I quit Whole30 on Day 19. I stopped just when it was supposed to get better, for a variety of health and mental health-related reasons.
Let me preface this post by saying that I’m not trying to bash Whole30. Just because I quit Whole30 on Day 19, doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s worth trying.
I know people who swear by it to train themselves to eat healthier, cut sugar, and discover food sensitivities. And I also know people who use it for weight loss, even though that’s not supposed to be the intention.
Several months ago, I tried Whole30 to for all of the reasons listed above, and it was miserable. I quit Whole30 on Day 19, just when it was supposed to get better because I couldn’t take it anymore. Here’s why I decided this wasn’t a good fit for me.
Why I Quit Whole30 on Day 19
My food sensitivities were allowed on Whole30
I was sick for almost 2 weeks before I quit Whole30 on day 19. My illness started about 4 days in and stayed until a few days after I quit. That is almost 3 weeks of being ill.
I Googled “does Whole30 give you diarrhea” multiple times a week. Which led me to believe that this was a completely normal reaction. Turns out, it’s not. While you may experience a change in your *ahem* bathroom habits, you shouldn’t be sick for 3 weeks. Instead, my issue was because the foods I have sensitivities to are allowed on Whole30. And I was eating more of them in general to make up for not having other food.
I’m sensitive to nightshades, aka tomatoes, peppers of all kinds and potatoes. So adding hot sauce, salsa, certain dressings, and more of those veggies in general was causing me some major issues. I discovered my food sensitivities by keeping a food and bathroom journal, then using the process of elimination from there.
While my dietary issues weren’t Whole30’s fault, I found that the plan’s eliminated foods weren’t necessary for me to eliminate. Obviously, the focus to eat actual fruits and vegetables more often and cut out processed junk. But for me it’s better to have a little butter instead of hot sauce.
I missed my period
First, sorry if this post is all TMI. Two, I was not pregnant. Trust me. I took like 5 tests and was freaking the eff out. My body has a weight range that it likes. Any kind of change in diet, too much exercise or weight loss sends my reproductive system into a tailspin.
I first discovered this about my body when we were trying to get pregnant with my oldest. I would get odd body temperature readings and ovulation predictors showed that I was not ovulating every month. After my miscarriage I was sad. I stopped working out, started eating junk more often and gained almost 10 lbs. Then I got pregnant. Postpartum I lost the baby weight and then some. I started eating better and exercising and my periods and ovulation went back to all over the place. But I had never actually skipped a period before like I did on Whole30.
To be honest, this is the biggest reason why I didn’t finish out the 30 days. I thought my upset stomach was “normal-ish” for the experience but I knew that missing a period wasn’t. Once I eased back into eating bread and dairy my body readjusted. My period came back early and with a vengeance the next month.
My body still isn’t totally regular as far as my cycles are concerned. If I follow my instincts and eat a burger, then my period shows up within a normal range of days. (My cycle length and diet is something that my GYN and I have discussed and worked out a system for.)
I was grumpy AF
Now being grumpy and wanting to stab your husband IS actually a well known side effect of doing Whole30. I expected this one. And thought I was prepared. I was NOT. I think I could have handled the headaches and extreme annoyance with people. If I didn’t have a 3 yr old and 9 month old needing me for 13 hours straight. (The timing to try Whole30 was probably bad on my part)
Between the loud noises, crying, whining, constant question asking and Daniel Tiger in the background I was DONE. I just wanted to run away. There was yelling and crying and felt like a terrible mother.
Day 19 is around the point when you feel like you can’t take it anymore. But if you push through it should get better. But at THAT point, I felt like I was going to break and so I called it.
Why I ultimately quit Whole30 on Day 19
I just don’t think Whole30 was worth my sanity. Now, it did help me majorly curb my sugar cravings for a while. And it was a great first step into eating healthier again. But with all of the side effects that I experienced, and how utterly terrible I felt, I know that I made the right choice in not continuing for the full 30 days.
Honestly, I won’t ever attempt Whole30 again. I’ve been there, done that, and it is NOT for me. I will stick to food journaling and targeted elimination if I have stomach trouble again. As far as sugars are concerned, I could definitely still stand to cut back but I wont fully eliminate that. It’s a crutch I’m willing to keep for my family’s sake 😉
I would never discourage anyone from doing Whole30 because it’s too hard or not fun. I just wanted to share my experience so that everyone knows that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. And that it is important to listen to your body.
It’s also important to go into Whole30 with set goals. I did end up discovering my food sensitivities post-Whole30 and I may not have if I didn’t try W30 first. I also know, even more specifically, what my body needs to function properly. These are all positive things that I gained from my experience. But I’m still glad I quit Whole30 on Day 19. It was right for me and you have to do what’s right for you.
This reminds me of my own experience cutting out all sugar in January of this year. Everyone else who had done it had rave reviews (once you got past the initial hard period), but for me, it was just awful the whole way through. I finally decided that it’s better for me to just have a little in moderation (as much as possible, anyway, lol) rather than obsessing over it all the time, which wasn’t healthy either. You do what works for you! Honestly, I think we need more “real” posts like this to show that carbs or sugar aren’t the end of the world, as long as you’re trying to incorporate a lot of healthy produce and such in, too.