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  1. #1
    econ's Avatar
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    I always hear people on this site say that you can eat non-primal stuff in moderation. However, I'm struggling with a guideline for how frequently one can deviate, and still be in good health, see good results, etc? I've been eating primal for about a month now, and have definitely seen some improvements. But, I've still found myself in a few situations where it was hard to avoid grains (work situations), and have indulged in desserts on a few occasions, as well as microbrews on a few other occasions. Furthermore, this week I am celebrating my anniversary, and have deviated more often than at any other time over the past month. For example, we went out for drinks and desserts two nights ago, sushi and drinks last night, and will be indulging in some microbrews and ice cream today and tomorrow (the other meals over this time frame have still been fairly primal, and I've even skipped some meals over the past few days). After this deviation for a few days, we're going back to eating much more primal (but that's another story). The thing is, I feel a little guilty about my eating habits for this week. I've already read Mark's 80/20 article, but he seems to be saying that deviating 20% of the time is still way too much. So any insights, opinions, guidelines, questions, and/or comments on the topic of moderation (and maybe even guilt) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by econ; 08-05-2011 at 01:59 AM.

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    A word of self-experienced advice from me: the more you cheat the more difficult it is to beat the cravings in the first place. I have been a total sugar- and carb junkie for at least 17 years (I'm 31) and I found the more clean the cut from naughty food is, the easier it is to move on.

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    it really is up to you, the results you want and are looking for.

    we discovered that having sweets or treats about once a month (that is, something non-primal) is ok for us. but, we don't have any health issues (ok, my husband does, but he's sorting them), we don't have any weight to loose, and so on and so forth.

    more than that, and it's just too much. too many cravings, too much frustration (we find we get emotional around it, very strange), and honestly, it's not just as easy as being primal is.

    so, for me, it's deviating once a month or less.

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    The term I prefer I use with my clients is "balance". I feel that "moderation" by modern definition becomes a license for people that can at times, get abused and get you off track. There's more of a justification for cheating on one's diet or slacking off on their fitness program. If you have balance, you will be more regimented and honest in your thinking (hopefully) and be more apt not to go too far off base. Balance, for me, is if you consume foods you aren't supposed to, you don't sweat it, enjoy them and get back on the horse the next day. if you know you'll be going out with friends and having some cake or cocktails, prepare that day by eating as cleanly as possible, enjoy yourself that evening and maybe fast the next day and get back on track. Moderation on the other hand allows you to dip into the pot more often sort of speak and can get out of hand.

    The terms are very similiar, it's just a differential in the attitude I think and one has more of a planning aspect as the other does not.

    Obviously, these are just my thoughts and opinions which doesn't make them right (or wrong) but just another way of helping someone stay the course.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glamorama View Post
    A word of self-experienced advice from me: the more you cheat the more difficult it is to beat the cravings in the first place. I have been a total sugar- and carb junkie for at least 17 years (I'm 31) and I found the more clean the cut from naughty food is, the easier it is to move on.
    I'm kind of known for being a hardass on this point. That fake food is poison. How often can you eat poison and not get sick? Is it even worth it?

    Just abstain. Get rid of the concept of a "cheat." Just Don't Do It.
    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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    Thanks for saying it first, Griff. I have to agree on the basis that a taste becomes a bite becomes a meal becomes a day and that can become failure. I've tried dangling my toes in sugar lake, but the sweetened, jagged shards of crystalline deliciousness chomp down around my ankles and drag me in the moment I touch the surface. No cheats anymore. When I fall, I fall hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Griff View Post
    I'm kind of known for being a hardass on this point. That fake food is poison. How often can you eat poison and not get sick? Is it even worth it?

    Just abstain. Get rid of the concept of a "cheat." Just Don't Do It.
    Yeah this was a hard concept for me too. Eventually, I replaced my concept of "treats" and "cheat". Now "treats" are sugary fruit once a week and a "treat" is having a commercial place prepare my primal-ish compliant food for me instead of doing it myself.

    I actually arrived at this website via the whole30 from whole9life but I admit, I didn't adhere the first 30 days. Instead, I dropped one thing every week until I was whole 30 compliant (except for bacon, salt and the tiny amounts of sugar in my bacon) and found the transition easy.

    During the week I stopped eating sweets, I picked a really good whole food to have more of to replace it and eventually I stopped. So my whole30 was more like a whole60 if that makes any sense.

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    I snack on granny smith apples. Why? This:

    Delay aging without hunger with life extenders in green apples

    The Secret of Longevity

    Whether true or not, green apples are amazing anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Griff View Post
    Just abstain. Get rid of the concept of a "cheat." Just Don't Do It.
    I find this to be true for everything, not just diet. Abstention is just easier than moderation for me.

  10. #10
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    I cheat sometimes, but what I am finding is that as I go on longer, I feel like cheating less. I am not making a rule for myself that I never will have anything ever again, but I know that staying away from nonprimal stuff is good for me, so I don't go there very often.

    "everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial" (1Corinthians 10:23) sums up my philosophy
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    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliot

    Mmmmm. Real food is good.

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