What's your experience been post-Whole30?


ecb

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I'm curious to hear how people have fared after their Whole30 is complete. It's not surprising to me that most seem to feel better and lose weight while following the plan, but once you're done and start to become less than 100% compliant do you find that the positive effects go away quickly? I know that with a lot of typical diets when people go off them they gain back the weight they lost + some additional pounds; has that been anyone's experience here? I imagine the fact that these foods also make you feel better/you've fought against the brain's desire to eat for psychological reasons makes it less likely that you'll fall back into destructive habits, but I'd love to hear stories positive -or- negative.

Speaking of that, when I did a search for Whole30 criticisms or failures on google I really couldn't find much. Is it really that successful? I strongly believe in getting all the data to help give an idea of what to expect and also look for shortcoming or traps in the process (during and after).

Thanks!

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I just asked a very similar question about 15 minutes ago :) No responses yet.

I did my first whole 30 in January and have been paleo since then. I'll have the occasional non-paleo meal or drink, but I like the way I look and feel when I eat paleo so it's been the primary source of nutrition for me. It really has changed my life because I don't think about food the same way I used to.

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I had been gluten and refined sugar free for 5 years and grain free for 1 year prior to my whole 30 so I was really just trying to fine tune a bit with dairy and natural sugars...I've stayed pretty much on W30 approved foods with the exception of adding in heavy cream and butter (I don't find that I have any sort of reaction to these but I have kept all other dairy products out)...I do have an occasional "treat" made with a nut flour and maple syrup or honey and I have added some dark chocolate in here and there. I just find that I feel my best eating this way... I agree with Tavia, W30 changed my life and my relationship with food, but I come from a long life of disordered eating so for someone like me this is HUGE...

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I went into my Whole30 trying to dial in my mindset, not really lose much weight or turn my life upside down. I gained a lot of understanding my own body and how it reacts to subtle changes in food intake. It's easy to let small signals go unnoticed when you're not mindful of how you fuel and care for yourself. I've been able to translate this (and my post-Whole30 off-roading) into maintaining a sustainable approach to food, whether fully Whole30 compliant or not.

I lost about 5 lbs during my Whole30 (actually 51 total days), but what is 5 lbs? That number is borderline negligible. I didn't look like a classic before/after success story people look for... but my changes were primarily in my head. Since then, I've experimented with some dairy, some treats, and some other not-quite Whole30 foods and gained it back. I don't view that as a failure, but as continued success. I know what the different non-Whole30 foods did to me both mentally and physically because I was pretty methodical about each change or addition. After each change, I objectively and subjectively tested how I looked felt and performed... then did it again and again to understand what was up, for me.

Finishing a Whole30 was a goal for me, but wasn't a destination. I didn't arrive at a perfect solution, but I learned a ton of stuff about myself that I can use going forward to better manage my relationship with food.

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Thanks for the response Jim. That's a good thing to get out of this! I'm not looking to lose weight either; it's more of a personal experiment. One thing that I've noticed/read in a couple places is that because the diet is quite strict that some people become pretty obsessive about food. Granted you're being obsessed with good food, but still a food obsession is something that can become dangerous pretty quickly. I haven't run into that thought here (it was on the MDA forums) but I can see where they're coming from.

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Finishing a Whole30 was a goal for me, but wasn't a destination.

That's a really great way of putting it, Jim, I might use that as my mantra. I finish up tomorrow, but going to stay as compliant as possible for another month or so before going free reign on my primal life! I'm trying to think of W30 compliance as training for my new bike, when I think I'm in control of my new habits and my health, then the training wheels come off!

While I'm on my first W30, I have done other low-carb detox style programs and fallen off the wagon big style afterward. This is not to put a dampener on this thread, but thinking so intensely about my food lead to increased feelings of guilt when I "slipped up", which in turn prompted me to find comfort in bad food and perpetuated the disordered food-emotion thought pattern in my brain. FWIW I think a low-carb/primal lifestyle is optimal for one's wellbeing, but we are all still human and paleo is not a foolproof safeguard against bad eating. You still have to be mindful of your habits without allowing food to dominate your life. It is a tricky balance to maintain long term but I'm more confident that I'll make it work now.

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That's a really great way of putting it, Jim, I might use that as my mantra. I finish up tomorrow, but going to stay as compliant as possible for another month or so before going free reign on my primal life! I'm trying to think of W30 compliance as training for my new bike, when I think I'm in control of my new habits and my health, then the training wheels come off!

While I'm on my first W30, I have done other low-carb detox style programs and fallen off the wagon big style afterward. This is not to put a dampener on this thread, but thinking so intensely about my food lead to increased feelings of guilt when I "slipped up", which in turn prompted me to find comfort in bad food and perpetuated the disordered food-emotion thought pattern in my brain. FWIW I think a low-carb/primal lifestyle is optimal for one's wellbeing, but we are all still human and paleo is not a foolproof safeguard against bad eating. You still have to be mindful of your habits without allowing food to dominate your life. It is a tricky balance to maintain long term but I'm more confident that I'll make it work now.

Excellent points. I think the biggest critique I've seen of W30 is that it can make you obsessive about food. For people who do not have eating disorders then it's a strange novel and potentially unpleasant effect and for people who do have a rougher relationship with food or body image it's potentially a very bad thing. The key definitely seems to be making this kind of eating a simple innate background process rather than something you consciously have on your mind. Some of the W9Life blog posts have touched on this as well.

Even though I'm just a week in I'm already considering how this will affect my eating in the future. Right now I am unsure if it will be better/more sustainable to lax a bit but stay within that framework rather strictly (say something closer to MDA "is it primal?" guidelines) or to stay strict W30 for a portion of meals (say every breakfast and lunch) and then eat what I want for dinner. We shall see. :)

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I've been doing one Whole30 every three months. During the other two months my eating in general has improved with every Whole30. I am the person who used to buy an entire bag of cookies and a pint of ice cream, go home, and eat it all. I no longer have the desire to do that (and the pull used to be SO strong!) It's easier than ever for me to bypass the open bag of M&Ms at work.

What I'm trying to say is that the Whole30 has really helped me identify what non-Whole30 foods are special to me (and worth eating).

I've also learned that when I can't stop eating carbs (like chips) it's because I need protein and fat. I've lost 16lbs and kept it off.

As for symptoms, when they begin to come back (for me I can feel my breathing get much more difficult when I eat dairy and gluten) I immediately eat better until they go away... I really like breathing now! But I can eat a little off-plan stuff and be okay.

I hope that helps a bit!

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