potatoes

Meal 2: Large mixed green salad with shredded chicken and veggies (tessemae's dressing and lemon juice)

Meal 3: Side salad and small serving of spaghetti squash with meatballs and sauce (homemade and compliant!)

Snack: A few apple slices and almonds

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The Whole9 meal template applies to all of your concerns. Eat a serving of protein as big as the palm of your hand at 3 meals per day (whether you feel hungry or want to eat or not). You need that much protein to maintain your body in a healthy state. Fill the rest of your plate with veggies cooked in a measure of fat as big as your thumb. If you are participating in intensive exercise, you need a pre- and post-workout snack. This is your baseline need for food. Sometimes you don't feel hungry, but you should eat to this level regardless.

If you feel hungry, you can eat up to 2 palm-size portions of protein at each meal. You can add more fat. You can add some snacks. You can add another meal.

When you don't eat enough, your metabolism slows and your hormones get out of whack, making weight loss slow or even reverse. It may seem backwards, but that is how things work.

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Thanks, Tom. I understand the meal template and do my best to follow it. My concern is forcing myself to eat when I feel either nauseous or not hungry. Also, I did not feel this way during my first whole30, and I was looking for an answer as to what could be different this time around?

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Karin, have you added anything in on this go around that's different/out of the ordinary for you? Has your activity level changed at all? Has your stress level? Sleep quality?

There could be a few things going on, but it also could just be that you're more in tune with what your body's telling you it needs this time around. Just adjust your meals as necessary. I find if I eat a large breakfast, I'm not hungry again until 2ish, which works for me...but if you're struggling with feeling hungry, maybe go on the smaller side at breakfast and add some fruit or starches in there?

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I'm in the same boat as all of you. On my second Whole30, day 15 and not feeling very hungry. Having to force myself to eat. I hope it passes because I love enjoying my food. I am doing crossfit this time around (no exercise last time) but I would think that would make me hungrier...I have a lot of weight to lose, too.

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Hi Renee,

Nothing has really changed. I suspect that I am sensitive to coconut, and I did have a little bit, so maybe that is causing the nausea? No coconut for me today, and I am taking enzymes with my meals, so we'll see if that helps any. It's just frustrating b/c I am just not feeling the love this time around. Although, it took me until the last 10 days or so to really feel fantastic last time. And it's weird, b/c I still eat Paleo even when not on a Whole30, so you would think I would feel better faster than the average person eating the SAD that does a Whole30?

I just feel so tempted to have some dairy or something b/c I'm working so hard and not feeling the benefits this time. If anything, after 16 days, I feel worse b/c I wasn't nauseous and I had an appetite before I started this round.

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I realize this is an old thread, but if any of you still check in, I am curious to know how the lack of appetite/nauseating feelings of food worked out? I'm on my 2nd round of strict paleo and I do not want to eat anything but breakfast. After breakfast, I will get hungry for lunch, but as soon as I sit down to eat the sight and smell of food makes me sick. What's up? I love to eat! My previous diet was the SAD. One day on the wagon, one day off. Lots of carbs and lots of sugar. I'm striving for 1500cals a day and I doubt even close. As an earlier poster mentioned, my plates are small portions already and I struggle to finish it. Help.

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You could try eating a carb heavier breakfast...so eggs and sweet potatoes instead of a spinach/asparagus frittata. The extra carbs in the morning should perk up your appetite, since they don't stimulate the satiety hormone.

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I'm on day 10 of my first Whole 30 and I am literally dreading each meal. Idk what causes this but I am having a hard time forcing myself to eat. All food sounds horrible right now, its the strangest thing!

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That's not super common, but it does happen. And it does pass. Eat a small meal at your regular meal times - just something simple - to remind your body that it will continue to get food.  This should right itself in a day or two.

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I am on day 7 of my first Whole30 and beginning to have a hard time eating....It's possible I'm eating too much at each meal? I had absolutely no appetite tonight. Choked down a wonderful salmon, veggie, avocado meal. About 1/2 of what I made. I'm wasting so much food. Keeping for leftovers if I can. Hints to being more hungry for this usually REALLY hungry person? 

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10 hours ago, Marti MacPhee said:

I am on day 7 of my first Whole30 and beginning to have a hard time eating....It's possible I'm eating too much at each meal? I had absolutely no appetite tonight. Choked down a wonderful salmon, veggie, avocado meal. About 1/2 of what I made. I'm wasting so much food. Keeping for leftovers if I can. Hints to being more hungry for this usually REALLY hungry person? 

We can't really say if you're eating too much at each meal without knowing more about what you're eating -- if you want to list a day or two of typical meals, including approximate portion sizes, we can give you more feedback on that. In general, though, your meals should be enough to keep you satisfied 4-5 hours at a time. If you're consistently not hungry at about that time, you might try cutting back a little bit on your meal size and see what happens. Still try to have some protein, some vegetables, and some fat, just in smaller portions for a meal or two, and see what happens.

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I’m another with exact same experience.  My first Whole 30 was 19 month ago - so there’s been an enormous gap.  The first time I remember being very motivated to invent and prepare beautiful, compliant meals.  This time not so much.  I’m only on day 5 but have absolutely no appetite - and when I force myself to prepare a meal I eat 1/2 at best.  The biggest things I’ve changed (skip 20 oz latte), (skip morning toast), (skip evening wine).  Otherwise my diet was Whole 30 compliant most of the time.  I’m getting plenty of carbs via whole fruits such as banana, peach, grapes.  I’m so confused.  AND I don’t need to lose weight - yet lbs are dropping off...   I’m fascinated really.  Starting to REALLY understand why our ancestors (pre manufactured food) were rarely overweight.  On this regimen, it seems virtually impossible for me to even maintain my already normal weight (140 lb, 5’9” woman).

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@Alison BAM you have to eat to avoid losing weight. Three meals that meet the minimum template size each day are a minimum that an adult needs each day. People who need to maintain or gain weight need more.

Focus on getting at least one palm-sized serving of protein, one or two servings of fat from the list on the template (in addition to the oil you cook in), and before you add fruit to your plate, have vegetables -- ideally a mix of types of vegetables, but since you need to maintain weight, it would be fine to have a serving of starchy vegetable at every meal. Starchy vegetables include any root vegetables like potato, sweet potato, turnip, rutabaga, parsnip, carrot, and beets; winter squashes like butternut, acorn, or kabocha squash; and plantains. Fruit is fine to have, but be sure you're not having it instead of vegetables, protein, or fat.

This article has more about keeping weight on:  

https://whole30.com/2013/12/keeping-weight-whole30/

And you can download the meal template here if you need it:   https://whole30.com/pdf-downloads/

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