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Help push me to 100% primal please! I think I'm scared or something...

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  • Help push me to 100% primal please! I think I'm scared or something...

    Hi. Two weeks ago I started a "modified" primal diet -- cut out all grain, flour, starch, etc. and upped my intake of meat (was never a big meat eater before this) and using coconut oil to cook, etc. What I haven't been able to drop is fruit (I eat a lot of fruit) and snacking (I still seem to want to snack every 10 minutes at night, which doing on a primal diet means I am now snacking on nuts, beef jerky, veggies, more nuts, tablespoons of almond butter... you get the point!) Not surprisingly, I haven't seen or felt any difference in the last two weeks (except for the disappearance of a skin rash I've had since childhood. Yay!) I also haven't had the time or inclination to figure out my protein/fat/carb ratios or do any of the other math needed to make this transition a success.

    I want to go 100% primal but I think I'm nervous that giving up fruits and already feel so taxed by work, parenting, working out (I'm a fairly competitive boxer and I weight lift and run), that doing any extra math, food prep, cooking.... just makes me tired to think about!

    I need some motivation to just "go there" and commit to this! I really want to do it. Any tips, successes, etc. would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • #2
    what are you trying to accomplish exactly? if you are a "fairly competitive boxer" shouldn't you be pretty lean in the first place? so i'm assuming that weight loss isn't the goal then. but you said you "haven't seen or felt any difference in the past 2 weeks." what are you hoping for?

    if you are a competitive athlete, low carb primal/paleo is probably not for you, especially if you also lift and run. fruit is primal, so i'm not sure how eliminating it would make you 100% primal. if you are inclined to snack heavily at night, you aren't eating enough during the day. what are your meals like and what is your workout schedule like?


    • #3
      yeah, I'm confused by what your issue is with fruit. It is primal. Do you find it's a trigger for something, binging? Snackin?? The best way to axe the snacking is up the amount you eat for your main meals. You'll be too full to snack. When I first started I found that keeping busy helped me forget to snack too. Especially if my mind thinks it wants to eat b/c that's the time I always snack.


      • #4
        yaaa nothing wrong with fruits bro, unless the sugar triggers something else?


        • #5
          Primal is about eliminating grains, legumes, seed oils and processed crap. It's not about ratios, macros, calories or percentages.
          *My obligatory intro

          There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo



          • #6
            Not on the rug, I'm sort of lean but not as lean as I'd like to be. For all the training I do, I should look like a wire but I eat a lot and the snacking has taken it's toll over the last few years, especially after I hit 40. By doing primal, I was hoping for some elimination of a flabby waist/hips (aside from hoping for better health, which at least seems to be starting to happen)
            I thought that fruit was ok in moderation but seemed like I was reading more often than not that truly primal dieters eat a handful of berries now and then and that's about it.

            Here's a day of meals, including the snacks and workout. This was my yesterday:
            Workout: boxing from 6am-8:15 (typical workout, no sparring though. Drills, heavy bag, cardio, some ring work, jump rope, abs, pushups) This was a fairly "light" workout in that I wasn't dying and about to drop dead, and there was no sparring. I had a lot of time on the bag without a trainer watching so I probably was a bit slower and a punched a little lighter than I might have otherwise)

            Breakfast: large garden salad with grilled chicken (about 5-6 ounces I think), huge handful of raw almonds, 2 hardboiled eggs
            Lunch: Plate of grilled veggies, 6 stew-sized chunks of grilled steak from the salad bar at Whole Foods, almonds, half pint of berries, an apple
            Dinner: (here's where it goes haywire!) a few pieces grilled chicken tenders, 4 pieces of Trader Joe organic beef jerky, two hardboiled eggs, a few spoonfuls of almond butter with roasted flax seed from TJs (that stuff is crack!), 1/3 cup of veggie chili that i made, a handful of baby carrots, more almonds, 1/2 cup of raisins (this is what does me in but I can't seem to drop them from my diet), and then bites of totally random "trying to stay primal" stuff until about 9:30 (veggies, a piece of cheese, a bit of yogurt, etc. etc. etc.)

            The rest of my workouts for this week (i took a light week at the boxing gym due to work and not being able to get there but usually I'm at the boxing gym 4 days with 2 days of weights and 2-3 days of running or spinning)
            Mon: Run (5m) easy
            Tue: Spin class at gym
            Wed: short run and a spin class
            Thurs: see boxing above
            Friday: off
            Sat: intense crossfit-type workout at gym (45 minutes of sheer torture. Love it)
            Sun: same as Sat but with a short run thrown in before (20-30 minutes)
            Last edited by Evbois; 06-22-2012, 07:48 AM.


            • #7
              i'm going to recommend reconfiguring the diet a little bit. here's the thing: the foods you are eating are primal or paleo or whatever. but you seem to be incorporating lots of snacks in to/as actual meals. things like jerkey, nuts, nut butters (in my opinion) should be used as treats and desserts, not as the basis of actual meals.

              you can structure your meals however you like, but i would base them on meat and veggies and a healthy fat source. i would also add in some carbs from sweet potatoes, white rice and bananas. at your activity level (i read another thread you started) low carbing probably isn't going to work for you. i think there are a lot of people on this forum who are coming to this realization. myself included. and i would also just eat more at mealtime. i don't know how big you are, but for me 5-6 chunks of beef sounds like a couple bites. you won't need to snack and pick at other things if you are eating enough with each meal.

              as for keeping lean, that's just something you'll have to play with. some people IF. some people count calories. some people carb cycle. you need to see what works for you. and since you are new to this, that will probably take some time


              • #8
                Whole fruits are part of a normal Primal diet, why would you give them up? There is no reason for you to give up fruits, unless you have some other issue (for me, I have cut fruits out of my diet for the time being because I have a problem with binging on sugar, and I find that fruit contributes to the binges, otherwise I would still eat it). You will see that there are some folks on here that choose to eliminate fruit from their diet for various reasons, but under normal circumstances fruits are included, so eat up.

                As far as snacks go, if you are only two weeks in on the Primal diet, I would say you need to give yourself more time. I snacked on nuts, nut butters and stuff like that like a mad woman when I first went Primal. I was exhausted from the carb flu and I needed the fat and energy boost from snacks. Now, I have cut my snacking way down because I've gained weight from my sugar binges and I want to get rid of it. Your body is going through a transition right now so if you are feeling more tired and sluggish and feel that you need snacks, there is a reason for it and you should listen to your body. I wouldn't expect that you would see much difference in your body after only two weeks.


                • #9
                  Everything you're eating sounds perfectly primal to me. Are you sticking to grass-fed for your beef? If not, don't worry, but if you have that option, go for it for sure.

                  Otherwise, I'd make only two recommendations...

                  Try not to go overboard with the nuts and nut butters. They pack on calories quickly and you'll get an overabundance of high-oxidizing and pro-inflammatory omega-6s. Try to balance that out by first, lowering (but not necessarily eliminating) nut and nut butter consumption, and two by eating lots of leafy greens which have a favorable omega-3 ratio, and of course, fish!

                  The second caveat is that fruit contains a lot of fructose, and too much of it will convert directly to fat in the body. Again, like the nuts, they are both healthy AND primal, just don't go crazy with them.

                  Otherwise, as long as all that snacking isn't causing you to over-consume calories-wise, I wouldn't worry about it!

                  At some point, when you feel ready, you might try intermittent fasts as some people find it helps them control their snaking habits. But don't stress that one too much if you don't really feel like going there!
                  Last edited by Drumroll; 06-22-2012, 08:33 AM.
                  "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the insights, particularly around portions and snacking. I wondered if my snacking might be just holdover from earlier eating habits and yes, I probably don't eat enough at meals which contributes to the problem. I think that's where my primal "fear" comes in: thinking about eating BIG meals with fats is terrifying! I'm scared if I do that I'm just going to balloon up.

                    Not sure about white rice as I didn't ever eat it pre-primal, but sweet potato and banana are great. I'm 5 ft tall... maybe 5-6 pieces of steak isn't enough. Happy to add more. lol.

                    Thanks again!


                    • #11
                      Look at my avatar. I'm a perimenopausal woman who has always been chubby my whole life. Did BIG meals with fats blow me up?

                      I realize that I'm probably fatter than you are or than you want to be, but I'm as thin as I can expect to be based on my size as a child and all through my life. I'm strong enough to do everything I want to do in life and men look my way all the time. I eat bigger than says I should and never gain any weight at all, even though I drink lots of wine, eat chocolate and consume enormous 1lb steaks. Oh, and I've got three plums on my desk waiting for later.
                      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


                      • #12
                        Okay with your meal examples I would, axe the almonds at breakfast for another piece of chicken or 1 or 2 more eggs. Same at supper. More meat, less-to-no nuts/nut butter (it really is better as a treat now and then). Yes, add in sweet potatoes and white potatoes (you could actually do this instead of the nuts). You work out way more than me and I eat potatoes at least 3x a week. You need those good carbs too!

                        I eat fruit everyday. Usually at breakfast and sometimes for dessert after supper. It mostly is a small bowl of berries b/c that's what I crave. I haven't wanted any others so, why eat them, right? I also eat half a banana a day....b/c I crave that too.


                        • #13
                          You are WAAAAAYYYY low on fat.

                          The fat in the nuts doesn't seem to satisfy the tummy like other fats. No wonder you're not satisfied, and you're snacking at night. (and that many nuts and flax would give me the runs, honestly)

                          Please eat fatty chicken thighs and drumsticks, not grilled breast or tenders.
                          Please fry your eggs in butter.
                          Incorporate more green super-veggies like kale and broccoli.
                          Please eat 80/20 ground beef cooked in coconut oil, not grilled lean steak.
                          Please drink Bulletproof Coffee* with lunch.
                          Your fruit intake is fine.
                          Please eat more salmon and sardines (if you like them).
                          Please eat an entire sweet potato each day, with butter and maybe a little brown sugar. At your level of activity you don't need to worry about a little sugar; you'll burn it right off.

                          *Bulletproof coffee: coffee, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon coconut oil, maybe some stevia, whip with a blender. The forum has a whole thread on bulletproof coffee with other variations.
                          5'0" female, 45 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently 111.


                          • #14
                            Hi Oxide,
                            I've seen the coffee recipe before and just cannot get my brain around it. That's the type of primal item that I read and think "Woah, all that fat!" But to your other points. I do eat a ton of fish and kale. I eat salmon almost every day (just didn't for the meal/day I posted is all) I cook all my meat and veggies in coconut oil, and sometimes coconut milk when I remember to buy it. Last night I sauteed baby zucchini, cauliflower, chicken (tenders - sorry - it was all I had but it was free range/organic!) and shrimp in coconut milk and a pat of butter, with salt/pepper/ginger and I had about 2/3 cup with 3 cups of sauteed kale for lunch. So I'm getting it all in, but I do hear the suggestions for more of it and less snacks, nuts, etc. It's true the nuts don't fill me up but I never realized it was because the type of fat isn't filling. I thought they were supposed to make you feel full!


                            • #15
                              By the way Oxide, we are twins! Same age, same height, same weight, same "still flabby" comment after my weight, too (although I'm fluxuating between 106-108 these days). Do you drink the bullet proof coffee every day?!

                              SBhikes, I love the chocolate and wine too. I eat or drink one or both almost every day...