3 Common Whole30 Symptoms & Treatments

For most people, the Whole30 is a drastic change in diet. Even people who eat relatively cleanly feel the shift in diet, which can lead to a host of unpleasant symptoms. The main culprit behind all of it is not the food we’re eating, but the ratio of food on the plate. We are eating from a template that is no longer relevant to our diet, which leaves us with an unbalanced diet. Most common Whole30 symptoms all stem from the same thing, but the details differ slightly.

3 Common Whole30 Symptoms & Treatments

The Symptom: Constant Headaches

Many Whole30-ers find themselves dealing with a constant low-grade headache during the first week or so—and it’s largely the fault of poor electrolyte balance. Coming from the sodium-laden standard American diet, you’ll definitely be lacking in electrolytes when you switch to whole, unprocessed foods.

The Fix: Salt your food.

Seriously, it’s as simple as that. We’ve all been indoctrinated to fear the salt shaker, but you need to put that thinking aside while going through the Whole30. Also, if you used to drink a lot of juice or soda and you suddenly cut it out, be sure to replace it with water or unflavored seltzer to keep from getting dehydrated. During my first Whole30, I ended up adding a cup of broth to every meal to increase my fluids and salt. This recipe is delicious and healthful! 

The Symptom: Zero Energy

Cutting out refined carbs and sugars deprives your body of its go-to energy source. If you don’t replace it with something else, you’ll experience some pretty significant fatigue (as in, you can barely crawl into bed at the end of the day). Caffeine only goes so far; you need to tackle this problem at the plate.

The Fix: Eat More Fat

Like salt, fat has been demonized in our society. Entering into the Whole30, you will probably start out eating foods in the same ratios as before just sans the pasta, rice or bread. Those calories need to be replace and it is best to replace it with healthy fats. Avocado, fresh mayonnaise and meat fat all add a significant and important source of caloric energy to your meal, so be sure to add a thumb-sized portion of fat to each meal.

Pro Tip: avocados provide a hefty dose of potassium along with fat, so they’ll help balance electrolytes if you’re also dealing with the Whole30 headache.

The Symptom: Tummy Troubles

Stomach upset crops up pretty often during the Whole30. Nausea, diarrhea and heartburn are common complaints, as well as gas, bloating and constipation. Barring any known issues such as Crohn’s disease or IBS, tummy troubles are most often caused by the increase in fiber and fat during the Whole30.

The Fix: Wait It Out

More often than not, gastrointestinal problems during Whole30 will resolve on their own. Chew ginger, sip on seltzer and drink a glass of peppermint tea to help calm your tummy. Also, pay attention to any specific culprits along the way. Are tomatoes turning your stomach? Is coconut oil giving you cramps? Cut the suspect out of your diet for a few days and see if it helps—it’s not only a good practice, knowing how our food effects our bodies is the whole theory behind the Whole30.



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Note: We are not doctors and this is not medical advice. If you experience any new or worrisome symptoms, go to a doctor immediately to get it checked out. 

It Starts With 30 is in no way affiliated with or endorsed by The Whole30. It exists as a compendium of supporting information intended for informational purposes only.

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