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I'm underweight, should I go primal?

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  • I'm underweight, should I go primal?

    So I have a few problems. I'm chronically underweight.

    I'm also carb addicted. I will eat carbs (more specifically, wheat) even when I'm full. I have tried the standard high carb western diet, it has failed me. I just never feel satisfied. Carbs are like drug to me. They also seem to give me serious flatulance, which is a motivating factor to dump them.

    They say everything in moderation, but that's bullshit that's easier said than done. Carbs (grains) for me cannot be done in moderation, as soon as I start eating grain I can't stop. So the health associations can stick their moderation shit up their ass.

    So I'm thinking of going primal but I have some concerns...

    - How hard is it to go primal on a budget? I'm not in the best place financially.
    What about meat-alternatives like legumes? My concern is this diet seems like you'd have to eat meat with every meal, and meat is expensive.

    - What about eating out? Do you guys have to prepare all your meals in advance?

    - How sustainable is it? How many have been doing this for over a year and still stick at it?

    - How long after going primal will the carb cravings go away?

    Thanks heaps for any advice!
    Last edited by God; 06-29-2011, 05:05 PM.

  • #2
    I'm new so I can't speak to any of it except one thing - my carb cravings went away within two days. I think I might be unusual in that aspect, especially since I was not eating sugary foods much but one of the biggest happy surprises of being on a primal WOE is that my whole life I've battled cravings for sweets and within days, those cravings were gone. I can fix grains for my family and don't have a desire to eat them for the most part. In fact I'm even going to test that tomorrow - I'm baking cookies for our family's 4th of July get together and I am pretty confident I won't really have much of a problem resisting the urge to eat one. I'm only 2 weeks in, but that's been one of the biggest unexpectedly awesome things about this. I think cutting out all grains entirely is a huge thing that many low-carbers don't realize... they are so addictive and once you eliminate them totally, you quit craving them but if you just try and have very miniscule amounts, you'll still continue to crave them. I was telling my husband just last night that I am so astounded by how EASY it is that half of me is so resistant to any cheating just because I don't want to jinx it.
    Uncle Dutch Farms - my bloggy home.
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    • #3
      I've been doing this for almost two years. I have not gone "off plan," as they say, even once in that time. Carb flu (cravings) took about four to six days for me to get over. You can do this cheaply buying the cheap, fatty cuts of meat that they practically throw away at the butcher's, using a crockpot a lot, and eating eggs.

      I eat out about twice a week. Get the burger without the bun and a big-ass salad without the croutons. Easy.

      Don't eat legumes. They are not primal. You do not have to eat meat at every meal, but you do need to eat protein and fat at every meal if possible. Eggs will take care of this need, and they're cheap. Canned tuna works too. Remember that you only need to eat if you're actually hungry - you may not need three meals a day. Leafy greens tend to be pretty cheap, too. You can do this.
      Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

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      • #4
        Do you have squirrels near your house?
        In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Alex Good View Post
          Do you have squirrels near your house?
          Mmm... Squirrel stew. My favorite.

          No but seriously, going primal is awesome! Try it for a week, that's how I got started!
          "You don't have forever to change yourself."
          Stefan Molyneux
          Freedomain Radio

          "Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest."
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          • #6
            Re your post title "I'm underweight, should I go primal?" --

            Yes, because you presumably want to put on muscle. If you really haven't enough fat on you throw in some sweet potatoes.

            Primal probably means more slightly protein than you're used to, which will help with putting on and keeping muscle. So will short but high-intensity exercise, particularly progressive resistance training—i.e., weights. Otherwise, "move slowly".

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            • #7
              Originally posted by God View Post
              - How hard is it to go primal on a budget? I'm not in the best place financially.
              What about meat-alternatives like legumes? My concern is this diet seems like you'd have to eat meat with every meal, and meat is expensive.
              Organ meats are cheap.

              Originally posted by God View Post
              - What about eating out?
              I thought you were on a budget?


              Originally posted by God View Post
              - How long after going primal will the carb cravings go away?
              The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D. Tips & tricks for starting (or restarting) low-carb Pt II

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              • #8
                I'm underweight too (always have been) but am currently maintaining +10 lbs from the super-low setpoint I had for nearly a decade, after over a year on a primal diet. I look, and feel, better than I ever have in my life, eating this way. I also lift weights and do power yoga, that's helped me build and keep some muscle.

                I don't eat extremely low-carb (100-200g per day, though I am active) but I do eat grain-free, with the exception of white rice. I also eat potatoes, sweet potatoes, fruit, coconut water. As long as I stay away from gluten, I don't have gluten cravings any more.

                I am poor and it's possible to eat well and primally on little money. I do not eat out at all. I don't eat meat with every meal. My usual daily protein is 3-4 eggs and about 1/2 lb of meat or seafood, anything I get from nuts etc. Plus occasional meat/fish leftovers from last night's meal.

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                • #9
                  One thing I think is important to note (as someone who has hovered between skinnyfat/underweight the last year or so), is that it can be difficult to get enough calories in the day to put on weight (the right way) if you're not careful. Just make sure you're eating enough, as it can be very easy to undereat if you're used to lots of carbs. I know people here usually say to listen to your body, but if you're underweight, I don't see any harm in forcing yourself to eat more at times as long as you make good choices.

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                  • #10
                    I would say go for it

                    I was constantly craving carbs - especially refined sugar before I went primal and it was really getting me down as I felt so out of control.

                    I buy joints of meat when they are on offer, also mince, chicken and eggs so I find this way of eating very affordable. A freezer definitely helps though as that way you can take advantage of the offers and make up larger quantities and freeze them if necessary.

                    As losing weight isn't an issue just cut out all foods containing grains, legumes and refined sugars aka processed foods and give it a try for 30 days so you body has chance to get used to eating real food with real nutrients - and let us know how it goes
                    1st June 11 to 30st Aug 11 - 36lb removed in 13 weeks
                    Messed about on and off for the rest of the year

                    June 2012 - Had the practice - now time to do it for real

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                    • #11
                      I am sure many will not share my view, but IMHO you do need carbs if you want to bulk. In fact if you want to build muscle (I assume you do, even if it is not clear from your post) you do need that insuline carring the proteins to your muscles. Of course you should avoid processed carbs, but I would not avoid grains at all (whole grains and oats could be 2 good options for you). Potatoes could also be an option (especially sweet ones) as somebody pointed out. Also, it is important to time the carbs right (ie straight after lifting weight, of course together with the proteins and in general more on training days than on off days). Also, if you are trying to increase weight I think it would make sense to count your calories (and macronutrient ratio) to make sure not to eat too less. Actually if you are lacking fat this is the best way to start packing muscle: train and eat a lot. Good luck!!

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                      • #12
                        Thanks heaps for the advice guys. I'm gunna give it a go using eggs and cheap meat as primary source of protein, and continue eating potatoes in moderation, since despite tatoes supposedly being a "deadly nightshade" I seem to be able to tolerate them ok and they don't induce ravenous insatiable cravings like grains do, leading me to believe it's more of a grain-issue than a carb-issue.

                        I'll give progress update in a few weeks :P

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