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  1. #11
    Primal-V's Avatar
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    Primal Fuel
    I use my 20% to account for the 'real world' factor, it stops me stressing about the fine details when eating out (the macros are still good but it probably isn't cooked the way I would at home) this said, I will order steak and not pizza with garlic bread and dough balls.

    Personally I would avoid the idea of a 'cheat day' as it sounds like a challenge to eat as much junk as you can for one day, for me this would undermine the whole deal.

    I do indulge in occasional wheat-based treats; when roasting local grass-fed beef I'll cook some Yorkshire puddings (in dripping, of course!) Wheat in moderation doesn't cause me any upset or trigger binging, but I treat it like a garnish in terms of quantity. (I indulge in a weekly tin of beer too.)

    Having said that, I am very strict in avoiding deserts, large quantities of sugar make me feel awful (last time I couldn't sleep after eating half a serving of home-made lemon meringue pie - a previous favourite) I have also had cravings in the past when I've eaten too much sugar, this hasn't happened recently though, so perhaps it was part of my transition.

    At the end of the day the 80/20 rule helps us all stop getting obsessed with perfection, which means we spend 80% of life eating healthy instead of spending 6 weeks 'perfect' before giving up.

    These days my 'treats' are mostly primal, like spending hours making a fabulous beef rendang (if you haven't tried this, google 'Rick Stein beef rendang recipe' and try it - it's regarded as one of the world's most delicious foods for a reason!)

    One final thing - don't ever feel that you have to explain yourself to other people if you 'cheat' there is only one person you are answerable to when it comes to health, and that's yourself. (I'm still working on this one.)

    Good luck with finding your own personal balance.

  2. #12
    Dradok's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your comments! When browsing these forums it is easy to get the impression everyone is so disciplined all of the time. Unfortunately I do not have as much discipline as I would like, but I want to give primal living a try.

  3. #13
    The Rebooted Body's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dradok View Post
    Hello,

    I would like to hear from you primal veterans regarding the 80/20 rule. Does this mean that you have 6 cheat days per month where you indulge in non primal foods? Or is it more of 80% of the food you eat daily is primal and 20% is not? Are there certain things that are off limits even within the 20% allowance? Have you made improvements using your version of the 80/20 rule?
    I recommend the close to 100% as possible rule, especially if you've had ANY degree of addiction/dependency in the past with refined carbs/sugar, etc.

  4. #14
    oxide's Avatar
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    Dradok, a word of caution. If you would like to give Primal a try, you probably will have to be VERY strict for 6-8 weeks. There is a metabolic shift that occurs. During this delicate transition, your body is looking for ANY excuse to go back to its old sugar-burning ways. Therefore, cheating of any kind, especially with wheat and sugar, can easily derail that shift and you're stuck back at Square 1 and you have to start over.

    Once you've fully dialed into Primal, you can relax a little into 80/20.

    People interpret 80/20 in different ways, but here's how I see it:

    80%: (follow this for the first 6-8 weeks)
    Fully grass-fed pastured unprocessed meat (eggs cow chicken pig wild game)
    Local and/or organic veggies.
    Sweet potato
    Fats: Butter, olive oil, coconut oil

    20%: (notice we're still generally no-grain primal)
    CAFO mass produced meats
    Big Ag pesticide veggies
    Rice and white potatoes (you milage may vary)
    veggie seed oils
    legumes like lentils, peas, and dried beans.
    Non-butter dairy; for me it's whey powder and half&half
    Diet sodas
    Natural sugars like honey and maple syrup, occasional sugar cane juice
    dark chocolate (72% or higher)
    non-beer alcohol
    Occasional Pringles :razz:

    Cheating:
    Beer (but that's because I never really liked it; others have it)
    Processed sugar and candy
    High fructose corn syrup
    Wheat and corn of any kind

    The 20% does not refer to number of days. It is NOT "6 days of being good and 1 day of pizza binge." You are allowed 20% of questionable foods, and cheating foods are not allowed at any time.

    (and yes, we cheat. Twizzlers are my downfall.)
    Last edited by oxide; 05-23-2013 at 10:19 AM. Reason: How could I have forgotten CHOCOLATE???
    5'0" female, 43 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Current weight: skinny-fat 106.5 lbs because of sugar cheating.

    MY PRIMAL: I (try to) follow by-the-book primal as advocated by Mark Sisson, except for whey powder and a bit of cream. I aim for 80-90 g carb/day and advocate a two-month strict adjustment for newbies. But everybody is different and other need to tweak Primal to their own needs.

  5. #15
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    magnolia1973 is online now Senior Member
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    When browsing these forums it is easy to get the impression everyone is so disciplined all of the time.
    Oh, people have non-primal foods a lot more than may seem obvious. And a lot of people have weird ideas of cheat foods that really are fine to eat- fruit comes to mind. I think foods you need to avoid come down to you and your body.

    My "primal foods" are any fruit, meat, cream, butter, coconut milk and vegetable except for regular potatoes.
    My "not primal, but I'm not that concerned foods" are cheese (I don't eat much of it), rice and potatoes. I don't eat rice and potatoes often at all.
    My "this isn't primal but screw it" list includes milk chocolate, primal baked goods, maple syrup, sugar in my coffee on occasion and good ice cream. I also know this list can make me fat and I'd call this the list that is most of my 20%. I eat from this list once or twice a week. I f i was not trying to lose weight, I might consume this list more frequently.
    My "yeah, this isn't primal and is probably going to make me feel like crap list" includes a bun for a burger, a really awesome pastry or cake, alcohol and meals eaten out fall in this list. At this point, I'm not going to eat Chips Ahoy or Domino's Pizza. But yeah, I just ate an eclair from the french bakery near me. I don't call it cheating. I call it enjoying something on occasion that is really well made and special. To be fair it doesn't make me feel like crap.

    That said, yes, when I first started Primal eating something like an eclair would trigger wanting to binge on crap. Now it doesn't.

    http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
    Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

  6. #16
    Dradok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnolia1973 View Post
    Oh, people have non-primal foods a lot more than may seem obvious. And a lot of people have weird ideas of cheat foods that really are fine to eat- fruit comes to mind. I think foods you need to avoid come down to you and your body.

    My "primal foods" are any fruit, meat, cream, butter, coconut milk and vegetable except for regular potatoes.
    My "not primal, but I'm not that concerned foods" are cheese (I don't eat much of it), rice and potatoes. I don't eat rice and potatoes often at all.
    My "this isn't primal but screw it" list includes milk chocolate, primal baked goods, maple syrup, sugar in my coffee on occasion and good ice cream. I also know this list can make me fat and I'd call this the list that is most of my 20%. I eat from this list once or twice a week. I f i was not trying to lose weight, I might consume this list more frequently.
    My "yeah, this isn't primal and is probably going to make me feel like crap list" includes a bun for a burger, a really awesome pastry or cake, alcohol and meals eaten out fall in this list. At this point, I'm not going to eat Chips Ahoy or Domino's Pizza. But yeah, I just ate an eclair from the french bakery near me. I don't call it cheating. I call it enjoying something on occasion that is really well made and special. To be fair it doesn't make me feel like crap.

    That said, yes, when I first started Primal eating something like an eclair would trigger wanting to binge on crap. Now it doesn't.
    This has been very helpful. Thank you very much. Nice blog as well!

  7. #17
    picklepete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primal-V View Post
    One final thing - don't ever feel that you have to explain yourself to other people if you 'cheat' there is only one person you are answerable to when it comes to health, and that's yourself. (I'm still working on this one.)
    Amen. I see a few folks caught in this cycle of pleading to others for permission and ignoring the look-and-feel results.
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  8. #18
    Paleobird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnolia1973 View Post
    My "primal foods"
    My "not primal, but I'm not that concerned foods"
    My "this isn't primal but screw it"
    My "yeah, this isn't primal and is probably going to make me feel like crap list"

    That said, yes, when I first started Primal eating something like an eclair would trigger wanting to binge on crap. Now it doesn't.
    Hah! Good way to break it down, magnolia. And yes, it is important to point out that what you can handle once fully set in your Primal groove is not always the same as when you are adapting. Some things actually get worse (e.g. alcohol, IME. Can't tolerate the stuff as well now.)

  9. #19
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    Strive for 100% compliance. Accept that some situations or ingredients will be out of your control 20% of the time. If 92% of what goes in your mouth is primal, yay for you. If the best you can do one particular week is 64%, don't sweat it. Get back on plan at the next eating opportunity.

    If you're going to focus on numbers, you need to define what 'primal' means to you. Is it 'grocery store meat, fat, and veggies' or is it grass feed beef, pastured eggs, organic home grown veggies, and lard you rendered from your own pig? Dairy or no dairy? How do you feel about the dreaded potato? What about fruit? Plan on giving up beer and whiskey? Supplements?

    Sometimes you'll eat 'on plan' sometimes you don't. Planned binges = why even bother.
    Sandra
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    There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo

    DAINTY CAN KISS MY PRIMAL BACKSIDE. ~~ Crabcakes

  10. #20
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    After a year of Primal being as clean as I possibly could I decided to have some ice cream. I got my favorite flavor -- mint and chip -- and got it from a place that uses only top-quality ingredients. I got a small. I could not finish it. This absolutely floored me. Striving for 100% has its benefits.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Heaviest squat: 180 x 2. Heaviest Deadlift: 230 x 2

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