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Yes, this diet does have a catch.

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  • Yes, this diet does have a catch.

    I eat 90% primal and feel better generally. But I really suffer when I have a cheat meal, like yesterday I had a slice of pizza and some sweets, and today I am bedridden with incredibly uncomfortable gut pain. I kept telling myself I had stomach flu or some other affliction but it has been several weeks in a row now where I have only had this on a monday after my sunday cheat. I guess I must have had bloating all the time before but didn't notice it until it was gone after a few weeks of Primal, and I realised I wasn't really farting any more. But now the GI pain I get when I cheat makes me actually cry

    So there can be no more cheats, at all. I'm kind of ok with this cos I seem to have a stronger willpower over food these days, and my food bill is lower too. I'm also ok with fasting a while, when there's nothing Primal to eat. I believe Primal is the healthiest way to eat, and I want to eat this way, I enjoy it.

    I just wish someone had told me at the start that, yes, there is a catch to this diet. Although some people say you can have a cheat now and then, some people can't, because by a twisted fluke of evolution, not eating something has the same effect of making you sensitive to it, as eating too much of something!!! So the foods you used to love might have to be abandoned (forever??) or else you will suffer horrible discomfort!

    I know this is a 'first world problem', and there are a lot worse things that could happen to me, but I am in pain right now and I just wanted to rant to people who will know what the heck I'm talking about. I am slightly pissed off that by doing the right thing for my body and going Primal, I've swapped a few minor health problems for one major one!!

    I've been Primal for 4 months now and have been losing weight steadily, and taking probiotic supplements to help me heal. I have heard that, theoretically, sensitivities can heal over time, but I would really love to hear from anyone who really did see their cheat reaction lessen after a while??
    Last edited by CaveWeirdo; 07-09-2012, 10:01 AM.
    Start weight: 238 lbs (March 2012)
    Current weight: 205 lbs (July 2012)
    Loss so far: 33 lbs!!!
    WOE: Primal + IF
    Movements: Hiking, sprinting.
    Goal: to see my abs some time in 2013!

  • #2
    From 3 weeks in to about 4 months in, I had the same issues. Too much sugar, the wrong kind of oils, and specially gluten gave me massive diarrhea, buzzing headaches or gas pains like a knife in my gut- debilitating. Around 5 months in I noticed my reactions lessening. The few times that I ever cheat, I still feel like I swallowed a brick, but the stabbing only lasts a minute now, with no ill effects afterwards except maybe retaining some water temporarily. After my latest big relay race, someone handed me a slice of pizza after I crossed the finish line. I snarfed it. I just wanted food and I didn't care what. I felt awful for about 3 minutes, then nothing, no problems. I feel like my body is starting to work like it should- adapting to the situation at hand. I have to admit I kind of liked the fact that I had immediate reaction- it kept me on track, but I feel like Primal eating is engrained enough now that I can still keep up the good WOE.
    You don't have to be sick to get better.
    Female, 31 years old, 5'8"
    Primal start: 1/2/2012
    My Primal Journal
    Living, loving and learning.


    • #3
      At one year, my response has increasingly gotten worse the cleaner I've been eating. For the first 3-4 months, I still ate a lot of SAD, but primal inspired (like frozen meatballs of any quality with gluten) foods. Since January, I've been much stricter, but my responses to lapses have been much worse (severe gas pain for a couple of days). Maybe time will allow my body to calm down/heal to some degree and see these products as less of a poison, but I don't really mind the negative side-effects. It helps to reinforce that those are bad choices for my body.
      Depression Lies


      • #4
        I believe you need to stop thinking about it as a diet and more of a way of life.
        Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
        Don't forget to play!


        • #5
          I almost wish my response to cheating was evil. But nope, I just get hungrier and grow fat very fast. I also get hungrier if I mess up my ratios with perfectly primal foods (and get fat fast). I never really experience any negative stomach aches, bloating, heart-burns, high blood pressure, anything.... I can eat SAD just fine, I will just be huge.

          My husband though went on a course for 4 days and returned completely sick with diarrhea and heart-burn. Kindda scary to think that just by eating grains and bad oils in a normal food he can completely wreck his digestion.
          My Journal:
          When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.


          • #6
            I can't cheat either without the consequences. I've realized it's not worth it.
            I'm extremely happy tho with butter, steaks, avocados, homemade mayo, etc :-)
            Salad greens used to give me fits but now with the right dressing, org greens & yummy veggies, it's all good.


            • #7
              plus have u tried org walnut or almond butter on crisp apple slices.. so wonderful.


              • #8
                Unsweetened unsalted organic 100% peanut smooth peanut butter spread on a couple of squares of Lindt Excellence 90% cocoa chocolate.. mmmmm..


                • #9
                  This physiologic over-reaction to non-primal foods went away for me at about one year. I am not sure if it is because my gut healed. But now I can eat non-primal foods with no reaction.

                  As an aside though - I read about this a lot on this forum. I think it would be a great topic for Mark to cover. Any interest is suggesting it to him?

                  ETA: except too much crappy oil - but I reacted badly to that before going primal as well, so I don't think that counts.
                  Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )



                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CaveWeirdo View Post
                    because by a twisted fluke of evolution, not eating something has the same effect of making you sensitive to it, as eating too much of something!!! So the foods you used to love might have to be abandoned (forever??) or else you will suffer horrible discomfort!
                    I hear ya on that one, when I first started eating primal I grew really fond on eggs, like eating 2-4 daily. I don't know if that's too much for some people but suddenly I started having really bad pain on my stomach which later I found out it was because of the protein of the egg. Now I only eat the yokes. :/

                    Regarding any reaction to CW foods, most of the time I don't feel anything when I eat fried stuff, just how crunchy and delicious those plantains are, lol. Curiously I feel something when I eat food my father has made. Maybe its because of the quantity of oil he uses, or maybe its because when I'm at home I'm more focused on any reaction my body may experience to what I'm eating. I dunno.


                    • #11
                      I guess the way I see it is, if something makes me feel awful, why would I love it?! So, sure, I did love pizza and ice cream - had the waistline and energy levels to prove it, too! - but it no longer tastes good to me and just makes me feel like death, I love Primal food, and feel fantastic on a daily basis now... so there's really not much to lament!

                      If you decide the ability to consume former favourites is more important to you than feeling good, then there's absolutely nothing stopping you from abandoning Primal and going back to some variant of SAD that works better for you.
                      Went primal for the weight loss, stayed for the quality of life!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dirlot View Post
                        I believe you need to stop thinking about it as a diet and more of a way of life.
                        I like the cut of your gib young fella, exactly what I was thinking "who's on a diet?" :-)

                        To the OP: you stopped eating regular doses of toxins and have now lost whatever tolerance to them you had built up... Bad side effect, bad!
                        If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

                        Originally posted by tfarny
                        If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least


                        • #13
                          I started low carbing in 2010 and it was all going great until I went organic in March. Anything with additives and OH and I are sick But in the long run, additive free is healthier


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Misabi View Post
                            you stopped eating regular doses of toxins and have now lost whatever tolerance to them you had built up... Bad side effect, bad!

                            I find my reactions depend on what I choose to indulge in. Is there grain in it? My gut will kick me right in the nads for that sh!t. Body temp goes up and I sweat like a pig and feel generally ill and achey. Same with a boat ton of sugar.

                            Fat based treats that rely less on sugar (like a scoop of high quality chocolate ice cream) goes down no problem. Indulgence enjoyed.


                            • #15
                              I am going to play devil's advocate here - please, no attacks.
                              I have found that people who are seeking to improve their health can be a little bit hypochondriacal. Yes, it is within the realm of possibility that food you subsisted on for decades (?) is making you ill after a somewhat short absence. I think it is more likely that it is either a result of your body shifting gears after making a dietary change, or a fluke.

                              There is a logical fallacy in assuming that the eating of non-primal foods necessarily caused your problems. Look at it this way - a vegetarian will often have stomach distress after not eating meat for a while and then partaking. Does this mean that the vegetarian lifestyle is necessarily healthier? No. It is just a change. Correlation does not imply causation.

                              Not that I am advocating pizza binges, but don't assume that it is the "poisons" or whatever in the food you ate. I think that is an overreach. Bottom line - eat what makes you feel good, but your body is infinitely more adaptable that what you are giving it credit for.