I'm a pretty avid follower of the paleo blogosphere, and I must admit that I'm feeling very confused these days as to how I should be eating. It seems as if we are moving away from the low-carb paradigm towards one that includes safe starches. I used to hang my hat on the low-carb theories, but now I'm not so sure anymore. I understand that ideal macronutrient ratios really depend on the person, but I'm not sure how to interpret the data in a way that clearly delineates what I should be doing.
Background: I'm a 22 year old female and currently about 20 lb overweight. I was heavy during my childhood and peaked in weight during my high school years. I believe that my weight issues began when I started eating emotionally as a child to deal with my parents' separation. I have dealt with these underlying emotional issues, and I've dropped about 50 lbs since my heaviest. Now I'm just looking to lose the last 20-30 lbs.
I've been slimmer (and nearly at my goal weight) in the past in extreme situations (studying abroad at a high altitude, working on a dairy farm) but anytime I return to a "normal" American lifestyle, I can't seem to maintain that body composition. I am worried that I may have unintentionally starved myself during these periods, especially when I was in South America, had a nasty parasite, and had absolutely no appetite for about a month. Anyway, I digress...
This whole controversy over whether low-carb is good or bad for weight loss is taking a toll, because I'm having a hard time sticking with any sort of protocol. I will commit myself to low-carb then find myself out at a sushi restaurant with friends, justifying white rice and sweet potato, and then suddenly I'm down the rabbit hole and eating cups of pineapple or coconut ice cream by the pint. I definitely have an addictive/compulsive personality, which is how I became overweight/metabolically deranged to begin with, so my first inclination is to really cut out the sugar/carbohydrates. I've had success with it before. I guess my real question is, am I setting myself up for failure? Am I struggling with sugar binging because I was so restrictive in the past? I know I can lose weight with very restrictive low-carb, but I don't want to set myself up for failure in the future if low-carb is going to make my body think it's starving. At the same time, I've heard eliminating carbohydrate can help heal the metabolism and insulin/leptin resistance issues. I just don't know what to do, and I'm finding it paralyzing.
Any insights you have would be extremely appreciated. I'm sure I'm not the only one struggling with this issue.