Cravings and cholesterol
I decided to give paleo a go a few weeks ago. So, no bread, rice or pasta for ~3 weeks and no spuds or cakes for ~2 weeks. But, I still get sweet quite big cravings in the evenings after my main meal. This is not new, I have always had such cravings, but they have intensified over the last week and I have been bingeing a bit – maybe 40–50g of chocolate (I guess ~200–300 calories) per night. Weird thing is – I get these cravings even if I am feeling fairly full. If I throw out all the chocolate in the house I suspect that I’ll probably just go searching through the cupboards until I find something else sweet. Last night I made enchiladas using the recipe in the PB cookbook. I used double cream (no idea what the UK equivalent of half and half cream is) and afterwards I thought that a spoonful might reduce my sugar cravings. Well, it did but I ended up eating over half the remaining cream (maybe around 500 cals) before I stopped. Felt a bit queasy but as not as bad as times in the past when I have had major sugar binges and have eaten like a whole chocolate bar in an evening. It feels like kind of ‘alcoholic’ or addictive behaviour to me and I’ve got to be careful here. Back in my drinking days before I found AA, I would occasionally try to clean up my act and try to abstain from drinking and smoking but after a while I would snap and end up on a bender drinking worse than ever. I feel a little disappointed that eating a diet that is high in fat and protein has not removed these cravings as I was hoping that it might.* I have some chocolate-flavoured whey protein that I drink as a shake after gym sessions, would it be an idea to have one or two of these in the evening if I get sugar cravings after a meal, rather than a load of cream?
One good thing – I am managing to get through the day without chocolate, biscuits or cakes – which are ever-present in our office, so that is a bit of an achievement. *
I have a second query as well. Just now, while writing the first bit about cravings I had a call from my doctor asking me to go in next week for a chat about lifestyle. One of the things that made me want to try Paleo is that I found out 6 years ago that my cholesterol levels were not v. good. They put me on a statin which gave me some side effects so I stopped it, and refused to try another. After that I gave up eating meat, started to eat as much fish as I could tolerate and also took fish oil supplements – that helped a bit, there was a slight increase in HDL I think. So, I went along last week to find out what my levels are now, as a kind of baseline, just as I start Paleo and the results that she just gave me over the phone were that my Total cholesterol is 6.3 mmol/l* (which I think works out to 243.6 mg/dl), the HDL is 0.9 mmol/l* (I think = 34.8 mg/dl) and the LDL was 5 mmol/l* (= 193.3 mg/dl). I am not particularly worried about this – I can’t find my previous results but I think that these levels are similar to what they were about 5 years ago, although back then my LDL levels might have been around 4.3 mmol/l (= 166.3 mg/dl). What I will probably do next week is tell them that I have recently changed my lifestyle and that it may take a few months for my body to adjust and then ask them if the test can be repeated in say six months time. Does that sound reasonable, or should I leave it for a bit longer to let my system adjust? Also, I should have done a 12 hour fast before the test, but the night before I forgot about the test and I had some food maybe 11 hours before – at which point my partner walked in and reminded me about the test. Could that have affected the results?