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Day 28, Questions and late 'troubleshooting'


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I haven't posted much during the past 29 days, but I have read quite a lot. Now, during my third to last day of my first Whole30 I would love some feedback and thoughts on what I should do moving forward.


- Cut out gluten, refined carbs, fruits and potatoes, sweet potatoes and root vegetables in February 2012.

- Weighed over 230 lbs (105 kgs) and lost more than 45 lbs by the end of January 2013, i.e. a steady but not super fast weightloss

- Height 1.61 meters/ 5ft3in --> i.e. still very overweight!

- Since August 2012 I go to the gym about 3-4 times per week pretty evenly split between cardio and strength.

Between February 2012 and February 2013 my diet consisted of meat, fish, full-fat dairy and lots of vegetables plus berries, very dark chocolate and SWYPO desserts. I drank wine on average two times per week. I have been eyeing paleo for a while because I disliked the fact that I increased my dairy intake when I cut out gluten, sugar and refined carbs.

Transitioning to Whole30 was fairly easy for me given my starting out point. I loved the idea of being able to eat sweet potatoes, plenty of root vegetables and fruit! But it also meant that for me, Whole30 meant a significant increase in carbs - which I guess isn't normally the case when people join the Whole30.

A normal day would look something like this:

Meal 1: omelet with 3 eggs, tomatoes and spinach and some berries on the side. Coffee with coconut milk

Meal 2: oven-roasted beets, carrots and sweet potatoes, beef patties and salad

Meal 3: Moroccan lamb stew with steamed broccoli and sauteed mushrooms

A couple of times per week I had apples or plums as part of a meal. 3 times I had a Lara bar. I avoided pork and chicken because it is really good to find good quality meats here. I switched over to organic eggs and focused on buying as much local produce as possible. I bought free-range meat whenever possible and ate a lot of lamb and game (I am in Sweden and that's the easiest Whole30 friendly meat to find). I ate less fish than before because it's really difficult to find the type of fish that is advocated for in the fish guide without spending a fortune.

Positive effects:

- Reduced dessert cravings.

- No more need for milk in coffee!! (this was a big one)

- Stronger nails

- Delicious food!

Negative/Neutral effects:

- Much worse skin

- Same energy levels

- Same sleep quality

- Same or slightly worse athletic performance

- Less weightloss than before (2 lbs in one month which considering what I have to lose is very, very little)

I really want to continue with paleo and I am super happy that this has helped me cut out dairy. I also love The only things I am hoping to reintroduce are an occasional glass of wine, 85% dark chocolate and the occasional paleofied dessert. But I also need to continue losing weight to get to a healthy point - no I am not obsessed with a specific number but 178lbs is not a healthy weight for me.

I think I will need to be a bit less strict if I hope to go out to eat or be invited to friends for dinner. This month I brought food to every social gathering I went to and did not eat out a single time!!

Should I cut out fruits and sweet potatoes completely? Am I missing something? Do I just need to keep going? Why is my skin still worse after 29 days?

I am not expecting anyone to be able to give me all the right answers but I would love suggestions or help from anyone who thinks they might have good advice. Did anyone else increase their carb intake when they started Whole30?

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Gosh. I only ever lost 2 pounds per month. I did keep losing 2 pounds per month for 15 months, but 2 was about my monthly limit. That said, I find that people who worry about how much weight they are or are not losing tend to lose weight slowly or even gain a little. The longer you lose weight, the more other things than what you are actually eating matter. That is not to say you can eat anything, but as your process continues, further progress tends to depend more on stress management, sleep, and hormonal rhythms.

I think the reason I finally lost weight from doing a Whole30 was that I finally began to sleep decently. I had sleep problems for years and something about the Whole30 fixed that for me and I began to lose weight steadily. So before we talk about food, I wonder about your sleep. Are you getting 8 hours per night? Is it good quality sleep? Hormonal rhythms are important. They have a lot of influence on sleep. Are you waking up hungry and eating within an hour of getting up? If not, eat anyway because that helps to reset your hormonal rhythms.

How is your stress levels? Do you relax regularly? These things matter to weight loss. Worrying a lot seems to make weight loss more difficult.

What you are eating sounds good. Eating sweet potatoes and some fruit sounds appropriate for going to the gym 3 or 4 times per week. I am not a fan of going low carb and cutting out starchy veggies or all fruit, but you might see how you feel eating starchy veggies only on days that you go to the gym.

You might want to add some walking on days you do not go to the gym. Walking a mile or two helps as active recovery and can keep your motor running nicely.

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Thanks Tom for your fast and thoughtful reply!

I think you are right about that I probably need to stop worrying about weightloss and I think a pretty big part of the worrying has to do with the fact that I want people around me to be as convinced that this is a good way for me to eat as I am. Friends and family are constantly questioning the what I am doing now because they have seen my lose weight in the past year whilst eating dairy and drinking alcohol.

Reading the daily emails over the past month have given me lots to think of in terms of the other aspects of my life, such as stress and sleep and I definitely have improvements to make there. I am in my last semester of graduate school, applying for full time jobs and doing my final thesis project at a company so there is definitely stress to go around. I don't think my sleep is that great, and I think I would actually really benefit from turning off my computer and phone an hour before bed and going to bed an hour earlier (ironically I am typing this in bed at 11.45 pm) but somehow I totally lack self-control when it comes to this. Tips? I need to find someway to hold myself accountable.

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Sleep is a huge factor and just like making new good nutrition habits we need time and consistent effort to make better technology habits. Technology has changed the way we live, in some ways for the better**hello, we're all on a web based board getting support right now!!**but it other ways it has really hurt us. We're social creatures and we need facetime. We're active creatures, we need regular movement. And we must sleep! Computers, TV and smart phones really can take a bite out of all of those things. If your computer is in your bedroom can you move it out? If you're using a smart phone or tablet, dock it outside your room at night. Make your bedroom an ideal sleeping spot, a sanctuary if you will. Not a place for stressful talks, bill paying, etc., and try to keep it a tech free zone.

You've got a lot on your plate, kudos on finishing grad school! Get some extra zzz's and you're bound to feel better.

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Anna, what fats are you having? And how much? When i dont eat enough fat i seem to need/crave more fruit and sweet potatoes. I was low fat for years and always had skin problems. The last few years I have had nuts and olives daily. But it was the whole30 that fixed my skin. Less nuts (inflammatory), ghee every day ( the fats in dairy and meat are particularly good building blocks for natural anti inflammatories ), coconut oil and keeping caffeine low.

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