The only symptom any of us felt today was being tired. Both kids overslept this morning and said they drug through the day. Darian had a Marine drill tonight with some drill instructors from San Diego so he went a bit off the eating plan. But it's okay because he worked out hard!! I am still tweaking out menus to make it all a bit easier. I am thinking that once I get seven meals we really like that is what we are just going to eat over and over each week. I need this to be a bit easier on the budget!! Off to day 4!
Welcome to Day 3!
Did you think changing your life would be all sunshine, rainbows, and ponies? Today’s the day when we talk about the not-so-pretty (but totally temporary) side of the Whole30, and let you know that everything we suspect you’re experiencing right now is normal, expected, and a healthy part of your transition.
We know this part may not feel so good, but once you make it through today’s Whole30 Daily, you’ll have a much better understanding of what your body and brain are going through, and how to ease your way through the rough patches that are an inevitable part of your first week.
We’ll be honest – it’s not always easy, but it’s always 100% worth it. Hang in there with us, and we’ll help see you through to better days… which, by the way, are just around the corner. Trust us.
Have a great Day 3!
Possible Side Effects
It’s day three, and you might not be feeling quite so bright and shiny today. Remember we said the first week is full of ups and downs? Today, we want to talk about some potential downs you may be experiencing, and give you some light at the end of your tired, cranky, rumbly-tummy tunnel.
· Tired: You’re probably more tired and lethargic today. This is your body adapting to its new fuel source – fat – and transitioning out of your old “sugar-burner” days. (We’ll talk about this more on Day 6, when you’ve had some more time to adjust.) This is normal, and will resolve quickly, as long as you do your part to help. Sleep lots. Take naps. Take time off from the gym, or make it a “half-intensity” week. Don’t lean too heavily on caffeine or sugar from fruit to see you through mid-afternoon slumps. Basically, be patient, accept this is a normal part of your transition, and don’t expect any personal bests in the gym, or miraculous energy highs this week. Those things will come in due time, we assure you.
· Cranky/Moody: At this point, you may be kind of cranky about the foods you “can’t” eat. Your brain is probably throwing tantrums; missing sugar, cookies, cheese, or wine. The fact that you’re tired isn’t helping your mood, either. We have just one word of advice—patience! This passes within just a few days, as much of it is blood-sugar-regulation related. As your hormones start to get back into balance, your mood will regulate too – and once your energy picks up, your brain stops fighting your efforts, and you start feeling the Whole30 magic, you’ll be brighter and shinier than ever.
· Detoxin’: You may be experiencing some physical symptoms; the result of your body starting to heal from the damage done by your old less-healthy food choices. Acne and rashes, worsening allergies, and digestive distress are common during this first week. Sometimes, things get worse before they get better, but know this is a common, even healthy stage as your body starts to heal. Be patient—by the second week, these should be largely resolved.
The Hungry/Cranky/Craving Testimonial
Here is one client’s Whole30 experience, from CrossFit Littleton:
“I didn’t think that my food choices made much of a difference, so I figured giving them up shouldn’t be a big deal either. As they say, the first week or two were the hardest. It makes me cranky to have food taken away from me. Day three was my worst. There wasn’t anything happy, and no one could do anything right. I craved the forbidden foods, more out of habit than desire.
By the end of week two, I had lost a significant amount of weight. I also noticed that I was not experiencing those afternoon lulls in energy. I wasn’t experiencing those ‘must nap now’ thoughts. I noticed I wasn’t experiencing the ‘food highs’ either. (You know food highs, when you have had too much sugar or caffeine and you feel kind of jittery?)
I am now at the end of the 30 days. Despite being sure that this wasn’t going to change how I ate, I am now a complete believer in the Whole30. If you are looking to lose weight, gain energy and feel better, give it a try.”
-- Stacy, Englewood, CO
If you’re tired during this transitional period, consider a good old-fashioned power-nap. Retire to your bed, the couch in your office, even your car if you really need to catch some quick ZZZ’s to see you through the day. Here are some of our best tips for ensuring successful mid-day nappy-time.
· Time of day. Sleep experts say that 2 or 3 p.m. is the ideal nap hour — late enough to fit into your natural siesta zone, but early enough that it will not interfere with your nightly sleep.
· Length. A good nap length is somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes. This will give you the restorative benefits of sleep without the lethargy or grogginess — what sleep experts call “sleep drunkenness.” Naps as short as 5 minutes could be effective for some people.
· Environment. Learn how to control the environment to get the most out of power naps. Turn out all of the lights and close the doors and windows. If there’s lots of noise, plug your ears with cotton balls or ear plugs. You might also want to keep a dark-colored mask with you to block out all light.
· Set an Alarm. If you’re tired enough to take a nap, you will probably not magically wake up on your own accord. So set an alarm, both to avoid the grogginess of a long nap and to make sure you don’t sleep through anything important.
· Be Honest. If you still feel the need for a nap two weeks from now, think about your context. Are you only sleeping five or six hours a night? Are you eating enough? While a 20-minute nap is a good refresher, it will not make up for lack of sleep or calories.
Listen To Your Body?
Is your stomach (and brain) sending you mixed messages this week? You’re hungry all the time! You’re never hungry at all! You’re dying for sweets after dinner, even though you’re still full from your meal! These are all normal and expected.
As much as “diet experts” tell you to listen to your body, until you’ve been eating Good Food for a while, you simply can’t always trust the messages your body is sending you. Right now, your hormones are still out of balance, your brain is still craving, and your energy levels probably aren’t where they need to be. This keeps your hunger mechanism out of whack, which means you may need to override it for the time being.
If you’re always hungry, it’s okay to eat more, because all of the food you are eating is healthy! We’ll talk tomorrow about how to distinguish hunger from cravings, but as long as you’re not falling face-first into a pile of dried fruit or a jar of nut butter, if you’re hungry, eat!
If you’re never hungry at all, you must stick to our minimum of three meals a day, as outlined in It Starts With Food. Your hunger will catch back up with you soon enough, but for now, make sure you’re well nourished, even if your body isn’t telling you to eat.
By the end of your Whole30, your body will be speaking the truth like never before—and you’ll be able to listen to (and trust!) the signals it’s trying to send you. Which is a good thing, because your body knows better than anyone or anything what you need to keep you healthy.
Grieve If You Must
It’s okay to grieve for the foods you’ve left behind. You might curse them, or remember them fondly. You may absolutely love them from afar, in your memory, or in your dreams.
Just don’t eat them.
Whole9’s own Robin Strathdee wrote a fun article on the Five Stages of Food Grief. Read, grieve, and know that you are not alone.
From Carb-Flu To Real-Flu
It’s not uncommon for folks to catch the bug or cold that’s going around during the first week of their Whole30. Your immune system is working hard right now to help you heal, and it may be too distracted or overworked to be able to fight off a bacterial or viral invader.
If you do come down with something: you’ll probably need some sick-time comfort foods to see you through—but those foods shouldn’t include sugary ginger-ales, whole wheat crackers, or dry toast. (We know better now, right?)
For more information, read these articles on how to feed a cold, Whole30-style:
How did you do today?
Every day, we ask you, "How did you do?" If you ate clean, congratulations! If you didn't, we start the 30 days over again tomorrow.
At the end of your day, select one of the links below: