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  • Will Power . . . ?

    Yesterday a friend of mine was talking to me about her diet. She goes to the YMCA 4 days a week and works out for about and hour and half. She hasn't changed her diet at all. Soda, chips, cookies, pizzas... blah blah blah. I've talked to her about paleo and stuff and she seems supportive. She is complaining because she's been working out for a month and nothing has changed on the scale. I suggested at least trying a low carb diet to see how it works.

    Her responce: "Oh, I wish I could but I just love carbs way too much. I could never give up bread or pasta. You've clearly lost weight doing the low carb thing but that's because you have the amazing will power to stay away from bread."

    Will power...?

    I honestly don't think I have much will power at all. But it's my health, first of all, and secondly, when the change is having less bread and having more bacon and meat... HELLO!

    No will power needed!
    March 1st 2010: 308lbs | CW: 219lbs / 18.5%BF | New Goal: 16% BF
    Male. 28. 6'4''. Currently working on them muscles and strength!

    "My chest hair caught fire when I was fighting a bear with a flamethrower, how do I get my hair back? - Rivvin

  • #2
    Diet is 80% of weight loss; exercise is 20%.

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    • #3
      I told her it's all about what you put in your body. I've lost 40 lbs on PB and I've only starting doing some weight lifting last week!
      March 1st 2010: 308lbs | CW: 219lbs / 18.5%BF | New Goal: 16% BF
      Male. 28. 6'4''. Currently working on them muscles and strength!

      "My chest hair caught fire when I was fighting a bear with a flamethrower, how do I get my hair back? - Rivvin

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      • #4
        Carbs are physiologically addictive. Read up on them; you'll shudder. Grains contain opiods, which act the same way heroin does. So yes, it takes will power to get through the low-carb flu, while you're kicking the habit. Your friend is right about that. The fact that we can have all this yummy paleo food doesn't change that it's hard to get through the LC flu.

        The other thing is, many people today are not eating because they're hungry. They're either eating because they're craving (due to carb addiction) or because of some reason that has nothing to do with hunger at all, like emotional stress (ever hear of "comfort food"?) or boredom. Not doing that anymore also requires willpower. I've caught myself eating (paleo/primal, but still eating) when I'm really not hungry anymore, because I used to eat when bored. I try not to do that anymore but remembering to listen to my body is hard when I've been ignoring it since I was ten years old.
        Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

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        • #5
          Yeah I totally lack in the willpower department but giving up bread wasn't so hard when I get to have grilled steak PLUS the fat...and bacon. Mmmm bacon. Getting through the carb-flu sucks but it's worth it. I'm reeling from carb-flu atm. Foggy head, no energy, etc. But getting over it is a small victory.

          Griff - I used to, and still sometimes do the boredom-eating thing too. Done it ever since I was a kid. For me, it's the need to chew on something. So I buy these cinnamon flavored toothpicks and I chew on those, it's really helped!

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          • #6
            I'll keep a glass of tea nearby and take a drink whenever I get the urge to comfort eat or boredom eat. If I need the physical act of eating, I'll chew sugar free gum ( know, I know, fake sugars, but it's better than real sugars, in this regard) or grab some REALLY tough beef jerlky that takes a LOT of chewing for a small piece to break down.
            Last edited by naiadknight; 04-22-2010, 09:11 AM. Reason: repetition is the mother of all repetition
            Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
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            • #7
              Originally posted by thehallowprince View Post
              Yesterday a friend of mine was talking to me about her diet. She goes to the YMCA 4 days a week and works out for about and hour and half. She hasn't changed her diet at all. Soda, chips, cookies, pizzas... blah blah blah. I've talked to her about paleo and stuff and she seems supportive. She is complaining because she's been working out for a month and nothing has changed on the scale. I suggested at least trying a low carb diet to see how it works.

              Her responce: "Oh, I wish I could but I just love carbs way too much. I could never give up bread or pasta. You've clearly lost weight doing the low carb thing but that's because you have the amazing will power to stay away from bread."

              No will power needed!
              Wow...I had flashbacks of when I was a gym rat. Suki is absolutely correct, diet is 80% of weight loss. Exercise (20%) just helps you sculpt your body the way you want. I can't tell you how many people would come up to me in the gym and wanted to know what my exercise routine was because they "wanted to look just like me." I would sometimes laugh and tell them that they should really be looking at my food log because that is where I made my progress...not in my exercise. Exercise is important as well, but without the diet, the muscles, especially the abs will be covered if you don't strip the fat.

              A year later, those people still looked the same, even if they spent 2 hours in the gym 6 days a week. They would approach me again..."desperate" to know my secrets...and I would bring them my food log. They couldn't believe that by cutting down the bread and starches I could achieve what I achieved with 30-45 minute weight workouts 3 times a week and biking 2 or 3 days a week for 20 minutes each time. I had less than 4 hours a week invested in working out. I even built in a cheat day for things like pizza or bread...but they didn't think they could be disciplined enough to limit it to 1 day a week.

              People look for a magic bullet and their is no magic bullet. It takes focus on good diet choices and a little hard work...not hours of hard work...jut focused hard work.

              I think your friend would be shocked if the only thing she did was cut out the chips, cookies, pizza, etc. (mostly bread) except for one cheat day a week. Perhaps you can challenge her to just do that for 30 days and see if she notices a difference.
              God is great, beer is good, people are crazy

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              • #8
                I do think carbs are addictive for many, many people. Just like smoking or drinking (alcohol) is for others. When I hear people say "I could NEVER give up X food" I think: I didn't just keep on smoking forever because it was hard to quit. I quit smoking because cigarettes are BAD for my body! I finally realized my desire to live and be as healthy as possible was greater than my desire to smoke. Will Power...meh. More like, choices. We all have to make 'em.
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                • #9
                  Someone I know said 'I couldn't go low carb, I like pasta too much'. I was SO tempted to say 'so you would prefer to be fat then', but of course I didn't. She is very overweight.

                  I think the problem is that people just imagine their current diet, less all the stuff they like, whereas as we here know, the REAL food we eat is so much better. A good diet is as much about adding in the right food as taking out the bad stuff.

                  I work with addicts and to be honest, they won't quit until they are desperate enough. They will try every other option before they even consider giving up their crutch. I believe alcohol addiction is harder because it is legal. Addiction to carbs is also hard because the experts in nutrition support them in their addictive behaviour. If you are told that pasta is good for you why would you give it up?
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by thehallowprince View Post
                    Yesterday a friend of mine was talking to me about her diet. She goes to the YMCA 4 days a week and works out for about and hour and half. She hasn't changed her diet at all. Soda, chips, cookies, pizzas... blah blah blah. I've talked to her about paleo and stuff and she seems supportive. She is complaining because she's been working out for a month and nothing has changed on the scale. I suggested at least trying a low carb diet to see how it works.

                    Her responce: "Oh, I wish I could but I just love carbs way too much. I could never give up bread or pasta. You've clearly lost weight doing the low carb thing but that's because you have the amazing will power to stay away from bread."

                    Will power...?

                    I honestly don't think I have much will power at all. But it's my health, first of all, and secondly, when the change is having less bread and having more bacon and meat... HELLO!

                    No will power needed!
                    Yeah that always amazes me.. "I could never".. well then.. good luck losing weight! The fact is.. they are "choosing" not to drop the carbs.. it is a choice.. pure and simple..

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                    • #11
                      Some people will go to amazing lengths to keep eating their sugar and carbs even when they know that it's not working for them. I went out with a girl once, before I went primal myself, who ran marathons so she could eat what she wanted. She was telling me that she loved her breads and pasta and how she could never give them up. Her marathons were the slow eight hour or so variety with lots of training so could run/walk that far. While she could do a marathon she was also overweight not obese but quite a bit I would say. I really wanted to suggest maybe learning to eat better so she could look and feel better without all the effort of slow marathon training. I didn't suggest that though, people learn best from their own experience I think.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MyPrimalLife
                        Must be another one of those stupid creationist pigs.
                        No need to go there MPL.

                        And I agree with Griff.

                        Carbs are an addiction, the fact that most people think cant seem to imagine themselves without them is evidence enough.

                        That was my case for the longest, now that I have a cheat day everything seems to be more under control.

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                        • #13
                          I think that the information your friend needs is that the withdrawal doesn't need to take a long time, and that if she does without the wheat and carbs for just four days (maybe less) she won't crave them anymore, UNLESS she has even a taste of them! Also that habit is a strong thing, so it's better not to have the old food hanging around within reach, or to expose herself to food cues.

                          Same thing with me and chocolate. If I have none I don't miss it after a few days. But sometimes even just a big photo of luscious chocolate truffles has been enough to set me off again.

                          Maybe if you found a few good articles about opioids, gluten, and food addiction, and printed them out for her, it would show her where the land lay. (Maybe a few pages from Lierre Keith?) At that point, it's up to her whether she wants to see what her options really are by doing without gluten for awhile. And you could point out that if she gives wheat-free low carbing a good solid try, also putting in the yummy saturated fat foods, the eggs and bacon, and she doesn't like what happens, she can always go back to how she's eating now. But then she'll have some first-hand information, instead of thinking she has no power over her food desires.

                          And if she lost a little weight, and could see that (for once) it was the right kind of weight to lose, I bet she wouldn't be that fond of the gym that she'd hang out in it so many hours a week.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by thehallowprince View Post
                            Yesterday a friend of mine was talking to me about her diet. She goes to the YMCA 4 days a week and works out for about and hour and half. ...
                            See, to me, THAT kind of craziness takes a lot more "will power" than eating right does. I mean, I gotta eat anyway, so I'm careful what I put in my mouth. But an hour and a half, 4 days a week? Think of all the more productive things you could do with that kind of time!

                            Yep, people are crazy.

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                            • #15
                              I just moved and picked up a job at a health food store for some quick and easy cash. . .and the 20% discount, Holler! Anyway, everyone there's so nice and it's a chill place to work but they are all on this vegan kick, it's crazy! And most of them are doing it to lose weight (they need to shave a few for sure) but they indulge in these ridiculous coffee drinks made with soy, rice and oat milk(don't get me started!) and have fresh rolls from the bakery and sushi. Firstly, I was raised with macrobiotics and they've got it all wrong to begin with. the sugar is intoxicating and the random baked goods, I just hold back and enjoy easy work and chill people but they're eating habits are so backwards. Plus, Dr. Mcdougall's books are displayed everywhere and they are hiring a new nutrition dept. to consult with shoppers and it's a certification through a doctor that is so CW. Everyone wonders why I won't sample the gelato. . .lol! I just tell them I'm not into it and I always bring my own lunch or grab a can of coconut milk or sardines or tuna. I feel forgien.
                              Anyway, they all say the same thing, "I can't give up sugar!" Welp, have fun with the bloat, acne, hypoglycemia, and mood swings. Even just the sugar alone would change so much. My realization was that complex sugars, i.e., grains, weren't any better but junk food was never a problem. I feel bad that they don't read up on their own health, the government is in complete control of these consumers. What they say goes and now they have millions of addicts.

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