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  • Help a Newbie?

    I've read through the ebooks and still have questions. I have no problem with the concept of eating Primal, just the daily logistics. So where do I start?

    I started a month ago by cutting out grains and potatoes and all sugar, other than my morning coffee.
    Switched my breakfast from toast to cottage cheese.
    Start keeping a food diary using the Lose It app and trying to focus on not over eating - stopping when I was nearly full and not eating when I wasn't hungry.
    And I lost 3 pounds the first week and felt pretty good.

    And then somehow fell back into old ways. It started with a Bible study brunch, then a friends birthday party, ended up drinking lots more coffee (probably to get more sugar in), and then we had guests to entertain... Next thing I know I was a crazy lady with the breads and sweets. In the mean time my scale has died so I don't know where I am now. I think I wasn't getting enough fat and protein. I was eating a lot more veggies, though.

    Please help me make a new plan that will succeed longer than 2.5 weeks. Thoughts appreciated.

  • #2
    I am a newbie too. I am sure others will chime in with more information.

    I have seen some recommendations to go gradually into primal. Starting with one meal per day, and adding on until you are primal for all meals/snacks.

    Others prefer the 'cold turkey' approach. All depends what fits with your style.

    For me, what has helped is having a plan, and having lots of 'primal' foods on hand for when cravings/challenges occur. I stocked my fridge with hard boiled eggs, greek yogurt (I included this only from dairy, others disagree), nuts, and lots of prepped veggies. That way I could just grab something if I got hungry.

    It also helped to have a list of "happy" foods to treat myself. Things like a piece of bacon, dark meat chicken, bell peppers, etc are things I really like, and it helped to see those as not only a 'treat' but also good for me.

    There is a phenomenon known as low carb flu, that when your body starts cleaning out all the processed junk, you feel like crap. Make sure to rest and allow your body to process through this.

    Good luck!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by HeyChelle View Post
      I've read through the ebooks and still have questions. I have no problem with the concept of eating Primal, just the daily logistics. So where do I start?

      I started a month ago by cutting out grains and potatoes and all sugar, other than my morning coffee.
      Switched my breakfast from toast to cottage cheese.
      Start keeping a food diary using the Lose It app and trying to focus on not over eating - stopping when I was nearly full and not eating when I wasn't hungry.
      And I lost 3 pounds the first week and felt pretty good.

      And then somehow fell back into old ways. It started with a Bible study brunch, then a friends birthday party, ended up drinking lots more coffee (probably to get more sugar in), and then we had guests to entertain... Next thing I know I was a crazy lady with the breads and sweets. In the mean time my scale has died so I don't know where I am now. I think I wasn't getting enough fat and protein. I was eating a lot more veggies, though.

      Please help me make a new plan that will succeed longer than 2.5 weeks. Thoughts appreciated.
      HeyChelle...another "newby" here..(well, I guess the way i have been living on the forum board they UPPED me from Junior Member to Member! Bonus!). But I think I can give some advice that might help. Or maybe its more motivation...((???)

      Anyway, I found that the only real way to do Paleo/PB is to DO it. No "little at a time..." .."gradually"...or other way will work. At least that has been my experience. Reason being, its about changing the way you think about and desire food, as well as eating.

      You have to break the old habits and replace them with new ones. For example...if you dont ever quit eating refined sugar/ grains/carbs...you will never break the carb addiction. You will crave those foods forever and never truly become paleo or PB because you will continue to eat them

      But if you should be able to stop eating them then you will break away from those cravings over time.And there is a period where you will feel flu like. It is called carb flu and those of us who have broken away all went through it. Some worse than others, of course.

      After you clear up from your "flu"...you will eventually get a different body. It will be one that utilizes fats instead of sugar for energy and to run on...and you WILL feel completely different. But your mind will still remember the "old" foods. And you will still crave them from time to time...and you will have "weakness" foods that you cant control yourself over (we are human after all). But you will eventually get to the point where those foods hold less power over your will and you may one day not like them at all anymore (I have heard of this but haven't reached it yet....). Meanwhile, while all of this is going on, you have trained your body to run on different foods than before and so no you CRAVE different foods! And these foods are GOOD for you!!!!! Bacon!!!Olives!Steak!!!Eggs!!! (Those are some of my favorites). And eventually what happens is you end up craving the good foods, because of the way you feel from eating them AND the "bad" foods you used to eat dont taste good anymore.You dont crave them at all...and they no longer hold power over you.

      I am in my eighth week of PB and I have went through pretty much what I just described to you. I am still struggling with some remaining foods from my CW (conventional wisdom) diet days...but the list is EXTREMELY small. And very easily controlled. And I feel fantastic on PB. It really was a life changer for me. You should do your level best to try to adopt this lifestyle as your own. It will make a HUGE difference in your life.
      If you can just get your....mind together....then come on across to me.....
      James Marshall (Jimi)Hendrix

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      • #4
        I guess I'm not sure exactly what you need help with? Just start eating primal foods and don't eat non-primal ones...or plan out your activities so your "cheats" come in under 20% of your diet and have a defined start/finish (don't bring leftover cake home from a party!). Honestly, I think it's easier to go "cold turkey" for a month or so to really develop new eating patterns and new eating habits (thinking of primal foods first and foremost when it comes to meal planning).

        Then, just plan out your meals for the week. I don't usually eat breakfast, but I write out a lunch/dinner menu for the next 4-5 days or so so I know what I need to get when I go grocery shopping and...then when it's Wednesday night I know where having X and Y for dinner and there's no fumbling around trying to think up what to eat. If you need some ideas, I have a food journal on my blog, as well as a Meal Matrix (just started that, so it's incomplete, but it's a place to start if you need ideas on what to eat). Feb journal: http://worldofgrey.com/?page_id=1384 Meal Matrix: http://worldofgrey.com/?page_id=1341

        As for quantity...Meh. Don't try to kill too many birds with the same stone. Just stick with eating primal for a month and not worry too much about scales or macros or whatever. Once you have the food concepts dialed in, then look at what you're eating and start tweaking...maybe you try to decrease the amount of fruit and increase the amount of meat or whatever.

        and...keep in mind that we all get de-railed from time to time. I don't know many "perfectly primal" people. They may be out there, but many of us have been down that one donut leads to a month of bad choices road. When that happens to me, I tighten things up really tight for a while until I fall back in to my primal eating pattern with ease and no cravings.
        Last edited by kennelmom; 02-24-2011, 02:35 PM.
        Heather and the hounds - Make a Fast Friend, Adopt a Greyhound!

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        • #5
          i agree with nachobrawler, do it all the way! i am on day 6 and i am feeling good. did have the carb flu on day three and four. . . i woke up from dreaming about cereal for christ's sake! today i was craving something sweet so i had a little organic dark chocolate. normally i would have eaten the entire bar but i was satisfied with just a piece. . . hang in there.

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          • #6
            You sound a little like my boyfriend (except you are way waaaaaay more motivated *smile*). He has been attempting to go primal since I started in mid-December... but between you and me, he's got virtually no buy-in, doesn't seem to care too much about the benefits and is going about it totally half-assed. He has heard me tout the benefits and has seen the improvements in my body by eliminating grains. Well, his version of "eliminating grains" looks a little more like "reducing grains somewhat, here and there, when the mood strikes him." He's "somewhat reduced" his grains BUT ALSO ramped up his fat and protein intake - a bad combo. Either go primal or don't, but adopting some of the primal rules (i.e. upping dietary fat intake) and not adopting others (i.e. continuing to eat grains) is a recipe for poor health.

            A reduction in grains, here and there, won't get you where you want to be. You've got to GET RID of the grains. As was already mentioned, you'll feel icky for the first little while, like you "need" bread or something, but you don't. You really don't. And before too long you'll forget it even exists.

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            • #7
              All I can really add is... there will always be excuses to eat non-Primal foods. This event or that party, or lack of time, or whatever. The biggest thing is not falling to the excuses. Sometimes you have to be a real hard-ass with yourself, but you can do it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by kennelmom View Post
                as well as a Meal Matrix (just started that, so it's incomplete, but it's a place to start if you need ideas on what to eat). Feb journal: http://worldofgrey.com/?page_id=1384 Meal Matrix: http://worldofgrey.com/?page_id=1341
                Thanks for that link!!
                "Anxiety is a sign of spiritual insecurity"
                www.beachbodycoach.com/fatbusters

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Diana Renata View Post
                  All I can really add is... there will always be excuses to eat non-Primal foods. This event or that party, or lack of time, or whatever. The biggest thing is not falling to the excuses. Sometimes you have to be a real hard-ass with yourself, but you can do it.
                  I think there's still room to step off the path a bit. It's just easy to step off the path and tumble down the hill. For instance, it was my 40th birthday a couple weeks ago and my DH made me a cheesecake. It did have sugar, but no grain. (I'm avoiding grain for autoimmune reasons so it's not just a matter of stalling some weight loss if I eat it.) However, I was ok with having that little bit of sugar as a treat and moving on. Now if that turned into having some cake every time one of my coworkers had a birthday, then I'd be in big trouble. It's easy to go "It's a special occasion. I'll just have a little." when it's not really that special. Then it's, "Oh heck, it's the weekend. I'm at a party. Why not?" And then, "I forgot my lunch but there's pizza left over from that meeting." And then you're back to where you started.

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                  • #10
                    Exactly.

                    One tool I tried was to say "Only one special occasion a month." That's enough to include holidays and birthdays, without going overboard. I don't even treat that often now, but it was a huge help for staying away from non-Primal foods. If more than one thing happens in a month... pick one to indulge and the other to abstain.

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                    • #11
                      I guess you could say I'm a re-newbie, even though MDA shows me as a senior member. I was totally groovin' the PB last year, until I went to Europe for a couple of months (for work) and pretty much went hurdling off the wagon. Poor time management while at home plus another two months in Asia (for work again) and I am DONE being off the wagon. I never felt better than I did on PB, and I feel awful now. Since two days ago I am back on almost 100% and I already notice a difference. So I'll be watching here for tips and support, but I echo what Nachobrawler said - just jumping into it worked best for me last year, and seems to be working well now. Meal planning is helpful too, and I find that I'm most successful when I have stuff in the house that's easy to pick up and eat when I'm peckish. If I get hungry and don't have anything, I'm more liable to give in to cravings. So I keep like to keep nuts, dark chocolate, fresh veggies and fruit and bacon around, and when my sister was on PB she made awesome energy bars (check recipe section) that kept her on track.

                      Stats as of 3/1/12:
                      5'10" female, 38 y/o
                      Currently 140 lbs., approx 25% body fat
                      WEIGHT GOAL: lose a bit more body fat and tighten up the rear end...basically, I want to look great naked. Everywhere else is looking great, but my ass/hips/thighs are being a bit stubborn. TMI?
                      DAILY MACRO TARGETS: Cal: 1,857. Protein: 100g (400cal). Carb: 75g (300cal). Fat: 128g (1156cal).
                      EXERCISE GOAL: incorporate 2-3 strength training sessions and 1 sprint session per week.

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                      • #12
                        Just to be different, 'gradually' worked for me. I took the rice and pasta out of meals right away, but snacks and breakfast took longer. Snacks went from sweet biscuits to oatcakes to nuts to less interest in snacks. Breakfast... that took months, from 'could not possibly not have oats for breakfast, so I'll change everything except that,' to making a mix with progressively more seeds and fewer oats and soaking it overnight, to having the occasional smoothie instead on some mornings, to oats just once a week, to forgetting when it was 'oat day', to reaching into the back of the cupboard to find the oats and throw them away.

                        Just finished a breakfast of bacon, duck egg, broccoli and courgette with a spoonful of chicken stock, which took about 7 minutes to cook all in one pan and means I don't need to worry too much about whether I can find lunch when I'm out. So yes, gradual and incremental can work.

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                        • #13
                          We can't help with your willpower- either do it, or don't. The longer you go without 'bad' foods, the less you'll want them.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by StoneAgeQueen View Post
                            We can't help with your willpower- either do it, or don't. The longer you go without 'bad' foods, the less you'll want them.
                            Well said, stone age. I don't think I emphasized that enough in my earlier post. That is the "state" everyone strives for when starting PB. Get away from the junk...I mean SERIOUSLY stop eating it for more than just a few hours or a few days...and eat GOOD Primal food in place of it. And watch what happens with your body and cravings. For me, it was truly amazing. For the first time in my life I feel truly fantastic physically and my cravings are changing from the crap to VEGETABLES (???!!!!) and meat (that is not new, I have always loved meat ...any kind) and food that is good for me.

                            And what this is currently empowering me to do is to kick a long standing addiction to dairy (I AM the original Cheese eater. I used to eat cheese on EVERYTHING) and Diet Soda. Yes, I was addicted to Diet Soda.Diet Pepsi...to be more precise. I used to drink ~ 8 x 20oz drinks/day!!! And I thought at the time...from CW...that diet drinks were healthy. Well, they ARE NOT....by a long shot as we all know.

                            So, anyway, my point is stick to the lifestyle and it will change YOU for the better. The more serious you are in doing it...the more change and quicker you will experience the change. I aint a lyin`.....
                            If you can just get your....mind together....then come on across to me.....
                            James Marshall (Jimi)Hendrix

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                            • #15
                              What has worked for me is the cold turkey approach. However, I did need to have a stock of 'healthy carb' foods around to assist with the transition. Things like nuts, sweet potatoes, etc helped in the first week or so. Now, I am gradually tapering down those foods.

                              It is amazing how quickly my tastes changed! I grabbed a spoonful of peanut butter the other day (conventional) and was like "Blech!!!" Who eats this stuff?

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