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Thread: The dangers of quitting carbs page

  1. #1
    paleodog's Avatar
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    The dangers of quitting carbs

    Primal Fuel
    Hi everyone I wanted to share about my experience going Paleo and the revelations it has taught me about myself-yikes! I read a magazine article about Paleo back in January of this year while on vacation and thought since I am a performance road cyclist, climber and general athlete that it would be a logical next step for me in being a better, healthier athlete.
    I bought Mark’s book “Primal Blueprint” and got busy right-away like I do with everything. While weight loss was not my objective (better athletic performance and endurance were), I lost 10 pounds in one month. I went from 160 down to 150. I am 6’-0”. I cut out all sugar, grains and all other food items not previously eaten by my Primal ancestors.
    In that first month it was relatively easy to stay on track with the program. However, after a month or so I started having massive cravings for the carbs and sugars that I was so used to eating all my life. I would occasionally start to “sneak” a handful of forbidden fruit be it Hershey’s kisses or what have you. I would feel horribly guilty and stay away again for a while. Then like an unrelenting stalker the urges would return no matter how I tried to stay satiated with good fats and protein.
    Now the scary part. I have always enjoyed red wine and would drink a glass or two about 3-5 nights per week (prior to going Paleo of course). However, I would also go weeks or even months without drinking anything at all. I could take it or leave it. What I noticed though is that when the carb urges started to return I would resist but then started drinking wine in their place. Thus began a period of about 2 ˝ months of binge eating and perhaps not binge drinking but certainly drinking more than I was comfortable with. Honestly I was beginning to feel out of control. I have never experienced that in my life. I was terrified and frankly still am when I think about it.
    My realization is that I am a carb/sugar addict and will seek it out in any medium I can. Since I never moderated my carb/sugar intake until Paleo lifestyle I never had undergone the stress of breaking that addiction and to my horror found that I could interchange the wine for the sugar-all without my wanting to and barely even able to control it. It has been a couple of months now since the realization and I have been seeing improvement in fighting the urges. In fact the urges themselves are subsiding dramatically with each passing week.
    The lesson for me is that things I put in my body are nothing to mess with. I now have the utmost respect for food, alcohol and anything else I might ponder putting in my mouth, to the point that I do not care what others may think of my refusals for certain dishes and beverages. I firmly believe that sugar and simple carbs are the root of so many other addictions and mental disorders and wonder why our government does not help fix this with better food regulations.
    I will continue to not tempt the demons of SAD foods while always being vigilant about my own responsibility to take care of myself. I do live in a household that at times does not offer the support I would like but that’s not their fault.
    I have greatly shortened this post so that someone might actually read it and hopefully find some connection and therefore hope/help with their situation. If you want more information just let me know I will gladly share. This food thing is serious stuff and can really awaken a lot of other issues that may need to be dealt with. But it is getting easier and I have not binged in a while now. My weight is in the mid 150’s and has been steadily dropping since I have stayed away from the bad carbs. Also my head is so much clearer and I am not depressed like before. There is no scarier feeling than being out of control. I never want to go there again.
    Peace to all,
    PaleoDog

  2. #2
    eKatherine's Avatar
    eKatherine is offline Senior Member
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    Eat more carbs. There is no reason not to eat potatoes, sweet potatoes, any other tubers and vegetables that agree with you, fruit, and rice, just because you have given up pure sugar and wheat grains.

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    Thanks for the reply eKatherine I have a backyard veggie garden and eat lots of great fresh veggies daily and that does help. But there is something deviously calling about simple sugars for me. I think it may be something I may have to stay away from. I will try the potatoes though.

    Thanks

  4. #4
    zizou's Avatar
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    Dont make the mistake of villafying all carbs as being bad. Given your activity level, you will most likely need carb refuels. Carbs are a needed source of fuel, there are some awesome healthy foods which provide it and should be utilised.I agree with everything else you've said. I too am coming to a realisation just why standard foods are to be avoided as it's just pure garbage.

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    magicmerl's Avatar
    magicmerl is offline Senior Member
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    Yeah, there's nothing wrong with good carbs.

    If you have a sweet tooth, perhaps you could try retraining your palate to appreciating dark chocolate instead? The darker the better, and it goes very well with red wine.

    When you are trying to break a habit, it's self defeating to think about what you *can't* have (quick, don't think of pink elephants! - see what just flashed before your mind's eye?). Think instead about they things you can and will have that will take the place of the 'bad' things.

    And that's where the dark chocolate comes in....
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

    Griff's cholesterol primer
    5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
    Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
    TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
    bloodorchid is always right

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    paleodog's Avatar
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    magicmerl, Thank you so much for that very helpful post.

  7. #7
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    Eat some carbs! Rice, with some butter, or coconut oil, cinnamon and a little bit of real maple syrup is my go-to for carb cravings. Sweet potatoes in a similar manner is also delicious.

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    There's no reason not to have carbs, just be more diligent about where they come from. When I'm needing some carbs,some primal banana pancakes with a small drizzle of pure maple syrup and some kerrygold butter usually satisfy me for days. Just find what satisfies you. And forgive yourself when the only thing that will do is a little wine and Hershey's kisses!

  9. #9
    CarbDodger's Avatar
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    When you are trying to break a habit, it's self defeating to think about what you *can't* have (quick, don't think of pink elephants! - see what just flashed before your mind's eye?). Think instead about they things you can and will have that will take the place of the 'bad' things
    Is a superb statement. Its what has worked for me. I've had the cravings for sweet and also for bread. I never eat what I crave but opt for a similar healthier alternative.
    You did a good job in spotting that problem early and mindful eating and drinking is a real benefit for many of us

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    Don't know if you have time but you can learn to make some healthy treats that will satisfy your sweet tooth without being fundamentally harmful metabolically, like banana-egg pancakes or flaxseed-chocolate muffins with xylitol (check out Maria Emmerich's blog, full of nice recipes - I tried a few and they are really good. You can also get a copy of the Wheat Belly cookbook by Dr William Davis). Of course these treats should not be a staple, but the sweetness in them will not feed an addiction and will help you to stay away from sucrose and grains.

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