So I started my Whole 30 a little early, the day after the chocolate pie post actually. I thought it might be interesting to log my first 7 days on the Whole 30. I am not the kind of person that likes suprizes or the unknown. I will always research anything I’m about to do, to the Nth degree. So, I thought this might help some of you who are thinking about starting the Whole 30. My results probably won’t be quite as dramatic as someone cutting out wheat/gluten for the first time (since I didn’t add gluten/wheat back into my diet). But, cutting out the sugars, and some of the dairy I had added back in, oh, and of the paleo treats was reason enough for me to do the Whole 30, so here goes:
My WHOLE 30 Log
Day 1 – Mentally, I feel SO much better just knowing I’m starting this. And, no cravings to boot! I think I was still super motivated after my pie eating yesterday. Mental note: cheating the day before a new diet provides motivation. But also, don’t have too much sugar or you’ll have blood sugar issues to deal with the next day.
Day2 – When I woke this am, I had no appetite and was not as tired as I have been lately. Good start. After lunch I had a craving, so I had an apple and it actually helped. I am limiting my fruit but if you need a little something, reach for a green apple or handful of berries. They are relatively low in sugar. Fruit is allowed in Whole30. I’ve just decided to my limit fruit, well, try at least.
Day 3 – Still not very hungry. Amazing! I ate when I needed to eat. Believe me that is rare! I think the more you do something like this, the easier it gets. (I just totally jinxed myself, didn’t I???) Also, girls, be sure to not start this, say, a week before cravings are at their strongest point (in your cycle). I think I definitely started at an optimal time.
Day 4 – Somewhat low appetite again. Yay! Let’s see if it lasts. Slept like a rock, as I have been all week. Clothes are starting to feel better. Time to cook more. Still not super hungry but just ate a bag of broccoli and some chili. Feeling so good and happy and strong (mentally and physically)! And I just had one of the best runs I’ve had since early November!
Day 5 – Feeling great. A little hungrier this morning, and I even have a little sweet tooth (ahh, I may have spoken too soon!) so had an apple after big breakfast. A little harder with the cravings. Went on a bike ride with the family this AM and it helped. I then had another apple. It helped with the cravings, then, made them worse. Now, it’s evening and the cravings are tough. There’s something to be said about accountability.
Day 6 – I woke up hungry so had a sweet potato before exercise because I thought I needed it since I’ve been running more lately. But it does raise insulin levels, so cravings are still here, maybe worse. Thought it would be fine before working out, and, usually eating them before a good workout isn’t an issue for me, but I think that craving thing (monster) in my head still isn’t quite gone. Around lunch time, I had some salted seaweed and nuts so had cravings again. Gave in to 1 apple, then another later in the afternoon. I thought it helped, but again, I learned it only made the cravings worse. The cravings have been there all day so clearly I need to change something.
Day 7 – My goal for today, low salt and no fruit. This morning, I woke up with lower appetite, thank goodness. Felt great and no cravings for sweets, finally!! Great run too. Didn’t eat lunch until late and that is so not me. Blood sugar levels have been great today, and actually all week. Got through the whole day without a single craving. It was very liberating! I think I’m on the right track now. I know this isn’t the end of it. Cycles will come and go and so will degree of cravings, but hopefully I’m off to a good start.
Day 8, today. So easy to wake up! Easiest day by far, even though it was the earliest. I had to get up to get the kids ready for school. My mind feels clear, and I feel great. Ready to take on the day and finish writing this post!
I’ll tell you, days 4 and 5 were hard. I think what hurt was (1) not eating quite enough the days before and then running a good bit more than usual; (2) the apples, I knew they were not a good idea for me, yet it had been awhile so I tested. Now I know, for sure; and (3) lots of salty things. I ate some roasted seaweed, and that has a lot of salt and I also had a few of my kids salted pistachios. Again, I think the salt can increase appetite, and also, my body was so use to getting a sweet after salty, and the salt just kicked that craving into gear.
Everyone is different so days 2-4, or 3-5 or whatever might be the toughest. Either way, there are likely going to be some tough day(s) that first week. But you can do it! By the way, I think the accountability really helped me this time, so please feel free to share. A good friend of mine just called and said she was on day 4 and not feeling as great as she did the first 3 days and wondered why. It turns out she’s not eating enough so she’s going to try to add a couple of different things. Anyway, I think we can learn from each another so please, feel free to post under “comments” so we can all learn!!!
My conclusion after a week on it: I feel great. Amazing actually!! I do have to say, cutting out the sugars I was sneaking has made a huge difference. This may, or may not be a bigger challenge for someone who is cutting out some of the other things for the first time, but I can bet you, the overall difference you will notice will be incredible!
With all of this said, I would like to consider if there are good other options besides doing just the Whole 30. I will post on that later this week!!!!
Steph Duford - I like the sweet, salty trigger conclusion. After reading that I also concluded I feel that same way. What I have been doing after a meal, when craving something sweet, is toasting unsweetened coconut flakes. I do it in a pan, no oil, on the stovetop until golden brown. Then I add a small pinch of sea salt, cinnamon, and sometimes a very small amount of vanilla bean. It works for a “treat” for me.
Are you eating 3 full meals a day? Or just eating when you feel hungry? Is skipping meals bad for our metabolism? Just curious. I always do 3 meals regardless and just eat a little less if not so hungry. Maybe I have it all wrong…I could totally skip meals sometimes and be fine. For me I do find that it at some point back fires on me. Usually at night when I want sweets so bad.
landriav - Ohh I love your idea of coconut flakes. I will try that soon for sure! I do eat 3 full meals a day, and some snack in between too. I love my food and I’ve just always eaten that way. I’m not sure I believe about how skipping meals and slowing metabolism as much as I use to, and believe me, I was always a huge believer in that. It could have been more of a rationalization for me to eat 5 times a day though. : ). Have you read much on IF (Intermittent Fasting?). When I first heard about it, I was totally in the mindset of it slowing your metabolism but it’s actually quite interesting. I’m going to post on that soon too but to sum it up, there are many health benefits of going say 15 plus hours, without eating! Mark Sisson is a big believer. Check out his site if you are curious. Thanks for posting Stephanie!
Oh and regarding the backfiring thing, I’ve done that too and it’s stinks to be hungry late at night but when I do the IF, I would eat a good size meal and be done but say 4:00pm so it’s really not that extreme or hard. Some people will fast for 24 hours or more. I’m not that interested in it!
April ledom - You have inspired me. My husband and I started Whole30 today. I pre-planned the menu for the week and did all of my shopping to make things easier. Results after day 1 – Matt had major headaches and was very hungry all day even with three snacks. I think it was cravings more than hunger. I think the headaches are caffeine withdrawal. As for me, I felt great emotionally knowing that I am doing this for my family’s health, but physically I was so tired all day. Thought I would fall asleep standing up. When I think about it, I’m usually reaching for a caffeine pick me up and sugary snack everyday around 3:30 p.m. This won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
Question-Do you think purchasing the Whole30 Success Guide is necessary? Didn’t want to spend the $39 if it wasn’t needed.
landriav - Hey! Good for you guys!!!! Sounds like your body is having some serious withdrawals. If the caffeine helps, I think it’s okay to have some in moderation. As for the hunger, then eat, eat, eat. 🙂 Protein and fat (make sure Matt especially get’s plenty of fat. Maybe add coconut oil or ghee when cooking) will fill you so eat some nuts or meats, and carbs through veggies can help satisfy. Add in carrots or more starchy carbs (like sweet potatoes) in moderation at first if you need a little something extra. It take a real conscious effort to stop yourself from old habits, I know but so much of it’s mental. The next couple of days might be tough but then it does get easier, I promise. And, the good news is you can always eat more if you are lacking energy or are just plain hungry. And as far as the book, I wouldn’t think so but honestly can’t say for sure. I’d rather see you read Wheat Belly or Cordain’s Paleo book. I think education is good additional motivation! Good luck and keep me posted!! 🙂
Shana - I started jan 2nd and last night was SO tough! I almost gave it up but eventually just ate a banana and almond milk and just anything else I could find that wasn’t off limits. It helped get me through that and I feel better now. The only thing I’m not sure I like is that it’s forcing me to rely on meat a lot more for my protein when previously I was enjoying more vegetarian dishes. But I’m sticking with it!
landriav - Shana, I’m SO proud of you. That is awesome!!!! And I love how you had a banana instead of giving up. How do you feel this morning? You’re in the throws of it so hopefully in another day or two it will get much easier! Hang in there and keep me posted!!
Shana - Today was much better! I found some Lara bars that have only almonds, cashews and unsweetened cherries, and that got me through the early afternoon, then I realized at dinner that I wasn’t ravenously hungry as usual, just irritable b/c of sugar withdrawal. I’m loving that bison salad and I had a GREAT run today too.
landriav - That just made my day!! Shana! That is SO great to hear! Keep it up, and make sure to drink lots of water. That can help too! Thanks so much for posting!!!
Kathryn - Thanks for sharing your first 7 days! I’ve gone 10 days without anything processed or any refined sugars. I do think I’m turning to fruit a little too much and that seems to ramp up the sweet tooth -in the long run. I probably should cut back on the fruit, but overall I feel so much better. The cleaner my diet, the better I feel and the better my workouts are. I thought eliminating gluten would be hard, but that’s really been easy.
landriav - That is fantastic Kathryn! You really did make up your mind after Christmas, didn’t you? 🙂 And thank you for the comment on the fruit. Glad to know I’m not the only one!! It’s so great to hear about how great you feel, your workouts are, etc. Very inspiring! Thanks so much for posting!
Marla-Deen Brooks - Day 3 was terrible! I was so hungry ALL day and went to bed really hungry! On day 4 I had to add a little more food in and then felt great. Yesterday, however, I had the cravings and had a piece of dark chocolate. Bad. Then I had a huge headache. I should have known better! It was so not worth it! I will say I am not cutting out all the fruit as you are, but cleaning up my act is just what I needed!
landriav - Yay, MD! I didn’t know you were doing this. Day three seems to always be the toughest for everyone. And you got through it! 🙂 But, if you’re hungry….eat! This lifestyle won’t work if you’re hungry, nor is it necessary. That’s what so great about it too! And honestly, I don’t think 1 piece of dark chocolate is a big deal (unless it makes you feel bad of course!). For myself, I would just be afraid that if I were to have that one piece, it would turn into 5. 🙂 Thanks for posting, and good luck! Sounds like you’re off to a great start!