I keep failing.... I'll eat paleo for like 3 days then all of a sudden have a BINGE on sh*t food.. my parents have so much crap in the whole house. My face starts clearing up.. then I eat like that and I get zits and my stomach gets EXTREMELY bloated.. bags under my eyes and I feel like crap. IT'S SO HARD TO STOP. It's like a high when I start eating it. I am so frustrated right now :((
You should see the load of crud that is constantly on the back table all day at work. My boss maintains an almost constant supply of cookies. And every holiday and every birthday, there's a cake. And his wife likes to bring pie. Her other favorite is noodles. Oh and then the boss also like to buy a ton of those little candy meddlies like for holloween and have them out on the front counter for customers and employees. So they are under my nose the whole day. The smell of the chocolate is the most tempting. Sometimes I sneakily move the trays of candies out of area so I don't have to look at them.
I have to keep reminding myself that the boss has skyrocketing high blood pressure and gout. His wife has type II diabetes and is soon to be starting insulin because drugs can no longer control it. This is the the same woman who keeps telling everyone in a voice filled with authority that her funky wheat filled sugar free cookies are good for her because they are designed for diabetics and it says so right on the package. Her out of control high blood sugar has about fried her brain and sometimes she also can have her blood sugar dip so low that she passes out. Last year, she passed out twice. THe first time, she knocked out her front teeth. The second time she broke arm. Of my other coworkers, two of them around my age both also have type II diabetes. My other coworker around my age looks to be in good shape on the outside but had a heart attack 5 years ago and is on statins, niacin and and blood pressure meds, plus aspirin and fish oil pills. There is one other coworker left who is actually apparently healthy, but she is only 30 and I can see her going down the same road as the others. Thinking of this is what keeps my hand off the cookies.
Try separating your food from theirs — ask if you can have your own cupboard and shelf in the fridge. Then try to pretend the other cupboards don't exist.
If you go off the rails, don't let it be gluten.
Also — try and get to the bottom of your desire to binge — people who've been on the bandwagon for a while generally lose the urge, so maybe you just need to give your brain the time to get its Cost-Benefit Analyzer updated. Start to see food as a means to an end and not just an end in itself.
If you give it some time, make sure you've got access to plenty of tasty paleo food, and always have something healthy on hand you can snack on. Make sure to do some recipe research and have some arrows in the quiver with respect to diverse TEXTURES of food, since that's often what we clamor for when we 'cheat'. Make sure you've got your crunchy, gooey, sweet, savory, etc... and that all your paleo meals don't have the same texture or else your mouth will get bored. Make judicious use of the paleo-subsitutes. Identify the foods that you most gravitate toward when you binge, and come up with a paleo replacement that approximates what you like most about them.
If you continue to have the tendency to binge, there's got to be some other reason why — i.e. it's not just the food and easy access. You're might be trying to make up for some other lack (I know because this was true for me in the early days). Figure out what else you can fill your time with that can provide immediate sensory pleasure (lol, seriously).
If the lack-of-acne isn't a big enough motivator, maybe try getting on a program toward some measurable physical goals (strength, endurance, whatever) that you'd really like to achieve but are clearly obstructed by the binges.
Learn to see that shit...I'm not going to call it "food"...through new eyes. Really look at it...does it really look like something you want to eat, knowing as you do that it is loaded with artificial colors and flavors, toxic fats and poisons? Its not food...its garbage...unfit for human consumption! Every time you look at it, remind yourself of the truth...that it is Garbage.
That's how the whole world is for the rest of us, but we are aversively conditioned to no longer even desire those "foods" after a while. 3 out of 4 days paleo is a heck of a lot better than 0 out of 4. I wish I had been aware of paleo and doing as well as you when I was living with my parents.
Keep at it. Slowly over time, despite the setbacks, you'll get better. Some people can go cold turkey; good for them. For me, it took about a week to not be interested in bread, but years to get really good at not being tempted by sugar (my weakness), but now I'm not. During those years where you're only doing it half way, well, that's a big improvement already. So just keep at it and try everything until you find what works for you.
Something that helped my motivation was reading blogs and learning the science. Books like "Why We Get Fat" and "Primal Blueprint" are great. It's that much easier to decide not to eat a piece of bread when you really know what it'll do to you. Right now, however hungry you are, when you walk by a tub of used french-fry oil, you probably never feel tempted to slurp it down. One day, that's how you'll be with your cheat foods, and having them in the house will be no problem at all. You'll get there.
Also, I'd keep away from the Larabars. Sweet taste is addictive. If you must, build up to 85% dark chocolate instead.
Are you eating enough good paleo food? It's not a magic solution, but making sure you're not starving will help. Lots and lots of meat and fat.
There's a similar question here that might help you, from a young man living at home: http://paleohacks.com/questions/20562/how-can-i-get-past-the-first-damn-week
You should stock up on 'good' junk foods. For example, the LARABARS, while not the very best thing for you, and slightly expensive, are very quick and delicious snacks. I've also survived by eating microwave lava cake (someone posted it here on paleohacks), dark chocolate, and frozen berries with a heavy whipping cream. Also, various kinds of nuts if you just want something to munch on, though you should take it easy with those if you're trying to lose fat. There are also pork skins if you want something crunchy and vaguely chip like.
From experience, I found that if you stock up on enough good junk food to last about a month, eating healthy, complete paleo meals in between, by the time you start running out of the junk foods you'll be pretty well adapted and will be going for the junk less and less. Keep some around after that, in case the urge strikes you, but it'll be rare. It is strange to think, but your body does learn I just get more satisfaction by cracking open a can of tuna now than I would by eating a doughnut.
I think the thing is, you don't have to follow the typical diet mindset of eating very small amounts of food. Eat as much as you want, until you're completely done eating, just keep it paleo. :)
I'm faced with tons of junk at every family function. You're going to be faced with it for the rest of your life if you eat paleo. Hang in there, but please remember, it's making you sick! Think of how awful you felt the last time the next time you have some junk food in your hand. Have you tried to talk to your parents about your food preferences? Are you in a position to buy your own food and make your own meals?
There is already good advice posted here already about making sure you're eating enough meats and fats, cutting out sweets, etc.
Perhaps a less abrupt transition would work for you. Try cutting one or two items per week. For example, get rid of bread the first week. Taper it down and converge to paleo. Some people are able to go cold turkey, but some I know have had to transition. In my case, I eliminated soda the first week. The next week it was all breads, crackers, or anything made from grain flours. It took several weeks before I could say I was eating paleo, but I felt better with each passing week.
You can do it. Don't give up! Are you following any particular course of advice? (Cordain's, Wolf's, Sisson's, De Vany's, Dr. Kurt Harris's etc.) I failed my during my first two attempts because I wasn't eating enough animal fats; I was following Cordain's ideas and I was hungry all of the time.
It will get easier. At some point, you'll lose the desire to eat junk you now think is tasty. Cut yourself some slack too and let yourself adjust. Changing ingrained eating habits can take time. There's a lot to learn too. Eating paleo for me involves a lot of tweaking and learning.
I have a few thoughts:
1) Getting past the third day is the hardest, I believe. It's withdrawal. After two weeks, better, after six weeks even better. If you can stick with it for a few months, you will sail from there. The worst is getting to day four, no doubt.
2) You may have autoimmune responses to the crap you are eating resulting in an endorphine response for relief. Addiction...hard to get past, but you can do it.
3) Tackle one thing at a time...I was not able to slam in. Perhaps tackle sugar first (including lactose..all the sugars), then when comfortable, tackle wheat (eat rice and potatoes instead), then if you are trying to lose weight, lose the rice potatoes and legumes...chocolate and cheese last (if ever!).
If unhealthy snacks are left on the counter or somewhere else that's very visible, consider moving them to a pantry or drawer: out of sight, out of mind. Convince your parents to keep them hidden for at least a week while you get over the hump. It might even help them eat less junk as well. 8)
I agree with keeping healthy snacks around. Try making some beef jerky. If you're not into cooking, there are plenty of places where you can get it, just try to go for a more paleo version (fewer additives).
The dark chocolate is a good one, too. When you get a craving for something sweet, sometimes it's impossible to ignore and the longer you wait, to tougher it is to resist. Just have a small piece and really enjoy it; savor every bite.
If you are binging on one item, or if your binge always starts with one item, then consider cutting out that "cheat" entirely.
Chips have been the most difficult for me to resist. Even with other crunchy snacks, there's just nothing quite like them. I had to convince myself that chips are bad and, no matter how good they might taste, the taste does not outweigh the damage chips do to me. I don't have any major side effects from eating chips, but I will eat an entire bag (and open a second). So, I just have to tell myself that chips are not an option, not even one chip.