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  • Advice for newbies

    I've been there. I know the fog, the impatience, the outright frustration of the first few days/weeks/months. I'm also tired of watching new folks learn through trial and error the same mistakes we all made, way back when. So, for all you struggling folks that are new, here's several hints I've thought up while responding to the same 5 threads over and over.
    1) Fat is fuel. The answer to being tired, having no energy, and generally feeling BAD isn't always add more fat, but for most new folks, it is. Those feelings generally indicate you aren't giving your body something it needs. Calculate out what you're eating. if your calories are low and you've met your protein/carb needs, eat more fat. YOU CANNOT GO PRIMAL WITHOUT EATING FAT!
    2) You gotta give it time. The first few days/weeks are likely going to be carb flu. You will most likely feel like you've been put through a wringer both mentally and physically. This is normal, it's your body switching fuels. If you make the switch all at once, it'll pass quicker. If you follow true primal for a couple months and carb flu is still there, you have a break somewhere that needs to get corrected. The forum is a great sounding board for that, AFTER you've given it time.
    3) This is not a quick- fix, flash in the pan, yoyo diet. This is a way of life. Treat it as a diet du jour, and you'll just fall off the horse for the 5 bajillionth time. You gotta treat it as something you're bent on sticking with.
    4)Organic, while better than regular, is not absolutely required to go primal. If you can't afford it and find it, use what you can get.
    5) People will try to talk you out of it. Read the story of the monkeys and the dangling banana and you'll see why. They will try to "make you see reason." If you want to try to convince them, Mark has 5 million studies referenced throughout his site. Otherwise, "do not argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level and beat you with experience."
    6) Do not tinker with your Primal diet until you've given your body the time it needs to adjust. I'm not talking just until carb flu is over, either. I'm talking long haul. Give true Primal several months. Once that stops working, look at your cheats and possible food reactions. If you fix those and still have problems,THEN start tinkering with VLC and such.
    7) Eat when you're hungry, don't if you're not. It's lunchtime and you're not hungry? Then don't eat. Dinner rolls around and you're famished? Eat. Dont restrict too much, but don't gorge, either. Listen to your body. Just 'cause you're fixing this huge meal for your family doesn't mean you need to take "your share."
    8 ) Your cholesterol will most likely go up. D not be alarmed. Read Griff's cholesterol Primer for more info on that.
    9) Do not be alarmed at any medical maladies changing (diabetes, hypothyroidism, high blood pressure, etc.) If it gets worse, talk with your doc. If it gets better, run with it, but watch and make sure you don't need to tinker with your meds.
    10) Life goes on. You will most likely slip up some. That's not an excuse to eat every pastry and bag of cereal in the house. You fell off the horse. Look the horse dead in the eye, tell it who's boss, and get back on. It's not the end of the world. It's not another diet, where you'll be berated for being human and flubbing up. Get over yourself, get back on the horse, and get back to feeling good.

    Anyone else got any more hints for new folks?
    Last edited by naiadknight; 09-27-2010, 07:54 AM.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
    My Latest Journal

  • #2
    11) No, seriously, read the above. You're not a unique snowflake.
    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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    • #3
      i'd like to propose an edit to #7:

      7) Eat when you're hungry, don't if you're not. It's lunchtime and you're not hungry? Then don't eat. Dinner rolls around and you're famished? Eat. Dont restrict too much, but don't gorge, either. Listen to your body.


      only because I tire of reading about people eating only 3oz of fish at lunch and wondering why they cleared out the krispy kreme store 4 hours later.
      sigpic

      HANDS OFF MY BACON :: my primal journal

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      • #4
        True, Batty. Edit made.
        Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
        My Latest Journal

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        • #5
          Originally posted by batty View Post
          Dinner rolls around...
          It's taken me a couple of reads to realize that "rolls" is a verb, not a type of bread. The sentence "Dinner rolls around and you're famished? Eat!" is a little eyebrow raising when you make that mistake
          Liz.

          Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
          Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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          • #6
            excellent post. Everything you said

            : -)
            Scottish Sarah

            Join our UK/ROI Primal group here! http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...php?groupid=67

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            • #7
              Where is Griff's cholesterol primer?

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              • #8
                JMW-
                Here.
                Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
                My Latest Journal

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                • #9
                  Thank you!

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                  • #10
                    naiadknight

                    I still have questions re: # 1

                    * We have meat everyday [a source of fat]
                    * We have Olive Oil in our salads every day
                    * I eat a handful of nuts every day
                    * Mrs Grizz cooks with bacon grease or Coconut Oil
                    * We put a tablespoon of Flax Oil in our smoothie

                    I assume we are, therefore getting more than enough fat.

                    Opinions?

                    Best of health to all,
                    Grizz

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                    • #11
                      As a newbie and one who posted a question about IF'ing this morning, thank you for this information.

                      I am a way-of-lifer, in that I've been working on improving my eating patterns over the last 4 years. But Primal may or may not be where I end up. I suspect that it will be, though, because it seems to fit the best with what my own needs are. I think there's a big difference between people who eat a SAD and come to primal and those who already try to eat close to the earth most of the time and then come to primal. But the difference isn't in being able to skip the basics, it's more in how our bodies respond to primal eating.

                      I have not experienced a carb flu, the way it's been described in some posts. I had a few days of decreased mental clarity and some dizziness, but it passed. I can be perfectly patient and wait before trying to IF, etc. But I have read posts from people who consider not eating from dinner until lunch the next day an IF. I'm trying to balance out that idea with "don't eat if you're not hungry". Except that the first time I did that, I ended up binging on carbs. I have since corrected, by adding more fat. But if eating breakfast even if I'm not really hungry will prevent the carb cravings until my body switches over to primarily fat burning, then that's what I should do - but that would be eating even if I'm not hungry...maybe I'm trying to be too precise.

                      Or maybe my question needs to be, "what are some of the ways you knew your body was ready to move from an eating plan based on external cues (it's noon, time for lunch) to one based on internal cues?"
                      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread51572.html

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                      • #12
                        I honestly can't answer that without knowing more. Run it through daily plate or fitday or chron-o-meter. If you feel good and fat is the majority of your calories, you're doin' good. It varies person to person, even day to day. There are those that only need about 50% of their cals to come from fat, there are others who need upwards of 80 and 85% fat. Run a typical day through one of those, see how your numbers come out. If you're at 50% or over, go by how you're feeling.
                        Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
                        My Latest Journal

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Tawny-
                          I am not an expert. I try not to pretend to be one. Take this with a grain of salt.
                          Internal cues:
                          -Ask yourself "If it were 9PM or 3AM instead of dinner time, am I still hungry?"
                          -Distract yourself. Notice if food is still constantly on your mind, even though you're busy doing something else. Note I didn't say "I should be eating" thoughts, but rather, you're drooling over thoughts of roast beast and a salad or something similar.
                          -If your thoughts are more about junky foods or temptation foods, you aren't actually hungry.
                          -If you aren't sure if you're hungry or just bored, you're bored.
                          -If you can't tell whether it's hunger or "I should be eating," you likely aren't hungry.
                          Again, I'm not an expert, your body has different cues than mine. This really is somewhere where you're going to have to listen to the little nagging voice of your body more than anything else.
                          Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
                          My Latest Journal

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                          • #14
                            naiadKnight - I know your not an expert, but you are much more experienced than me, so what you say counts

                            I guess for me what it comes down to is I don't trust my body yet. I lost a whole bunch of weight a few years ago and have struggled to be more "normal" in my eating ever since. I do know that I need to eat something if I'm having thoughts of junky foods, because if I don't, then I will eat those junky foods. But I am beginning to find that by eating primal, I'm getting fewer of those thoughts...so I guess that answers my own question. I just need to keep doing what I'm doing, because it's working.

                            Thanks for helping me gain some clarity.
                            My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread51572.html

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                            • #15
                              Tawny-
                              Carb addiction's a bear. That's what those junky food desires are. It's your brain asking you to feed that addiction. Pay attention when it wants real food, and firmly tell it no when it wants the addiction fed. This forum acts much like an AA meeting in that respect, most of us are coming over from carb addiction and lend support to one another It will help you get to know your body if you were to create a journal, here or on your own, journalling intake, exercise, how you feel, and what happened. That'll really help you zero in on your pitfalls and such, as well as your strengths.
                              Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
                              My Latest Journal

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