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I'm not a "fat-burning beast" yet...after many months of this...

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  • I'm not a "fat-burning beast" yet...after many months of this...

    Hey, I've been doing the Primal since summer 2011, but that was very sporadic and on and off. However, since February 2012, I've been doing it with much high consistency, usually lasting 4 out of 7 days a week on the diet, then kind of completely cheating on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. At this rate, I clearly was not GAINING weight, but I certainly was not losing any.

    Fast forward to today, about 4 months of doing Primal every week, though not perfectly, as stated above.

    My question is about watermelon. Obviously, I do not expect to have become a fat-burning beast having cheated like a slob 3 out of 7 days a week (eating sugary products and grains on such a consistent level probably continued my dependence on them). However, one thing I noticed in those 4-5 days out of the week (monday-thursday, or monday - Friday) where I WOULD stick STRICTLY to the diet, is that I would eat LARGE quantities of watermelon just out of an impulse for something sugary. Watermelon, when picked ripe, can have a VERY sweet, sugary taste. I would find myself just gulping down piece after piece after piece, and in my mind I would justify it and say, "well, it's a fruit, so it can't be that bad." On an intuitive level, I think I overate on watermelon, and have been doing so for months now ( I buy one large watermelon every week, and consume it all usually by the 3rd or 4th day).

    In fact, the watermelon has become like my primary snack food throughout the day.

    I'm pretty sure this is screwing me over, because the watermelon is like a dose of sugar that appeases my initial cravings after a workout.

    Any insights on watermelon and whether or not, because it's a fruit, it is not so bad despite tasting very sugary?

  • #2
    3/7 days of the week, it sounds like, your body is relying on processed carbs for energy. So 4/7 days of the week when you are eating all that watermelon, your body is relying on the carbs from the watermelon for energy. Until you cut that down/out and quit half-assing it, you won't be a "fat burning beast"
    Depression Lies

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    • #3
      Along with what namelesswonder said, watermelon is particularly high in sugar. Other particularly high-sugar fruits include apples and pears (unless you're getting them in the wild), cantaloupes, pineapples, mangoes, bananas and grapes -- and, of course, dried fruit, such as raisins. If you're going to have fruit as your primary snack, you'd be much better off with that fruit being berries.
      F, 44 years old, 111.8 lbs, 4 feet 11.5 inches (yes, that half inch matters!)

      **1st place sparring, AAU TKD regional qualifier, 2/15/15 - It's damn good to hit like a girl!**

      **First-ever 5K race 11/28/13: 37 minutes, 18+ seconds, no stopping**

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      • #4
        Chris, I think it is different for different people. I started Paleo in the spring of 2011, and did not completely switched to fat burning mode till January 12 after doing Whole 30 without dairy, nuts and fruit. The 30 days without any sweeteners was what did it for me. I now limit fruit to 1 day a week, or try to - every time it is the worst day of the week that follows the Fruit Day. Except for lemons and occasional experiment with cranberry. I can't even touch sweet potatoes without bringing back elevated hunger symptoms & feeling unduly tired in the afternoon (sugar low). I do not experience the really bad hunger like on predominately carb diet, but I can tell the difference with and without natural sugar.
        My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
        When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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        • #5
          The Primal way of eating DOES take some self-discipline. Even when you become a "fat-burning beast", you have to at times be stronger than your urges.

          After about 3 months of doing this, I can now easily go 16 hours without eating. I can go all day with just a handful of nuts or some greek yogurt around 2pm and then a very normal sized dinner. It's amazing, I'm almost NEVER hungry. However, I still have to be careful. Even if I'm not physically hungry, if I had watermelon or ice cream or a huge plate of pasta in front of me, I'd probably be hungry and would eat it all. So, I do NOT keep any temptations around me and when I go out to eat, I pre-fill up on water and protein/fat so I'm not as hungry when I get there.

          Get rid of the watermelon. Get rid of the 3 cheat days a week. At some point, YOU, and ONLY YOU, can make yourself into a fat burning beast. There is no easy way, you have to stop cheating on YOURSELF.

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          • #6
            I wish I could up-vote the message to quit halfassing it. 3/7 is almost half. Add all that watermelon, which you clearly state you are doing to satisfy sugar cravings, and you're over half.
            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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            • #7
              Thanks for the responses. Yeah, I could tell at an intuitive level that the watermelon was a "fresher" version of a candy bar for me: sweet, high in sugar, and immediately appeasing to those old carb/sugar urges from the past. I'll cut that out.

              Question: JackieKessler basically excluded every fruit from the menu, so do you guys predominately eat berries when it comes to fruits? Do strawberries count in that? (because I know strawberries are much sweeter than say blueberries or blackberries).

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              • #8
                listen to bob loblaw (no link to your law blog?)...quit it with the cheat days. try a month without cheat days (cheat meals, for a special occasions, are sort of ok...as long as the special occasion isn't 'today has an s in it' day) and your cravings will probably go away...and you won't even want to cheat.

                regarding the watermelon, i wonder if it's really the sweetness you're craving or just a strong flavor. i find that usually when i feel like i have a sweet tooth, it's more like my taste buds are just hungry for something different. i usually go spicy: kale or zucchini chips with hot salsa, extra hot sausage, hard boiled egg with a bit of cayenne on it, etc.
                see if you can kick those cravings with another strong flavor.
                http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by chris-the-writer View Post
                  Question: JackieKessler basically excluded every fruit from the menu, so do you guys predominately eat berries when it comes to fruits? Do strawberries count in that? (because I know strawberries are much sweeter than say blueberries or blackberries).
                  Here's what Mark says about fruit.

                  Here's an interesting take on why apples are artificially sweet. Of particular interest:

                  It wasn't until after 1900 that the apple became the fruit we know today. Growers cloned the sweetest apples by grafting them, and ingeniously marketed them as the ultimate health food, guaranteed to "keep the doctor away." Soon, only a handful of varieties of apples were being produced, in vast operations that scientists call "monocultures," which grow just one genetic variety.

                  Stripped of the genetic diversity plants rely on to survive disease, the relatively few popular apple varieties grown in monoculture have become increasingly vulnerable to insects, bacteria and viruses. Today, apple growers are some of the biggest consumers of pesticides. Scientists in Geneva, New York, are trying to help the apple prosper with fewer pesticides by harnessing the defenses that lie hidden in its genes. And in Northern New Hampshire, an independent-minded apple grower, who raises a variety of antique apples, hopes to revive the market for that once vilified drink, hard apple cider.
                  F, 44 years old, 111.8 lbs, 4 feet 11.5 inches (yes, that half inch matters!)

                  **1st place sparring, AAU TKD regional qualifier, 2/15/15 - It's damn good to hit like a girl!**

                  **First-ever 5K race 11/28/13: 37 minutes, 18+ seconds, no stopping**

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by chris-the-writer View Post
                    Question: JackieKessler basically excluded every fruit from the menu, so do you guys predominately eat berries when it comes to fruits? Do strawberries count in that? (because I know strawberries are much sweeter than say blueberries or blackberries).
                    i love fruit, so i eat it all the time. i eat granny smith apples all year. this time of year i'll get some berries or cherries, fresh apples in the fall. but, i don't eat a lot of fruit (unless i'm apple picking, 'cause, hey...free apples). just a little bit of fruit (small handful of berries, small apple or small peach) is enough for me to keep loving fruits without making them a diet staple.
                    a single strawberry is enough fruit for me to be satisfied...they're almost too sweet for me to eat too many.
                    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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                    • #11
                      I would say whether it's water melon or sweet potatoes or donuts or French fries, any food that sends you down that slippery slope isn't going to be helpful when you are trying to become a fat burning beast.

                      Personally, I ate strict low carb paleo for > a year, no cheats whatsoever, before I knew it, I was a fat burning beast. By that time, fruit, cakes, donuts, chips, fries, pizza...etc had no hold on me.

                      Today, I can have a piece of chocolate cake and stop there because it's something I almost never do. I won't dream and fantasize about having chocolate cake the next day either.

                      I think developing the habit of eating right is very important. Doing whatever it takes until the habit is formed is crucial. Otherwise, you'll just keep slipping back to the bottom of the slope and having to start all over again. For me, it took a year of exercising immense will power over my temptation to eat junk.

                      Now I eat 1 meal a day with no desire to cheat on food quality and feel fantastic while remaining lean in my 40's, and I come from being a fat diabetic.
                      Last edited by chickenbackside; 07-05-2012, 08:08 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                        I wish I could up-vote the message to quit halfassing it. 3/7 is almost half. Add all that watermelon, which you clearly state you are doing to satisfy sugar cravings, and you're over half.
                        This. I am not even sure the watermelon would be bad if you were primal for even 6 out of 7. but cheating THREE out of the 7 days? I personally dont think it is the watermelon?

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                        • #13
                          From my experience it's taking me a lot of disciple to get into fat burning mode. Even if you weren't cheating 3/7, a daily dose of sugar is going to keep you hungry and relying on your next glucose-fix.

                          If you're quite addicted to sugar (like most people), the transition can take a while. I would cut out the cheat days, and then after a week or so start cutting out the watermelon. You'll want to replace it with something else - replace it with fat! Preferably animal fat. Seriously, I did this (and cut out coffee), and I'm in fat burning mode for the first time since starting this 3 months ago.

                          Eat what you want to burn.
                          "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                          In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                          - Ray Peat

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by YogaBare View Post
                            Seriously, I did this (and cut out coffee), and I'm in fat burning mode for the first time since starting this 3 months ago.
                            YOU CUT OUT COFFEE???

                            F, 44 years old, 111.8 lbs, 4 feet 11.5 inches (yes, that half inch matters!)

                            **1st place sparring, AAU TKD regional qualifier, 2/15/15 - It's damn good to hit like a girl!**

                            **First-ever 5K race 11/28/13: 37 minutes, 18+ seconds, no stopping**

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JackieKessler View Post
                              YOU CUT OUT COFFEE???

                              lol. just for a couple of days! I read that it triggers a big insulin response. Still hadn't gone into fat burning mode so thought I would try. Not feeling hungry at all (finally!!) so think it's working
                              "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                              In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                              - Ray Peat

                              Comment

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