Whole30: Why I Had To Stop

Yes, I stopped Whole30.

On the morning of Day 10, I made a bowl of steel cut oats with frozen blueberries, unsweetened almond milk, and salt.

Because my body needed me to stop.

I'm going to be 100% honest, the next few lines are slightly TMI, so if you are male or otherwise uninterested please scroll down to the Jim Halpert gif. 

I had my period for eight days, while on the pill. Which has never happened to me. Which is not normal for my body. And which my doctor and I concluded was because of Whole30. 

See, on the night of Day 8 I had had enough. I was exhausted, and I was quite frankly, over this period BS. So I did some research.

It turns out irregular menstruation is actually really common on Whole30. In fact it runs the gamut from women who spot through the 30 days, to women who menstruate for 30 days, to women who missed their period for that month or more. (Only read a few times that women were unable to properly re-regulate following a Whole30 month, but, worth noting.

And in fact much of the research and experiences focus on two factors: a hormonal imbalance because of lack of dairy, or because of lack of carbs. Well, I wasn't eating all that much dairy before hand. But I was very consistent with my carb intake. 

In fact, my doctor made a great point, I spent nearly a year accurately tracking a daily macronutrient amount of carbs, and then knocked it down to next to nothing (I was eating sweet potatoes during those 10 days) in a split second.

My body simply said, knock it off. 

And sure. I technically could have kept going. But flat out, it wasn't healthy for my body. There were plenty of people that I found, and have read posts from, that experienced nothing like this. Many people complete Whole30 without any hormonal imbalances like this. 

That just wasn't my experience. My experience meant that, for my health, I had to start eating carbs again. 

And frankly, I was mad. 

I cried. I was pissed. I wanted this. Not finishing felt exclusively like failing.

I was genuinely enjoying the program, and I truly wanted to finish. And I couldn't. My body was telling me I couldn't.

I would still totally recommend Whole30, but more than anything, I would recommend listening to your body. Some people aren't designed to eat  like that. And sure, maybe if I had given it 60 days I would have normalized my hormones. But that wasn't on the table for me. So...now carbs are back on the table.

I will add that even 10 days on Whole30 sparked a deeper appreciation for the amount of sugar and processed crap that can be in our foods. And yes, I'm still eating as Whole30 as I can, but yes, that does include carbs. 


  1. What a great decision. It's important to realize what works for you as an individual, and this clearly wasn't. Plus, the plan wasn't as much a contest to see if you could go 30 days as it was a learning experience to teach yourself about a better way to eat. I think you've discovered some things about food and yourself that will carry on well beyond any 30 day activity.

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