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  1. #1
    reallygravity's Avatar
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    Weird but True--food dilemma

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    I am writing here because I have no one around me who really understands or can help me with my dilemma. Or maybe I just need to vent like a child.

    I began eating a low carb, high protein, and low fat diet almost 1.5 years ago. After three months, I lost all my pregnancy weight, but my body just didn't feel right. Worse, the sugar and carb cravings were always there, and it concerned me that I would inhale a bunch of cupcakes any moment (which I did end up doing quite often). I still wanted to lose 10 pounds, so I began working out and eating well during the week. In the weekend, I indulged on sugary, carby treats.

    Then I found Mark's website. It took a while to wrap my head around this fatty situation, but then finally bought into it. It has been around three months since I have been eating Primal. I also IF from time to time and eat when I am hungry. I feel SO much better. I have lost 10 pounds, and my body is in the best shape ever.

    I have lost all my sugar and carb cravings, and I attribute that to my high fat consumption. Then why do I keep going back, from time to time, to my old unhealthy "treats?" For instance, two days ago, I wanted to have some ice-cream. Or I thought my mind wanted some ice-cream. I ate ice-cream. It didnt do anything for me. But I still ate it. I continued eating it, in the hope that it would do something for me. It didnt.

    This seems so wrong. Why isnt this sugary, carby stuff giving me any "pleasure"? This sounds silly and weird and stupid, but I am so sad that I have lost that part of me. And in a confusing way, I am happy that that part of me does not exist anymore. Yet I feel that I will continue jeopardizing myself from time to time with this weird behavior. Ok, there are worse things out there in this world, but I mean, how can someone have no unhealthy, bad-for-you, indulgences??? More importantly, how can I be that someone? That seems quite impossible...given my life-time track record on ice-cream and dessert.

    Am I the only one out there with this strange struggle/relationship with the old way of eating?

  2. #2
    KKDMB's Avatar
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    No, reallygravity, I'm quite sure that you are not alone in your struggle. I was in that same "healthy" low fat --> binge --> guilt cycle for close to 8 months. It puts the body and mind through hell, doesn't it? Glad to hear that you found your way to MDA and the high fat love.

    You know, maybe you don't have to see your ice cream as such a bad thing. Mark advocates a great 80/20 rule that allows people to pursue health while indulging once in a while. When I came to these forums I saw this great quote that I'd never heard before - "Don't let perfect be the enemy of good." Eating Primally and having ice cream once in a while might not be so bad.

    Now to the part about how you didn't really like said ice cream... that's something else. Maybe said ice cream would be more delicious if you invested in a $30 ice cream maker and made it yourself (which I like to do once in a while). A homemade treat that YOU control versus a tub of a treat that you used to binge on and feel guilty about (and still possibly have those same associations)? No comparison! And I'm here to tell you that *delicious* homemade ice cream from fresh ingredients (and I find myself naturally wanting to limit the sugar more as my tastes evolve) can be made with 8 minutes of effort. And that includes walking through the grocery store to get the ingredients.

    Anyway, just some food for thought. Good luck!
    Live Clean, Love Hard. Or vice versa.


    Female! Height: 5'10.5" HW: 161 SW: 135 CW: 124 GW: Whatever number my body wants to be when I'm eating and moving well - trying to get that muscle mass up.

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    BestBetter's Avatar
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    I had this experience, too. I think it's because binge-eating or overeating on sugary/salty impulse foods is not just about the food - there's a large psychological component. For me, when I realized that binge eating on candy or desert no longer brought that momentary dopamine high, and was thus unenjoyable, I felt really sad, because for most of my life, this was my secret pleasure that I could count on in times of stress or sadness to give me instant relief. It also became a routine, at times, and gave me something to look forward to - plotting the purchasing and subsequent gluttonous free-for-all was exciting, risky, and of course it made me feel like shit, but what drug addict's brain focuses on the aftermath instead of the instant, momentary rush of eupohoria?

    Now I have to focus on other things in life that give me pleasure - which of course is ultimately a much healthier way of living, and over time, I've found the grieving process slowly abates as I focus on new and exciting things. Sometimes, though, I really just want to binge on something, even if I know it won't give me that good old 'high' it used to, and when that happens, I make sure I have something healthy to binge on - fruit - or my favorite, coconut oil, raw cocoa powder, and a little honey. I generally am slightly disappointed, but it somehow fulfills the need. I'm hoping to get to the point where I can go from doing this rarely to never.

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    reallygravity's Avatar
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    Thank you both for your replies. It has put many things in perspective.

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    Hey really gravity, I always thought that the binging thing was purely psychological, but when I went Primal and began to learn about blood sugar levels, nutrient deficiencies etc, I discovered that there is a whole lot more to binging than our emotions.

    I found this thread, and it's been hugely enlightening for me. Hope you get something out of it
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread19847-6.html

  6. #6
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    I agree YogaBare. I thought I used to binge for psychological reasons but since going Primal I've rarely had the urge to binge. The times when I do, are when I've overdone the exercise (or not eaten enough to compensate for the amount of exercise), or dropped the carb intake too much. I've recently been less strict about the carbs, eating more fruit and starchy veg, and this has reduced the incidence of cravings. Also caffeine makes me prone to binge so I don't have any caffeinated drinks.

  7. #7
    sbhikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reallygravity View Post
    This seems so wrong. Why isnt this sugary, carby stuff giving me any "pleasure"? This sounds silly and weird and stupid, but I am so sad that I have lost that part of me. And in a confusing way, I am happy that that part of me does not exist anymore. Yet I feel that I will continue jeopardizing myself from time to time with this weird behavior. Ok, there are worse things out there in this world, but I mean, how can someone have no unhealthy, bad-for-you, indulgences??? More importantly, how can I be that someone? That seems quite impossible...given my life-time track record on ice-cream and dessert.

    Am I the only one out there with this strange struggle/relationship with the old way of eating?
    I think our tastes change once we clear out all the artificial additives they put in food to trigger our appetites and make us overeat. There are many different forms of MSG they put in just about everything, plus the artificial flavorings and flavor boosters and excess sugar and salt. When your food isn't full of these excitogenic ingredients, triggering pleasure centers in the brain unnaturally, then that trigger you used to have for binging is gone or at least greatly reduced. And when you do have something with all that stuff in it, it just tastes funny or worse.

    When I first switched to a high fat, low carb diet I was shocked how immediately I wasn't hungry anymore and now I had nothing to think about. I was really confused. What are you supposed to do with your thoughts when all the obsessive thoughts about food and making sure you don't get hungry are gone? I guess you can read Mark's Daily Apple all the time. Or do more fun things.

    Anyway, enjoy your binge-free existence. There may come a day when it comes back. I am having a hard time not eating too much chocolate lately. It would probably be better if I ate ice cream, but I don't like ice cream (too cold.)
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 180 x 2. Current Deadlift: 230 x 2

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