Whole 30 Day 19 and Still Going...
I made it! I’m over the hump and past the halfway point of my first Whole 30!
I am feeling balanced and “normal,” for the first time in a long time. My energy is balanced. My sleep is good (not crashing hard, not waking much through the night). My mood is peaceful (except for when I really just want a glass of wine, but I’m pushing through!) I am not starving or feeling like I’m “dieting” in the least bit, and I honestly feel that I can go longer between meals than before.
Not only does the Whole 30 talk about this, but so do many functional medicine doctors and the teachings of Ayurveda, and that’s the concept of fat-adaptation or using our “energy stores” for fuel. And it’s real! Instead of training our bodies to use up the sugar and quick energy it receives from snacking, grazing, or eating every 2 (ish) hours, our bodies can and WILL learn how to go 3-4 hours comfortably between meals. It does this by fat adapting, learning to use fat (what we eat and what we store) for energy instead of sugar. And that is EVERYTHING!
So for those of you who insist that eating 5-6 smaller meals a day is what’s “best” for your metabolism…I’d like to know 1. How is that working for you? and 2. Do you feel like you are hungry all the time?
I did this many years ago, as I was just starting out my healthy living journey and experimenting with different diets. I was eating small meals all day long. I’d grab protein bars for energy and extra fiber, fruit, a snack of raw veggies (which is seriously one of my least favorite things to do, and I never do it now), and try to keep my meals lighter. I literally felt like I was ALWAYS EATING.
And guess what? I gained weight. I was at my heaviest. My body didn’t know what to do with all the extra food and carbohydrates I was eating and I was working out harder than I ever had before. It just made me “bigger.”
Eating that often teaches our bodies to expect that quick fix of energy, so our blood sugar balance becomes dysregulated AND it makes our digestion work overtime. Our digestive system needs a break, it needs to feel full, fully digest our meals, and rest, then gear up for our next meal and comfortably tell us that we are ready for more food (about 3-5 hours later).
Fast forward several years later, I’ve embraced the idea of eating 3 (occasionally 4) calmer, filling, and satisfying meals each day. I completely stopped eating anything after dinner and guess what? I feel so. much. better.
That was even before my Whole 30 experience. This program has shown me that I can go without wine, without sugar, without bread, pasta, rice, and that I can thrive when I am eating more protein, more fat, and a TON of delicious and nutritious vegetables.
I’m really careful about “pushing” this program, as it's more of a commitment than anything else. You HAVE to follow the rules. You cannot budge, or wiggle, or be “nice” or take a day off. You must understand WHY this system works, WHAT your body is going through as you progress through the 30 days, and HOW to do it so that you are getting all of the nutrients you need.
And if you’re ready to get started and want some help? Let me know!