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Former vegetarian... HELP!

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  • Former vegetarian... HELP!

    About two years ago I started overhauling my diet and lifestyle, which at the time was largely fast food based. I started distance running and decided to become a vegetarian. I lost a lot of weight in that time, going from 260+ to around my goal of 185, but I'm not happy with my body composition... which seems to be almost the same. I'm just a smaller version of the chubby guy I was. To top it off, I'm gaining some of the weight back and it's extremely frustrating.

    I'm sure some of you could have seen that coming a mile away, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. After reading about how chronic cardio and very high carb diets lead to the situation I'm in, I decided to give the Primal Blueprint a try.

    The problem that I have is that I can't seem to stick with it. I start out every day with the best intentions, and end up caving when I get within 50 feet of something sweet. I've basically been running off of sugar for so long that it feels like I'm having withdrawals.

    Is this a normal part of the transition? And is there a way to make it easier to get through?

    I really want to give PB an honest shot, but I can't seem to get out of the starting blocks.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  • #2

    This is called the low-carb flu, and yes, it's your body kicking the sugar and carb habit. You must ride it out and resist cravings even though you're going to be in really nasty shape for a few days to a week. Ride it out! Think about the fact that most carbs we eat (the grain-based ones) contain opiods, which make them as addictive as heroin. It takes your body a little bit of time to shift over to using fat for fuel instead of sugar, so while it's working that out, resist the carbs.

    The best way to make it easier is to get lots of rest, and any time you feel a carb craving, eat something fatty, like bacon or tuna.

    You might want to read up on how bad grains and other carbs are for your body and what they do to you. Read "The Vegetarian Myth" for some really eye-opening information.

    Best of luck! Keep posting here and keeping us updated on your progress.

    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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    • #3

      The withdrawal is normal. It *is* a withdrawal. And as with withdrawal from drugs, caffiene, etc - it's gonna suck for a little while. Personally, I went cold turkey on sugar. I felt like sh*t for a couple of days, it might take longer for you because you were dependent on it longer.

      And three steps forward and one step back is still forward motion. Don't scrap a day's good work because you slipped up a little. Stick with it. It doesn't take all that long to recalibrate your body.


      • #4

        Another vote for normal. I have always had a major sweet tooth and eaten a lot of fruit (as well as a lot of junk).

        I've been mostly-primal for about 2 weeks now, and it's gotten so much easier already. It helps that I'm hardly ever hungry now, on the same number of calories as before, or less. That said, there were times last week that I didn't even necessarily WANT sugar or wasn't hungry, but I knew that my headache/weakness/fuzzy brain would go away if I ate a bunch of carbs.. and it was sooo tempting. I guess that's where that "will power" stuff comes in.

        Here's a hopeful story for you. Yesterday I had brought some fruit to eat with my lunch but felt full so I saved it for the afternoon. About 4 hours later I was getting a little hungry, considered eating the fruit, but thought to myself: nah, I'm not really in the mood for something sweet. I think I nearly fainted from the realization.

        And now I'm pissed off at sugar, for having had so much control over me all this time, and making me think I was a weak, stupid failure every time I tried to "diet". Grr.

        "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

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        • #5

          I am also mad at sugar and fake sugars as well. As a chemist, i should know better. I believe that there is some nasty thing that companies put in all processed foods that cause humans to become totally insane and addicted. I recently just cut my sugar free gum addiction. Only one week down, and I have no bloating feeling and no strange cravings well at least physically. still working on the mental part. I hate that food had such a control over my mind.


          • #6

            I know how you feel. I was following largely vegetarian diet and when I banished processed foods from my diet, it made sense not to eat "healthy whole grains" as well since they were processed. I relied heavily on fruits/starches and even then I had trouble kicking the sugar addiction then I discovered the primal way of eating and even though it&#39;s been only 3 days, I don&#39;t crave sweet fruits as much as I used to (I used to eat 1 banana, 1 orange, 1 apple, 1 cup of grapes.. etc) Yesterday I even forgot to eat my "one apple a day"

            Although I&#39;ve read through a lot of forums on here and it seems that apples are okay in moderation.. You should also try buying bags of frozen berries and whenever you feel like you need sugar, just pop some in your mouth


            • #7

              Thanks for all the feedback. The responses helped me a lot. I guess I&#39;m just going to have to grit my teeth and wait until it passes.

              I&#39;m trying to make it easier on myself by getting all the crap out of my kitchen, or at least freezing it so it&#39;s not readily available. I do pretty well at home, but I have to be more careful at work. We have marketers constantly bringing in sweets.

              Other than that I&#39;m just trying to keep myself busy so I don&#39;t think about it as much.

              Yesterday was pretty much the first full day without a slip-up, and today I feel pretty good. I actually feel physically stronger. I don&#39;t know if that&#39;s just mental, but it&#39;s a good feeling regardless.

              Thanks again for your help.


              • #8

                What seems to help the most in getting over the carb flu is to really up your healthy fat content.

                Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me."--Ferris Bueller, 1986
                Check me out @ my blog: Retrospective Caveman
                I set up a Facebook Group for all those who are eating and living Paleo/Primal


                • #9

                  Have plenty of other types of snacks on hand. It might help. That way you can reach for nuts, jerky, or veggies instead of sweets.

                  And yes, simply not having the other stuff around makes it a little easier to avoid them.

                  Start weight: 250 - 06/2009
                  Current weight: 199
                  Goal: 145