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  • try for 100%, achieve 80%

    is achieving 80% primal per day different than achieving 80% over the course of a week (so I'm thinking of a scenario in which I'm eating great primal food all week, then taking a "day off" of primal versus a scenario where I eat some non-primal food every day). I think the two might be different in terms of obtaining the advantages of a primal diet & lifestyle. feedback please?

  • #2
    Physically, I don't know; but mentally if you feel you need a whole day without restrictions you're possibly setting yourself up for failure. It sounds like you're denying yourself and forcing through 6 days a week, and the 1 day off is when you're relaxed. This'll probably get tiring after a while. It might be better to train yourself not to feel as though you're missing out by eating primal.

    Also how severe a departure would this 1 day off be?

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    • #3
      My personal opinion is that if you're stressing yourself out and struggling to eat 100% paleo then you shouldn't aim for 100% right away and ease yourself into it.Stress has been shown to be detrimental to all species on this planet,and stressing over something as vital as food isn't a great recipe for overall health and happiness. So if you need to have a cheat meal or not eat a paleo meal then go ahead,it wont completely undo all your hard work and effort, but keep the goal of eating completely paleo in your mind at all times and slowly strive for it.

      Another point to bring up is in some social situations eating paleo isn't an option. My dad turned 56 recently and at his party there wasn't any paleo food, just the typical cake and ice cream. I could have easily refused to eat the stuff, but I didn't, because that would have put a damper on the party and there was no need for me to derail the fun to explain why I wont eat something that my mother spent time and effort cooking to celebrate my dads birthday.
      Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own experience.

      In the mind of the beginner, there are many possibilities; in the mind of the expert, there are few.


      I've shaken hands with a raccoon and lived to tell the tale

      SW: 220- 225 pounds at the beginning of January
      CW: 180 pounds

      Goals for 2012: Lose a bit more fat and start a serious muscle and strength routine

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      • #4
        The 80% "rule" is not a license to eat crap some of the time on a regular basis. It's a mindset. Strive for perfection but don't sabotage yourself with guilt because you slipped up somewhere along the line or willfully choose not to adhere(social situations, whatever). At least... that's how I perceive it.

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        • #5
          I think of the 80% as being very long term... like, if you've been eating primally 100% of the time when you cook at home, don't worry about it if now and then you eat a restaurant meal with some sugar in the salad dressing and a few noodles in the soup. Or, when you've been staying very primal for a year and you go on vacation, eat the local fare without feeling guilty (as long as you aren't gluten intolerant or have other reasons why eating grains will make you sick immediately.) I save my 20% for parties, travel, and other times when I can't eat in my own home. My home, where I control the food supply, is 100% primal.
          28, female, 5'2"
          Went primal 7/28/10: 154 lbs.
          1/12/12: 135 lbs.
          Goal: 120 lbs.

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          • #6
            Take a day off from what? From your health? From delicious, real food? So you can do what? Make yourself sick? Eat artificial chemical food-lab crap? I just don't get that kind of thinking. I can see having a piece of cake and ice cream at a party once in a while, but planning to eat crap 20% of the time makes no sense. Even less sense is the "time off" part, as if eating great food is a prison sentence.
            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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            • #7
              ^+1. Strive for 100% and recognize that it is not always feasible for a whole host of reasons.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Hardwarehank View Post
                The 80% "rule" is not a license to eat crap some of the time on a regular basis. It's a mindset. Strive for perfection but don't sabotage yourself with guilt because you slipped up somewhere along the line or willfully choose not to adhere(social situations, whatever). At least... that's how I perceive it.
                +1. I think having a cheat meal on a regular basis is a way for you to set yourself up for failure. This only means that you SUFFER all week to have that epic cheat meal like your reward for being good. It doesnt change your mindset or teach you to find new foods that you enjoy. That 20% should be mostly unplanned and for some good reasons... like a social situation... or maybe you want to go out to dinner once in awhile.
                Primal since March 2011

                Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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                • #9
                  Even if you think you're 100%, the odds are you are being deceived somewhere.
                  Crohn's, doing SCD

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                  • #10
                    as the above poster said .. its best to learn that being primal is a GOOD thing, not a punishment ..

                    and most people that say they are 100% are probably more like 95% because we get cheated on ingredients in things or this or that if we eat something we didnt buy/grow and then cook ...

                    im VERY happily 95% primal (assuming somewhere i am taking in stuff i didnt know about), i shoot for 100% and i never miss anything
                    started at 310 July 23rd 2011 ... workin and workin!

                    my journal - http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread34980.html



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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                      Take a day off from what? From your health? From delicious, real food? So you can do what? Make yourself sick? Eat artificial chemical food-lab crap? I just don't get that kind of thinking. I can see having a piece of cake and ice cream at a party once in a while, but planning to eat crap 20% of the time makes no sense. Even less sense is the "time off" part, as if eating great food is a prison sentence.
                      This.
                      Lifting Journal

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                      • #12
                        1. Don't get me started on my 20% rant. I don't think Mark ever intended to imply that 1/5 of your food can be crap and you will still feel good.

                        2. I think it's ok to step off the path here and there. Food is a social thing. I'm going to eat at restaurants and at other people's homes. I accept that I will be eating some bad stuff now and then, even trying to stick to primal foods. Keeping grains and legumes out of your food is hard but not impossible. Industrial seed oils are everywhere. I make tasty primal meals at home but I know the once a week or so I eat out, I'm getting crap. There is a difference between deciding I'm not going to beat myself up or turn down social invitations and actually planning a weekly ritual of throwing healthy eating out the window.

                        3. What you choose to indulge in matters. There is a huge difference between having some wine or chocolate and having a pizza. If you're one of the many people with autoimmune diseases or gluten intolerance (who are on that path of inflammation, autoimmunity, and chronic disease), then cheating once a week with gluten grains is largely sabotaging your efforts. It takes your body longer than that to recover. Add in the other inflammatory junk, like seed oils, and you're increasing the odds you'll go over the edge. Some studies put the number of gluten sensitive people at 35% of the population. Autoimmune conditions are epidemic in people over 40. It's not rare so don't think because you don't have that problem now that you won't later. Primal eating is about optimum health for a life time. It's about your future as well as your skinny jeans.

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                        • #13
                          I am surprised Choco hasn't chimed in on this one stating the impossibility of 100% compliance!
                          "The problem with quoting someone on the Internet is, you never know if it's legit" - Abraham Lincoln

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by @lex View Post
                            Another point to bring up is in some social situations eating paleo isn't an option. My dad turned 56 recently and at his party there wasn't any paleo food, just the typical cake and ice cream. I could have easily refused to eat the stuff, but I didn't, because that would have put a damper on the party and there was no need for me to derail the fun to explain why I wont eat something that my mother spent time and effort cooking to celebrate my dads birthday.
                            Well, you can choose to not eat the stuff and do it in a way that won't put a damper on the part or derail the fun. I have a ton of nieces/nephews and a bazillion cousins and if I felt like I had to eat cake/ice cream at everyone of their parties, I'd be eating it way too much.

                            It's not that hard to sing "happy birthday" and then as the cake is being cut/served just socialize in a way that you end up never having any. There's no need to make a big deal out of it and draw attention to yourself. You don't need to scream, "I'm not having any cake or ice cream and all you fools who do are going to DIE!"

                            Having that said, there are likely going to be times when observing (as Mark put it) your "tribal bonds" trumps being 100% primal all the time.

                            But seriously, you'd be surprised how often you can skip eating stuff if you don't want to eat it and NO ONE will notice.
                            Re-focusing on the Primal Lifestyle in 2012!

                            Starting: 221.0lb, 29.5% BF (1/9/2012)
                            Latest: 208.9, 26.1% BF (3/19/2012)

                            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread35679.html

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                            • #15
                              I try for 85% or so and I think that's where I end up.

                              Personally, I don't think it is a great idea to have 15% of your food every day be non-primal. I think it is very nurturing and healing to give your body stretches where your nutrition is ideal. But I do think it is very healthy (for me anyway) to have social occasions where I eat what I want without any guilt or weird head-games. Not because I feel any sort of pressure to eat a particular food - but because I enjoy the experience of trying new foods with friends and family.
                              Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

                              http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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