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Experimenting with a low food reward diet, Primal style

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  • Experimenting with a low food reward diet, Primal style

    If anyone's been following Stephan Guyenet's blog and his posts on food reward, you might be curious to read my own blog detailing my experiment with a low-food-reward diet - I'm calling it a food vacation, because in addition to wanting to take off the weight I put on during the summer-of-no-kitchen, I also just needed a break from feeling barraged by the harvest season, thanksgiving (I'm Canadian so it's in mid-October), and generally being a total foodie.

    I haven't been using tags on my posts but the journey starts on a post called "Mimicking the Ebb and Flow of Nature". I've been doing this for three weeks, eating nothing but bland, unseasoned (that means no salt!) soup/stews, hardboiled eggs, raw milk kefir and the odd bland snack like cucumbers, raw nuts, and domestic blueberries. The results are pretty astonishing. I'm eating barely 800 calories a day, losing exactly the amount of weight one would predict (between 2-3 lbs/week) with my body size, activity level, and that intake, but I'm not hungry and my energy levels are barely affected. More importantly, I'm not cranky!

    Anyway, if you're interested, have a read. If you've been Primal for a while in hopes of losing weight and haven't lost any, it can't hurt to give it a try.

  • #2
    Interesting. I love good food so much though I'm not sure I could do this long term. I do really see the point though. It is so easy to make food extremely palatable now - but it's pretty hard to overeat on a diet of plain ground beef, lettuce, etc.
    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

    http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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    • #3
      Yup - I think people's cooking skills can be a reason why weight loss on the PB can be difficult. I used to work in a restaurant, so my home cooking is pretty damn palatable, even if it doesn't include the usual neolithic agents of disease. So I get down to about 30% bf without difficulty just doing PB, but there I sit - and I'd like to be leaner. I think after this I will definitely try to use salt a lot less. I used to think it was benign - at least, GOOD locally-made sea salt - but now I'm thinking that it DOES play a role in obesity, just not the one that people think.

      Different people have different susceptibilities to food reward, but taking it down to really basic will probably work for everyone.

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      • #4
        This was very interesting. Keep us posted on your energy levels after doing this a while longer.
        The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat.
        (Lily Tomlin)

        I take life easier than almost anyone I know, but when I exercise I do it as though my life depends on it (which it does).
        (Arthur De Vany)

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        • #5
          New post on my blog: Energy levels, salt intake, the joys of boredom.

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          • #6
            I'm finding this very interesting. Considering trying it out for myself, if what I'm currently doing stops working for me. At the moment all seems well, though.
            Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

            My Primal Journal

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            • #7
              Fascinating!

              And I absolutely LOVE your blog. I envy the bear meat. It's one game meat I've not had the opportunity to try.

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              • #8
                Thanks! Bear meat is delicious - as long as it's been eating lots of berries, and not fish...

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                • #9
                  I did something like this but on a very short term (two 1 week experiments). I learned some interesting things.
                  The first week was meat and green leafy veggies only and I learned that too many leafy green veggies make me feel gross and that I go to the fridge way to often just because I"m sitting at home and not necessarily hungry. Second week was meat, green leafy veggies AND some other veggies. (there were arbitrary amounts that I aimed for eating of each of these categories in both weeks) Better feeling belly, same extra trips to the fridge.

                  But it DOES cut down the snacking. When you open the fridge, boredly looking for food you aren't actually hungry for and all you have is raw meat that you would actually have to cook and leafy green veggies you just don't find anything to munch!

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                  • #10
                    Yeah - with my pre-prepared stews there always IS something to munch if I want it - I just kinda don't. It's fine if I'm actually hungry, but it's not something I would ever choose to snack on.

                    The other thing is that it's a WHOLE lot easier to ignore hunger in favour of getting stuff done. Like, I'm hungry, but there's laundry that just finished in the dryer - previously, I would have said "screw it, let it wrinkle, I need food" but now there's no question - getting it before it needs the iron is WAY more important than eating. And sometimes the hunger just goes away when I do that and I forget about eating for a while longer. Crazy.

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                    • #11
                      Very interesting.
                      I'm going to try and cut down on my salt intake (himalayan salt is the only 'spice' I use) and see where that gets me. I'm at 26% body fat atm but wouldn't mind being a little slimmer, if it all falls off the right places

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for posting this. I am very intrigued. I have been primal for a year and a half and am sitting at 30% Bf too. So frustrating. I am so tempted to try this, but the one thing that holds me back is that we are training for a mud run in April. I want to be building strength and endurance, yet I really want to lose this extra weight too. I will at the very least stick this in my tool box for after the run.....April seems so far away. I will enjoy reading your journey.
                        Favorite Mark Quote: "I train to play."

                        June 2010: 168.6 -size 16
                        Current: 155 - size 10/12
                        Goal:135 - size 8

                        My Journal

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                        • #13
                          But is 85% dark chocolate on squat days still allowed on your diet? Because I live for chocolate.
                          In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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                          • #14
                            It's not allowed on MY diet, no... the point is to REDUCE food reward. So basically, nothing that I LOVE to eat is going into the tummy-tumkins right now. And I'm ok with that. (Not that I'm a huge dark chocolate fan anyway... it just makes me want milk chocolate ;-) ) It sounds like you might have a dysfunctional relationship with your chocolate, though. Is it as committed to YOU as your are to it? Does it love you back? Alex, what has your chocolate done for you lately??? Because - and I'm stepping out on a limb here, I know - there MIGHT, just might, be things more worthy of your lifetime dedication and devotion than chocolate. Heresy, I know, but think about it.

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                            • #15
                              New post on my blog!

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