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Can't stay strict Primal for more than 2 weeks?

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  • Can't stay strict Primal for more than 2 weeks?

    Im looking for advice on how to tweak my diet/deal with cravings. I used to never have sugar cravings. In fact, I always craved salty things like chips. Ever since I've been eating more Primal(since May), my cravings have completely changed. I can walk right past the chips and not even think twice about them... Instead, ever since going Primal I crave fruit really badly. The thing is that I try NOT to have it because if I have it, then I want more and more.

    I've known about the Primal diet since May of this year. Lately I have been trying to get more serious with it by educating myself about it, experimenting with different foods, etc. The thing that I haven't been able to do yet though is stay strict primal for more than two weeks.. By strict Primal I mean no dairy, no nuts, and limited fruit(couple times a week instead of everyday). I do pretty well with the no nuts, and I'm okay with the no dairy(I do miss cheese but not milk). I have a real problem with limiting the amount of fruit, though.

    For example, these past two weeks I've done pretty well with the no nuts and no dairy. There were days where I would have several servings of fruit, but nonetheless I was strict primal for 2 weeks. Then tonight I messed up. It started with a handful of raisins, then I let myself have some chocolate, and then it spiraled out of control. It ended with 2 slices of pizza. Its always like this. I do so well for 2 weeks and then I eat something that is not primal. And I don't just stop at one non primal food. I eat several.

    I guess I am partly ranting about my frustration with myself. I am also however genuinely asking this community for any advice about how to control cravings. Its been a pattern that I do so well with minimal cravings for 2 weeks, and then all of a sudden at the 2 week mark I have these huge cravings for sugar. Any type of sugar. Doesn't matter if it's fruit or chocolate or cotton candy. Do others on this forum have issues like this? Where you do well for 2 weeks and then mess it all up? Does some chocolate and pizza really mess up two weeks of hard work?

    A little about me: I'm 19, female, 5'1, 135-140 lbs. Would really really like to lose a bit of body fat. Maybe 10 pounds of total weight. I live with non Primal people, so it's very hard sometimes. I do cook all my meals myself, though. If anyone has any advice, I would truly appreciate it. Do cravings signify that I'm not getting enough carbs in my diet? Or are cravings just a natural by product of being the only primal person in a non primal house?

  • #2
    I have been trying to kick my sugar cravings for the past two weeks, because I have also felt like that was a major weak point. I am not sure with what it means nutritionally but I know that sugar is addictive so I've been looking into ways to not indulge. So far, two things that have worked for me this past week have been to a) go for a walk after dinner because exercise, like sugar, increases serotonin production and b) take a bath, I added some essential oil drops to make it fragrant and relaxed. Drink a cup of fragrant herbal tea. I have found distraction to work. However, I'm still struggling with cravings so I will gladly hear what other people recommend.

    Also - half of a peeled bananam frozen in some foil, can be eaten with a spoon and is a better way to deal with ice cream/frozen yogurt cravings.
    "It is never too late to be what you might have been" - George Eliot

    12 week health challenge (95%, more moving)
    Start -- March 1st -- 173.4
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    • #3
      Binging on fruit isn't terrible. I personally have some banana or plantain every day. (But I have been doing primal for 2.5 years.)

      Pizza won't ruin 2 weeks of work but fruit, potatoes or white rice is better IF you are going to binge.
      Ancestral Health Info - My blog about Primal and the general ancestral health movement. Site just remodeled using HTML5/CSS3 instead of Wordpress.

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      • #4
        You're fighting a losing battle trying to give up all sugar. We have a sweet tooth for a reason. I can't make it 2 days without wanting something sweet. Try grapefruits or apples, they're kind of hard to overeat compared to most fruits

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        • #5
          A lot of women find that they need more carbs than men to stay healthy.
          Many also find they need more carbs the week or two before their period. I make a conscious effort to have more sweet potato, white rice and fruit the week before my period before I really crave it. Otherwise if find myself over indulging.

          You don't say how many carbs you are aiming for each day. But it could be that you are just too low for your body's needs.
          My photo diary of my primal diet on wordpress

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          • #6
            I wonder if you're getting enough fat / protein in your diet as this is the stuff that stops me bingeing.

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            • #7
              I disagree with the 'losing battle' thinking because my experience has been that the only way to deal with 'cravings' is total abstinence. For example, I have a world-class sweet tooth, but the sweet taste of anything--artificial sweeteners to fruit--is a trigger for me for overeating in general and going for the 'bad stuff.' However, by avoiding anything with a sweet taste, I never experience cravings [for sweets] and can actually sit at a meal where everyone has dessert and not feel the least tempted or deprived. But one taste starts the rollercoaster.

              Mark advises learning our 'triggers' and avoiding them, and that's what I try to do. Am I 100%? No, but I'd say 90-95%, and that works for me.

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              • #8
                If you eat fruit try adding some fat to it i.e. chopped bananas with coconut milk, fried apple rings in butter. The fat slows the absorption rate and stops that sugar kick. (there was a time I would have laughed at the very thought of eating either of these)

                Alternatively eat fruit after your workout when your muscles need some carbs to replenish glycogen.

                Incidentally are you off fruit for a reason? As I see it both fruit and nuts are pretty primal/ paleo. I understand they may not be optimal for weight loss but as long as you are moving in the right direction I wouldn't get too hung up it. Primal is a diet for life after all.

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                • #9
                  So fruit is not primal? I love fruit, i eat it all the time. This primal stuff is really confusing.

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                  • #10
                    Is the fruit eating stalling your weight loss? If not don't worry about it, that's what the 80/20 rule is for.

                    Also, if you crave fruit, eat high fiber fruit like an apple or just choose lower GI fruits like berries.

                    Sometimes when I crave something sweet, I'll eat blueberries and coconut flakes with almond milk. It's sweet plus the fat helps make me satied faster.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by emmie View Post
                      I disagree with the 'losing battle' thinking because my experience has been that the only way to deal with 'cravings' is total abstinence. For example, I have a world-class sweet tooth, but the sweet taste of anything--artificial sweeteners to fruit--is a trigger for me for overeating in general and going for the 'bad stuff.' However, by avoiding anything with a sweet taste, I never experience cravings [for sweets] and can actually sit at a meal where everyone has dessert and not feel the least tempted or deprived. But one taste starts the rollercoaster.

                      Mark advises learning our 'triggers' and avoiding them, and that's what I try to do. Am I 100%? No, but I'd say 90-95%, and that works for me.
                      The abstinence thing works for me also, except for me, artificial sweeteners don't trigger it.

                      Fruit is primal, but it is at the top of the carb pyramid - the carb source you should eat the least of. Still and all, if you could keep it from spiralling to pizza, that would be better. Various sources state that it takes between 21 and 42 days to break or make a habit. Try pushing through that two week barrier.
                      "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

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                      • #12
                        fruit and nuts are both fine to have in moderation with this woe, but dried fruits are super-concentrated sugar. i mostly have berries, plus peaches and nectarines in-season and local. apples and pears are too sweet for me now.

                        if certain foods are sending you spiraling down a rabbit hole of excess you need to stop eating them entirely. i can't keep nut butter in the house or i will devour it with a spoon until i am sick. is it primal? sure. but it's like heroin for me.
                        As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                        Ernest Hemingway

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Barefoot Gentile View Post
                          So fruit is not primal? I love fruit, i eat it all the time. This primal stuff is really confusing.
                          Fruit IS primal! It is really getting irritating reading posts that start with "I am not eating primal because I eat fruit or I have been very bad, I have been eating fruit ...." Again, I repeat fruit IS VERY MUCH PRIMAL. PRIMAL IS NOT LOW CARB. Fruits are as natural and primal as it gets and it is definitely something my ancestors, especially MINE who lived in the tropics and african continent ate much off. AGAIN I REPEAT, FRUIT IS PRIMAL.

                          The only reason some people stay away from fruit with a high GI index is because in SOME people it spikes up their insulin response and makes them crave MORE SUGARY things that may not necessarily be primal. But by all means, if fruits do not trigger a bad insulin response, you can eat all the berries, apples etc you want. Again I repeat, FRUIT IS PRIMAL.

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                          • #14
                            I agree with you lawyerchick....fruit is definately primal. However I limit my fruit to 1 piece per day because I am desperately trying to lose another 20kg (6kg down already). Once I have achieved this I will up my fruit and nuts etc...
                            When I went through my initial cravings, and a couple since I made sure that first thing in the morning I have prepared food for my binge times. Once a craving took hold I would make myself drink 1 large glass of water and have the prepared primal snack. Usually after this I would be ok for a bit. However if the craving hit again, i would eat another prepared primal snack.
                            My snacks tend to be high fat and protein based, which works for me. (eggs mashed with butter and a little salt, or a fatty chop cooked the night before etc...)
                            The other thing that I have found, is I must have protein and fat at each meal. This then seems to help with my cravings for the following day. I am now three months in and my cravings are almost non-existent. However I still have prepared snacks - just in case.
                            Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress
                            "never let the truth get in the way of a good story "

                            ...small steps....

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by hulahoop View Post
                              I wonder if you're getting enough fat / protein in your diet as this is the stuff that stops me bingeing.
                              This^
                              Free your mind, and your Grok will follow!

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