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  • Help for a newbie?

    I was wondering if you all might have some suggestions/experiences to share with me. I've been trying to eat Primal for just about a week now. About 2-3 weeks before that I tried cutting out gluten because of basically constant GI problems (wish I had tried it 20 years ago!). I couldn't believe how much it helped! Stumbled across PB a few weeks later and decided to give it a try. The first week was great - felt good, was eating a bit less than normal but not hungry as a result. I'm down about 1-2 lbs but 3+ lb fluctuations in my weight are normal. And then this evening the munchies just would not quit. I really thought that maybe low carb-ish (<100g/day subtracting fiber) was helping with the evening need for something crunchy and carby. This might be a stupid question but so much of the stuff I read is about "never being hungry" "no cravings"... etc etc. For us mere mortals is there still some mental strength required here? Tonight the almond butter won

  • #2
    It's normal. Eat fat and the cravings will go away over a few weeks. I like coconut manna or cheese. Bacon works, too!

    Nuts are way too addictive and have too much Omega 6 & phytotoxins. One or two handfuls a week or 1-2 TBSP a week is plenty, IMO.
    Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
    Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
    Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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    • #3
      B a c o n
      August 2010: 207 lb, 37" waist, 25+% BF | Currently: 177 lb, 33" waist, ~15% BF

      I have a new site up and will soon be blogging at The Wayward Mind. (My journal is semi-retired at this point)

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      • #4
        I have to be honest with you here, the cravings for sweet stuff that you once enjoyed never truly go away. The Primal diet does help with decreased appetite, and I really love all the food choices.....but after a year of avoiding all the sweet nasties, I still crave them all the time. Every day, I find myself fighting the urge to visit the local vending machine to purchase a candy bar.

        The difference is, that I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt, that giving in to those cravings is something I should not and usually will not do. In the past, if I've given in to my cravings in a moment of weakness, I've felt terrible about being so weak.

        "Bad" food tastes great. That's the way it is. You just have to find a way to deal with it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by UndergroundNutritionist View Post
          I have to be honest with you here, the cravings for sweet stuff that you once enjoyed never truly go away.
          They might. I don't crave sweets anymore.

          Gordo

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          • #6
            it's probably just carb withdrawal. i know a lot of people go through it here, and it can take weeks to clear up. some days, you feel great, and then others, all you want to do is curl up with a bag of chips and graze on junk food all day. but i don't think chalking it up to "lack of willpower" is enough - sometimes there's not enough willpower in the world to get you through a snack attack, and the subsequent emotional roller-coaster when you "fail" isn't healthy, IMO.

            i've heard here before that sometimes, cravings stem from a lack of some nutrient in your diet, and that until you get up to whatever optimum level (of say, vitamin c or iodine or w/e), you'll keep getting cravings. i don't know how valid this theory is, but maybe it would help getting more variety in your diet or a good multivitamin, to cover all your bases. i think that might be better than saying "just eat a little of what you're craving", since that could totally backfire. sorry i can't be more helpful!

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            • #7
              + 1 - if yr craving crabs and sweet things at night fry up some bacon in coconut oil or similar -

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              • #8
                Dr. Ron Rosedale talks about a 3-4 week transition period from sugar metabolism to fat metabolism. His book suggests avoiding saturated fats during this transition period since you're trying to train your body to burn its own saturated fat stores. But, his book is also geared towards the more metabolically deranged, too. I like the bacon suggestions from the other responses.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by UndergroundNutritionist View Post
                  I have to be honest with you here, the cravings for sweet stuff that you once enjoyed never truly go away. The Primal diet does help with decreased appetite, and I really love all the food choices.....but after a year of avoiding all the sweet nasties, I still crave them all the time. Every day, I find myself fighting the urge to visit the local vending machine to purchase a candy bar.
                  Mine don't go away in an intellectual sense, but at least they go away in a physical sense. I can still desire and enjoy the experience of a sweet, non-primal treat (especially if it is in the ice cream family) from time to time, but as long as I have it rarely and in moderation, I can keep the crazy compulsive overeating cravings from being a part of my life. For me, anyway, even if I cut out the sweet stuff, my brain never really says "Nah, that's no longer tempting" but at least my body isn't fighting with my brain every step of the way with physical, addictive cravings and the brain can win the argument with logic (or on very rare occasions it can say "Okay, today we are going to enjoy that treat.")
                  "Sometimes, you need to make sure the angel on your shoulder has a wingman." -Me

                  My primal log

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                  • #10
                    possibly i meant carbs and not "crabs" lol

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                    • #11
                      Actually, other than a couple of days during PMS, I have no cravings whatsoever either. I think the key is not to be having cheats all the time. Keep it clean and it's easy to stay clean. Nice and easy flow, no struggle. But it wouldn't be that way if I was dipping my paw in the cookie jar now and again.

                      OP: In the beginning, almost everyone really struggles. I like to think of it as catching a wave. (Have you ever surfed?) Well, it's really hard to paddle, paddle, paddle like a madwoman to get into position to get up on that wave....but once you are there and riding high, you are golden and it's a blast. Primal can be hard in the beginning (3-4 weeks), but after that it's ridiculously easy. Ride the wave all the way onto shore.

                      Welcome and good luck. Stick with it. If you're having a rough time, come hang out on the board with us. It will help you.
                      "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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                      • #12
                        I don't crave sweets anymore. I don't crave bread either. Others may feel different but maybe I am just lucky. I just prefer healthier options and fat which satisfies me much longer than any type of sweet or processed junk food.
                        "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

                        People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.

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                        • #13
                          even though i'm off the wagon at the moment...... when i first stated pb i found that a spoon/fork full off sauerkraut with meals really trained the taste buds to be too sensitive to sugar. went from coffee white and two, to zero sugar, in about a week.

                          now i just need to get back on track to feel worthy of dishing out food advice.

                          grok on.....

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for all the suggestions and support I honestly thought that maybe the lack of wheat (in my 3 original weeks of no gluten) and then limited carbs in general really did decrease cravings and hunger. I was the carb queen before this. Literally I ate candy for dinner instead of real food. It was bad. I've also struggled with binge eating for years. This was the first time in a month I've even had an urge to "just eat" at all (and for me, a few extra tbsp of almond butter really isn't much of a binge) - I chalked it up to running a pretty good calorie deficit for a week now... BUt, still, it was the first time I really even had to try to talk myself out of eating (although it failed).

                            Based on what I've read from you guys and the book:
                            I've been eating almonds and almond butter - I'm going to try to drop that for a while. I've also been hovering around 80-100 net carbs a day. I'm going to try to drop that too.

                            One quick question - dried coconut meat and coconut milk - are those viewed as positively as coconut oil? At home I now have: coconut oil, coconut manna and coconut flakes (unsweetened, only ingredient is coconut), and coconut milk. Are they all good?

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                            • #15
                              One thing that worked for me was to not worry about my calorie intake until the cravings got under control - when I first started PB, I did try to avoid eating too many calories, and would have monster cravings and end up giving into them. Then, I decided to just eat primal foods when I was craving carbs - nuts (macadamia, almond, pistachio) became my go-to snack. It was much quicker for me to grab a handful of nuts then to have to think about and/or prepare something else. I probably ate my weight in nuts those first few weeks. But I got to the point where I didn't crave carbs anymore and I wasn't hungry. One of the most amazing side effects of primal eating, IMO, is the reduction in the intensity of the hunger craving.

                              Now, my weekdays are good, but I still struggle somewhat with the weekends. I still eat more nuts than I should on Sat and Sundays. But, I'm doing much better than I ever believed I could. I still get sidetracked (just this past weekend with my daughter's birthday cupcakes...), but most days are 100% for me. Find your primal "go-to" food to help you get through the cravings, don't worry about how much you eat of it for the time being, and you will see the reduction in cravings and hunger.

                              Coconut is wonderful in all forms - maybe that's your go-to food?
                              My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread51572.html

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