Does anyone else on here struggle with food addiction? I want to be 100% paleo 100% of the time, and I am in the circumstance where my health really depends on it. I'll spend 2-3 days perfect paleo, but then every couple days I find myself binging on junk food until I'm close to vomiting. Its also a conscience and well thought-out decision to binge, I actually go out of my way to get this crap food... I just get so fixated on it, I don't want to do anything else until I get my "fix."
I find I binge the most when I look at myself and realise I don't like what I see. When I think that the weight isn't falling off fast enough. When I feel generally shit about myself...but this is because I am thinking too much about how fit I used to be/want to be and I am dissapointed in myself, so "punish" myself.
The thing is though, this is going to be a long process. But don't worry about the time it will take, because that's going to pass anyway. Don't think about how you used to be, or why you aren't yet where you want to be, think about the decisions you can make each day to get you closer to your goal. Then praise yourself. Be kind to yourself. If you make it through a whole day 100% paleo, give yourself props, seriously, job well done! And then you'll soon see that day becomes a few days, a few weeks, a few months, and then you'll see big changes!! It's worth it!! I promise it :) Once you get through the first week, it'll become easier, then habit!
Add one thing each day to get you closer to your goal, and remove on thing stopping you from getting there!!! :D
You'll find that a lot of us on PH have unhealthy relationships with food. You'll have to teach yourself to stay the course, mostly through perserverence and drive. When you feel the urge to get your fix, force yourself to do something else, e.g. go for a walk, clean the bathroom, write in a journal, etc. If you can't fight the urges, it may be worth finding a psychologist that deals with food addictions.
this is mostly the story of my life. i hate my relationship with food, it is so hard to fix. i am about to do a whole30 challenge or something very similar. the first one I did was very hard for me to make it through. i got totally stressed and food obsessed toward the end and started really resenting the whole thing, but it got me over some addictions (temporarily). I also get fixated and can't be happy until I have what I am wanting. For the past few weeks it has been ice cream, butterfinger blizzards from DQ in particular. I want one, obsessively, EVERY SINGLE DAY, it's weird. I feel very out of control and it's awful! I have always had issues with food, from anorexia to compulsive binge eating. Paleo has made me feel like I might be able to have a healthy relationship with food again more than any other diet regimen I've done before and I like that feeling. Just gotta keep working at it I guess. I don't know exactly what the answer is, just wanted to let you know you are definitely not alone! :)
The problem is it takes longer than 2-3 days to drive those unholy demons out of you. If you've been pummeling your body with starch and sugar for a long time it may take 2-3 weeks! It's a purifying process and if you stick with it you'll be disgusted by cookies and bread in no time.
Sugar and starches are like crack. You're body craves it even though it wrecks havoc on your health. Even if I slip up once and buy a frozen yogurt with some friends (which has a little sugar in it), I have to fight away that craving for more over the duration of a few days.
Food addiction is a funny thing—most everybody has some trigger, be it a food or a feeling or a situation, that sends them down an unhealthy path. I have gone on similar binges in the past, even after months of paleo eating. I finally realized that the binge foods I'm "attracted" to are doing me more harm than good, and that I didn't really derive pleasure from the any more.
Find some support for your quest, and get a couple of weeks of clean eating under your belt. Having cleaned up my own diet significantly over the years, I promise it gets nothing but easier. Some specific physical cravings are actually vitamin or mineral deficiencies, so if you feel yourself wanting a certain type of food (salty, sweet, fatty, etc), have a paleo-approved food that addresses the craving (you can find lists of these all over the web).
I'm still struggling with similar impulses to eat—the only difference is that I fulfill these desires with paleo foods. This article by Robb Wolf deals with food addictions and helped me a lot in dealing with mine.
Overeaters Anonymous can be a wonderful resource for food addiction. I went to a couple of meetings in a town I lived in a while back and found it to be a very nurturing, understanding, and encouraging experience.
Contrary to its name, OA is not just for people who overeat. There were all kinds of people there -- recovering (and not-so-recovering) anorexics, bulimics, food addicts, binge eaters -- basically anyone with psychological or physical issues with food. It was very non-judgmental, because everyone was there for a deeply personal reason, even if those reasons were very different from person to person.
There were also all shapes, sizes, and ages there. The first meeting I went to was only a few people, but most of them were on the heavy side. When I walked into the room, I wasn't sure if I was in the right place, and I must've looked lost, because someone asked if I needed help finding something, and I asked if that was the room for OA. She was surprised I was there for the meeting I guess because I was relatively thin (compared to the rest of them).
OA meetings are free, although if you join the organization officially, I think there are dues involved. And you might not be interested in the spiritual aspect of it, but I think it might be a good experience for you to at least attend a few meetings. You are so completely not alone -- not in the paleo world or the "real" world. People would tell these intimately personal stories, and you would see others nodding in recognition.
If you Google it, you can search for meetings in your area. (Usually in churches, libraries, community centers...)
Edited to add: In many cases, I think eating clean Paleo helps many people with their food addictions, because the foods we're addicted to are usually processed crap that you don't eat when you focus on real food. BUT, it's not magic. I was doing really fantastically for years, but I've been turning to some pretty awful foods lately purely for emotional reasons (mostly loneliness). Something like OA (or meditation, or spending a lot more time outside, or some other positive mental and/or physical experience) might be beneficial on top of Paleo eating in that case. One more tool in the arsenal, as it were.
Sugar cravings reflect deficiencies esp. mineral deficiencies. take supplements to balance out diet. invent new comfort foods that have higher fat and protein content, work out hard, i tend to eat better when i am working out with more intensity, and plan plan plan your meals, one mess up in your schedule makes it more likely to give in to temptation
like with many addictions, I suggest to start paleo increasingly , with small victories consisting in choosing the right food more and more wisely over say, a period of a week or two, since you can do fine for several days in a row; if you believe you are on the verge of the dark side, take a stroll, a shower, a nap to change your mind.
I've found that just not having things in the house that I could binge on helped a lot. As long as it was there, I could (and did) eat it. Remove junk from the house, give it away, throw it away even. Purge your environment of junk. Avoid even entering places like delis, gas station stores, etc. that have these things.
And most importantly, don't "reward" yourself with junk. I have had to struggle to remove myself from the cycle of completing a period of a few days or a week of perfectly healthy eating, and then "rewarding" myself with stuff I shouldn't eat at the end. Just keep at it, don't waver. Think of how awesome you'll feel!
You sounds just like me. Going very low carb is the only thing I've found that helps, even though I always thought VLC was weird and definitely not for me. The thing is I feel like a totally different person eating this way, and no more food cravings!