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May 28 2010

The 1-2-3-4 Formula for Unleashing Your Inner Grok

By Guest
126 Comments

This is a guest post from Matt Garland of Healthy Lifestyle Design.

Do you have what it takes to unleash your inner Grok?

Everyone does. It’s inherent in our biology. And yet many don’t, not because of physical obstacles but mental ones. Such barriers manifest as false and misguided perceptions of Primal living’s complexity, difficulty, and restriction. Alas, these devilish traps inhibit many would-be Groks from realizing their full potential.

So, how do you evade these ensnarements and unleash your inner Grok?

You stop worrying about “how” you’ll live Primal and start thinking about “why” you should.

The “why” is essential. If you don’t know why you should adopt Primal living then you never will. How come? Because the “why” gives meaning to what you do. And when you have meaning you have the strength and resolve to succeed.

This simple 1-2-3-4 forumula will guide you to “why” Primal living is right for you. Have fun with it and get ready to unleash your inner Grok!

1. What do I have to lose?

People fear what they don’t understand. And I believe it’s safe to say that many don’t understand the reasons, science, benefits, and intentions of Primal living in the modern world. Hence, your inner Grok will remain scared and buried within under a blanket of misguided beliefs.

This is tragic because much of what conventional wisdom teaches you about Primal living is in fact untrue. Curiosity isn’t enough to overcome this insidious inertia. To unleash your inner Grok and fully reap the bounty of Primal living you must first define your fears.

This may sound like psychologist-talk and that may be true. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. And how it works is by putting your fears into blunt perspective. Fears are often grossly overstated and over-dramatized. Bringing them down to earth is a powerful means of controlling your fears – thereby not letting them control you.

So, what are your fears of living Primal? And what do you have to lose if you try?

Let me tell you what you WON’T lose:

  • You won’t lose your “health” to hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, etc.
  • You won’t lose your family
  • You won’t lose your personal relationships
  • You won’t lose your job
  • You won’t lose your mind
  • You won’t lose your freedom
  • You won’t lose your self-identity or self-confidence
  • And you definitely won’t lose your life

Put plainly, there aren’t any substantive, decisive, permanent, or dangerous reasons to not try out the Primal living philosophy.

Once you see this, acknowledge this, and believe this you will unleash previously unknown and untapped wells of curiosity, motivation, and determination for greatness of health and life.

2. What do I have to gain?

You’ve defined your Primal living worst-case-scenarios. You’ve discovered that they aren’t the apocalyptic crises propagandized by many. In fact, the costs are meager, even trivial in many cases.

But lose-framing alone won’t do the job. You must define all that you can gain from trying the Primal living lifestyle. Take this seriously because understanding benefits is a much greater force for inspiration and courage than merely acknowledging the low costs.

So, what all can you gain from trying to live Primal?

Think rationally but think big! Grok certainly did. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • I’ll have real-world experience to evaluate the Primal living philosophy on its merits
  • I’ll become more self-confident by allowing myself to try something new to improve my health and life
  • I’ll cultivate more energy and focus as I ween off of energy-draining processed foods
  • I’ll gain more peace-of-mind and personal freedom from Primal living’s simplicity
  • I’ll feel better as I allow my body to perform activities and functions that it was built to do
  • I’ll reclaim my right to be the full authority of my personal health and happiness
  • I’ll have fun trying new foods and new activities as well as by building new social relations that share the Primal living ideals
  • I’ll develop much improved wellness from elevated quality of sleep, nutrition, relaxation, etc

Feel free to pause your analysis here and compare your lose-list with your gain-list. The dichotomy is surely profound – illustrating the incredible ROI of a Primal lifestyle.

Okay, break over. Time to carry on!

3. What do my friends and family have to lose and gain?

Humans do not live in isolation. We are social creatures. This relationship, network-building skill is a defining characteristic of our species responsible largely for our survival and evolution.

Grok knew this well. No member of the tribe was more important that the tribe itself.

Fully understanding this axiom is the next powerful means of unleashing your inner Grok because you’ll see that your choice to live Primal won’t only empower yourself but your tribe as well.

So ask your family members and dear friends about their thoughts on Primal living. Share your lose-versus-gain analysis. Describe your beliefs in unleashing the power of your true Grok.

And compliment the feedback you collect with your own thoughts about how your friends and family will benefit from a Primal you. Maybe you’ll determinate that:

  • My friends and family will have a stronger, healthier, more energized me to be around
  • My friends and family can learn from my learnings about Primal living
  • My friends and family will gain more respect for me as I confidently pursue greater health
  • My friends and family will become inspired by my example and want to try Primal living too
  • My friends and family will better understand me and my beliefs in living a remarkable life

Such determinations are deeply personal to you. Make them meaningful and make them count.

And don’t be shy. Some won’t understand. Others won’t agree. That’s okay. Be respectful to all opinions but firm in yours. And always remember, “the sure path to failure and misery is trying to please everybody.” – Tim Ferriss

4. Can I take it for a test drive?

Hopefully by now you’ve seen the logic and benefit to Primal living and are ready to try. If so, let’s get to it!

But if you’re not, here’s the final step in unleashing your inner Grok – just TRY it!

Choosing to try Primal living is not a permanent, all-binding decision. There is no fine-print to be weary of. You’re in control, remember? So relax and simply take Primal living for a test drive.

Evaluate your progress mentally, physically, and emotionally after a few weeks. Like what you see and feel? Awesome! Keep going! Don’t like what you see and feel? Then pause and re-evaluate. Or even stop if you so choose. The choice is yours.

But do yourself right and give your Primal living trial a fair go. One week isn’t adequate enough. Aim for two. Nothing happens (positive or negative) overnight.

And lastly, you need not go “all-in” on Primal living at the start. Radical lifestyle changes have a much higher degree of failure. So it’s perfectly acceptable (even encouraged) to start slow. Adopt a few of the Primal lifestyle elements to begin with. Evolve from there.

What do you think?

Why is Primal living important and meaningful for you?

What obstacles have you evaded on your Primal lifestyle journey?

What advice would you give those just starting to unleash their inner Groks?

Please share your thoughts in the comments because all Groks (young and wise) will benefit!

(Photo: stuckincustoms)

About Matt:

Matt Gartland is a healthy lifestyle geek extraordinaire, blogger, world traveler, lifestyle entrepreneur, lifelong kid, bookworm, athlete, and more.

He writes at Healthy Lifestyle Design (HLD), where he unleashes his passion for remarkable and unconventional living propelled by amazing health. Follow Matt on Twitter and join the HLD Tribe on Facebook.

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126 thoughts on “The 1-2-3-4 Formula for Unleashing Your Inner Grok”

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  1. If this post doesn’t get you charged up to go Primal check back later this summer when the 30 Day Primal Leap Kit will be released. And stay tuned for our annual 30 day challenge (planned to start Aug. 1), complete with new contests/prizes and tools you need to kick start lifelong health.

    1. i am a breast cancer survivor and have been eating clean for about four years now. Following oxygen and Tosca Renos recipes I found your book and was fasinated and have been following primal eating for about two weeks. I cut out all wheat products and honey from my diet.The transformation is amazing, the amount of energy i have is unlimitless. At 51 I feel great. I have been lifting weights and running for years but i switched gears and am following the primal exercise program and showing better results. Thank You chris

  2. I think this is exactly what I needed to hear. I’ve been “test-driving” primal living for about 2 weeks and I have a lot of fears and concerns. Is it really healthy? Can I really take it slow? Is it right for my husband? Will he be willing? Will my old blood sugar problems go away? will my new tummyache go away?

    I imagine those questions will be answered over time. Meanwhile I look forward to improving my health, my strength, and my energy.

    1. Yes! I have been doing and feeling the same things. I get frustrated when I find I am not strictly adhering to every single recommendation 100% all the time, but at the same time I have to find how this works for me, and I can’t simply relinquish everything I am used to for things someone tells me to do. This post is certainly good support and motivation to keep it up, relax, and just track my progress without a lot of judgement.

      1. Well said Christina. Don’t get frustrated, that’s definitely not healthy. You don’t need to adopt every nuance immediately – I haven’t even done so yet.

        The key is progress. Each choice is better than the last. Each day is better than the last. This builds momentum, and momentum moves mountains!

        As you say, keep it up, relax, and have fun!

        Cheers!
        Matt

      2. The first day I was officially primal I was still skeptical. But, I stuck with it. I decided I was going to give it a chance – at least a full 30 days. Here I am more than 50 days later and will never look back.

        Follow The Primal Blueprint how YOU want – not how anyone else wants to follow it. But, in my opinion, the more primal you are, the better you will feel. It is an incredible transition – even for people who are already in “good health”.

        Be inspired and give it a go! You truly do have nothing to lose and you will only know if it works for you if you give it a go.

        I hope this inspired at least a few to take a leap of faith! Maybe?

        1. Well said Primal Toad! 🙂 The crux of defining “WHY” you want to be Primal is that it’s personal TO YOU. While the philosophy is shared, why and how you incorporate it into your life is deeply intimate to you.

          So, as you say, be inspired and give it a go!

          Thanks for your inspiration!

          Cheers!
          Matt

  3. Hi Ely!

    Congrats on “test-driving” the primal lifestyle. You can only learn so much from reading, the rest (possibly most) you learn from doing. Grok certainly did 🙂

    You will certainly gain clarity and confidence in time. The answers (in whatever form) will reveal themselves.

    Good luck!!

    Cheers,
    Matt

  4. One of the most important things for me has been seeing how my lifestyle changes have affected my family and friends, all for the better! I’ve had so many people start eating REAL food, even some that have gone full-out Primal, and am very happy to have been a good influence on their eating and lifestyle habits. The fact that I get to eat amazing food, have fun playing in the sun, and am overall contented and happy is a pretty good advertisement for this way of life 🙂

    1. Awesome Hannah! I don’t know if there is anything more rewarding than making positive impacts on the lives of my family and dear friends. Sounds like you’re doing great and having fun too! Keep it up!

      Cheers!
      Matt

  5. I think some of the fear from apparent complexity around these ideas comes from the fact that as a blogger or author, you tend to put out a lot of material out there. That’s just the nature of the game, but someone just starting to read about the ideas does not necessarily grasp all the fundamentals unless they are just hammered over and over.

    1. Great observation John. As a healthy lifestyle geek and blogger, I agree! That’s why I enjoy Mark’s “Definitive Guides” and his “Primal Living 101” material as it gives newbies a consolidated and central place to start. I need to do this for Healthy Lifestyle Design too!

      Cheers!
      Matt

  6. It’s amazing what going Primal has done for me in just two shorts weeks. Nevermind the fat loss around the middle (which has been incredible) and else where – most of all, I’ve realized just how all those nasty sugars and wheat products KEEP YOU HUNGRY. What a viscious cycle it keeps you in; I’ve never felt better, stronger and happier since ditching the wheat, bread, sugar, candy, chips, DIET DRINKS, and alcohol. I’ve realized how truly addicting sugar and wheat can be to the body.

    Yes, the first week or so, was pretty bad as far as withdrawal, but it just made me realize how bad that stuff was to my body and what it was doing TO ME. IT had control not me. NOW, I have control.

    I’m a 41 year old single mom and have tried every “diet” in the book; THIS is not a diet but a way of truly living – I feel like a ton of weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I can see my true potential – FEEL my true potential. I know THIS is the way I can loose the 40 pounds and really get healthy in the process – stay healthy, and LIVE. I’m loving primal and there’s no going back to the sick addictive wheat and sugar roller coaster I’ve ridden all my life. My daughter has even started going Primal – I’ll be damned if I let her fall to coventinal wisdom.

    Screw the food pyramid – what a bunch of crap we’ve all been fed for so long for so many years – makes a person angry.

    Best regards,
    Pam

    1. Here here Pam! Well said. And I concur about the “KEEP YOU HUNGRY” side-effect of high carb foods and food products, especially processed ones. Letting go of massive oatmeal breakfasts and high-sugar post-exercise “recovery” drinks has made a major difference in my energy stability.

      But most importantly is your point Primal Living isn’t a diet – it’s a lifestyle! I don’t believe diets work, not at least in the long-term. Lifestyles do though, and a healthy lifestyle is the best of all!

      Cheers!
      Matt

  7. One fear I have, which has proven itself true a bit, is that the restrictions in Primal Eating trigger some disordered eating habits I have. (And please don’t say “they’re not restrictions,” because as healthy and awesome as the guidelines of eating Primal are, they include foods that should not be eaten.)

    Telling myself, “no sugar, no grains,” messes with my head. The week or two of adjustment when the carb cravings hit is really, really hard for me. It triggers binging and intense cravings. It makes me go a little batty.

    I think going primal very slowly might help with this – first cutting down, then eliminating, sugar; then cutting refined carbs; then cutting grains. Beyond that (and 80/20), do you have any advice?

    1. I am not cutting anything, that’s not my style, but I am reducing a lot. Even that makes a big difference; I went from 200-300 carbs a day to about 100, and still have a piece of bread or a bite of dessert now and then. I don’t feel like I’m missing out, but I don’t HAVE to have these things either.

    2. Amy….what foods should not be eaten…and why? I am just curious as to which ones you are talking about?

      1. I’m thinking of things like bread, desserts, grains. I know that a more lenient Primal approach is healthier for my psyche – allowing fruits and sweet potatoes, not beating myself up for eating those, but rather seeing them as healthy options.

        But, say, the idea that I can’t – or worse, shouldn’t – have bread, or a cookie, makes me want bread or a cookie. And then if I eat them, I feel really bad about it. I know it’s an unhealthy mental pattern, but I’m trying to eat in a way that doesn’t trigger those unhealthy patterns. Eating in moderation usually works. But I know it would be healthier – physically, I mean – to eat a more Primal diet. And I think eventually I would lose those cravings. But the initial transition is daunting.

        But, say, what if my step 1 was eliminating (added) sugar. And then if I craved sugar I could allow myself a different ‘treat’ – either sweet fruit or some salty treat, even sweet potato chips or something, just to get myself acclimated to less sugar in my mouth and in my blood. And then eliminate refined carbs, but similarly, allow myself other carby treats in their place. I feel like this sort of approach is better for my sanity. Do you think it could be an effective way to get more Primal? Each step would be healthier, right? And make the next easier?

        1. For some it is an all or nothing mindset and for others it is like you say…babysteps. Personally for me, I had cut down my grain intake prior to going primal so making the all out change was very easy…but me getting my grain/sugar intake down prior to going primal was the key and I did that in baby steps. 🙂
          From the advise of some friends I had cut down my carbs…I was trying to lean out and gain more lean muscle…so bringing the carbs down was doing the trick. When I transitioned to primal I was only consuming a little oatmeal for breakfast and maybe 1-2 slices of bread at lunch…and that was it for my grains. My sugar consumption had deminished over time too…I just started small. 🙂
          So with all that being said…if you need to cut out things a little at a time I would say do it that way! When you get to full primal you will look back and be so very happy that you did it.
          This is the best nutrition I have ever had and I don’t miss the sugars/grains in the least. 🙂 Fruits taste so much better to me now too!

        2. Sometimes you have to get out of your own head. I started my primal journey April 22. The positive aspects revealed themselves immediately. Within a week, the grinding pain in my knee that I had attributed to my ever advancing age (44), was gone. Within a month, I had even more good news. The infrequent but violent GERD episodes, gone. The chronic mid-afternoon fatigue, gone. 25 pounds of fat, gone.

          Have I been perfect? Hardly. But even if I never lost another pound, I would continue to eat this way to feel this good.

          Don’t limit yourself before you even start. Good luck!

  8. 🙂 i must respectfully disagree that you can cut down slowly on “bad carbs” — most people are truly addicted to them, either physically or psychologically, and you’re just prolonging the agony by continuing to eat them. i did Atkins before starting down the primal road, and am extremely familiar with that first four days of missing the sweet and starchy treats of my previous diet. it’s mostly the Candida in your intestines which is making you crave those metabolic poisons, you know! are you going to cave in to the bully who doesn’t care about your well-being, so long as it can get what it wants? …because that’s the situation, here!

    1. Tess, I appreciate what you’re saying, but for me, the tension of standing up to that bully builds and builds until it breaks with some really unhealthy consequences. Unhealthy for my body and my psyche.

      With caffeine addiction and nicotine you can cut down gradually, to wean yourself off. Isn’t that approach possible, if not necessarily ideal, for carbs?

      (And I thought the addiction was an insulin symptom. How is it Candida?)

      1. What works for me is thinking more about what I “can” have now that I’ve always denied myself. I really try not to focus on what I “can’t” have. I can have bacon, butter, avocadoes, fatty lamb shoulder roast, nuts – all things that I tried to avoid before. I lost my cravings for carbs almost completely by filling up on all the other good stuff that was kind of a novelty. Now I’ve been eating primally for about 6 months, and can’t believe I was ever addicted to sweets and carbs. It’s almost totally effortless now. Of course, I probably treat myself more than most – I make gluten-free muffins, I have some dark chocolate chips with my nuts once in a while, enjoy some cheese, fruit. Don’t beat yourself up! It’s a lifestyle, not a race. If you find your weight loss stops, then refocus your diet. I’ve been losing about 1 pound per week for the last 6 months. Not fast, but it’s added up to 24 pounds. I’ve got about 15 to go, and I know I’ll get there. Slowly. When I’m enjoying some nice aged cheese with my glass of red wine after supper instead of dessert, I don’t feel deprived at all.

      2. First and foremost, everyone’s Primal experience and healthy lifestyle will be unique. So when push comes to shove, do what you feel is best for you.

        And I don’t think there’s anything “wrong” with a methodical and gradual Primal transformation. If someone has an abysmal diet presently, an abrupt switch to picture-perfect Primal Living would surely be a massive shock to your biosystems that potentially could not be maintained. So finding reasonable steps in between makes sense.

        However, I do agree with the comments about “needing to get out of your own head”. I think the human “Lizard Brain” (to quote Seth Godin) does a fantastic job of preserving self-doubts and unsubstantiated fears. Further, if you’re baby steps are too tiny, you won’t build any measurable momentum. And positive momentum is key!

        Lastly, humans can easily psycho-analyze ourselves crazy. I’ve been way guilty of this in the past. Sometimes it’s best (and easiest) to just go for it!

        Remember, going Primal is not a permanent and all-binding decision. But you’ll never know how successful you can be if you don’t try!

        Good luck Amy!! We’re all rooting for you!

        Matt 🙂

        1. Thanks, and thanks everyone.

          I actually did go cold-turkey primal a couple of years ago, when I first found this site. It triggered a period of really unhealthy binge eating that took half a year to get out of. There’s obviously just more than the primal diet itself at work there, and I’m in a healthier place now, but I know I still have those disordered tendencies, and so I’m… cautious.

          But thank you all for your perspectives and support!

      3. here’s one link on the subject — http://naturalmedicine.suite101.com/article.cfm/candida — but if you “google” the subject of candida causing food cravings, you’ll find a great many more.

        good luck with the food battle! i know it’s difficult (been there most of my 54 years), but if you take a deep breath and plunge in, like entering a cold swimming pool, you’ll find the discomfort doesn’t last very long! 😉 and check out some of these recipes, too! http://expertfoods.com/rec-snacks.php

      4. Amy – I am intimately familiar with this kind of problem. My primary suggestion is to try a 12 step program like Overeaters Anonymous to help you learn to manage your cravings without giving in to them so that they have time to go away. Drug addiction (and some carb-foods ARE drugs!) is not a problem that many people (myself included) are able to overcome on our own. Perhaps a support group could help you weather that critical period at the beginning of abstinence – and if it helps, you can stick around to help others with the same problems. I have found this one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

        Additionally, supplementarion with L-glutamine 2-3 times a day helps some people manage their cravings. For some reason, I want to say 4.5 g before breakfast & lunch are sometimes suggested. Personally, I found 2 g when a craving hit me worked well my first few weeks.

        Other than that, I think there’s a India herb/root that prevents one from tasting sweet in their food. Some googling can point you in that direction if you think it will help.

        Good luck.

  9. Sometimes though, friends and family get a little miffed when you suggest doing away with conventional wisdom. I was told recently by an upset RD that my advice was not good, and that we needed 60% of our diet from carbs.

    Geez. Like that’s been so successful.

    1. I agree Dave – sometimes there will be a family member or close friend that just “doesn’t get it”. I’ll give explaining myself a fair go, but if there’s no hope I’ll capitulate.

      In these circumstances, I always remind myself that “the sure path to failure and misery is trying to please everybody” – Tim Ferriss

      And in the end, I think our nation’s (and the world’s) soaring obesity rate speaks for itself, sadly.

      Cheers!
      Matt

  10. I just want to know if anyone who has been Primal for some time had any trouble with cognition in the first few weeks. I can hardly think straight, especially after eating, and I am also low on energy. Will this pass??? Besides that, my body feels great!

    1. I know I have. I have experienced some symptoms of anxiety as well. I a m curious if this is simply a part of the “detox” or if I am not doing something correctly.

    2. I didn’t experience this when I transitioned over…maybe because I was already very low carb?
      Are you eating enough fat? I have noticed many are still afraid of the fats when the start this journey…you might want to also try another piece of fruit during the day?

      1. As for me, while I am not measuring my fat intake, I am eating nuts, avocados, butter and “good” oils. Perhaps it’s simply a matter of quantity.

        1. PS- I am a recovering endurance junkie and was eating a fair amount of carbs from grain sources before such as oats, sprouted grain breads, potatoes, etc.

        2. Brad – My guess is in alignment with Cindy’s. Try increasing your fat intake, as fat now becomes your primary fuel source. I love almonds – easy and clean to eat, and WAY delicious! An extra TBSP of healthy oils here and there can help too.

          Good luck!
          Matt

    3. Hey Jessica. My wife and I went grain and sugar cold turkey. We both had a few headache episodes and some feelings of cognitive weirdness. We backed in some healthier higher carb options – more fruit and a few potatoes, and the symptoms seemed to ease. We then took a few weeks to cut down the fruit and potatoes again and neither of us has had any problems since. I think there’s a metabolic transition your nervous system needs to go through to adapt. It will pass. We’re on week 8 and feeling great.

      1. Solid advice Jason! It’s a great illustration of adapting Primal living to your unique needs and situation without losing sight of the big picture.

        Cheers!
        Matt

  11. Living primally for just a yr has completely changed us as a family. I participated in my son’s track & field day & felt like a kid again. From tug a war to hula hooping to jump roping. My son was so happy that I was there joining him. While most were at work or just there watching, I was the only one participating & having fun. A boy said to my son “I wished my mom could be like yours”. Its important to be fit & healthy. I’ve bonded more w/ our son living a primal life. Thanks to you Mark. This wouldn’t be possible if I hadn’t stumbled upon your site. As for Matt you are an example to young kids & my son will know that you too live primally.

    1. Hi Madeline! Great story, thanks for sharing! I’m glad you’re able to enjoy in all the fun activities with your son. Likewise, my mom is very special to me. And although I’m all grown up (though still her little boy in her eyes!) we still have a fun and healthy relationship, which included a VERY active trip we took last year to the highlands of Scotland (LOTS of trekking!).

      And for the record, I’m (sadly) no longer the 5-year-old boy you see in my picture. I use that picture though because I firmly believe that healthy and happy lifestyle embraces the inner child in all of us. And I am indeed one big kid!

      Cheers!
      Matt

  12. I love keeping up with this comment conversation in my email! I find it very helpful when others share their experiences going through changing their habits. Whole9life.com has a very pertinent post today on their Whole30 tab (not exactly the same as PB but very close). It is about learning to sever dependence on sugar, both physiological and psychological. I think the gradual approach is valid, if it works for you. But during a period of continued deviations from the Blueprint, I find a cold-turkey approach to be a good kick in the a$$!

  13. I chose to go primal because I got sick and tired of eating 6 meals a day and having to eat expensive and processed protein bars and whey protein shakes. I now focus on eating real whole foods like Grok did.

    1. Good for you Janet! Whole foods is definitely where it’s at. I used to be a processed protein bar fiend too. I’m so much healthier (and happier!) for giving those things the heave-ho!

      Cheers!
      Matt

  14. A big fear is of the increase in fat intake – and if you try to eat low fat and Primal you run into lots of issues.

    I know my Mother still doesn’t believe that my brother and I (both of us went Primal six months ago) are doing ourselves any favours by eating what she considers to be ‘such a high fat diet’ – mine is usually around 60% of my calories each day.

    This is because we have had it drummed into our heads that fat is bad, cholesterol-raising and effectively suicide to eat.

    I came to this from reading Diet Delusions (Taubes) I think it’s published in the States as Good Calories/Bad Calories.

    You can’t read all that scientific review and not realise that carbs from grains and high sugar diets are the killers. It made me really anxious reading it as the full enormity struck home. I became ‘Primal’ from the science I’d read, I just didn’t realise it was called that at the time, then I discovered MDA and a whole community of people who were already following this lifestyle.

    Turns out I’m very sensitive to insulin levels within 36 hours of cutting all added sugar and grains my energy stabilized and I was never hungry but it was a weird 36 hours, I felt shaky and had night sweats (as did Mr Grok who became fully Primal a few months back) but once that cleared boy did I feel like a new person.

    I suspect those who find it difficult to deal with psychologically are subconsiously fearful of some aspect and therefore perceiving cravings etc as a reason to not fully commit – once you can ditch all the ‘programming’ by CW you are well on the road to recovery.

    A huge, totally unexpected gain, no more bipolarity, and I can’t tell you how good that feels 🙂

    1. Congratulations Kelda! I can only imagine how awesome a feeling it must have been to overcome bipolarity!

      To a much lesser degree, Primal living has helped me overcome very discomforting (sometimes debilitating) Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I think it goes to show just how many insidious problems are created by gluttonous indulgences in carbs, especially highly processed ones.

      Cheerio!
      Matt

  15. Psst – it’s spelled “wean” (not “ween”). <3

  16. For anyone who is having trouble, or second thoughts about kicking the grains and sugar completely, or taking baby steps toward this goal I can relate what I have experienced. Try to kick them completely cold turkey. When you get a craving substitute strawberrys or sliced apples. After a month of no grain/sugar, I ate some pizza on a “cheat day”. I will not go into detail about what happened over the next 24 hours, but it was not good. You will never fully understand how bad these things are for your body until you completely eliminate their presence. I no longer crave these things because the way they made me feel on that cheat day is imprinted in my memory. Your body is amazingly adaptable and will hide problems until something goes majorly wrong. Try to commit to full primal- you will not regret it.

    1. Hey Nick- I know exactly what you mean about the “not good” stuff that happens if you try eating unhealthy foods after you’ve gone Primal. To me, those symptoms are unequivocal proof of how toxic that processed food is for the true human body.

      I definitely don’t regret making the switch!

      Cheers!
      Matt

  17. Great post! Thank you!! I don’t think one can NOT go “cold turkey” when cutting out processed and high-carb foods. If you treated an addiction to drugs the same as some have posted here (where they allow themselves a little here and there or just “cut back”) you’d never kick it. I feel that’s the way it is… you cut out what your body is addicted to or you will continue to be addicted with the carbs still controlling you. And it takes WAY longer than a week or two to stop the cravings. I like the post that mentions thinking about what you CAN have, rather than obsessing over foods you can’t. I’ve been doing PB for 7 weeks and I’m down from 167 pounds to 154 as of this morning (and down 4.5% body fat) I can’t even begin to list the changes in my tastebuds, cravings and body. Think of every carb gram as the vehicle for fat storage and you will not be as tempted to cheat because it’s not worth it. Until PB, I never knew, realized or felt the difference between hunger and a craving. Now true hunger drives me to eat because my cravings are gone – and believe me… my drug of choice was CARBS.

    1. Congrats Jennifer! That’s great progress. Keep it up!

      I too agree that carbs can be like drugs in that both stimulate addictive chemical responses in the human brain. Any substance, illicit or otherwise, that can stimulate massive hormonal and neural responses in the body is a drug in my book!

      Grok on!
      Matt

  18. This is great motivation for starting a new life. I much believe that we have to start slow to not get overwhelmed. It is all about changing our mindset and get a good lasting feeling for what is coming ahead.

    Mahewa

    1. Hi Mahewa. Thanks for the kind words! Positive mind change is absolutely a big part of optimizing one’s healthy lifestyle. You have to encourage yourself to learn and grow. Otherwise, you just won’t get anywhere.

      Cheers!
      Matt

  19. Thank you for the comments Matt, it’s been like a real conversation. I’m always sending links to various people from MDA and tonight yours has been winging its way around my circuit!

  20. You stop worrying about “how” and start thinking about “why” – Brillant.

    1. Thanks! The “why” part is SUPER important and is sadly often ignored, overlooked, or marginalized. It’s also much easier to just jump to tactics. Exploring your “why” takes more constructive and honest thought.

      Cheers!
      Matt

  21. This was a really great post! I was intrigued by the Primal lifestyle last fall, and started on my own journey on January 1st. It has been amazing! I’ve lost weight and my depression and eating disorder (binge eating) have been non-existent since I started. I haven’t been “perfect” though, but it is still working really well for me nonetheless. If you suffer from an eating disorder, the worst thing you can do is to feel guilty and beat yourself up for not being perfect. I never thought that I could be free of my addiction to sweets, but here I am 5 months later, with almost no cravings! I always wondered why I could eat and eat and never feel full, and now I know it’s because when I eat grain products and sweets, it just makes me want to eat more. I am so happy! Thanks for the inspiring post!

    1. Remarkable story Carla. Thanks for sharing! And congratulations on your success thus far with Primal living!

      I’ve wrestled with an eating disorder too – compulsive exercising (aka exercise bulimia). While I didn’t know of “Primal Living” back then, it was many Primal lifestyle practices that helped me get out of my self-made ditch.

      Keep up the great progress!

      Cheers!
      Matt

    2. HI Carla,
      I’m so happy for you.. I’ve been trying to go primal for a couple of weeks now and I also have been suffering from depression and binge eating disorder.. You have given me new hope .. I’m concerned about unleashing a new binge habit on primal foods such as nuts.. I have been on a roller coaster of weight gain/ loss, fluctuating moods and the like so I’m really eager to gain control of my health, have some fun and feel happy for once!.. thanks for the inspiration !

  22. Seems to me some people are missing Matt’s whole point to his post. You have to understand WHY you need to give up grains, sugar, soy, etc. If you only understand a little, then its easy to justify in your mind that you can’t give it up completely. You can justify taking your time and “ease in to” the primal way. Once you understand completely that grains, sugars and soy are poisons in your body, why would you continue to eat them? Read all of Mark’s posts on WHY you are going primal. Read all the links that Mark has provided here to really understand the technicalities of WHY. I know its easy to kind of skip over all the detailed chemical reactions going on. Skip the technical verbiage and just read the summaries. But you really need to try to understand what is going on within your body. The more you know and understand what is truly happening, the easier it will be for you to drop the bad foods and go primal. Until you do so, it will be hard. You might be able to stick to it. Sorry for preaching here, but I have shared the Paleo/Primal way with several people and the ones that I have really sat down and explained the “why’s” to, the more success they have shown.

    1. Awesome Jay! I couldn’t have said it any better myself. Thank you for emphasizing the most important element in all of this – the “WHY”.

      It is indeed easy to gloss over the technical/scientific details. But with understanding comes perspective. And with perspective comes power. In an illogical world littered with crap food products, it is surely hard to see the logic in continuing to indulge in such “things” once you’re educated on the truth.

      I’ve also encountered the same outcome when sharing the Primal/Paleo lifestyle with friends and family. The ones that aren’t quick to nay-say, nitpick, and otherwise hate and actually engage in a thoughtful and constructive conversation have been FAR more successful. Oh, and they actually ENJOY the process too! Go figure 🙂

      So a plea to all – PLEASE DON’T FORGET YOUR “WHY”. It’s probably the most important Primal element in your entire lifestyle.

      Cheers!
      Matt

  23. Good post… The key is to get out of the comfort zone a little and go and dip your toe in the water.

    It all comes down to developing the right kind of mindset for achieving the things we want in life.

    Don’t let your fears hold you back…

    ‘If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking’ chinese proverb

    All the Best

    1. Hi Rich. Great quote. Thanks for sharing! Just remember that toe-dipping may be necessary for some when other may benefit more from (and more enjoy) a big cannon ball into the deep end! 🙂

      In whatever way works for you – just don’t let your fears hold you back!

      Cheers!
      Matt

  24. I’ve done primal with great results but i haven’t made it past one week yet. I’m so addicted to eating fast food it’s ridiculous. I love CrossFit so much but i’m not reaching my full potential because of my eating habits. I have about 20 pounds I need to lose and I’m starting my 30 days of Primal tomorrow. Anyone else want to jump ship with me?

    1. Go gettem’ Rob! You can absolutely do it! You’ve already overcome the first major hurdle – understanding and accepting your weak link (fast food / poor nutrition). That’s a big win! Now use that momentum to drive towards even greater results! And don’t forget to define “WHY” you’re doing this in the first place!

      When you fully understand “WHY” and become committed to those ideas, there isn’t a person on the planet that will be able to stop you!

      Good luck!
      Matt

    2. Hi there, I have done the 30 dAY challenge twice in the last year and the first few weeks are challenging but the results after this are incredible. I basically stick to paleo but I just love having a few drinks which is my greatest downfall. I am embarking on a 8 week paleo challenge tomorrow and am very excited. I think you really need to be prepared and if you prep you will find you can eat so much. You will be satisfied and if you feel like something sweet Date and almond rolls are divine. I find the first week in general is difficult but you also see huge results in the first few weeks. I always lose 3-4 kilos and then its about 1kilo a week after that but the great thing is I am never hungry. So If you want ot stay in touch for support let me know. Iam in Australia…. so recipe swapping etc would be fun! let me know. Good Luck

      1. Hey Lis! Thanks for sharing your story. And good luck with your 8 week paleo challenge! It sounds like you have a great plan of attack, so I’m sure you’ll do wonderfully!

        Australia is magnificent! I visited in late 2008 – traveling first to Sydney, then Melbourne, then Cairns. Everything was phenomenal! Which part are you from?

        All the best!
        Matt

        1. Hey thanks, I am in Caloundra on the sunshine coast,Qld. Great lifestyle.From what I gather the word about Mark’s Daily Apple is spreading rapidly on the Sunshine Coast. Thanks again I will let you know on my progress.
          Cheers Lisa

  25. Just bought the Primal Blueprint book! I am really excited to check it out and learn everything I can!

    1. Hi Nathan! I’m sure Mark is elated that you got the Primal Living book. Well done! You’re on your way to a remarkable and euphoric healthy lifestyle!

      Keep that excitement alive; it’s an asset of immeasurable power. How? Just keep having fun while unleashing your inner Grok!

      Cheers!
      Matt

  26. great post! i think by nature people need to question, second guess and debate what they dont know or are scared of.

    after learning about primal eating it is dam%*n near impossible not to be on board and AGREE with it 100%, however people abiding by it for longetivy and a life change is a different story…

    it was easy for me b/c it clicked, made sense…its just so natural!

    1. Hi Mallory. Your “it’s just so natural” point is an important one. Quite frankly, it is really the ONLY natural way since, well, Grok didn’t have any other choice!

      When more people see this and believe this, the light bulb goes off above their head. And that’s when real magic happens, but all the half-truths and mis-guided teachings of the conventional wisdom pundits wither and die. You’re left with world of possibility and an opportunity for greatness.

      Cheers!
      Matt

  27. I’ve got two days of 90% now! Carb cravings GONE. Blood sugar roller coaster way, way dampened down. Can only hope other benefits people describe prove true. As long as I don’t gain any, it will be worth it just for the improvements I’m already enjoying.

    1. Well done thus far! Keep up the focus and tenacity. Do that and you WILL absolutely reap the many other benefits of the Primal lifestyle!

      And don’t be afraid of “gaining” so long as it’s healthy, lean muscle. I was once afraidy-cat of the scale too. A lower number was always better. How silly. If you’re feeling better, thinking better, more vitalized, etc then the scale will take care of itself!

      Good luck! Cheers!
      Matt

  28. One great thing about the primal lifestyle is how easily “transportable” it is. I am a frequent business traveller – for years I schlepped running shoes, shorts etc around the world so that I could squeeze as much cardio time into hotel fitness rooms – usually having to compete at 6 am with many others for the one treadmill, or having to run the streets of a strange city. Conventional diets are virtually impossible when meetings are built around breakfast, lunch and dinner. Since going primal I find it is easy to eat virtually any meal, any where without drawing attention to the fact that you care about diet – bacon/eggs, (or cold cuts, fruit in Europe, fish in scandanvia)are always available for breakfast. Meat/fish-based meals with veggies are always an option. For the past year or so I have never been stuck for menu choice for something which fits a primal life-style (Mexico can be tough given the rice/beans bias). I’ve given up carrying gym-clothes – instead of competing for the treadmill, I leave the hotel and walk the streets, eschew moving walk ways, escalators and elevators and use the stairs – at the end of the day, taking the stairs to your room on the 26th floor of a hotel is plenty exercise. Even the smallest hotel room is adequate for push-ups, sit-ups, leg raises, and even the occassional pull-up on the bathroom door jam (pretty tough on the finger-tips. I just got back from a 1 week trip where I ate three meals each day in hotels with my colleagues. I didn’t gain a single pound and I doubt any of my colleagues even noticed that I was “watching” my diet Another upside – is getting home without a suitcase of sweat-soaked shorts, tee-shirts and running shoes.

    1. Hey Tom. Phenomenal comment! Thanks so much! I’m a world travel too (sometimes business, mostly pleasure!) and used to engage in the same routine as you. No longer! I’ll still pack some athletic-friendly clothes, but I’ll skip the mobile food scale, measuring cup, running shoes, protein powder in baggies, protein bars, heart-rate monitor, and more (no, I’m not kidding!).

      Thanks for sharing all your pointers!

      Cheers!
      Matt

  29. Cool.

    I think #1 is to understand the “why” of doing what your doing or about to do. Not only that but at the start you should have some kind of checklist that outlines the “why’s” that you refer to when needed. This “why” and fully understanding it is the thing that makes it easier. much easier.

    Second i dont believe in the slow slow approach. Personally i’m all or nothing, either do it now properly or don’t even bother. The slow slow way is long hardship instead of a quick hardship.

    These bad foods really ARE addictive and seriously detrimental to your health and heavily disease related, Like any other addictive thing (e.g cigarettes) the “cut down first” method hardly ever works. You need to understand the “why” then you just do it. Go cold turkey, see it through like a man, and WIN! Simple.

    i think JAY above said all this much clearer 🙂

    1. Hey Oliver. Thanks for echoing the importance of understanding the “WHY”. I heartedly agree that it makes everything easier (and, to me, more enjoyable too!).

      I’m without doubt an all-or-nothing guy myself. I’m supremely logical, probably to a fault. So when something is so logically obvious to me (especially something as important as a healthy lifestyle choice) then I’m all in. Primal living fits the bill perfectly.

      Cheers!
      Matt

  30. I quit smoking cold turkey after many years of “temporary” quits (pregnancy, nursing)with the idea of NTAP..”Never Take Another Puff) It really helped me this time, and, although brutal, I shared it with my 7 yr old (Mommy I don’t want YOU to die of CANCER!)and although I broke the addiction in several days (after 25 yrs), I have not had any form of nicotine since 10/5/09. I think being more natural and Primal in general helped with this transition…Occasionally I do encounter an experience that makes me crave nicotine..I analyze and discuss it..and have not given in..I work in the restaurant business so this is a huge feat!
    I truly believe that following a Primal way of eating will enhance life at many levels! Try it and enjoy, your healthy, vibrant life awaits you! Addiction to Sugar, grains, substances/alchohol are so much more common than we would ever imiagine! They are VERY interconnected!

    1. Tremendous accomplishments Julie. Congratulations!! I’m sure that a Primal lifestyle surely did help with your transformations. And I fully agree that Primal living elevates your life on numerous levels. The limit, really, is only your imagination and willingness to make those dreams come true!

      Cheers!
      Matt

  31. I found my initial resistance was because I had a training plan in place (as a triathlete) and I was unwilling to take to the full program (food choices and activity) because I figured my activity levels were enough. After a few weeks of false starts, I started embracing the relaxed rhythm of training as preached by Mark in the Primal Blueprint, and we able to sync my diet and activity, improve my focus and actually stick with the program. I guess I am saying if you are going to give it a shot, be sure to try all of the elements of the grok lifestyle (instead of just counting calories). Good luck!

    1. I was just the same and I did continue with the coached programme for several months, and it was possible, but the more into the Primal I got the less relevance the plan had, and in fact I could see how it was counter-productive, I then crashed and burned with the training and took a month off adopting Primal walks, de-stressing and being 100% Grok, since then I’ve trained according to Mark’s guidelines (and haven’t even upped the carbs at all which you can do if required – I usually have around 100 g a day) and am so much happier and performing a million times better. I train less, but smarter and I’m quicker and stronger, I have more day to do other things I enjoy. I’ve also dropped 5% body fat but remained the same weight – much improved power-weight ratio. QED.

      I’m about to cycle from the top of Scotland to the bottom of England (1,000 miles over 9 days) raising money for Paralympians – and it’ll all be done Primal.

      Lis – why stop, Grok is for life, not just for Christmas 🙂

    2. Spot-on Patrick. If anyone is to give a Primal lifestyle a fair go they really should incorporate all the elements. Otherwise you’re not really testing the lifestyle for what it is, and are ultimately selling yourself short.

      Cheers!
      Matt

  32. I’m a diabetic. I followed my Dr’s advice for several years (use this drug, now that one, now insulin, follow this diet, try that one, exercise more, etc) and watched the disease get worse and worse with each check-up. Then I stumbled across an article by Mark Sisson about the evils of grain. The article sparked enough interest that I visited Mark’s Daily Apple. I thought nothing my Dr was recommending was working, so maybe I should try some of Sisson’s advice.

    About 3 months ago I gave up grain products and processed foods. I admit I felt icky for a few days, but I was amazed at my blood glucose readings. As I began incorporating more of the Primal Blueprint into my life more benefits began appearing. Cutting to the chase, three months later I have reduced my insulin dosage from 72 units/day (Lantus) to 30 units/day and have cut my oral meds to half doses/day. I also dropped 35 pounds.

    Another effect of going primal was the mental and emotional changes I went through. Before I was pretty much an irritable zombie. Now it feels as if a fog has lifted. I’m upbeat, personable, and just generally interested in the world and people around me. I actually smile alot and frequently start whistling for no reason.

    I didn’t realize how sick and tired I was until I started feeling better.

    1. Agreed with Julie 1000%! Well done Daral. You’re a definite inspiration. I’d guess that you’re over the big hump but that also there’s much more to gain. Keep up the great work, and keep having fun! 🙂

      Cheers!
      Matt

  33. Daral, You are an inspiration to us all! Keep up the great work! Pssst…and enjoy living your life!

  34. Just discovered MDA and the Primal Blueprint a few days ago and rapidly climbing on board! I’m familiar with low carb, having done Sugar Busters years ago with great success. Primal is much healthier and a lifestyle rather than a “diet”. Everything just “clicks” and I can hardly wait to see how my body changes in response.
    As a RN for the last 27 years I’ve seen firsthand the effects of a Standard American Diet and conventional wisdom (like Daral said!). I’m happy to be able to do my part in educating my little corner of the world, if only by example.
    Wonderful website for info and support, I’ve enjoyed everyone’s post/viewpoint, thanks for existing!

    1. Hi Connie! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with your little corner of the world. If we all did that then the entire world would truly be happy and healthy!

      Cheers!
      Matt

  35. This is great …. it’s all too easy to focus on the perceived sacrifices of eating and living well. On how tough it will be to give something up. I love the idea of bringing your thoughts back to what you’re gaining rather than what you’re supposedly losing.

    Lately I’ve been forcing myself to journal along these lines on an almost daily basis. Either to write in advance for the day on what I will do, or to record a grateful list at the end of the day. I’ve found it really helpful for changing my mindset to be forward and positive-focused. I don’t think I was negative before, and certainly I’ve been healthy for years, but I’ve still battled with old wants and habits when it comes to food and this has really helped!

    Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Kat! I agree that a positive mental perspective can do wonders. Sadly I feel that many sabotage themselves with cannot-do attitudes. Skepticism is healthy – we should always ask questions and challenge things, but pessimism is quite unhealthy.

      I’ve never done a health journal personally, though I imagine they would be quite motivating. I might have to give that a go.

      Cheers!
      Matt

  36. Thank you all for the comments! I keep telling myself that I need to dump the sugar addiction and I always find a reason to put it off for another day. I’ve restarted again today after seeing some pictures of myself in a bathing suit this weekend…and yes, I am doing this partly for vanity reasons 🙂 But I also would like to have another child and it took me 2 and 1/2 years to conceive the first one because I was diagnosed with PCOS. My specialist once told me that I had the blood work of someone that was very overweight and pre-diabetic (I’m a well muscled athlete). I would like to see if can naturally return my body to the way it should be.
    Now that I’ve given myself MORE than enough reasons to do this…I should just go ahead and DO IT!!! Just need to let go of the emotional attachments I have with sweets, that’s the toughest part for me.

    1. Hi Beth

      You refer to yourself as a well-muscled athlete … I wonder, perhaps it’s worth looking at your training regime. I found once I retuned my training to Primal systems (ie dropped the Chronic Cardio) it was much easier not carb craving. If you are doing lots of the CC you will be burning lots of carbs and craving lots – one of those endless loops!

      Just a thought.

      1. Thanks Kelda! I’m trying to cut down on the need I feel to do chronic cardio, like just go on a walk instead of feeling like less of an athlete if I’m not running the whole time 🙂 My other training right now involves mostly crossfit and playing sports a couple days a week.

        I honestly think that it’s psychological. I always think that I NEED some sugar. Just gotta get over the hump and detox…if I can just make it that long…

  37. I found that when I cut back on my training regime I have more stamina while playing outside…like this past weekend…I played a game of kickball…did 5 relay races and still had plenty of energy for more fun and games. In the past I would have tuckered out long before the last relay race!
    I credit primal nutrition and primal fitness techniques to allowing me to perform that well!
    I love this lifestyle!

  38. I am 51 and a pretty dedicated Crossfitter. I have been in & out of the primal diet for ~ 8+ months, more in than out. I do my best to cut out the grains and processed foods but cheat every now and than. I will admit I do have a weakness for cheese, wine & beer! Bottom line here, even not exhibiting the discipline to be 90% primal, I have realized amazing results. Not only has my energy level been consistenmtly elevated- no energy drinks needed here, but I have pealed off a number of fat pounds & gained muscle. At my age having pronounced abs is an aberation. I was plenty athletic prior to this conversion but this diet has leaned me out in a non-compromising dietary fashion. I snack constantly on primal type foods & drink lots of water. My body seems more in balance in this format. When I do fall off the wagoon and eat startch, I actually feel uncomfortable and bloated! My body’s way of telling me this isn’t the right food for my system. I plan on challenging myself to fully embrace this diet soon to see what the full benefits can be.

    1. Hi Mark. I feel the same way when (very rarely) I have grains – lethargic and bloated! Good luck with going primal 100%!

      Cheers!
      Matt

  39. This links nicely to the new theories on the modern inflammatory environment we live in and our modern lifestyles not yet having evolved to deal with proinflammatory things like saturated fats, stress, lack of movement, pollution etc. Primal living sounds like it is anti-inflammatory living.

    good one!

    1. Thanks Troy!

      I’m definitely a big fan of anti-inflammatory living. Marks has a lot of good knowledge on this topic throughout MDA. Enjoy!

      Cheers!
      Matt

  40. Hi

    I have found reading the all these posts really interesting and I just hope I can “hold those positive thoughts”in my head. I am trying to go Primal – by which I suppose I mean I am trying to get my brain to ditch the whirlwind of contradictory nutritional advice I have absorbed over the years and just go for this – pure and simple. At the moment though,I seem to end up bingeing every day (a fear response I think. Like a few other people who have posted I struggle with an eating disorder and sometimes even the thought of a new “regime” will send me into a tizzy that I fuel – or try to squash- with vast amounts of sugar and carbs) I am stuck between chronic cardio and cutting back to what i recognise has to ne a healthier way (I can easily rack up 28 hours of exercise a week). I try eating high fat and healthy (again intellectually i see the sense – and see my lifelong exczema improving) but then I add the carbs binge/overdose and guess what ….. my weight is rocketing! So, I either have to go for it properly – or run away from it and go back to what has worked to some degree for me (I have lost over 100lbs on low fat and high cardio, but am not happy with myself). If I sound a confused mess – thats because thats exactly what I am!!!!
    I know only i can do this, I can be extraordinarily disciplined when I get my head around something – I just can’t seem to do it.

    BUT I will try again. The rest of today – and again tomorrow. Its all you can do ultimately.

    Any help/advice welcome!!

    1. You will lose the cravings eventually – it’s one of the best parts of going primal. If you feel like you need to binge try some of the recipes on this site for primal substitutes. There are pancakes, cookies, etc, but with all primal ingredients. Try the primal energy bars with maybe a few dark chocolate chips. They have nuts and coconut, and are so sweet, rich and delicious that you’ll be too full to want anything else. I think it’s a good idea to not let yourself get too hungry at first either, so keep healthy snacks like nuts and carrot sticks for whenever your resolve is weakening. You will not gain weight – you’ll probably lose. My carb and sweet cravings disappeared totally after about a month and I had a horrible sweet tooth all my life. You can do it. Look through the success stories regularly too – that helps me a lot. Good luck!

  41. I think you need to cut the chronic cardio as the priority – you don’t have to cut the time training though – just reduce the effort level to 70% or less. If you feel the need for a ‘harder’ session just do the sprints.

    I speak as one who also suffered an exercise-induced-related eating disorder. If you cut out the high carb burning exercise you will cut the cravings. If you can be really strict for a week or two with primal eating you WILL see you lose the weight without the huge workout sessions. Over time you won’t feel the need to do so many hours and you won’t be driven by fear at gaining weight.

    I’ve been following this system of training (went Primal eating in December) since February and now train either long and slower (70% of MHR or less) or sprint. I don’t do chronic cardio training now. And yet when I choose I can race in that zone. And just as well on half the training time. It does work.

    Today I’ve just taken 2.5 minutes off my 10 mile time trial (cycling). QED.

    Remember the more carbs you burn off in CC training the more your body will crave them.

    Switch to low carb in low carb out and you will find a balance I promise.

    If I can you can, I was addicted and driven for years doing high loads. The end result was a miserable burned out athlete who’d lost the will to compete and was on the injury overtrained treadmill.

    🙂

  42. thank you so much to Vikki and Kelda for replying…..I really needed the encouragement!! I will look at the energy bars – and I know what you mean about not getting too hungry. But I think I might have to “risk” hunger, “risk” getting unfit and fatter – because what i am doing at the moment simply isn’t working and isn’t healthy – and isn’t sustainable for life. The only way is up – one way or another. So – tomorrow I begin – by not running hard for an hour. Maybe a long walk early in the morning instead and keep my intensity low at the gym in the dance class I am booked in for. What a bummer though to be afraid of both the food AND the exercise components of what is obviously a better way to go!!

    1. Eating lovely fat stops the hunger 🙂

      Try berries with thick cream … can’t beat it!

      Butter melted over veggies … I know it sounds too good to be true but it isn’t!

      My brother is now at 72 lbs lost since December eating and training this way.

  43. I think my old foe “portion control” may have to be a part of this?? I dread to think how much berries and thick cream I could get thru at a sitting! Bingeing does increase your stomach size (internal organ as well as the visible paunch)so I am used to eating BIG amounts. Maybe the trick will be to eat less than i think I want and wait for the fat to “kick in” the satiety … whilst managing not to trigger bingeing thru fear of being/actually being too hungry. Like walking a tightrope (sans safety net):)

  44. abd congratulations to your brother – thats fantastic!!! Does he still have much to lose??

    1. I think you’ll find it much harder to eat too much fat, and particularly protein – you just can’t, serve yourself a small amount, eat slowly noticing when you feel satisfied then stop. Primalizing your house is the best way to go because then it’s impossible to binge on anything you shouldn’t as it requires effort to go out and buy bad stuff!

      My brother – may be another 12 lbs but for him now it’s about body composition – he’s come down from around 35% plus body fat and is now in the high teens, he’d like to get to 12-15% and that will be what weight that will be!

  45. I know what you say about primalising the house but I just CAN’T throw food away. Plus I live right by 2 big supermarkets – no escaping the ready 24/7 availability of “bad’ stuff …. so i just have to learn to deal with it all being there.

    OK day so far – thanks for the support. I mean to try this fully!

    1. At the end of the day, for everyone making these changes, start using and thinking I CAN … or as a book I read about 10 years ago said ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. It might just save your life. It did mine.

      Give it away, someone will be pleased to have it.

  46. I have a favourite quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that I might try putting into practise.

    “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. Do the thing you think you cannot do”.

    Might work!

  47. Mark – my metabolism is such that I noticed a difference in 1 week…literally 7 days and I noticed my belly was flattening and my pants were zipping up.
    5 months later – I’m 20 pounds lighter and thrilled with living Primal.
    Many thanks for your continued inspiration.
    Bethany.

  48. I must say that my main concern is the financial burden of buying all vegetables and fruits, which (even conventional, non-organic!) are more expensive than the health-destroying foods that Conventional Wisdom (and big industry) wants you to buy. Same for organic meats. I realize their importance, and I’m not afraid to take the plunge and commit to the dietary and lifestyle changes. It’s just that I still have a family to feed, and our food budget is already somewhat strained anyway. I haven’t seen this issue addressed in these comments yet. Does anyone else have good news there?

    Thanks!

    1. If the budget already is strained to a limit (most efficient food at cheapest price in just enough amounts), I don’t see the way to do that.

      With some flexibility, expensive bread could be replaced at least by oatmeal (cheaper price for more meals), meat as organ meat (hearts, liver) at Oriental markets and whatever natural protein-rich food is on sale, as always buy more to skip next week of high meat prices, if you can afford, of course.

      Bone/bone marrow/connective tissue broth stew, skin on chicken extend the amount of meals for the same money and are in more Weston Price and Vilhjalmur Stefansson way.

      Vegetables: buy what is cheaper right now or is on sale (if quality is still acceptable), not at expensive supermarket when you can buy 10x more for the same food at Oriental vegetable store, and work out, as always, in which days prices are cheaper, it pays to buy in the evening at the end of the week instead of weekends and holidays.

      You can drop dairy at all, or consume buttermilk in form of quark (more natural substance than pasteurized cottage cheese, see flaxseed oil/cottage cheese diet), quarkmaker takes only 18W at cheaper night prices, or use as non-electrical one a styrofoam insulating box with a glass jar of buttermilk heather to 110F for 12-16 hrs).

      Fermented food: water kefir and kombucha will cost you $10 to get from eBay, as I did, or ask anyone at forum to send it to you at the cost of postage or meet personally. They are friendly and selfish folks. To keep culture alive you will need: for kombucha tea and sugar (they will be consumed and transformed), for tibicos – dry fruits (raisins), slice of lemon and sugar (same, will be consumed). Sauercraut DIY $1.50/1qt(L), good for health. There is forum, wildfermentation, for details.

      Water or water with lemon instead of artificial drinks = economy + health.

      Look around, calculate, substitute. Good luck!
      Hint: family members may/will oppose. Still doable.

      1. Correction to my previous post: heated instead of heather, selfless instead of selfish, and strain quark after fermentation in white tea towel in strainer of over the sink. Sorry.

  49. This was a super helpful post for me. I have all kinds of anxieties concerning this way of eating. One of the things I hope it will do is ensure that my children don’t develop weight issues young the way I did. This way of eating is difficult, and it is more expensive- especially for those of us living paycheck to paycheck, I think. I know it is true for me. I have had a huge support network though with my extended family buying me some of the more expensive “flours” so I can experience the things I enjoy in a way that is sustainable on this way of eating. In the end, I would say it has strengthened my family ties, not weakened it. Although, I think in my case it helps that I was referred to this way of eating by my doctor, so they know it is important. Anyway, it is nice to read this post anyway. Just started my third week. Hoping it only gets better from here.