So for the past 9 years, I've known about the Paleo, or Primal diet philosophy and I am in total agreement that it is the way to go. And that fat is my friend, yadda, yadda.
However, I have a serious problem with keeping grains and sugars off my menu.
I'm like a functional alcoholic. My body seems to do an ok job on processing grains and junk; I have pretty good genes. I manage to keep a pretty low weight while eating crap. I don't really have major health problems.
BUT, I do feel much, much better when I'm a hard-ass with myself and avoid grains and sugar. That lovely clear-headed, clear-skinned, feeling light as a feather feeling that we all love.
My excuse is that my crazy life gets in the way. I own a business that requires a 150 mile round-trip commute each day. I had a baby about 10 months ago. I have 2 step daughters with schedules that get thrown upon us with no warning, so we are always running around.
But I know these are excuses. My problem is I can't eat just a bite of cake. Once I fall off the wagon, I fall hard.
Everything seems to come together when I have things planned out. Make meals ahead on the weekends, have ingredients close at hand. BUt then I have a crazy week where I'm running around like crazy, and I end up running through a drive through and another bunless burger or salad sounds gross, and off I go.
Please, someone just hit me over the head. THis isn't that hard. But why is it for me?
Isn't hard?! Kicking carbs is like going off heroin. Actually, it's even worse because while heroin is pooh-poohed, most of the world just loves carbs and wants you to stuff your face with them, too.
I think you put your finger on it when you said you can't eat just a bite of cake. I'm still the same way when I have, say, a french fry -- within moments I'm shoveling them into my face. The trick is avoiding that first bite.
Your first line of defense is filling up on good foods. Sometimes we crave carbs, but what our body really wants is something healthier. I know that's not always possible to do, especially on a busy schedule, but it's your strongest tactic.
The second line of defense is the MDA community. People here are so supportive and kind, I practically hear them in my head when I feel tempted: don't do it!
The third line of defense is the mental fast-forward. When tempted to eat something bad, think through the process of eating it, what it tastes like, how you feel right afterwards, and how you feel an hour later. That has got me past many a donut in the break room.
The fourth, final, most desperate line of defense is sugar substitutes. To me, sugar-free gum feels guilty like cigarettes, but I still fall back on it occasionally rather than falling face-first into the carb pit. And then there's stevia, and such amazing inventions as Trader Joe's sugar-free chocolate.
These are the tactics that got me to the point where I can finally walk past Cinnabon in the mall without feeling like I've just buried my best friend.
Just like kicking heroin, if you can make it through the first few weeks, you're in great shape. Good luck!
I was the exact same. Finally I got fed-up and quit cold turkey. I found MDA, read, then woke up one morning Primal.
The hardest thing was going out with my wife (non-PB) and watching her eat dessert...or fries...or whatever else I couldn't have. But once I felt the benefits of PB, there was no going back. It took about 2 weeks to get in the routine and my wife supports me...and loves MY primal dinners!
If I had a piece of cake now, I'd feel like crap. So now I have the self control, to literally have "a bite", and no more. It doesnt' bother me anymore.
Find some good PB snacks that you like and keep them with you, in your car, etc... And stay away from those drive-thu's...they're TERRIBLE!
Set a goal for yourself...2 weeks totally 100% PB, no cheating, or whatever...but set a goal...then set another one. The only person you'll be cheating is yourself. That was my motivation...and feeling like crap eating CW foods...
Thanks, guys. In a way, I know these things, I just need to read them again. And again. And again. I do feel like a smoker who has to quit again and again, but it does get easier each time.
I know what you mean, I do the same thing. Back again and again. Keep reading and learning and hopefully makes me stronger each time!
your post cracked me up...
I just logged into "my-Calorie-Counter" after a year... and read my blog post from 13 months ago, where I was talking about falling of the wagon and eating carbs and gaining 15lbs over the winter...and what happened? Somehow... around October, I get amnesia and think I am "cured" and I can eat carbs in moderation...
then I come out of my carb stupor about when the time changes and the weather starts to warm up...
and I have to start all over again..
Please, someone whack me, too!!!!
Because I just came out of my carb stupor and have 15-20 lbs to lose... AGAIN!!!!
What is that quote about insanity???
Don't underestimate the task of giving up carbs, it's not always as easy as that! There are emotional and physiological reasons why we turn to carbs, it's not just a mindless habit.
If you have intense carb cravings you can try taking L-glutamine as a supplement. Taking 500-1000mg under the tongue will be absorbed quite quickly.
Do your best, it's hard to be perfect. This week and last week I went out and ate a giant carb filled meal with rice and cake and ice cream. Both times I felt horrible the next day but I try to accept it and use it as motivation to keep going. That being said, it's when I avoid sugar/starch 100% that I feel best and don't really crave them.
Don't beat yourself up, you'll figure out a lifestyle that works for you!
The only way that carb addicts like me, you, and the most of the world, can rehab is to go cold turkey. Carbs are just as addictive as heroin or cocaine. Yes, we all have our little substitutes like stevia or nut butter, but in order to get over carbs, you have to stop eating them. No way 'round it.
It is very tough, but it can be done. Many others in the low-carb community have done it.
After you've given them up for a while, they'll taste weird, like the poisons that they really are. And make no mistake, grains and sugar ARE poison.
I'm in the same boat. I eat a carb thinking "just one" or "just a little treat" and then dive headfirst into a month or several of eating anything I want - mostly carbs. In a month I managed to put on 15 lbs. Blows my mind. I don't think I was overeating calorie-wise but apparently the carb content mixed with high fat content really fracked my body.
Time to go cold turkey.
I haven't had the urge to eat carbs, thankfully... Sugar is my downfall though. I don't know which is more harmful.
Good luck to you - I just ate a bunch of chocolate... argh. I *did* go to Tim Horton's tonight though; resisted the honey crullers and just had a coffee! Woot!