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Switching to Primal - Carb and Sugar Detoxing and Alcohol

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  • Switching to Primal - Carb and Sugar Detoxing and Alcohol

    Hi,

    While I genuinely believe I am happier and perform better with a fatty, protein rich diet, I have a strong overpowering urge to binge on carbs. Especially when mixed with fat (fast foods). Carbs make me crash, make me overeat, produce strong cravings even if I am already full and make me hungrier.

    How should I detox from this sugar addiction? Going primal for a day and a half, I suffered from nausea, shakiness, lethargy, mental fog and just exhaustion. For dinner I made flank steak, bbqued shrimp wrapped in bacon and goats cheese and... beer. Lots of it. Made me feel so much better. Went to a soccer game (more beers) and my willpower went out the window (read: huge slice of pizza at 2am).

    So, back on the wagon I wonder: do I quit all sugars cold turkey for a few weeks and detox these urges? Will one indulgence send me right back into my addiction? Do I scale back gradually? How much alcohol is too much alcohol (my social gatherings revolve around drinking... avoiding it would require my staying at home all the time. Being sober around a bunch of soccer drunk fans is no fun.)

    Lots of questions but I really want to rid myself of the addiction and enjoy the foods my body really requires: veg, protein and fruit. My head gets it... how can I convince my stomach?

  • #2
    I had to tell my friends I was in de-tox for a couple of weeks ;-)

    I started bringing a bottle of Fiji water (my splurge!) to drinking events---I still have a couple glasses of wine sometimes, but it REALLY can affect your weight loss. Sadly, as much as I love beer, I've found I can't have more than one without feeling all bloated and squishy the next day.

    It sucks.

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    • #3
      Try drinking less carby alcohol (like whiskey) and keeping fructose intake to zero the day you plan on drinking. Some people find that increasing fat intake also helps with carb cravings.
      Give me liberty. Exploration of other options will be vigorously discouraged.

      Wondering something sciencey? Ask me in my Ask a Biochemist Thread

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      • #4
        If you're going to drink, I second MG's whiskey suggestion.

        Ultimately, though, it comes down to this: Is the pain of change greater than the pain of staying the same? If so, you're probably not going to see results anytime soon. In other words, you have to decide what matters most to you: the benefits of primal living, or the benefits of your social life.

        (Not that they have to be mutually exclusive FOREVER, but you might have to avoid the social temptations until you have your diet well in hand and build up that willpower.)
        Last edited by BarbeyGirl; 04-16-2010, 10:17 AM.
        Nightlife ~ Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm ~ Idaho's Primal Farm! http://inthenightlife.wordpress.com/

        Latest post: Stop Being Stupid

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        • #5
          It's hard for many people to do, but the biggest weapon you have in your toolbox for fighting "overpowering" carb urges is willpower. It really comes down to how important making a change is to you. I'm a firm believer in just drawing a line in the sand, saying "no more," and sticking to it.

          I made the decision back in February to completely cut alcohol out of my life for the foreseeable future. The first week or so was tough, no question about it. But now, after two months, I hardly even think about it any more. I'm losing weight faster and a side benefit has been having my blood pressure drop dramatically. Alcohol also kills brain cells, so I am grateful that I'm giving my body a chance to build some of them back. Plus, it reduces your willpower so you can't successfully fight the carb urges. Cold turkey is the way to go.

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          • #6
            Thank you all for your prompt responses.

            Finding the motivation and willpower is tough because I have yet to feel the benefits of eating primal. Right now, cutting carbs makes me feel awful. It's kind of like exercise, starting is a real pain because you don't feel the benefits immediately; the rewards only come with persistence.

            I do think I need to draw that line in the sand and go cold turkey so to speak. I find willpower gets stronger the more successful you are at staying on course (day 1 and cheating is easy, you've hardly invested anything in the process but by day 21 and cheating becomes more difficult, you don't want to start over...) It's a don't break the chain mentality.

            I am definitely curious about how much better I could feel by going primal and it is important to me. Mostly, I don't want to have to wait for pain (cancer, obsese, chronic medical condition) to get motivated.

            I figure it's like learning to ride a bike. I'll be a bit shaky at first and it will tough to coordinate and navigate this new thing but once I get the hang of it, it'll be a joy to use and will be second nature.

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            • #7
              The best move you could make would be to eliminate temptations from the house. Most people are too lazy to go out and buy more food, especially if you are in a bad mood from dropping carbs.

              The fact is that if it's in the house, it will eventually get eaten.

              Keep primal indulgences around instead so when you do get a craving, eat that, and wait it out. After a couple weeks the cravings will be all gone and you'll be a new person.
              sigpic
              In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!: www.livingnotsurviving.com

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              • #8
                Hola,

                I highly recommend you read either, "The Mood Cure" or "The Diet Cure" by Julia Ross. The reason why is she goes into great detail about which supplements you can take to help get over the sugar/ carb/ alcohol cravings.

                For me, cold turkey is the best way to go. One thing nice that Atkins has going for it is the two week "Induction" phase. Perhaps you should follow this for the first two weeks to help get adjusted?

                Good luck!

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                • #9
                  Both amazing books^^^ That lady is a genius
                  sigpic
                  In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!: www.livingnotsurviving.com

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                  • #10
                    Do you all drink your whiskey straight or mix it with something?
                    A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bushrat View Post
                      Do you all drink your whiskey straight or mix it with something?
                      If it's a good whisky (single malt Scotch being my fav, but also like a nice bourbon or Irish whiskey on occasion) I add just a little bit of water. Used to drink it straight, but learned at a scotch tasting how a little water really opens up the nose; also learned there's no real "right" way to drink it, other than however you enjoy it!

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                      • #12
                        I like my whiskey on the rocks, that way the ice melts a little to add water to it.
                        I didn't like the rules you gave me, so I made some of my own.

                        Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general. - Mark Rippetoe

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                        • #13
                          Read Mark's book, and stick with it. It took me several months for the cravings to go away. After 9+ months now I have no cravings for grains or sugar. It takes some time.

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                          • #14
                            I can relate to your addiction....I think there are benefits/downsides to both ways of dropping carbs - cold turkey and weaning yourself.
                            FOr me, I first gave up glutenous grains (wheat, primarily), then all grains, then the first of April was ready to try a challenge and go 100% PB.
                            1 April, I gave up dairy (except butter) and alcohol. It took me about 6 weeks to totally give up all grains (the last holdout was rice - we love sushi).
                            I went through a little withdrawal, but have been doing supplements - it wasn't too bad.
                            Now, 2 weeks into my 100% PB, I have better energy, my muscles and joints are not aching as much, my weight is dropping (I think- no scale for a month) and I feel better.

                            PB is a lifestyle... and a process. If you can get your mind to understand it, you can get your body to follow... and it isn't like if you screw up once, you wrecked everything - you haven't. Just get back to PB the next meal.

                            Good luck!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by schadowrider View Post
                              If it's a good whisky (single malt Scotch being my fav, but also like a nice bourbon or Irish whiskey on occasion) I add just a little bit of water. Used to drink it straight, but learned at a scotch tasting how a little water really opens up the nose; also learned there's no real "right" way to drink it, other than however you enjoy it!
                              I don't drink whiskey. I drink rum, or used to. However, rum and coke is sugar with a side of sugar - very bad from a primal perspective so now I'm switching to scotch. The few times I've had whiskey I've had it with coke but now thats a no go so I need another way to drink whiskey. Also I am a student so nothing but the cheapest whiskey for me unfortunately.
                              A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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