Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I did it! Whole 30 successfully completed, but what now?

I am a super hero. I just completed 30 entire days on the Whole 30. This is the most successful run I've ever had on a "diet." The process has transformed my eating patterns and has helped me to understand the difference between cravings and hunger. I've also discovered foods that were not regularly in my eating rotation. So as Kai Ryssdal from NPR's Marketplace says, "let's do the numbers:"

Weight loss - I lost 8 lbs during the Whole 30. Again, pretty significant for someone who never can drop weight. It should also be noted that the first two weeks were extremely difficult to exercise because I was exhausted all the time. The sugar detox really drained me so I lost that weight without my normal exercise routine.

Inches - about 5 inches overall. I noticed this the most in my waist and thighs.

Macronutrients - My daily breakdown was give or take around 50% fat, 20% protein and 30% carb. Sometimes the carbs creeped up a little higher if I had more fruit but the percentages were in and around these ranges most days. The fat intake may seem high but it's in line believe it or not. This was a major shift in my thinking. Fat is not bad.

Calories - between 1500 and 1700 daily. On days with 45-60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, I might get up to 1800. Whole 30 says not to track calories or macros but I wanted to know for when I go back to civilian life. Shockingly, I never felt hungry but I had to be careful with timing, particularly after a workout. Also, my calorie intake mostly occurred between 8a and 8p. I would sometimes bring my breakfast to work because I wasn't hungry enough to eat it until around10a.

What I learned:

  • Eating whole, non-processed foods 100% of the time is not that hard - it just takes planning. I tried to avoid eating out and cooked at home A LOT during the last 30 days to control what I was eating. I have a lot of meetings over meals and I was out of town for work 8 days this month so it required a lot of planning. If I had a breakfast or lunch meeting, I would always look at the menu before I arrived at the restaurant. I also kept Whole 30-approved snacks to a minimum but on hand for emergencies. Thank God for Larabars.
  • I was eating WAY TOO MUCH sugar before Whole 30. When I think about the amount of processed sugar I was eating before this month, it's a little embarrassing. Like a 10-year-old kid embarrassing.
  • I should probably avoid dairy altogether. I've been lactose intolerant all my life. I use lactaid, dairy pills etc, but my gut has felt so much better this month and I think no dairy has a lot to do with that.
  • I'm stronger than I originally thought. I can exercise willpower. If I ate Whole 30 even 75-80% of the time, I'd be in good shape with my nutrition.
Whole 30 complete! What now?
I plan to shift to primarily Paleo eating which is extremely similar to the Whole 30 but a little more flexible on substitutes for sweeteners and grains. Last month, I started reading Paleo Diet for Athletes, which is co-written by the guru of triathlon/endurance training, Joe Friel. He is a proponent of Paleo eating and believes it improves performance. For me, it's about finding balance and this way of eating is now understandable for me and I know it actually can taste good too.

Tomorrow on day 31, I will have a glass of wine in the evening and I will likely use Splenda in my coffee (still will use unsweetened coconut milk for creamer) but I am going to try to keep this going for a bit and drop some more weight before the main triathlon training season starts. Curious about Whole 30? I strongly suggest you read the book and get to know Pinterest. Thanks for your support these last 30 days!
This actually tastes as good as it looks!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations my cousin! You inspire me. :)