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Will I always feel like I'm "missing out"? and falling off the Primal wagon

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  • Will I always feel like I'm "missing out"? and falling off the Primal wagon

    I'm currently in my first year of college and do in general feel that Primal philosophies are beneficial to my lifestyle. I'm about 80% Primal -- I rarely eat grains and wheat, but when I do indulge/fall off the Primal wagon, it's usually in sugar: Larabars, fruit, sweetened coffee, milk, etc. By most people's standards, my diet is pretty healthy. But sometimes I feel like I'm only reaping benefits (and in my case, losing the 30 lbs of weight I need to lose) if I eat ketogenic. I might eat very clean (<30g carbs) for a one or two days, but usually SOMETHING triggers an unshakeable desire to eat a Larabar, have a chai...then all hell breaks lose and I consume all the sugar (and then some) in sight.

    I understand that it's dangerous to see things in black and white, but I've been falling off the Primal wagon more often than I've been on it lately. Should I continue to attempt a ketogenic diet? Am I just lacking in discipline and motivation? I just feel like I'm a slave to my lifestyle sometimes. Not in the sense that Primal isn't fulfilling (it is!), but just that ordinary college kids don't stress out about food and nutrition and weight loss like I do.

    Tips? Thanks much, Primal veterans!

    P.S. I've been Primal (80% without wheat/grains) since summer, and have actually gained weight eating the mandatory meal plan at my college.
    Last edited by fcby9; 04-18-2013, 09:37 PM.

  • #2
    Wow, I am in the exact same situation as you. I'm a freshman in college, primal for about 8 months, sort of struggling with the lifestyle. It can be extremely hard when everyone else is consuming beer, pizza, etc. like there's no tomorrow. I understand the feeling of being a slave to the lifestyle-it's pretty much impossible to eat at the dining hall due to their insistence on coating all the meat with flour, putting pasta with everything, and using god knows what kinds of oils and sauces. If you are really struggling with sticking to the program and binging, I would suggest staying VLC during the week and then making Saturday your "feast" day, where you can eat fruit and some Larabars(though I would slowly try to phase those out). Having a set timeframe where you can refeed carbs has really helped me.
    As for staying on the wagon-sometimes it just isn't feasible to be 19 years old and having fun in college when you're the party pooper who doesn't want to go out for pizza or whatever. Remember that you're only young once. Maybe some weeks are 90% primal, maybe some are just 60% primal. Decide when and with what you just want to live life, because most of the time the nasty beer at a party or the store-bought cookies at a meeting really aren't worth it. Sometimes the late night pizza run is. Find your balance and it will seem much better.
    Also I would love to talk to you more about being Primal in college! I don't know ANYONE so it would be great to have someone to talk about it with!


    • #3
      A recent court decision means that celiac, gluten intolerance, and allergies are now covered under the ADA. Schools will have to provide safe food to those who need it. Inquire at your school to find out how they intend to comply.


      • #4
        Do what feels comfortable for you and your body. Something that makes you feel comfortable while staying at least 80/20 and the weight will come off.
        If you go too hard too quickly, you may snap, like you have. Otherwise it just becomes like the concept of "dieting", where chronic calorie restriction will just be too hard and you gain the weight back
        1. Try getting more comfortable with primal before keto?
        2. Have a more regular carb content in the diet (50-100 maybe?) so you don't crave carbs/sugars. Eat potatoes etc..
        3. Is it possible to not eat that SOMETHING that triggers the cravings?
        I'm like you, living at home, so sometimes it's harder to not eat some things...


        • #5
          Originally posted by purple579 View Post
          most of the time the nasty beer at a party or the store-bought cookies at a meeting really aren't worth it. Sometimes the late night pizza run is. Find your balance and it will seem much better.
          Yes, be selective about your treats and you will enjoy both the primal diet and the treats a whole lot more.

          Also, are you getting enough protein? Even though you are trying to lose weight, you still need to eat meals that will satisfy you to the next meal time, otherwise blood sugar drops and you it's too easy to start a bad cycle of craving and binging. Eggs for breakfast, chicken or tuna for lunch, meat for dinner, and see if that helps.
          Annie Ups the Ante


          • #6
            Originally posted by fcby9
            ...ordinary college kids don't stress out about food and nutrition and weight loss like I do.
            I beg to differ.

            First of all, when I hear "falling off the bandwagon" I usually assume it's eating a pizza or cake or going to taco bell or something, not eating a larabar. But I suppose if you're trying to strictly adhere to a keto diet for weight loss, then that would count. Sugar is one of those things that you forget about after not eating for a week. Try to give yourself a seven day sugar-free challenge and see how you feel.

            Re: being a slave to the lifestyle... It comes down to priorities. If your priorities are to feel better, then you will stick to it and it will not feel like a burden. If your priorities are to enjoy this time in your life without thinking about anything else then you won't. It sounds a little harsh, but it's based off of my own experience. I was put on a gut healing diet at the beginning of the fall term and barely saw a friend for 5 months because of it. I couldn't eat out, couldn't drink, and that's what college students do. College can be rough but I think this is a great excuse to find valuable friends. Try explaining things to them and if they give you a hard time, well, find some new ones. I might have just gone in depth into a problem you weren't even asking about but I'm rambly today so I'm rambling.

            Honestly though, it sounds like you are as primal as you're being allowed (you can't do much about your dorm food situation, unfortunately, other than to make the best of the options you're given). Unless you are secretly eating pizzas and cake and taco bell, but you said you've been grain free, so I don't think you are, then maybe you need to give yourself a break. As for gaining weight, are you eating a lot of dairy? Some people are sensitive.
            Last edited by ombat; 04-18-2013, 10:15 PM.
            Is it weird in here, or is it just me?


            • #7
              A little sugar or even a lot won't hurt you if everything else is kept in moderation. There's also no rule saying you have to go into ketosis to lose weight, just saying.
              F 28/5'4/100 lbs

              "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."


              • #8
                Why not spend some time following PB with a moderate carb level for a while and let your body adapt before going ketogenic?

                I spent years trying to do everything at once and it got me nowhere....then I discovered 'baby steps', stopped being so hard on myself and things started falling into place. Ok, it means it all takes longer but as has been said so many times before this is a lifestyle, not a quick fix diet.


                • #9
                  Even the basic Primal Blueprint does not recommend a ketogenic diet. Why torture yourself? Allow yourself the 150 grams of carbohydrates each day (get em from potatoes and rice first choice, dried fruit second choice) and see if that fixes your cravings.
                  Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


                  • #10
                    I do indulge/fall off the Primal wagon, it's usually in sugar: Larabars, fruit, sweetened coffee, milk, etc
                    Just an FYI, fruit is Primal and not an indulgence. It's a very healthy food. Larabars, milk and if by sweetened coffee you mean coffee with a teaspoon of sugar and some cream are also not exactly huge indulgences unless you are lactose intolerant.

                    I can't think of too many people that can just eat meat and vegetables. I also don't know people in poor health or that are fat because they eat fruit or drink milk (unless you are lactose intolerant).

                    Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!


                    • #11
                      Sugar is insidious.
                      It may help you to realize that sugar feeds certain opportunistic bacterium in our bodies. When we go with out for a while some of the bacteria die off releasing toxins making us feel a little off. That can cause you then break down and have some sugar, to perk yourself up, the bacteria are fed and scream for more....triggering a binge. They have a strong desire to live :-)
                      If you can go a few weeks with out any sugar (fruit included or at least extremely limited) it will help to kill off the opportunist bacteria and help to eliminate the binges.

                      Edited to add...Google 'Candida Overgrowth' and see if the symptoms resonate with you.


                      • #12
                        Heya, I feel you. What is your immediate goal? Lose weight? Feel your best?

                        If it's lose weight, eh, you don't need to be 100%-strict with Paleo. I lost a lot of weight freshman year and had never even heard about Paleo. I probably was eating 75%-80% Primal a lot of the time because I rarely ate grains and kept carbs moderate. Keep a general goal of burning more than you take in, you will see weight come off. Campus provides a lot of walking opportunity. Walk your bum off. I rarely ate junk because by the time I was losing weight, I wanted to get it over with so to me indulging too much was counter-productive. I did miss out on some experiences, like Waffle Night but at the time I was like "eh, 3 more years." Make things a habit--like exercise--and it will be easier. The HUGE thing is, if it feels like suffering or deprivation, your willpower will peter out. Difficulty at first is normal, but if it's taking every trembling ounce of self-control 3 months later to avoid pizza, you should probably reevaluate, because you're going to snap hard.

                        If your goal is health with weight loss on the backburner, just focus on eating the best you can. You're not failing if you occasionally have some pizza with your friends--tell yourself you can have it occasionally and you'll be less likely to make it forbidden fruit or have a Last Supper reaction. If you're walking a lot and keeping junk food to one or two days a week, you'll probably lose weight too. For times when you feel a battle of "Argh, I want it! No I don't!", I'd say leave it. You won't feel bad about NOT eating something the next day.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
                          Just an FYI, fruit is Primal and not an indulgence. It's a very healthy food.
                          I would like to nuance this: fruits are seed bearers of a plant that cannot walk or fly away from its rooting spot to spread its genes. So some fruits are "designed" to be appetizing to some animals that can temporarily host the seeds and dump them somewhere else, preferably far away from the original plant. I believe that the plant "does not care" about the long term health of the host, as long as it survives long enough upon ingestion of its fruit for its seeds to be spread far and wide. So i would be a bit less enthusiastic about the relevance of fruits in a diet. I would even surmise that if you eat high quality proteins and fat, with all essential minerals and micro-nutrients, fruits are 100% optional.


                          • #14
                            Your body is telling you something. Sugar is life, ketosis is slow death.